Partnership with Unbelievers

Tonight I am taking up another specific ethical issue touching our working lives, another existential question or “case of conscience” as the old writers would have called it.  Our question tonight is what about working side by side with unbelievers; what of our partnership with unbelievers in our employment?

Holy Scripture directly raises this issue for us when it commands us:

‘Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? …Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.’ [2 Cor 6:14-17]

We tend to apply this prohibition to marrying outside of the faith more than to anything else. But this stipulation of God’s law is hardly limited in its application to the issue of marriage alone. Indeed, in the context, Paul is not talking about marriage.  He is speaking generally, but probably has in the front of his view the participation of Corinthian Christians in the temple cults of the city – especially banquets that were sponsored there – which, as you remember, was an issue addressed in 1 Corinthians.  Interestingly, one of the reasons Corinthians would have been tempted to attend such banquets and to participate, at least passively, in the idolatry of those occasions, was that business relationships were often made, cemented, or served in that way.  These were the restaurants of the day and just think about how much business is done in America today at restaurants!

Read the whole thing…

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6
Topics: Christianity & Culture
Church: First Presbyterian Church, Tacoma

About the Author

Rev. Dr. Robert Rayburn serves as senior pastor at Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tacoma, WA.