The Sacred and the Secular

I know this may be an offensive subject for some. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for some time that I’ve been talking with God about.

Normally, I only have nonsensical dreams. The way my brain works by default, I need a whole lot of subconscious release. Last night, however, I had a dream that I felt I should share.

I awoke at about 2:30 and felt wide awake though I still felt physically tired. I considered with Father if there was something that was preventing me from sleeping but didn’t seem to have any answer at that time. Once I fell back to sleep, I had the following dream.


I was at a Christian award show as one of the nominees. I’m not much of a singer, and the only acting I’ve done is in some local skits (though many said I was good at it), so I’m not even sure what I was nominated for. There was also a famous actor/singer at this same award show. He ended up winning the award but just as he was starting his acceptance speech, the committee realized his song and lifestyle wasn’t specifically “Christian” and took the award from him. I saw the joyful glee that his song was making an impact on hearts in the Christian world quickly turn to shame and sadness as he returned to his seat.

Next, the presenter called me up to receive the reward. After what happened though, I had no desire to accept; I had no desire to “win” at the expense of someone else. I called up the original recipient and handed the award to him, placing one arm around his shoulders. Then I gave a speech that was something like this:

“Often in our Christian culture, we place the terms on which something or someone can be redeemed. Like with this, we judge what is specifically sacred and what is secular. Though his song touched many hearts, we rejected him. We see in our own Bible that often God is found in the oddest of places. We find Jacob stating, “surely God was in this place and I didn’t know.” We see the “cursing Psalms” as people pouring out their hearts to God in some of the most passionate, yet irreligious, ways. In this, like with this “secular” song, we see something deep within our own struggle that we can relate to and say, “Yeah…me too! I feel that same way sometimes.” Paul states that God’s plan is to redeem all of creation through Jesus, even those we, as Christians, may despise. Today, we showed a great deal of love for a fellow human being in this same earthly journey we are traveling. Then, abruptly, we smashed him onto the rocks. This wasn’t very Christ-like of us.”


At one point, where I was reasonably far away from God, I had some secular music that I listened to often. This music relayed messages like with the cursing Psalms and ultimately helped lead me to Jesus. I found God in the most unlikely of places—a place that I would have formerly rejected and condemned based on my religious upbringing. It seems we, as Christians, often suppress our own feelings that we consider unworthy to bring to Father. At the same time, we tend to condemn others for openly expressing their struggles and questions because they’re not “one of us.” God already knows our deepest thoughts, and he waits patiently for us to bring everything to him, though he loves us too much to force us before we’re ready.

Now, I know this post might be quite “out there,” but I felt compelled to share for any who may glean something from it. I believe more and more in God’s power to redeem anything. May we treat our fellow human beings as Jesus did. May we tear down the walls that separate us from embracing others we’ve deemed as secular…or worse.

Let’s be the salt and the light.
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10 thoughts on “The Sacred and the Secular

  1. Dreams can be a wonderful thing. Look at Acts 10:1-33. Isn’t it terrific when God shows any/each of us our very own “great sheet coming down” from the sky? How neat indeed! 🙂

    Joy and grace to you! — LM

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    • Acts 10 and 11 are some of my favorite passages in the Bible. It shows no matter how far we’ve come on our journey, we can still be shown radically new and mind-blowing things.

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  2. “I found God in the most unlikely of places—a place that I would have formerly rejected and condemned based on my religious upbringing.”

    Love these words John, how easily we tell God where He can be, and where he can’t. Apart from being a tad “screwed”, doesn’t that just say “me – look at me”? Which – as alternative to God and His Love – is a very pale alternative!

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    • The times in my life that I was most lost, God now shows me how he was there all along. I try to keep this in mind when approaching others, that God is right there with them in their life though I might not be able to see it.

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    • I mostly listen to Contemporary Christian or Christian-like music when I’m alone like Sidewalk Prophets (fairly mild) to Red and Skillet (more rockish/secular). On occasion, I listen to Rock ranging from 70’s-current. When with others, I tend to defer to their music choices.

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  3. Your dream sounds just like God to me. I love the way He speaks to us gentle and in away we understand. Your response in the dream was beautiful. Shows a heart after God’s own heart. Ps I am so into James Taylor’s music right now. “Just call out His name and you know where ever you are He’ll come running.”

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