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Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

The 800 Pound Gorilla


In a telephone interview with Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth, she articulated why so many Christians fail to see work in politics, business, education, the arts, and science as ways to serve God. She pointed out that many Christian young people think that if they really want to serve God, they should go into "ministry," which means being a pastor or missionary.

The problem, Pearcey maintains, is accepting a "sacred-secular distinction." That is, putting work in "sacred" and "secular" categories. The Sacred-Secular Divide is a mental stronghold that's hard to remove. I am convinced, however, that ridding ourselves of SSD is the first step (and perhaps the biggest step) toward bringing significance to any human endeavor.   

Have you ever heard a Christian say, "Someday I'm going to quit my job and go into the ministry?" The unspoken message is: "I don't see my current work as a sacred task." Seeing fish management as "full-time Christian service" is unthinkable. It does not come easily to the evangelical mind. 

SSD is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. I don't want to be critical of pastors [they have a tough job], but when was the last time you heard a sermon on how to get rid of the Sacred-Secular Divide? When was the last time the car mechanics in your congregation were brought up front to be prayed for, and sent out with a commission to service automobiles well, repairing each car as the Lord's car (doing their work "as unto the Lord"), and seeing their repair work as the very work of God? 

Yes, the car does belong to Christ! The whole earth is the Lord's, and everything in it. And ruling well over grease and ball bearings is part of what God had in mind for humans before He created Adam and Eve. Repair work itself is sacred, when done in response to the First Commission of Gen. 1:26-28, and in fulfillment of the Great Commandment of Mark 12:29-31. 

Yes, we need pastors and missionaries. But we don't need to justify car repair work as an opportunity for evangelism, or a way to earn money to support the others who are in..."the [real] ministry." Because car repair is ministry too.  

Ask Jesus. He was a carpenter.

Here's my interview with Dr. Pearcey: 




If you cannot play this video, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypID1NXF2Bw



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11 comments:

  1. I like the end "Ask Jesus. He was a carpenter" :-)

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  2. Well said. SSD is virtually never discussed. The only time I heard anyone preach about it was at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center in CA about 22 years ago when Chuck Swindoll said that the biggest problem/sin in America today was that people divided life into two camps…the secular and spiritual. It really hit home. Keep up the good work.

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  3. The fact that you have remembered this occasion for 22 years says it all...

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  4. I am reminded of a book I read many years ago: The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. In every day tasks and work he acknowledged that it was all for the Lord.

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    1. Indeed. A great book that has stood the test of time.

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  5. Thank you, Christian, for this very helpful interview. Diplopia is an eye condition in which a single object appears as two. SSD is a disorder in the spiritual vision in which the one world God created is seen as two. The popular name for diplopia is "double vision." According to a the Behavioral Vision website, "Double vision is dangerous to survival, so, the brain naturally guards against its occurrence. In an attempt to avoid double vision, the brain will eventually disregard one of the mismatching images. That is, the brain will ignore one eye (called suppression)." This is precisely the problem caused by the SSD disease.

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    1. Thanks, Larry. Well said! We can learn lots of spiritual lessons from the so-called "natural" world. [Which, of course, is totally supernatural. But that's a subject for another blog post...]

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  6. Yup...'tis what it is and the Holy Spirit helping you/we can dis-illusion & re-center folks...I passed this along to gobs of folks, our age, (ancient sage that you are), and a whole gaggle of 20+ friends I'm blessed to know. Well done Christian!

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Who's counting the years, David? Just glad to be breathing! :-) Thanks for checking in.

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