Questions of context and unity

21 May

A couple of Sunday evenings ago pastor Pat touched on a yoked oxensubject 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.


Posted by on May 21, 2007 in context, Luis Palau, Seeker Sensitive, unity


9 responses to “Questions of context and unity

  1. barrydean

    May 22, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Peter,

    Welcome to BarryDean4Christ. Thanks so much for the comment. I checked out your site. The first thing I noticed is that your header says that the book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I was saddened to see that.

    I was saddened because I believe that the book of Mormon may be a testament, but not a testament to the Jesus Christ of biblical scripture. I believe in sola scriptura, the bible alone is the testament of Jesus Christ. The bible teaches that Jesus Christ is not just a god but is God. That He became flesh and testified to God the father, lived a sinless life so that he would be the spotless sacrifice for the sins of God’s chosen. Jesus died on a cross and satisfied the wrath of God. The wrath which is the just reward of man’s sin against a holy God. This same Jesus was raised again after three days and was seen by many men before He ascended back to heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. The believers of the biblical Jesus await His return to claim those whom are His own.

    The bible teaches that anything written or preached that teaches a revelation of Jesus that does not line up with scripture is a false testimony. The revelation of Jesus Christ is not the bible + the book of Mormon. The bible only mentions one revelation of Christ and that is scripture itself.

    Peter, it is my prayer that you would see the bible as the only revelation of Jesus Christ, repent, and trust in Christ alone to save you from your sins.



  2. Don White

    May 23, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Hey Barry,

    I was wondering what happened to you since you did not write for a while.
    Thanks for posting about the need for Biblical/Gospel unity.
    I appreciate the ministry of OBC.
    Take care brother.

  3. barrydean

    May 23, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Hey Don. I have been lax in posting much lately. I will try to be more consistent. It’s not like I don’t have something to say. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Seth McBee

    May 23, 2007 at 10:33 am

    I will let you tackle that first comment…lol…oh brother…check out James Whites’ blog as he is tackling this issue presently.

    As far as your first part of this post on 2 Cor 6 I would agree that the context is not specifically speaking about marriage but is more general in the fellowship and “yoking” (I think I just made up a word) with unbelievers, but I still thinks that it can be associated with marriage.

    If fellowship in ministry is the overall intent when speaking of the “temple of God and of idols” then the marriage vows, which is the pennacle of fellowship between man and woman should be seen in the same light…


  5. barrydean

    May 23, 2007 at 7:51 pm


    Amen. My point was that people use the verse to represent the relationship of husband and wife and that is not the context. Although as you say the verse can be associated with marriage. If you are married to an unbeliever then you will struggle together in most any endevour for you are unequally yoked.

    BTW, funny, the Alpha Omega site is the first place I looked for additional guidance in the other concern. I so praise God for like minded folks such as you. Thanks Seth.

  6. Seth McBee

    May 23, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    no problem brother…by the way…check out my latest post and we’ll see together what people can and can’t take from the Bible…

  7. Julian G.S.

    February 15, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Dear Barrydean and other fellow readers,

    I have just read your comment Barrydean, I am glad to read that you are well versed with the scriptures, but it seems as though are not completely informed. I please hope that you read this with a open mind and open heart for there is no other way you will let the hly ghost confirm to you what is true. In the bible in which you testify to be the only testament, it says in Ezekiel 37:16 and just read on from there. But I suggest that you might want to start with verse 15. It clearly states that there are two sticks, the stick of Judah which is the Bible and the stick of Joseph which is the Book of Mormon; Joseph was the one that founds it and translated it. Therefore as it says in verse 17 ‘And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.”
    Please consider this, please. I ask you sincerely. Thank you for your time.

    -Julian G.S.

  8. barrydean

    February 15, 2009 at 1:23 am


    Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it when those that read actually make a comment.

    As for the content of your comment, I will have to extremely disagree with your biblical interpretation of this prophecy in Ezekiel 37. In this text God is instructing Ezekiel to take one stick and identify it as Judah, the southern kingdom, take another stick and identify it as Israel, also called Ephraim for the son of Joseph who became the leader of the nations in the northern kingdom, and identify it as Israel. Those two sticks represent the divided kingdom which was divided under Jeroboam. And take them and put them together and make them one stick in your hand because that’s the way it’s going to be some day. Some day God is going to take His divided Kingdom and join it back together in final glory.

    To be honest, this is the first time I have seen this section of verses stretched to try and join the Mormon Church to the true biblical church of Jesus Christ.


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