A couple of Sunday evenings ago pastor Pat touched on a subject titled “Unity That God Forbids” surrounding the text in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. This scripture text addresses the association of believers with unbelievers. Verse 14 begins with:
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Like most folks I adopted this verse as one that speaks to potential marriages between a believer and an unbeliever. The verse is often used out of context this way in the evangelical circles. But since I have learned a few things about bible study and the most significant method of biblical study is understanding the context. But this is not the focus of this posting. I will discuss context a bit later in this posting.
Pastor Pat brought us to this passage in order to support OBC’s stance in not supporting the Luis Palau Festival coming to Omaha this summer. Luis Palau is a very popular evangelist in today’s world. He has been called the Latin Billy Graham. I did not know much about the ministries of Luis Palau aside from hearing some of his sound bites on local Christian radio. Pastor Pat and the elders at OBC, as usual, have done their homework prior to yoking up with a certain ministries also involved in supporting the Luis Palau festival. OBC will not participate based on 2 Corinthians 6. We feel strongly that supporting such an event would be unifying with ministries that present an unbiblical gospel. Spiritual purity and union is the biggest concern the church at OBC has with getting involved. The bible clearly teaches us not to be yoked to unbelievers in ministry. (2 Cor. 6:14)The key to deciding who to yoke with in ministry is the gospel. Is the gospel another ministry teaches, a biblical gospel? We know that the gospel taught in many of the churches supporting the festival is not a biblical gospel. Thus the decision has been made that we will not support this festival as a local church.
One other thing I want to mention here is something I found after doing some personal research on the Luis Palau Ministries. What I found does not surprise me in a way since evangelicals have so watered down the gospel message it is unrecognizable. It is a sampling of a recent article or “script” posted on the Luis Palau ministry web site. The one in particular was titled Don’t Hinder the Gospel. The article is based on 1 Corinthians 9. Whoever wrote the article (it reads like Palau himself is writing it)took this text scripture way out of context. He uses this “do not hinder the gospel” to support the ministry using contemporary Christian musicians instead of traditional Christian musicians for the sake of the kids who would come to the festival. Thus not to hinder the gospel.
Paul is actually writing to the Corinithian church concerning the way he and his fellow laborers for the gospel of Christ supported themselves during their stay with them. Paul tells them that he did not invoke their right to ask for financial support from the church but supported themselves so that it would not hinder the gospel. The way Palau is using this section of scripture is a huge stretch to say the least. But folks have been using scripture out of context to support their decisions and behavior ever since the scriptures were written, and I suppose they will continue to do so until the Lord comes back for His own.