Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Word for Wednesday, August 18

2 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 14, through chapter 7, verse 1:
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
"I will dwell with them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord,
"And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to me,"
Says the Lord Almighty.
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
This passage seems to me to need a bit of thinking about. On the surface, it seems to say that Christians shouldn't have anything to do with non-Christians. That, I think, can't be a correct understanding, because it conflicts with a good deal of other New Testament scripture. Paul's repeated "or" clauses, which follow the injunction against being bound together with unbelievers, provide the needed clues: we're talking about incompatibilities on a very fundamental level. If I'm a pagan and you're a Christian, you can talk to me, do business with me, eat with me, love me, do good to me (definitely including sharing the Gospel with me!) ... but don't worship my false gods with me. I, a person made in the image of the living God, am not unclean (Acts 10:28); but my worship of false gods is unclean, and does defile your flesh and spirit.

Click here for more Words for Wednesday.

No comments: