Christianity 201

December 28, 2016

Do We Need to Distinguish Between the Sacred and the Secular?

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:31 pm
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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
-James 1:17 (NIV)

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
-I Timothy 6:17 (NIV)

Today we’re paying a return visit to Paul Burleson at Vital Truth Ministries. Years ago I was told that Americans tend to make a greater distinction between the sacred and the secular and that Christians in The UK tend to live their lives more holistically? Is that generalization true? This is a shorter article, but it contains something we need to consider. Click the title to read at source.  [Note: Paul really likes capital letters. I was going to edit this to conform to our style guide, but decided to leave it.]

A PERSONAL VIEW: MAKING NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SECULAR AND SACRED!

I make no distinction between sacred “things” and secular “things.” ALL “things” ARE finite and only God is infinite. I view God as the “SOURCE” of all THINGS [The One from Whom all things come into being or are derived or obtained. See 1 Corinthians 3:21-23] ! And, I view all “things” as simply RESOURCES for life. [Things that are available for use or can be used for GOOD or BAD].

Romans 8:5 says this, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the THINGS OF THE FLESH, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the THINGS OF THE SPIRIT.” [ESV]

“Walking after the “things” of the flesh” [ a no-no] is simply using or seeing “THINGS” as the SOURCE for making life worth living. Any THING. American citizenship, family, appearance, relationships, job, recreation, preaching, church attendance, bible reading, giving, you name it, can be seen as the SOURCE for what makes life worth living and, thus, become an idol. That THING is then taking the place of God in life.

“Walking after the “things” of the Spirit” [a yes-yes] is simply using or seeing “THINGS” as a RESOURCE for making life a little better, but, all the while, seeing God as the SOURCE of it all. ANY thing, such as my American citizenship, family, appearance, relationships, job, recreation, preaching, church attendance, bible reading, giving, you name it. can be correctly seen as a RESOURCE for making life a little better or more enjoyable and, thus, would NOT be an idol. God Himself is correctly seen as the SOURCE for all of life!

All finite “things” will pass away. Only Infinite God will not pass away. Nor shall we, once our mortality [finite] has one day at the resurrection put on immortality [Infinite].

So the living of life ISN’T a list of things TO DO or NOT DO in terms of priorities. It is, however, experiencing and celebrating God in ALL THINGS in life and enjoying all those things as resources He has delivered to you in your particular realm of existence on planet earth.
[1 Corinthians 3:21-23]

AND, it is being a RESOURCE yourself for others along the journey choosing to introducing them to your SOURCE with the gospel message when possible. [Christ IS after all, the answer for life and life ABUNDANTLY.]

Thus, I make no distinction between SACRED “things” and SECULAR “things.” All of LIFE is sacred and seeing Him as the SOURCE and enjoying HIM is the purpose for any THING!


Previously at C201 by this author: Exogesis and Isogesis (Summer 2014)

On the author’s own blog: Of Cents and Siblings (a different emphasis of The Prodigal Son)


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