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Some Biblical Thoughts on Unbelievers

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. … Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.” (2 Corinthicans 6:14, 17)

For evangelicals who believe in the Bible, the verses of Paul to the Corinthians (2 Cor 6:14-7:1) weigh heavily when considering participation in faith-based community organization. If one believes that liberal Christians are really unbelievers, it appears to mean that evangelicals should not join such organizations.

In probably the finest evangelical commentary, Word Critical Commentary, 40 2 Corinthians), we find the author wrestling for many pages on this important passage (p. 189-212). “The questions (v. 14-16) illustrate the need to be separate, i. e, to avoid association with evil” (191)  Paul’s “chief targets are Christians in danger of verging with unbelievers.” (194) The author reminds us to not open our heart too wide given the Corinthians Christians involvement with unbelievers in marriage (1 Cor 7:12-15), eating idol meat (1 Cor 10:27-8), using pagan courts (1 Cor 6:1-8). They are not to “forget that they are members of the holy people of God.” (197)

In summary our commentary interprets this passage within two impassioned appeals ((6:11-13 and 7:2-3)for the Corinthian congregation “to be reconciled to Paul, the pericope warns the reader of their danger and cautions them not to remain alienated from the Pauline Gospel.” (211) This pledge of loyalty fits well with the rest of the scripture since we recognize participation with unbelievers is found in Daniel with Nebuchadnezzer (Dan 1:4-5. 8, 21; 2:49; 3:12, 30), Moses with Midian priest Jethro (Ex 18:1, 21) and with Christians subject to strategic non-cooperation with government authorities (Rom 13:4). “Paul’s missionary faith does not agree with such a separatist tendency.” (198)

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