Missing Heaven By Eighteen Inches

Sharing Options

Okay, I am saying this as a preacher, but I still want to maintain that sin is bad.

But what kind of bad? We often know that something is bad, but don’t spend enough time thinking about why it is bad. Here in Moscow, we spend a lot of time attacking dualism, which is certainly a noble enterprise, but dualism is a sneaky devil, and so we have to guard against dualism creeping into our attacks on it.

First, we set aside the childish error of thinking that dualism is anything that “comes in twos.” For example, heaven and earth are not dualism, and neither are sun and moon, or land and sea, male and female, heart and head, or body and soul. God loves pairs, and loving pairs is not dualism.

Dualism separates two things that ought to exist in harmony. To acknowledge the existance of two distinct things that ought to be in harmony is not dualism.

Take the simple scriptural example, one that illustrates how men can miss Heaven by eighteen inches — the distance between the heart and the head.

“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, And with their lips do honour me, But have removed their heart far from me, And their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Is. 29:13).


The outward profession, what is said by the lips, what is coming out of the head, is one thing, and what is going on in the heart, is quite another. There it is, dualism.

But in these mixed up times, we more often find that the person who dares to maintain the mere existant reality of an “inner” and “outer” man is the one accused of dualism, and the one who worships God on Sunday and is a porn freak on Tuesday is the one who makes the accusation.

The Bible repeatedly warns us about the danger posed by our dualistic deceptions, the danger created by ignoring what Scripture tells us about lining up our inner and outer lives. Sin separated them, and it is the work of the Spirit to harmonize them again. But it not harmonization to suppose that they are already fine because “you are not dualistic,” and the distinction between inner and outer man is meaningless to you. If you are still sinning, yes, you are dualistic — to that extent and in that degree.

So the point is not that dualism is sin. For those who have ears to hear it, the point is that all sin is dualism. And you cannot get sin to vanish like it was a vampire and your anti-dualism mantra were the sign of the cross at the break of day.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments