Unequal Yoke – What Does it Mean?

«Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?» (2Cor.6:14). Christ expects his followers to maintain a close relationship with themselves, especially when it comes to spiritual things, and maintain a lesser one with unbelievers.

Unbelievers are those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, and as such, they are not a part of his fold. He demands that his sheep be separate from them so as not to be corrupt. True believers therefore should know their limit when it comes to relating with unbelievers. He is not saying that they should not relate at all with the unbelievers; rather he is asking that they should not become intimate with them.

Why should there be a separation?

1. Belief: two people cannot work together except there is an agreement. The believers in Christ and the unbelievers do not share the same belief; so it would be very difficult for them to work harmoniously since there is no basis for them to agree with one another. For instance, the believers accept that Jesus Christ is lord but the unbelievers don’t. Christ’s followers also accept the reality of heaven and hell fire: but those who are not his followers don’t share this reality. So it would be wise for believers to separate themselves from people who are capable of making them lose their belief.

2. No fear of God: anyone who has no Jesus Christ in his life has no fear for God: so it is potentially harmful for God’s children to associate with such persons. The reason why such people lie, fornicate, rebel against authority, etc. is because they do not have the fear of God in their lives. In order to guard his children, Jesus has therefore advised them not to mingle with such people.

3. Practice of evil: Unbelievers also indulge in ritual killings, idolatry, fetishism, etc, and God had on several occasions warned his children to have nothing to do with these kinds of practices. It is therefore necessary to separate themselves from anyone capable of influencing them into doing that which would offend God.

4. Polygamy / divorce: Monogamy is one of the hallmarks of Christianity, and God does not take it kindly with any Christian who goes into polygamy. Polygamy remains one of the hallmarks of the unbelievers; since they have contrasting ideologies, it would be wise to separate them.

Unequal yoke makes people with different opinions, ideologies and perceptions to be brought into a relationship that would not produce anything good. People of God should be aware of these differences, and seek to establish relationships with fellow believers that would help them grow in their spiritual lives and enhance their doctrinal beliefs.

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