Faith at Work

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Are you listening to God?

Dr. Jim Denison

James 1:19-27

I grew up defining Christians as people who go to church. A Rotarian is someone who goes to Rotary Club meetings; a Buddhist is a person who worships at a Buddhist temple; a Christian is someone who attends services at a Christian church. Ours is not the first generation to make that mistake.

Six centuries before Christ, the Orphic cult taught that our souls existed in a preincarnate, spiritual state, only to be placed in physical bodies for punitive purposes. The “spiritual” is good, the “secular” bad. The point of philosophy–and life–was to return the soul to its first state. This wedge between body and soul has persisted in Western and Christian thinking for most of our history.

We define the spiritual as that which is done inside the church, and the secular as that which is outside it. And we measure spirituality by time spent in church activities. A “good Christian” is someone who goes to worship and Bible study regularly and participates in the life of the church.