I’m a rather finicky, opinionated person. I know this. It’s not one of my best traits, though it is one way that my passion (for life, for grammar, whatever) shines through. I try not to express my opinion in a way that disgraces another, but I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I’m far too argumentative about something that doesn’t much matter. (And hey, no need to confirm that – I already know it’s true, thanks. 🙂 I’m trying to improve.)
Consider yourself warned.
I don’t particularly like the words “secular” and “religious.” They’re buzz words that catch my ear. When I hear them, I prepare to filter the hyper-Christian culture from whatever is said. That mindset isn’t always a relevant one, but that has become my first instinct in such situations.
Why do we separate the secular from the religious? Can they really be separated? I have a hard time thinking so.
I encounter this idea most often in regard to music. I don’t think secular is necessarily the best word to describe an artist or a song, simply because they aren’t marketed primarily to a Christian audience. In fact, I would say it’s usually not the best descriptor. My favorite band is a great example of this. Nickel Creek is a band of three Christians, but you won’t hear their songs on a Christian radio station. (Heck, in Alabama, you won’t hear them on any radio station!) Is their music secular because of that? I don’t think so. Their songs are God-glorifying, regardless of who’s listening.
That idea applies to my daily life, as well. I’ve chosen not to pursue a career in vocational ministry. It’s quite likely that I won’t end up with a job at a Christian publication. Even so, I strongly believe that my work should bring glory to my creator. My faith plays a role in everything I do, even in moments when I choose to overlook it. I hope that’s evident, at least to some degree, to everyone who knows me.
For what it’s worth, if you ever want additional insight into the “spiritual” reasons that I am so passionate about journalism, you ought to check out this book. I am constantly pimping Tim Downs’ Finding Common Ground to anyone who asks what my favorite book is, because it’s the best book about evangelizing I’ve read.