Amazing Grace: Sacred Versus Secular Professions

The film Amazing Gracepresents a very interesting struggle through the life of the main character, William Wilberforce.  For those of you unfamiliar with the storyline, Wilberforce was a member of one of the ruling houses of the British government.  He was very influential in helping to abolish slave trade in the British colonies.  Wilberforce was a committed Christian who had grown up in a church environment under the pastor John Newton, a former slave ship captain turned minister.  Wilberforce had drifted away from the faith of his youth as he grew older and more powerful in politics.  The film tells the story of Wilberforce struggling with the atrocity of slavery and coming back to a point of seeking to become more of a man of faith.  The most interesting part in this struggle was when Wilberforce struggles with whether he should quit his role in the government in order to go into a ministry role or whether he should stay in politics.  Wilberforce is facing a struggle that so many people face at some moment in their lives.  He is faced with whether he can truly serve God in a profession that is not culturally considered to be a “spiritual” one.  He comes to a conclusion which God took and used to change the entire government.  Wilberforce decided that he could most effectively serve God not by locking himself into a church and ministering to a few but representing hundreds in the government and being a voice to those slaves who had no voice.  This film did an excellent job in pointing out this commonly seen and promoted dichotomy between sacred and secular professions.  The story of William Wilberforce helps to prove that God can and desires to use someone for His glory and whatever profession that he or she is in.  Serving God does not mean that everyone should go into full-time ministry but that each person should seek to do ministry all the time in wherever God has put him or her.