Is it Deceit or the Product of Being Unequally Yoked?

by Mike Ratliff

 14 Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες ἀπίστοις· τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ, ἢ τίς κοινωνία φωτὶ πρὸς σκότος; (2 Corinthians 6:14 NA27)

14 Do not become unequally yoked with unbelievers for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)

As many of you have know, there has been much news and rumor about the “Historic Interfaith Document“ between Saddleback Valley Baptist Church in Orange County, California and the many Muslim communities there. As usual, the absolute worst place to get the truth about something like this is in the opinion polls of “Twitter,” which are like popularity contests with only your best friends. What should our position be about this? We should always come down on the side of sharing the gospel with those outside of Christ, but not if is some sort of “social engineered gospel” meant to offend no one nor be robbed of the right view of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It must also be clearly defined in terms of the Orthodox position of the fall of man and his need of redeemer as the only means of redemption, hence, the need of a perfect, sinless, propititiation, that is, God himself, who is the second person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son. Yes, the gospel we give to these Muslims must at least start there. 

As I followed the discussion today about the maneuverings in the Saddleback camp to get the story changed, to make it look like Rick Warren never really supported anything like a message that said Christians and Muslims worship the same God and then the opinion poll stuff in Twitter started up and then the stories from Saddleback began to change, et cetera, I just shook my head with disgust. To be honest, I stopped caring a long time ago about what Rick Warren and his people say and do. What I mean by that is that I do not take them serious theologically because they have proven to be completely out-of-bounds a long time ago. On the other hand, I do intend to always pay enough attention to document things to the point that I can give those with discernment clear warning even if I would much rather be exegeting 1 Peter 1:23-2:3.

My brethren, what I described going on with the maneuverings above is deceit, which is a carrying out of falsehood for some evil purpose. It is not acceptable behavior for believers to do this and we are warned in scripture to avoid it and shun those who are addicted to it (Psalm 101:7). We are also warned to beware of anyone who claims to be a Christian teacher who uses deceit (Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 2:4; Colossians 2:8; 1 John 3:7.

In our own lives how should we behave? Let’s look at 1 Peter 1:23-2:3.

         [23] [d]since you have been born again, [e]not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through [f]the living and abiding word of God; [24] for

         [g]“All flesh is like grass

                  and all its glory like the flower of grass.

         The grass withers,

                  and the flower falls,

         [25] [h]but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

         And this word [i]is the good news that was preached to you.

         [2:1] [j]So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. [2] [k]Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual [l]milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—[3] if indeed you have [m]tasted that the Lord is good.  (1 Peter 1:23-2:3 ESV) 


[d] ver. 3; [John 3:3; James 1:18]

[e] John 1:13

[f] Heb. 4:12

[g] James 1:10, 11; Cited from Isa. 40:6, 8

[h] [Matt. 24:35]

[i] Isa. 40:9

[j] Eph. 4:22, 25, 31; Col. 3:8

[k] See Matt. 18:3

[l] 1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13

[m] Ps. 34:8; Heb. 6:5

Those who have been born again not are not born of the flesh, but of the Spirit, through the living and abiding Word of God. Therefore, all of us who are born of the Spirit are to put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander. Why? These are the works of the flesh and evidences of those who are born of perishable seed, not of the Spirit. Now, Christians do act this way, but as they mature and learn to walk more and more in Christ through the renewal of the minds by becoming living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2) these things should not be how they operate in the world, especially within the Church nor with the Gospel of Lord Jesus Christ. The very opposite should be true. We should become more and more Christlike and that does not mean that we just become pushovers who let the world take advantage of us, but we stand firm and never compromise the truth of God for any reason, even if it costs us our lives.

Soli Deo Gloria!

See also: Rick Warren, Islam, and Jim Hinch

10 thoughts on “Is it Deceit or the Product of Being Unequally Yoked?

  1. Reblogged this on Justification by Grace and commented:
    If you read the article on Rick Warren by John Chisham that I reblogged from his site, “Wittenburg Church Door,” you’ll also want to read this one from my dear friend, Mike Ratliff, from his blog, “Possessing the Treasure.”

    Thanks, Mike. Well said.


  2. What I don’t understand is how so many who claim Christ and are not embracing or promoting false teachers do not see or cannot admit that Rick Warren (for example – there are many) leads people astray. More than one has been disarmed by Warren’s congenial personality – showing all how easy it is to be led into error. We must love God and His Word of Truth and abide in Christ or we, too, are at risk. May God have mercy on us! There but for His grace, we would be.


  3. Romans 16:18
    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    Manfred is right, we are all at risk, and all need to be vigilant, especially when dealing with congenial, but duplicitous types.

    Thanks Mike for taking this situation and using it to exhort Christians to put away the works of the flesh.


  4. Carolyn, all day yesterday and the night before as I got caught up on what had been going on with this all I saw was the shadow of deceit from Rick Warren and company and that has only one purpose, to deceive and that can only be for evil as are all the works of the flesh. Our problem is that we get so used to be comfortable with them that we have to be reminded to put them away. If we don’t then the smooth talkers like RW can come along and then we are deceived. Let’s stay in the Word.


  5. i’ve seen alot of the so called “Inter-Faith” movement.
    the goats and sheeps gatherings fellowship.

    some Christians calls it harmonous.
    What is harmous with that?

    they say its for the cause of peace.
    Where is peace? peace peace they say when there is no peace

    you know whats worst i’ve seen?
    Politics in the church pulpit.
    Even some famous celebrity on the stage.

    Let us bring back the centrality of Message – Jesus.
    Let us make Jesus the main course in sermons.
    stop making Jesus a reference. Make Him the main.

    grace and peace


  6. Savedbygrace, yes I agree totally, but what we see is through eyes of faith with an eternal perspective totally fixed on the glory of God alone. These people are man-centered in their theology and their world view and even if they never admit it, they are functional Open-Theists.


  7. A Christian, has belief of, and within the Holy Trinity
    Matthew 10 (NIV) verses: 18-33 [apply]

    Do not call, those of other beliefs
    But announce and display your beliefs LOUDLY
    The best teachers, teach, ‘by example’
    Actions, speak louder, than ‘words’

    Beware the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’
    But fear not, for, the Holy Spirit that is within you
    is aware of your every predicament
    God alone, is ‘Judge’
    Lean on Him who is your Lord, God


    Soli Deo Gloria


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