Bible, Main, Teaching, z17, z22
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Secular or Sacred?


Do everything to the glory of God. Photo: Welder/Sorenslim/Flickr/Creative Commons

Do everything to the glory of God. Secular work is sacred. Photo: Welder/Sorenslim/Flickr/Creative Commons

If I were to ask average believers what percent of their day would fall under the heading of secular activities vs. sacred, would the answer be 50/50, or 60/40, or even 80/20? If you were a full time pastor, we might expect your sacred time would be higher that if you were, say, a welder.

Christian musicians sometimes comment that on Sundays they play sacred music, but on Friday and Saturday they play secular. Although we all understand what they mean, I believe that this division is arbitrary and non-biblical.

This topic was brought to my attention while I was reading a book called Know The Truth by Bruce Milne. The author was discussing the modern friction between the natural and the supernatural.

I was surprised to learn that the Hebrew vocabulary and thinking from the Old Testament has no equivalent for our word “nature” or “natural”. God is responsible for all; the “natural” world was created by the spiritual.

The Old Testament followers saw rain from clouds and water from a rock as both coming from the same source – God. Many of the great fathers of modern science saw no dichotomy between “natural” science and faith; they seemed to grasp this Old Testament concept.

A number of years ago the church I was part of was being challenged by the government in power at the time in regards to the church having a Christian school. The government wanted to tax all that was not “religious” in nature in particular the school (although churches were not taxed, nor were K-12 schools).

Fresh out of Bible College, I was asked to provide some background information for the law firm involved. Of course, this modern dichotomy between secular and spiritual came up. My study showed that according to Old Testament thinking, whether you were having a Bible study or feeding the cows, it can all be done as a service to God.

How many times do divine appointments take place at coffee shops, gas stations, hospitals, or factory floors, using ordinary Christians at their “secular” jobs!

As Paul says in I Corinthians 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

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