Sacred Vs. Secular
by Rev. Dale L. Veach, Ph.D.
Presented by Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies
The Renaissance provided a period of time where society became less and less
dependent on the Church for the needs of the people. Great and powerful nations would
begin to arise; Travelers would discover new worlds and the guidance of knowledge
would slowly begin to shift from faith to scientific. What could not be proven became
less important. So became the spirit of "secularism" or worldliness. Against the proven
"rules" of scientific scholars, religion, faith and the Church had to begin defending their
beliefs and values. When this period began, people still used candles or oil for light, they
walked or rode horses for travel, and cloth was still being woven by hand. The planting
and harvesting of crops were too done by hand. Cows and goats provided milk while
butter was churned by hand. But the "world" was becoming smaller and smaller. A mere
250 years later people were traveling by jet plane, they could watch events happen on
television in their nice warm heated homes, autos replaced the horse and buggy for
transportation and "work" was for a corporation, a business, or individual, not for the
Church. Whole new manufacturing systems and factories were built while railroads and
steamships revolutionized transportation. People began to move from the farms and open
lands to the cities and towns where they could find work, and the new "god", money.
Today, a very short fifty years later, technology and science move at an alarming
rate. The races to cure cancer, genetic altering, and biological and chemistry
breakthroughs' occur on a regular basis. It is almost so commonplace we even take these
for granted. The population of the world has doubled several times over and great wars
have been fought with might and weapons so powerful they could end life, as we know it.
Now when one opens a newspaper today he/she is greeted by stock market quotes
(money god), business mergers (greed god), and crimes of the day such as murder,
robbery, and drugs (hate god). All the "news" that is bad to see is presented to us in
palatable forms for us to see and read about. We just shake our heads and think "what a
shame"; thank God that it was not us or our family and we then go right back to our little
secular lives, in our little secular towns and our little secular jobs. And secular
humanists, sprouted of this time, challenge all religion, trying to prove that neither God
nor Jesus ever existed. How sad this is! Once people spent their entire lives FOR God,
now they spend their lives trying to disprove God!
What has happened to our God? What has happened to our faith? What has
happened to our Church? What was once the entire center of civilization has now been
removed to a few Sundays, Christmas and Easter services. When Jesus called upon the
disciples to follow him, they were told to give up their "worldly" possessions, follow him
and devote their lives to teaching His word. Today, that seems so impractical for one
must "work" to survive in today's world. Yet as God feeds the smallest of animals
through the harshest of winters, would he not do the same for us? Matt 7:7 tells us "ask
and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened for you." We
have forgotten that God will provide for us. We are so blinded by money and
"providing" for our families, we have forgotten about God providing for His families.
And so, for the most of us, religion and our faith are practiced "when we can find the
time". What's wrong with right now, this day, this minute? What's wrong with setting
aside 10 minutes everyday for devotion to the Lord and giving thanks? After all, isn't He
the one that gave us everything here? We have lost the notion that it is through Divine
intervention that many of the great secrets of life have been exposed for us to wonder
about. God is before us in everything, everyday, yet we do not see for we are blinded by
our own self-indulgence.
While the Churches of the world look to service to others and attempt to increase
that service, we as individuals, we the community, we the laity, need to focus our lives
more on the way Jesus wanted us to live. We need to help each other, we need to share
with each other and we need to work and love together to build greater religious and
faithful communities devoted to serving God by serving others. We, the individuals,
need to become more involved, more active and more giving in our religious activities.
And God shall be there for us. To lead us. We are told in Deut. 28:77 " the Lord shall
lead thee". We need to let God lead us. We need to govern ourselves by Gods word and
laws and not by democratic, hypocritical laws and regulations. We must live by Gods
commandments. Today, more than ever, the Gospel message and "community mission"
must align and be the same, directing people back to the basics of faith, the basics of
religion and the basics of Jesus teachings just as they were lived two thousand years ago.
We must continue to be the disciples of Christ, carrying the message to others anywhere
and anytime we can, not just on Sundays or when we "can spare the time". We must be
the body, the blood and spirit of God, working daily to spread the Word. Through unity
of the community and the Church, we can and will begin to change the world.
Try your best to let Gods Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living
in peace. All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as
you were given one hope when you were chosen to be Gods people. We have only one
Lord, one faith and one baptism. There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not
only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us and he lives in all of us.
God is in us, all of us and going forward we must be the deliverers, the
messengers and carry the burden of spreading the faith and the Word of God. Devotion
to Scripture and Liturgy must become our daily reading, not the local hate news. We
must watch our children grow in faith, being models for them and watch over their lives
helping them grow in faith and love for God as well as one another. We must watch out
and care for our brothers and sisters as they did thousands of years ago, and not be
blinded by the hypocrites on televisions' mindless shows and depressing "news". We
must continue as our ancestors did, living by the Word and believing in our faith each
and every day, making it the center of our lives as they did. For when we have lost our
faith, lost our religion and our Church, we have lost the very essence of ourselves, our
souls. Change must come from within and we must forget the burden of "secularism"
and carry the burden as our Father gives us.
If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I shall give you
rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle
and humble and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear and this burden is light.
I do not speak to you as my servants, I speak to you as my friends and I have told
you everything that my Father has told me. You did not choose me for I chose you and
sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you
whatever you ask for in my name. So I command you to love each other, as I have loved
God has given each and every one of us unique and special gifts. But these gifts
are not for us to hoard or gloat over. They are to be shared. We must use them to live as
God commands, to love one another, to live by Gods' commandments and to trust in
Gods' words. Not just sometimes, but every second of every minute, of every hour of
every day. We must live it, talk it, believe it and teach it. We are the disciples and
messengers of the 21st century. The only thing that has changed over the last 2 thousand
years is us… God hasn't.