Is “How does a Christian worldview weave into a secular vocation?” a valid question?
This question seems simple enough. We’re just talking about a “how-to” guide for Christians working in a non-religious job and in a non-Christian cultural context, right? It should be simple enough to give lots of clear Christian guidance on being a good worker, being a servant, loving your neighbor, being a winsome witness, etc.
On the other hand, maybe we’re in the Matrix, and I need to take the red pill. As Morpheus says, "You take the blue pill... the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill... you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." I’m opting for the red pill. It sounds fun, and I like rabbit holes.
Questioning the Question
When we place our question under a microscope, it seems to contain a hidden assumption that reality is secular. Even the idea that a worldview can be “weaved” into a specific part of someone’s life like a job reflects a secular mindset as well as a naïve understanding of the “Christian worldview.” It may be that the question is just imprecise, but thinking through the question makes for some interesting observations. So, let’s start down the rabbit hole.
Is Reality Secular?
The question speaks of a secular vocation, but is there such a thing as a secular vocation? For someone who has a secular view of reality, all vocations are secular except for a few that can be labeled “sacred.” The “sacred” jobs carry titles like pastor, clergy or religious leader. It is only for these people that God really has a big role in their job. And for the secular person, except for a few specific jobs, God doesn’t have a lot to do with work. In a secular understanding, God and faith are private and personal beliefs and add-ons to one’s life. The God-compartment is just one of many compartments in a person’s life, sort of like having a hobby. It may be very important compartment to some people, and of course we all respect that, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with your job, at least that is the implication of secularism.
Under this secular view, God and faith are relegated to an ancillary or secondary role. Such a view transforms the meaning of almost everything in life. Regarding jobs, two changes in meaning emerge. First, you may sense that God is not really part of your job. For a Christian that makes the job strictly utilitarian and somewhat meaningless. And you may believe that only the sacred jobs or sacred duties you do with your church really count for God’s kingdom. Both of these results have disastrous effects for God’s children and for the kingdom mission. It looks like we need the red pill!
Can a Worldview, Much Less a Christian Worldview, Really Weave Into Anything?
In the Christian worldview, God reveals to humanity the most spectacular story of reality ever conceived. It is a story of almighty God full of love and compassion who saves people from their foolishness and rebellion and calls them to rule and reign over His creation under His leadership. He made us little lower than angels and crowned us with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5). We went into bondage and brokenness, and He rescued us, He raised us back up. And He will come again to fully reestablish his good kingly reign and we get to be part of that. He is the source, center and sustainer of all reality.
When I think about how to “weave” something like that into a job I get stuck. It really needs to happen the other way around. The job needs to find its proper place in our lives based on God’s spectacular story.
Wrap Up — The Good News
Perhaps our trip down the rabbit hole has alerted us to a “glitch” in our Matrix. Perhaps we have been captured by the Matrix and, as Morpheus said, “the world” has been pulled over our eyes so that we are lulled into living a mediocre life of faith where God is relegated to certain compartments of our existence and our job is merely secular. We need to take the red pill!
Or in Christian terms, perhaps we have been captured by the world, and our savior Jesus Christ needs to renew our minds and open our eyes to the truth of the Christian worldview by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we wake up to God’s reality revealed in the Christian worldview, we remember our job isn’t secular, it is a gift and call from God. God is not in a compartment of our life and neither is our job, He is the source, center and sustainer of our lives and universe. He loves you and those you are working with, and He has called you as a witness and ambassador of Jesus Christ into their lives. Your life is a mission, and you are co-laboring with God to see His kingdom come and His will be done. You are salt and light and are to shine, flavor and preserve life around you, wherever you go. You are a child of God doing God’s good work in a place that needs His wisdom, truth, grace and love.
The question is not “How do I act Christianly in my secular job?” Rather, “Given that this is God’s universe and I am his ambassador, how does He want to live through me in all areas of life, including my job, so He can have his way there too?”
Approved by Faculty for the College of Theology on Oct. 18, 2022.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.