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Friday, August 08, 2003

Edifier du Jour-2 Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 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 IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.
Usually, this verse will be used to discourage dating/marrying a non-believer, but it also can be use to discuss having common-cause with unbelievers. It can be taken too far, where minor doctrinal disagreements can make someone an "unbeliever" to be shunned, but there is good advice there. The King James uses "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers..." in verse 14, giving the classic phrase for the topic. Many people will strive to create unity where there is none. In many denominations, you have people who truly don't share the same faith. They'll throw out scripture where it's inconvenient. They'll approve of things that are clearly disapproved of in the Bible. They'll question the need for salvation and personal acceptance of Jesus. They'll even question the divinity or even existence of Jesus. One's thoughts turn quickly to the Episcopalians right now, but a large number of denomination have such people on board. At some point (and the mythical person above has past that point) the theological errors amount to unbelief. That makes it hard to have broad ecumenical unity, for it's hard to be united with someone who's praying to a vastly different god than yours. If you bring up this point actively, you look like a narrow-minded bigot-"Who are you to say who's got a proper faith?" Well, it looks like this verse is saying that we're children of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit to discern who to fellowship with and who to give the left-foot of disfellowship to. It might mean we have some new denominations form in the next few years, but so be it.

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