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I’m now blogging about chapter eighteen of my book.  This one popularly misquoted verse almost always makes me choke whenever someone invokes it for the way Christian marriage or even dating relationship should work.

The faulty logic goes something like this.  2 Corinthians 6.14 has Paul telling his congregation not to associate with unbelievers.  Therefore, since our closest association is normally our marriage (unless you’re going steady with someone in a dating relationship), we should not marry unbelievers?  Make sense?

There’s only one slight problem with this usage of scripture; it is used out of context and from the wrong sphere.  Paul repeatedly analogized the problem with the temple and idol worshipping.  He contrasted righteousness with wickedness.  The word for wickedness can also mean “lawlessness”.  It is a strong word Paul used elsewhere (Rom. 6.19) for something that is the very opposite of purity.  On the surface, this verse could apply in broad principle to marriage, but then Paul went further to talk about the temple and God’s people.  He was talking about the religious sphere, the public worship life of the church.  What in fact would this way about the application of the verse?

Therefore, when we apply our verses, we must look at one important question, “Where would this verse be applied when the writer wrote it?”  Asking the right question of the text can often yield fruitful corrections to our misunderstanding.

As I always say, the texts are not at fault.  The interpreter is!

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