Worship is life

Worship is not different in kind from life – worship is life with the singular focus of telling the story of God. To assume that there is a proper distinction between religious and moral laws is to ratify the distinction between worship and life. It is to reify the bifurcation between theology and praxis. It is to do violence to the coherence of a life of faith. To decide how we ought to act, we should never ask “is that a moral law or a religious law?” The question should be “is this kind of action necessary if I am to live as a witness to the life God is and makes possible?” We either facilitate relationship or we stand in God’s way – it makes no difference what we happen to think we’re doing when that happens.

Separation of worship and life is but one manifestation of the project to separate the religious and secular – it might make some academic pursuits easier to offer such categories of thought but the divide isn’t real. The divide is at best a temporary mental exercise but more often it becomes a lie to suppress the incoherence of our lives or to convince ourselves that we can be the authors of our own life and destiny.

When claiming to speak from a “biblical point of view,” it is especially important not to divide religious law from moral law. To presume a distinction between the two is to inhabit a world different than that of the Bible and thereby separate any potentially “biblical” argument from the world presumed by all the men and women whose lives are documented in the Bible.

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