Vol. 8, No. 1
~ Page 9 ~
Not long ago I overheard a man talking about some rather shady business practices in which he had participated. That a man would be dishonest in business shouldn't be all that shocking to me, but what was shocking to me was that this man was a Christian. When asked about how he could conscientiously engage in such activities, he said, "Business is business, and religion is religion."
Not long ago, I listened and watched as a presidential candidate stated that he believes life begins at conception, but in spite of that belief, he supported the right of women to abort their babies. He made it clear that his stance was due to the fact that his religious convictions were religious convictions, and had nothing to do with politics and the laws of the land. The above are examples of "compartmentalized religion." For many people, religion is only a part of their being. It only impacts what they do on Sunday. It has no impact on their business ethics, their relationship with their neighbors or their politics.
Imagine trying to sustain any other relationship in the same manner. Imagine a married businessman who, while on business trips, frequented "houses of ill-repute." What would his wife, or anyone else, think if he offered the following as an explanation, "I do love my wife, and I am totally committed to her when I am with her, but I'm on the road now, and what happens on the road is a totally different matter"?
Surely, we all see how foolish this is, and no self-respecting person, male or female, would put up with such a spurious standard of conduct. This being true, what makes us think that God would tolerate this same spurious standard?
As convenient as compartmentalized religion may be for some, it just doesn't pass the test of Scripture. Jesus said that if you wanted to be his disciple you had to give all your heart to him, not just a small compartment (Matthew 22:37).
Don't try to shortchange God with this compartmentalized view of religion. It you're a Christian, you've sold out to God completely--body, soul and spirit--it all belongs to him. Don't try to cheat God of what is rightfully his. "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).