Deliver Us

b283b17077177d75e7595870d2897a1cWhat fellowship is there between light and darkness? The clear answer is nothing, as to being able to seeing.  If you wish to see, full light is always best.  If you desire to sleep or hide, the shadows or even total darkness will be your best choice.  Twilight is not so much a mixture of light and dark as it is the dimming of the light until the sun light passes completely beyond the horizon.  Yet, Paul’s point is not about physics, but about purity in our fellowship, friendship, associations, communion, and relationships.

There is a real division of practice when it comes to the application of living a consecrated life in community.  One driving view is that we are to go “out” into the world sharing the gospel with everyone and to be an influence of God to save the lost.  We once had a church staff leader who practiced this as an example to the church. Eventually, he quit since he was not successful and there was no evidence God was working there.  At the other end of the spectrum are the non-evangelicals who do not reach out to the lost at all.  However, these illustrations are not on point because they deal with evangelism, rather than solely community-based relationship.  The Amish and similar groups are closed to any outside society and other Christians, which seems to be the practical application of those who seek to separate themselves from the world’s influence.  But is this necessary?  Is it possible to separate oneself from the world without separating  from the larger Christian community?

Historically, America was a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles and populated principally by those who accepted that this was the predominant American culture.  Those values and principles include tolerance of nonbelievers and foreigners, so there was no conflict or problem for atheist or pagans or anyone else who wished to practice another religion or none at all.  America is the land of the free.  Today, this segment of nonbelievers is significant and they are persecuting the majority and attempting to revise American history and remake it into a multicultural secular nation of pluralistic beliefs.  In their new America one will not be free to worship the one and only true God, but will be required to accept of pluralism.  This will destroy America; as a nation without an identity is no nation.  Therefore, it seems the word to the Corinthians is more appropriate than ever.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ?  Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 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.’  Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’ ” (2 Cor. 6: 14-18).

This passage is not about national politics or culture, approaches for evangelism, or separating into denominational or sectarian cloisters.  It is about rejecting and avoiding idolatry.  All false religions practice idolatry, even atheists worship an idol of humanistic science.  Already the American church has been influenced too much by culture and society, but the days ahead will bring pressure on believing churches to compromise and accept an ever increasing measure of idolatry.  idolatry is not only worshiping a physical statue, but spiritual statutes as well. There are idols of greed, power, money, fame, entertainment, pleasure, humanism, opinion science, and much more.  Anything that exalts itself against the knowledge, (truth, reality, existence, revelation, word, authority) of God is an idol.

The time is here when believers can no longer allow idolatry to infiltrate our community. Scripture gives us the solution, we are to separate from idol worship and reject idolatry, not by ignoring it in the belief that it will go away, but by separating from evil and drawing together with all believers in Yeshua.  This can not be accomplished in human effort.  We are to obey, believe, declare, and cling to the full clear Word of God.  This will draw a clear distinction between the christian faith and idolatry.  For example, consider that the Word of God clearly defines homosexuality as perverse sin.  The world is pressuring churches to deny God’s word and accept that this sin it not sin.  We must embrace other believers in their imperfection and weakness, but not in their idolatry. There will be no compromise with wickedness, it will not negotiate a truce, but will ultimately demand a total rejection of God’s truth and very existence.  Moreover, the Lord demands that we cannot be lukewarm.  We can only cry out for God to deliver us and lead us in all we do and say; to give us a desire to obey His Word, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  “Cry out, ‘Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.’ ” (1 Chronicles 16: 35).

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