Friday, January 28, 2011

So, these verses have been on my mind....

Is it OK for Christians to date non-Christians? Should Christians and Muslims train their spiritual leaders together?

These things come to mind when I consider this passage from 1 Cortinthians 6(NIV):

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[a]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 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.”[b]

This passage is most often talked about in terms of marriage. Certainly, I think Christians should be very careful about whom they marry. If we can't fully express our faith within the context of our marriage or there is spiritual conflict, that cannot be good. It could mean difficulty with maintaining harmony in the home, raising children and nurturing our own faith walk. So I guess that I feel a marriage or dating relationship would be covered by this verse.

A Christian seminary recently merged with a Muslim seminary. My church pulled its financial support. I have to say I think my church made the right move. Don't misunderstand. As an American, I believe in religious freedom for all and I will fight (at least on a political level, I am not much of a soldier) to see that all, certainly including Muslims, have the right to worship whom and how they please. Also, I think that Muslims and Christians can work together on many things -- like ensuring religious freedom, feeding the hungry, aiding disaster victims -- anything that allows us to maintain our separate spiritual identities.

I don't think it works in worship or training clergy. It smacks too much of "all religions are the same". I think this verse, combined with other aspects of Scripture and history, precludes it.

This verse talks about idolatry. Christians need to not worship Jesus AND other gods. There are no other Gods. We cannot have room in our lives for false idols. This concept is covered in the Ten Commandments as well. The first commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods besided Me." So this is probably the most important thing about "Not being unequally quoked."

We all need to determine for ourselves how to live out the Scriptures. These things are my view of what God has to say. I freely admit that I may be wrong and I know full well that there will be plenty who's thoughts will differ. So be it. I have practice agreeing to disagree. I'm a Baptist and Baptists simply would not survive without that skill. We have too many different opinions. (Maybe that's true of other denominations, too, I don't know.)

Anyway, have a good day!

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