Weekly Devotional: 2 Corinthians 6:14
I’ve been a lifelong fan of the collegiate football team known as the Miami Hurricanes. During a five-year stretch (1984-88), Jimmy Johnson coached down there in Coral Gables, Florida. He built the team around the notion of “Us against the World” in an effort to maintain a competitive edge. Jimmy Johnson instilled in his Miami players that opposition came from outside the team, not within.
When we turn to the Scriptures, the Lord shows us something altogether different. Indeed, God’s word does teach us that we have an enemy who opposes us from the outside (1 Peter 5:8). But the Holy Spirit also reminds God’s church that we have enemies on the inside. For example, the apostle Paul warns the Ephesian elders in Acts that false teachers will rear their ugly heads in the future (Acts 20:30). The apostle John warns against having fellowship with professing Christians who deny Christ’s incarnation (2 John 1:7-10).
Despite these warnings of the apostles, it wasn’t easy for the early church to discern when professing Christians began straying from our Lord and his word. Neither is it a piece of cake for us in the summer of 2020. The battle for our sanctification in Christ doesn’t always face its toughest opposition from outside the church. Sometimes our struggle against sin intensifies as we see fellow brothers and sisters in Christ embrace sinful teaching and practices. Sometimes it’s so subtle we don’t even realize it’s happening.
I saw this play out over a four-year stretch while I lived in Los Angeles. Many of my peers began embracing the poisonous doctrine known as universalism. This odious view teaches that God will save all people; therefore, hell is empty. Another view that captivated the hearts and souls of many was the notion that the younger generations needed to reinterpret the Scriptures to promote the inherent goodness of the LGBT agenda. There were certain leaders exhorting my generation to lead the church into new ways of reading and interpreting the Bible regarding LGBT issues.
All of this brings us to 2 Corinthians 6:14 where Paul writes these words: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness. Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” I’ve always understood this verse to apply solely to dating relationships and marriage. Now I see that the context has to do with Christians yoking themselves together with professing Christians who deny Christ and his word. What does this mean?
When I raised my concerns with my friends and peers at church about their readiness to jettison the Bible for the sake of spearheading something new, I found myself at odds with people I had considered like-minded friends. This raised questions for me as to what Christian community should like, and what it should be founded upon. Some of these edgy leaders spoke in a conversational way that captivated many of my peers. For some reason, I couldn’t buy what they were selling. All I knew at the time was that these leaders sounded too much like the serpent. Therefore, I left that church and its family of churches.
In my life, I have seen a real cost to obeying my Lord by obeying his word in 2 Cor 6:14. I experienced grief and anger and exasperation. Why couldn’t my peers see the spirit of the antichrist working in their midst? How come they couldn’t tell the difference between the serpent’s voice and the Good Shepherd’s? Even now, it’s tragic to see where these men and women are today as I see their posts on my Twitter and Facebook feeds.
How do you see the Lord inviting you to obey 2 Cor 6:14 in your life and relationships?