Vol.VII No.IV Pg.3
June 1970

Forbidden Lntegration

Dan S. Shipley

Not all integration is good. In fact, the Bible warns against a kind that is detri- mental and to be avoided; namely, the integration of the Christian with the world. This is not the unavoidable contacts with sinners of the world as mentioned in 1 Cor. 5:10, but it is the willful entangling alliances made with the world that become a hindrance to serving God. God has plainly legislated against the kind of integration in which the Christian yokes himself with these unbelievers and makes himself the friend of the world. (2 Cor. 6:14; Jas. 4:4)

The people of God have always been governed by this fundamental principle of separation. From Sinai the Israelites were warned against making covenants with the inhabitants of idolatrous nations. (Ex. 34: 12-16) Intermarriage was strictly forbidden. (Deut. 7: 3,4) In referring to such pro- hibitions, Paul reminds Christians to Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord — (2 Cor. 6:17) The Lords church is comprised of those who have been called out of darkness into a segregated state of holiness and sanctification. This being true, What communion hath light with darkness? or what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? (6:14) In an apparent reference to yoking unclean beasts, Paul shows that such an unequal yoke would exist between believer and unbeliever. Such is the case when one who has been cleansed by the blood of Christ yokes himself with one who refuses such cleansing.

Integrating with the world carries absolutely NO advantages and many dis- advantages for Gods people. The same persuasive influence that yoked the believer with the unbeliever will persist in the yoked relationship — if not intensify — and always to the detriment of the believer. Many believers have erred in thinking that they could convert an unbeliever by sticking their neck in a yoke with them. Judgement will show that many merely exchanged their souls for a yoke. The Israelites practiced forbidden integration with disastrous results. They mingled themselves with the nations and learned their works, and served their idols which became a snare unto them. (Ps. 10:35,36) Even wise and once -faithful Solomon was turned away from God h the influence of his ungodly wives. History proves that indiscriminate mingling of saints and sinners always produces more sinners and fewer saints.

The life of every Christian should be a protest against integrating with the world. Christ and the world are travelers that journey in opposite directions. One may follow Christ or walk with the world, but none can do both. In walking with the world, the Christian counts the blood of Christ wherewith he has been sanctified (segregated) as an unholy thing and trods underfoot the Son of God. (Heb. 10: 29)

If continued, the integration of inequality becomes one of equality in darkness. The believer who was separated to God becomes separated from Him. Integration was never achieved at a greater price!