by Mike Baer

Adapted from material initially published on the Third Path Blog, as component of a collection, reposted via type permission.

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What is the Sacred-Secular Divide?

You don’t have to go incredibly much today to hear some reference to the ‘sacred-secular divide’ or the ‘sacred-secular dichotomy.’ It’s in all the publications, blogs, conferences – and occasionally in a sermon. And it’s constantly in an unfavorable connotation.

So what precisely is the sacred-secular divide? In one feeling, it’s difficult to specify. It’s a kind of society, a nuance, an totally also subtle method of looking at life, vocation and also ministry. It’s a shadow that covers many type of various other facets of our stays. It seems innocuous, but it’s not. The divide is a false dichotomy, a false worldsee, an infection in the minds of Jesus’ followers that has actually done incalculable damage to the reason of the Church.

However before, we have the right to at least approximate the interpretation of the divide in this way. It is a watch of life built on a separation or difference between those things, human being and areas someone believes to be sacred (holy and of God) and those believed to be secular (worldly and not of God). Certain callings are holy (missionary, pastor) and others are secular, i.e. of the human being and therefore unholy (service, medicine, building and construction, etc). Certain areas are sacred as well—church structures, graveyards, seminaries while others are secular—my house, your residence, schools, and also athletic stadiums. I know you could favor the sentiment, however a candle lit in a church building is no even more holy or unique to God than a candle on my 2 year old grandson’s birthday cake. Caution: if that statement offends you, then you are living in the divide. In brief, it is all around distinctions and also separations and also classes and also castes.

Oh, you don’t think this way? Just listen to exactly how many kind of times you and those approximately you refer to “my Christian life” as if tbelow were an additional kind that you have actually. Or to Christian vs. secular music? Spiritual vs. secular books. Or to “Christian” movies. Or “Christian” coffee houses. Or to the church building as the Church or God’s House. Yeah. It’s almost everywhere.

Now someone will no doubt say, “But what about sin and holiness?” What about it? That’s an completely various axis. Check out this diagram.


As you deserve to watch, part of our problem is that we are measuring the wrong points. There is a distinction—one with eternal consequences—between righteousness (conformity to God’s character and also commands) and also unrighteousness (rebellion against God and also His commands). But the artificial difference in between tasks, locations, objects and foodstuffs as either sacred or secular is simply simple bogus.

Who is ‘Called’?

One of the a lot of insidious and also prevalent methods the “Sacred-Secular Divide” manifests itself is ideas and discussions about calling or vocation. Specifically this emerges as soon as we think in terms of who is referred to as and degrees of calling.

I am thankful to hear more and also even more human being in organization, medication, government and also various other vocations referring to themselves as called to a certain spbelow or function. Just this weekend, a young college student told me he was called by God to organization. A revolutionary concept, but not a new one. Luther wrote prodigiously on the doctrine of vocation as did John Calvin.

Unfortunately, the writings of Luther and also Calvin on this subject are unwell-known to the majority of Christians, pastors, and seminary professors. We hardly ever hear young people say what the young college student told me. Instead, church invitations, parachurch encouragements, and pastoral challenges are to those that hear “the call” to minisattempt, to staff, or to goals. When was the last time you heard an invitation to come forward and also “surrender to the speak to to engineering” or when your church organized a “commissioning service” for an entrepreneur who was launching a new company? The result of this disastrous incompleteness in the doctrine of calling has resulted in the implication, if not the explicit teaching, that tbelow are “called” and also “uncalled” within the Body of Christ.

In comparison, review Romans 1:1-7 and also note house many type of times the word “call” shows up. Or 1 Corinthians 1:9. Or Ephesians 4:1. The truth is that if you and I are not called then we are not conserved. All believers are called. Some to one point. Some to an additional. All to Christ.

Lip organization to the over points offers way to the second gross misknowledge of calling: the idea that there are degrees or a pecking order of calls. In other words, we might admit that we are all dubbed, yet some calls are even more vital and pleasing to God than others.

How perform we reconcile such a idea, a pecking order within the Body of Christ, through Scripture? Hardly. Here is the Biblical reality. Each among us is called. And that calling or vocation being the will certainly of God is perfect and also cannot be improved upon; in other words, we are all equal in our calling. None greater. None reduced.

What I have actually viewed as world begin to master that God has actually called them to company and also that His calling is both high and also holy via none higher or lesser is a tremendous freedom, an abandon, and also a confidence to throw themselves into glorifying and also worshiping God in and also via their contact. The Church becomes stronger. The Kingdom broadens. The participants in God’s job-related in all the spheres rise in number and affect.

Breaking the Divide

So what is the answer to the sacred-secular dichotomy? How perform we tear dvery own this longstanding wall? In our reasoning. That’s right! The divide is an illusion, a delusion, a deception. It doesn’t actually exist other than in the minds of those that believe in it. It is, without making light of the devastating results of it, nothing but a superstition akin to not stepping on cracks in the sidewalk. Thus, the answer lies in altering the method we think and also bringing our thoughts and also paradigms into alignment with the reality of God’s Word.

So what perform we do?

1. Recognize False Concepts For What They Are

Steve Brvery own of Key Life Ministries states, “It’s from the pit and also it smells choose smoke.” He’s right. The sacred-secular divide is false, an creation of the Evil One. Regardmuch less of that might be teaching it or perpetuating it, the concept stands contrary to Scripture. Calling a lie a lie is the first action in overcoming it.

2. Be Clear in Biblical vs. Unbiblical Distinctions

There is no such point as spiritual or secular. However, tbelow clearly is right and also wrong, moral and imethical, obedience and also disobedience, righteousness and sin. We are by no means libertines; rather we long to check out Jesus honored and offered in all places by all world in all spheres of life.

3. Focus on the Divine ONE Instead of Divine PLACES

Even when the temple stood during the days of the Old Testament and into the early years of the New Testimony era God made it clear that it was not His “home”; His true residence was and also is over and also listed below and in and also external of all things. As Solomon put it, “But will certainly God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this home that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27 ESV) Today, we have to sheight reasoning of a church structure as the Church, the Housage of God or a area anymore unique to God than a college, a mall or a baseround park.

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4. Recover and Teach the Priesthood of All Believers

There is no priesthood that is over or sepaprice from various other believers. There is only the priesthood of the brothers and also sisters. “…you yourselves favor living stones are being built up as a spiroutine home, to be a holy priesthood, to sell spiroutine sacrifices acceptable to God via Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5 ESV) To be certain there are different callings and also giftings and also workplaces, however these are in function not standing, function not condition. Let us honor the true egalitarian nature of the Gospel and also respect the area each member of the Body holds.

5. Celebprice the Lordship of Christ In and Over All Things

The Great Commission starts via these effective words: And Jesus came and also sassist to them, “All authority in heaven and also on earth has been provided to me…” (Matthew 28:18 ESV) Abraham Kuyper’s well known quote renders the allude powerfully. “There is not a square inch in the entirety doprimary of our humale visibility over which Christ, that is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

We don’t beat the false by fighting the falsifier. We do not attend to error by teaching unwell balanced error on the various other side. We resolve lies, false teaching, wrong thinking with truth—pure, unfiltered, Scriptural truth. As we permit ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and also that by the Word of God, we will certainly progressively see that every one of life is under the authority and Kingship of Jesus and also expected to be lived for Him. In that realization is a freedom and also abandonment practically beyond imagination!