What does, “do not be yoked together with unbelievers” mean? This verse is located in, 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18 and says, “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? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” When I read this, I think, how is this supposed to relate to my life? I don’t go to a temple. I don’t know what yoke means. The best way to find out how this passage applies to us is to look at the full context.
This passage of scripture is written by Paul to the city of Corinth. When Paul is talking to the Corinthians, “unbeliever” is always referring to those who were not following Christ or Christians. In the larger context we see that Paul is telling the Corinthians to not have a relationship with darkness because their values are just different. During this time, going to a pagan temple was a part of culture. Paul explains that when the Christians in Corinth have less of a connection with this practice, they will have more room for the apostles in their hearts (2 Corinthians 7:2-5). Paul also uses a passage from the Old Testament to illustrate why it is important to detatch from the cultural practice of idol worship.
What does this mean for you right now? What are some cultural norms you’ve yoked yourself with? Now, we don’t go to a heathen temple like the culture in Corinth, but there is darkness in our lives that may be keeping us from joining other Christians in community. Cohabitation before marriage is a big one. I’ve seen way to many Christians go down this path when dating. It almost always ends in isolation.
What are some other ways being yoked to culture has taken the place of Christian community?