The sacred is to shape and regulate the secular. If, in our zeal to live for Christ, we throw out this sacred/secular distinction, the irony is that we will become more secular than ever.
It’s very easy for us as Christians to compartmentalise our Christian lives. I’m sure lots of us feel the contradiction between what we are in church on Sundays and what we are at work on Mondays. It feels like we have the “spiritual” bit of life here and the “non-spiritual” bit of life over there. Things like going to church, reading the Bible, and prayer are “spiritual” activities, often associated with Sundays, but your Monday-Friday, 9-5 job, sports and entertainment are “non-spiritual”. We might even label those activities as “worldly”. This division between “spiritual” and “non-spiritual” things is also known as the sacred/secular distinction. This compartmentalisation of our lives can be really harmful. It can lead to a situation where Jesus is Lord of my “spiritual” side, but there are large areas of my life and of the world, where he becomes irrelevant. It can lead to a privatised Jesus, where his Lordship never plays out in public.
As a result, some Christians want to abolish the sacred/secular distinction. They argue it has more to do with Greek philosophy than Scripture. Philosophers like Plato taught that physical things were bad and spiritual things were good (with a bit more sophistication than that!). These Christians rightly point out that thanks to Jesus Christ, “everything is clean” (Rom 14:20), “all things are lawful for me” (1 Cor 6:12), “all things are pure” (Titus 1:15). All of life is worship (Rom 12:1). There are lots of “earthly” things, like eating and drinking, that we can do to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). It can be a very liberating thing for a Christian to realise they can enjoy eating at a fine restaurant, or cheer on their favourite team without feeling guilty. After all, God “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17). Likewise, books like “Thank God it’s Monday!” have opened Christians’ eyes to the ways in which they can serve Christ in the office or the depot.
The only trouble is…the Bible itself teaches the sacred/secular distinction! Here are some examples: