• LES HENSON

Dualism and the Church



The church in the West seriously suffers from the curse of dualism, which was enhanced if not acquired during the period of the Enlightenment Project when the secular-sacred divide seriously took hold of the church and its people. While this divide has plagued the church since the latter part of the first century it was during the Enlightenment period that it went on steroids, and became a significant element of the Enlightenment worldview. It didn't only influence secular society but also the church as it surreptitiously bought into this worldview in a big way. This may be observed in the distinction between the clergy, and the laity in the life of the church as ministry became much more professionalised and so called spiritual ministry was seen to be on a higher level than other vocations. Thus, Christian politicians, artists, doctors, teachers or engineers were seen as belong to the secular professions and of less significant than that of the full-time Christian ministers or missionaries.

This understanding has led to the dismissal of everything that the world has to offer and to the idea that anything that does not fit neatly into the category of the sacred is by definition evil in character. Thus, business people live according to secular principles, while God’s people live according to that which is spiritual or sacred. Consequently, the division between sacred and secular is continually reinforced in the minds of God’s people leading to unhealthy and, contracted forms of spirituality. This division is multiplied many times over in all areas of the lives of God’s people resulting in a form of Christianity that is unwilling and unable to take the world seriously and engage it and live in it in any meaningful way. Subsequently, the duality of the sacred-secular divide has become a curse to the development of authentic Christianity in the world that we now inhabit.


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