(Summary of The Kingdom Summit 2014 Session by Brett Johnson)
INTEGRATION OF LIFE
A FRAGMENTED LIFE
Places like India have many gods where Jesus Christ is just another option. Lest we think too highly of ourselves, let me remind us that even as followers of Jesus we have segregated our faith. We have a god for church, for leisure and for work. But Scripture emphasizes that there is only one God. He is one, and He has made us to be whole people. There is no need for us to have a fragmented life.
A friend of mine was involved in writing the new Constitution for South Africa. People advised him that there would be a need to separate the Church and the State, but he said, “You can separate Church and State, but you cannot separate God and government.”
A fragmented life is dichotomous. In it there is a division or a contrast between faith and work, God and government… what is “spiritual” and what is “practical.”
DISTINCTION BETWEEN DICHOTOMY AND INTEGRATION
- Dichotomy sets us up for failure and disappointment. I went to a wedding in Italy. The wedding cake was beautifully adorned with multiple layers. But the real cake was only on the top layer. That was the only edible part. The other layers were made of cardboard and decorated with icing. Cutting through the bottom layers yielded a yucky tasting piece of paper. Integrity, on the other hand, is being able to slice through the whole cake and find that it’s the same all the way through. There is no disappointment in such a situation.
- Dichotomy kills. If we don’t passionately kill dichotomy it will kill us.
SOME EXAMPLES OF DICHOTOMY
- The word “company” comes from two Italian words, com and pan, and means “those who gather around bread.” Even the idea of a company has a biblical root.
- Pentecostals say, ‘Let everything be done. The Presbyterians say ‘Let everything be done decently and in order’. But the Scripture says, ‘Have faith and order.’ (Colossians 2:5 - For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.)
- Here, as an example, are four book titles that reflect dichotomy:
- Bridging the secular and sacred
- Beyond the sacred
- When sacred and secular mixes
- Selected secular and sacred songs
We have clearly made a language out of the secular and sacred divide.
HARMONY BETWEEN THE SECULAR AND THE SACRED
The moment we realize that God has not intended for us to have a division in the way we function, life takes on a whole new meaning. A dichotomous, fragmented life will reduce our ability to make sense of life. On the other hand, the benefits of convergence are peace, contentment and enjoyment of life. It then helps us look at every day as belonging to God.
One of my Christian clients understood this harmony between the sacred and secular clearly. He reflected, ‘If God owns my business then I can’t bill my groceries to the company credit card, can I?’ He’d realized now that he actually works for God.
Another client once wrote saying that he went to the extent of resigning and making God the CEO. He now came into work, sat on the employee side of the desk and talked to God!
John 10:10 says, ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’ The devil attempts to lure us into bankruptcy with false hopes and promises. The shortcuts that he dangles in front us are disastrous. But Jesus promised us abundant life, and we can trust in His Word. We don’t have to lead a fragmented and dichotomous life.