“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
–2 Corinthians 6:14
Today’s Bible verse reminds us we should “not be yoked together with unbelievers.” Some translations render this line as “not an equally yoked.”
Yoked isn’t a word we use in our everyday vocabulary. A yoke was a wooden crosspiece that was fastened over the necks of two animals in order for them to pull a plow or cart.
Therefore, this means a number of things. We should not have close relationships or associations with unbelievers. Certainly, a marriage falls into this category, and that’s why this verse is considered one of the most important Bible verses about marriage.
It could also refer to important business or career associations. It can also refer to those we spend the majority of our free time with.
“Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
A Dear Abby article went viral this week with the headline: “Dear Abby: Woman is reluctant to tell fiancé about new religion”
the article started off like this…
“DEAR ABBY: I am a woman in my 30s with a good head on my shoulders, but I have a dilemma. I recently became Wiccan, and I’m hiding my new religion from my fiancé.”
The woman added…
“I was raised Protestant but have drifted away from Christianity. My fiance was raised Catholic but no longer practices. He’s not actively involved in any religion, but I’m worried about how he will react to learning that I’m now a ‘witch,’ which is just a broad term for anyone who follows the Wiccan spiritual path. I don’t want him to think I’ve lost my mind, but I also can’t keep hiding my beliefs from him. Secrets are never a positive thing in a relationship, but I’m worried about how this news will be received. Please help. — WEST VIRGINIA WICCAN”
Dear Abby responded with
“DEAR WICCAN: I agree this isn’t a secret you should keep. If it were me, I would start disclosing the information slowly, sharing Wiccan literature, telling him I found it fascinating, and sharing a few of the principles with him. Refrain from hitting him over the head with an announcement of your conversion and it will be less shocking.”
To be fair, Dear Abby isn’t a religious advice column, but it is within the realm of religion that her advice falls short.
The Bible has many verses telling us to stay away from involvement in witchcraft. In fact, in several parts of the Old Testament, it calls for the death penalty for being involved in witchcraft. (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27)
The practice of witchcraft encompasses several sinful things, including divination, idolatry, selflessness, covetousness, and pride.
Think about how witchcraft works. It starts with a desire to manipulate things to get something one wants by means of attempting to alter the future. It’s about controlling things according to your own will, with no need for God.
That’s divination and also where pride, greed, selfishness, and covetousness come into play.
Incantations, spells or rituals are enacted, which typically involve reaching out to some type of spiritual entity – which isn’t God.
This is idolatry. This is violating the first commandment of having other gods before the one true God.
“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV)
Lastly, getting back to today’s verse, we are warned “do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” because the relationships we keep in life have a strong influence upon us.
1 Corinthians 15:33 is also sometimes rendered as:
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (NIV)
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (ESV)
“Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you.” (CEV)
Those who don’t believe have a tendency to try to persuade others to stop believing. In group dynamics, everyone is encouraged to conform.
Someone who believes in and practices witchcraft will never have a meeting of the minds with someone who believes in Christ. The two worldviews and sets of beliefs are incompatible.
What today’s verse says is true: “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”