William Andrew Dillard
UNEQUALLY YOKED A NO—NO!
In Old Testament Law, a number of commandments were written that cause modern men to scratch their head. However, they make perfect sense when considering that those things were types and shadows of the will of God for His people in New Testament times. Consider with me one such instance.
Deuteronomy 22:10 commands, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” This is not an uncommon occurrence in third world countries presently. Does God pity the ox or the ass for enduring unequal yokefellows or is it said for our sakes. Perhaps a better understanding of it is revealed in specific New Testament passages such as 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:. . .” This is usually taught to mean that believers should not be married to unbelievers (which is a good thing) but doubtless greater applications are intended, as is clarified in 1 Cor. 7:12-13. The marriage yoke should not be broken if all else is compatible.
What is specifically meant is written in terms that need not be misunderstood. The context of the verse is written to the church of the Living God at Corinth, and is to be interpreted in church context. Believers in the faith once delivered to the saints are not to be yoked together with those who not only fail to believe said faith, but vehemently reject many of the tenants of it. In short, true New Testament churches should not be co-laborers with those of unlike faith, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness: or what communion does light have with darkness? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? ( 2 Cor. 6:14-16 paraphrased).
Baptist churches are NOT Protestant churches. They have never been associated with Rome, nor will they ever be. But they can go astray as did the small group of them that created the Roman Catholic church, preferring to be married to the Roman Empire than to be separated to the Lord Jesus Christ.
True churches stand or fall in relationship to their creator and founder by how they embrace or lay aside the tenants of the faith once delivered to the saints. One of the quickest ways to fall is to esteem that faith of little value or as a roadblock to progress with other unlike religious organizations in the community.
Returning to 2 Cor. 6, the conclusion is inescapable. God says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” May two walk together in disagreement? To disregard God’s Word for the fellowship of others who disregard it, is to fly in the face of the Creator! To submit to an unequal yoke is a NO –NO!
The Gospel is “the power of God unto Salvation”
The following account is found in the records of the Kiokee Church (Georgia), about the blessed conversion of “Brother Billy”, ‘about one hundred years old’, formerly a slave but at that time, ‘a free man of color.’ This took place on July 17, 1841, and Billy united with the church. The evidence exists that slave members of some Baptist churches were allowed to vote. As with the white males, black male members were “assessed” for church expenses and required to attend business meetings. The female, black and white, did not vote in the business matters of the churches. The slave membership of many Baptist churches greatly outnumbered the whites, and thus the churches often appointed spiritually faithful slaves to serve as a discipline committee among their own. The churches chastened heir slave membership primarily for problems of morals and honesty, and they chastised their slaveholder members for these infractions as well as for cruelty and barbarity to their slaves. It is apparent that slaves were better off being owned by Christians than by unbelievers! Black slave preachers were licensed and ordained by the Baptist churches, and the impact of those slave preachers was unique! Much of the evangelism among the slaves resulted from the preaching on the plantations by these faithful men who were slaves twofold: first to the Lord Jesus Christ and then to an earthly master. Segregation in the services was always maintained. In some of the old church buildings in the areas where slavery was practiced, we can still observe “slave balconies.” In other church buildings a portion of the facility was designated for the slave members. However, Baptists in the South often assisted the former slaves by helping them establish their own churches.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 292-93.
Rev. Larkin always exhibited a gracious spirit.
Clarence Larkin died on Jan. 24, 1924 at age 74. He was born on Oct. 28, 1850 in Chester, PA. He was converted to Christ at age 19 and became a member of the Episcopal church. Knowing that his sins were forgiven, he desired immediately to preach but it was a few years before he left employment at a bank and entered college. He had a methodical mind, and graduated as a mechanical engineer and later became a teacher of the blind. As an engineer and a teacher of the blind, the Lord was preparing him for his life’s work of organizing the scriptures into visual charts on prophecy and doctrine that people were able to understand clearly the great truths of God’s Word. At 32 he was immersed and united with a Baptist church. Two years later he was ordained. He became pastor of the Baptist church in Kennett Square, PA. His second church was at Fox Chase, PA where he remained for twenty years. At the time of his ordination Larkin was not a pre-millennialist, but as he studied the scriptures literally he was forced to come to that conclusion. For years the postmillennialists had taught that the world was getting better and better, and that the church would convert the world and Christ would then return. Rev. Larkin made huge wall charts describing his views on this subject and great numbers would come to hear him present these prophetic truths. He reduced his teachings to Dispensational Truth (or God’s Plan in the Ages), which was his crowning work. The Book of Daniel, The Spirit World, and The Second Coming. Often it has been said that one can be dispensationally correct while being dispositionally mean spirited. Those who knew him best reported that Rev. Larkin always exhibited a gracious spirit.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 49-51.