Schaeffer: Everything Is Spiritual Because God Made Everything

Letter Sixteen
Everything Is Spiritual Because God Made Everything
The painting of a picture, the work of a good shoemaker, the doctor, the lawyer – all these things are spiritual if they are done within the circle of what is taught in Scripture, looking to the Lord day by day for His help.

Thus everything is spiritual because the Lord made everything, and Christ died to redeem everything.  And though full restoration will not come until Christ returns, it is our calling, looking to Christ for help, to try to bring substantial restoration in every area of life.

Of course, we all have fears; but we must learn to really trust the Lord, knowing that He loves us, on the basis of the work of Christ.  We are all imperfect intellectually, psychologically, and morally.  Yet the Lord does love us, and we do not need to be constantly overcome by fear.  That is not to say that we all do not have fear at times. But that is different from constantly living under fear when we have all the promises of the Scripture, not just for the future but for our present day-by-day life. Christianity should give us freedom and not be a straitjacket.  Rather than everything being prohibited, everything – except the specifically sinful things which the Scripture names – is in the area of our freedom.

I will try to answer your [list of] questions, though it is not easy within the limits of a letter:

–To be spiritually minded is to realize that we must have the wisdom God gives in the Scriptures, and not think as modern man thinks, that his own finite knowledge is a sufficient starting-place.

–You can think about anything [i.e., about every area of life rather than only about a limited “spiritual” area] – as long as you live within the circle of Scripture; that is, by recognizing God’s existence and, as God gives you the strength, rejecting what the Bible says is specifically sinful.

–[When the Bible speaks of seeking the things which are above, it is simply saying that we should see] everything from the perspective of God’s existence and what is taught in Scripture, rather than seeing things as though man were autonomous; or seeing things as though life consisted only of physical life and death…[without taking into account] the totality of reality, which of course includes above all the existence of God.

–In light of this it is perfectly acceptable to study secular subjects, provided they are seen in the proper perspective as I mentioned above.  Any secular books may be read, and so on, as long as the individual remains sensitive as to how much he or she can stand.  We do not all have the same strengths intellectually or psychologically, and we should not read or see what we really know is too much for us….

–Worldliness is seeing anything in life from a materialistic perspective – that is, from a perspective which makes the material world the final reality, and in which man’s finite wisdom (rather than Scripture) is everything.  In other words, worldliness is removing any area of life or culture from under the judgment of Scripture.


June 25, 1971
1861 Huemoz sur Ollon,, Switzerland

 

__________________

 

 

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