Monday, April 12, 2010

2 Corinthians 6:11-7:4 (Yoked)

In 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, and again in 7:2-4, Paul appeals to the church to accept him for who he is, as a messenger from God with their best in mind. In between these sentences he seems to insert yet another parenthetical. This parenthetical statement could be interpreted in such a way as to cause the “Missional” view like the one presented here at NonModernBlog a problem. If so, however, it would also contradict much of the rest of Paul’s teaching elsewhere in the New Testament not to mention this very letter.

Some solve the apparent contradiction by asserting that these verses have been added and are not original to Paul’s letter. That is simply lazy Biblical interpretation. How should it be read?

Paul is not calling for some monastic separation of Christians from the lost world here. He is saying that while we live in and interact with that world, we are not to become tied to it. We do not partner with sin. That is a far cry from saying, “Have nothing to do with the world.”

So, put away your “Christian” yellow pages and your “Christian” television and entertainment. You can shop at a lost person’s store. You can watch the same TV and listen to the same radio as your lost friends. Oh, wait… you need to go out and make some lost friends probably. Jesus had tons of them. He went to parties and ate with them all the time. Paul likely did as well, seeing as how he went to city after city where there were no Christian people to interact with. As soon as he did plant a church he would shoot off to another town where the ration of lost to saved was larger.

What Paul wants us to avoid here is entering into partnerships and agreements with people who do not have glorifying God as their life goal. And that category of people is a lot smaller than the one we call “Christian” these days.

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