Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Unequally Yoked

I read Ezra the other day and something flew off the page at me... again.  One of the things that strikes me time and time again as I read through the Bible is the command not to inter marry with non-believers.  Here is a short (and non-exhaustive) list:

He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
Deuteronomy 17:17 (referring to the king who would reign in the land.)

The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.
Ezra 9:11 – 12 (post exile mourning.)

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
"Therefore come out from them and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."
I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty."

2 Corinthians 6:14–18

Does this only apply to marriage?  I would argue... NO.

What influences do you have that are not godly?  Do you have people or habits in your life that are keeping you from growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ?

Friends?  Clubs?  Associations?  Acquaintances? 

The principle of being "equally yoked" is clear from the Scriptures. 

The question is... what is your response?


Zoo said...

My question is, if you don't mingle with the non-believers, how are you supposed to spread the message?

Are we not supposed to be the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world"?

Matthew 5:14-15
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Having so many unbelieving friends, this is one of the things I always struggled with.

Chris Johnson said...

Good question.

The problem is, as you know, that we are not to live in a bubble... but be a witness to the world.

Yoking up with an unbeliever though can be a dangerous thing. One needs only to look at Solomon for an example of how easily we can be led astray.

We're not advocating Separation... but caution. Those who have influence over you should be believers... ones you can model and be accountable to.

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