Hey Jim,What does the term or what was meant by "do not be unequally yoked"? What was intended by this statement and why was it said? I would like to hear about what you say on this. Adam
Hello Adam!! :) Sorry about not getting back to some of your other stuff, but I've been on a slow down in some things for a while, but able to make headway on other things ... like, playing my guitar again, and writing a few extremely long posts, for example. :) Unequally yoked, huh? :) Well, keep in mind how both of the Corinthian letters were securely established in the distinction between flesh and spirit, the natural mind and the spiritual mind, the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God, the old creation and the new creation, death and life, the mind of man and the mind of Christ, unbeliever and believer, etc, etc. This is the reality upon which Paul also brought this "unequally yoked" idea into the picture. Now, they would have immediately grasped the allusion to the yoking together of unequal animals, such as the donkey and the oxen, to pull a plow (there's even an OT scripture telling Israel not to do that). I'm sure many had yoked such animals together, and they most likely discovered that it was not a good idea since it probably did some damage to one or both of the animals, to the one who struggled to keep them straight, and may have made a mess of the rows to be planted. The Jews among the group probably heard it spoken more than once in their life, since it was a written law, and may have even been scolded when they had tried it. Anyhow, I'm sure they were all familiar with the concept behind what Paul alluded to. Okay, here's a portion of that chapter:
O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate', saith the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters', saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:11-18
Now, I'm not going to give you all the background information because I've already written tons on it and you can read it in the Shoveletter section (in "the Judgment Seat of Christ", beginning with the 2nd in that series, and in the "Giving" series, beginning with "The Giving of Grace"). The background is incredibly important in understanding Paul's intent regarding "not unequally yoked", especially since we've learned most of what we know about that verse from the perspective of the natural mind!! You see, when Paul told those believers not to "yoke" themselves together with unbelievers he was referring to the same people he had been referring to all the way through: the false leaders who had been preaching condemnation. I mean, this had been Paul's main contention with the Corinthians as they had been falling for the comparing of one against another under the influence of those who had no truth of Christ in them. They had come to despise and judge one another based upon those became highly esteemed among them. They had been trying to copy the methods and attitudes of those who thought highly of themselves, but had been cloaking their words with "authority of God" BS. This was Paul's consistent push all the way through both letters as he demanded the night and day difference between life and death! As a matter of fact, this verse about "unequally yoked" comes shortly after that so memorable section in 2 Corithians 5 where Paul wrote of not recognizing any man according to fleshly distinctions but only in view of the new creation. Many have established themselves as authorities of God according to their fleshly deeds and wisdom, but this has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with God. There is no compromise between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God for one is diametrically opposed to the other. To "yoke" ourselves together with religious unbelievers in "standing for the truth of Christ" is nothing but bogus, but this is exactly what many believers are trying to accomplish. Such attempts will only force the believer to disregard the one and only distinction between life and death. And this is what has happened over and over again down through the centuries so that we find it very rare to hear the simple truth of Christ.
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain, 2 Corinthians 6:1
That's what they had been doing because they had been listening to the BS of the self-righteous, self-endorsing, self-promoting, self-important religious leaders who had imposed another Jesus, a different gospel, and a different Spirit upon them.
I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 2 Corinthians 11:1-4
The "foolishness" to which Paul referred is the fleshly perception based on the lies they had been listening to regarding the truth of Christ he demanded. Paul pleaded to the Corinthians as one who accepted the idea of his own weakness, and this came across as incredibly foolish in view of the sense of superiority they received from the more "important" among them. "Be ye not unequally yoked together" was not a general purpose demand from Paul to remove themselves from their world, but to remove themselves from the bogus partnerships they had accepted with those who knew nothing of Christ but only knew of their own self-promoting religion. It didn't even mean they shouldn't talk with those people, but that they not think they could somehow "bridge" the two opposing wisdoms. Love, Jim