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  • Writer's pictureLES HENSON

Dualism and the Church

Les Henson

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. Dualism may be found in the distinction between the clergy and the laity in the church's life as ministry became much more professionalised. The church saw spiritual ministry to be on a higher level than other vocations. Thus, Christian politicians, artists, doctors, teachers, or engineers belong to the secular professions and are less noteworthy than the full-time Christian ministers or missionaries.

This understanding has led to the dismissal of everything that the world has to offer. Likewise, the idea that anything that does not correspond to 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 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 the 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 developing authentic Christianity in the world that we now inhabit.

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