Sunday, February 04, 2007

2 Corinthians 6:11-18 What it means to be "Separate"

2 Corinthians 6:11-18

[11] Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians. Our heart is enlarged.
[12] You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.
[13] Now in return, I speak as to my children, you also be open wide.
[14] Don’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
[15] What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever?
[16] What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
[17] Therefore, “‘Come out from among them, and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you.
[18] I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

It is truly sad when a person interprets this passage as not having unbelievers in their "church". That is truly a perversion and a mis-justice to the text.

Recently I read one person do just that to say that "Emergents" are the equivalent to Belial. Funny thing is that I know of no one that fits his definition of what a Belial worshiper is, as the lord Belial was the god of lust and fornication... and mostly of pride and arrogance. It was taught that that is how Belial would seduce was through using man's own arrogance and pride.... and exploiting these traits in a person. The irony is that a person who says an unbeliever should not be in "church" with a believer is in fact falling into the arrogance of Belial. And that is very sad.

So what is Paul stating here.

I see that for one thing it is that there where some who were turning the church of Corinth against Paul... and Paul desired to come to them, yet these people seemed bent on not letting him come.

Another sense is that there was Emperor worship and that in order to exchange in commerce, one must be in business with those in allegiance with the Emperor. This would be a very unequal relationship as a christian would be in a sense a lesser citizen in the emperor and would often be held in suspect. So often as in the case of Ephesus, one would have to take the mark of the Emperor (mark of the beast as referred to in the book of Revelation) to even buy or sell in the market place.

In Corinth there was also the common practice of inviting a person to the temple of so and so to partake in the eating of the sacrifice to that god... this was an issue in Corinth though Paul points out that there is no God other than God alone, to go to these places would cause one who is a lesser of faith to fall. Either fall back into the particular temple of worship or to just leave the fellowship of believers as a whole. At best they would be a believer who was committing a sin in their own mind or thinking that the other was sinning thus causing them to judge the other.

This explains why there are words like "share a portion with an unbeliever" as it would imply that there was a meal involved in this "union" of "yolked" individuals.

No where is this passage about separating from other believers in Christ, or that the unbeliever is not welcome in church.

It is about not getting trapped in this worlds system of belief and being double minded as one would straddle the idea that one can live in light and darkness and truth and a lie.

(This person who I referred to earlier is one that is spreading the lie that emergents do not believe in truth, he is just plain wrong, as the ones I know and myself do in fact believe in truth. Some as myself do not see that Truth to be truth needs a qualifier as "absolute" as that implies that some "truth" is not absolute, it cuts across the teaching of Scripture that "let your yes be yes and your no be no". It also give without realizing it more power to the idea of relative truth as it in it's very idea says, there is absolute truth and there is lesser non absolute truth... to me that would be a lie... yet I am faulted because I believe if something is not True it is a lie...)

If anything this passage is about being pure and not indulging in eating at the "temples" that are not of God, it is the calling that if one is a Christian to "come out from among THEM" not about kicking the unbeliever out of the churches...

How does this apply then to this day? We are to be careful who we join with. Meaning if there is any inkling to whether if one joins with a business or group, that if it is "questionable" it is better not to be a part of it. I have even attended some churches that are more a point of business contacts for the people that attend than a place of worship. It comes down to the matter of values... what is a value for the Kingdom over this world's values.


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