People sometimes quote the verse, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 6:14), to prove that Christians should not marry non-Christians. But this verse (and the entire passage) goes far beyond that: It touches on every aspect of life! Because of it's all-encompassing application, only people who are following Jesus will ever be willing to do what it says!
Separation from the world (and its values)
"Alien" means "foreigner." But since the word is also used in reference to "extra-terrestrial beings," we can use it to emphasize the fact that there is a "radical difference" between followers of Jesus and the people of the world. To start with, God's people have a "future focus" that results in a "now obligation."
There is a complete incompatibility between the values of the world and the values of the people of God. "Points of agreement" can exist only in "surface issues"; for at the heart of the matter, there will be nothing in common. This is why close ties with unbelievers tend to create serious problems and conflict. Scripture uses the concept of "yoke" to illustrate this issue. (Not "yolk," as in "egg yolk.")
God gives us the command to not become unequally yoked with unbelievers. He does so, not out of cruelty or meanness to us, but to spare us from the horrible consequences of such a situation. But there is a difference between: 1) claiming to be saved and then choosing to be unequally yoked, and 2) becoming saved after the yoke has been formed.
This article looks further at the "incompatibility" issue. In many churches, this concept has been so greatly downplayed, that many who claim to be "Christian" have never even heard of it. This article looks at only a few passages in the New Testament... but check the Bible for yourself! The "incompatibility" issue is a commonly-occurring theme throughout the Bible - from cover to cover! (So is the "consequences" theme.)
Though there is ultimately nothing in common, there are many ways we can interact with unbelievers. But there are also limits. This article explores some of these issues, and emphasizes that we need to follow Jesus' example. This includes "living the light" (truth), not suppressing it, in order to can gain the world's approval.
Considering all these matters, why would anyone who claims to be a "Christian" choose to become bound in a situation that is guaranteed to result in heartache and pain? Learn from the heartaches and disappointments that others have experienced, rather than experiencing it yourselves!
Applying What We've Learned (A Short Break Between Topics)
What we've learned in this series is applicable both to ourselves and to others. We have an obligation to apply these things, in proper order (i.e., first to ourselves), and as an expression of love - love for both God and neighbor.
One aspect of applying what we've learned is by responding to statements and claims about salvation. In this matter, we must respond the way Scripture instructs us to respond, rather than the way that the world wants us to. (These two ways are opposites.) Yet since there is no "one-size-fits-all" response, the Bible gives us many examples to learn from.