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May 27, 2016

Comments

Great post, Alan, and a much needed message. We, as Christians, can at times become more focused on maintaining the 'distinction,' that is, the separateness from the world, which in turn directly impacts our relationships with others, often to the point that it hinders our being the 'influence' Jesus has called us to be, which is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. (Matt. 5:13-16) John Stott covers this well in his Christianity Today article, "Four Ways Christians Can Influence the World."

(I also have an article addressing this issue at: http://existenceofgod.org/the-intellectual-ostrich-pt-2-survival-to-influence/

One other observation is that in both the KJV & ESV, it states in 2 Cor. 6:14 that we are not to be "unequally yoked," which is the point that you are making in the article. I found the ESV study notes to be helpful in broadening the context and understanding of what Paul is saying:
"To be “unequally yoked” is to be “hitched up” or even crossbred with another animal who is not the same (Gk. heterozygeō; the related adjective is found in Lev. 19:19; see also Deut. 22:10, though the word does not occur there). It is thus an image for being allied or identified wrongly with unbelievers. In context, it refers especially to those who are still rebelling against Paul within the church, whom Paul now shockingly labels unbelievers (he clearly thinks it possible that some are [2 Cor. 13:5], though he hopes not), but the principle has wider application to other situations where (as with animals yoked together) one person’s conduct and direction of life strongly influences or controls the other’s."

Blessings,
Lane

Let's say you have a close friend who is a lesbian. You are in no danger of adopting her values, and you are trying to be a good example of a Christian to her, knowing that you are her only Christian friend. What should you do if she decides to marry her girlfriend and says that if you refuse to come to her wedding, she'll consider you a horrible friend and won't want anything to do with you ever again? Is that the point at which you end the friendship?

@ Beth,

I was in the same situation only it was a case of my nephew marrying a divorced woman. (I believe divorce and remarriage is adultery and belongs to the same class of sins as SSM).

So I spoke out against it and riled the entire family. I also refused to go to the wedding.

But I have a clear conscience. I would not have a clear conscience had I followed that course of action.

PS. The marriage blew up in his face and cost him dearly. He remained single ever since till this day.

dave--

You don't have to answer, but I'm just curious how your relationship is with your nephew at present?

@Ragtime;

Thanks for asking. My relationship with my nephew is probably "distant", that is not close. It remains that way with his immediate family.

My family members are less distant but not too warm either. It has been probably 10 years now.

What if these homosexuals call themselves Christians? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 not to associate with anybody who is a "so called brother" but who is an immoral person.

Interesting. While I agree with everything said, I fear the word study has trumped the clear context of 1 Corinthians 5. A simple reading of the chapter reveals that the key difference which determines whether a Christian ought to be "yoked" with somebody is whether or not they are a professing Christian. If they "bear the name of brother" and are living in grievous, unrepentant sin (like, for example, an active participant in the LGBT community), Paul says to not associate, and to not even eat with such a person.

Loved the post, just... Was a bit perturbed by the use of 1 Corinthians 5 and the focus on the word study rather than the plain meaning of the text.

I'd like to see a philosophical analysis of "friendship" in regards to this topic because I'm sure there are some instances in which we should not be "friends" with those who are in serious sin and unrepentant and then there are instances in which we should be "friends" to those who are in serious sin and unrepentant. This will vary depending on what we think friendship entails.

But the Bible does give warnings about having relationships with "bad" people that extends beyond "yoking", e.g., 1 Cor. 15:33.

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