I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. "Remove the wicked man from among yourselves."Jesus prayed (John 17:15),
I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.Part of being in the world is being in relationships with sinners. We are not to be contaminated by the world by conforming to their sin, but neither are we to use force to attempt to conform others to Christ. The ones in scripture who we find using financial pressure in order to conform the world to their will are the great harlot of Revelation 17-18 and the beast of Revelation 13. Imagine yourself to be a member of the Yyyyy board of directors as they are giving in to the boycott demands. What kind of feelings do you think your colleagues have at the mention of the name of Christ, or of Christians? It seems to me that unless Xxxxx purports itself to be a Christian organization, there is nothing wrong with patronizing it--in fact, I would argue that many boycotts are a politicization of the Church, something which is condemned in the Bible as fornication. Shopping at Xxxxx is not supporting homosexuality just as eating meat sacrificed to idols is not idol worship. The believer is not contaminated by what others do with money earned in financial transactions. The money is theirs, and they will do evil with it, because that is what is in their hearts (Prov 21:4). To try and coerce them to change their behavior merely embitters others against the name of Christ: this is the wisdom of man and is ultimately fruitless. Those who sacrificed the meat to idols were guilty of idol worship, and those who support and participate in homosexuality are guilty of those sins. We should certainly point out the wickedness of homosexuality, but we should not make our relationship with unbelievers contingent upon righteous behavior: behavior that can only be truly effected by the Holy Spirit working within. Here's an excerpt from the article that I mentioned:
Recently, the Apostle Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 8:4 challenged my position on boycotts: "Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one." Paul's conclusion in verse 8 convinced me that my position on boycotts was wrong: "But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat." Certainly Paul didn't contradict himself with when he wrote 1 Thessalonians 5:22 and 1 Corinthians 8:8. So, letting scripture interpret scripture, we have to conclude that eating meat sacrificed to idols is not evil—nor does it even appear evil. We know that the practice of idol worship is/was an abomination to God and a violation of the second commandment. But the abomination was committed by somebody other than the purchaser and consumer of the meat, therefore his actions weren't wrong. Isn't that what is going on regarding situations like Zzzzz? Zzzzz is wrong and they are responsible before God for their actions. The question is, are individual believers wrong to use their products? If so, wouldn't we be in sin if we did business with ANY company or organization with immoral business practices and how would we ever be able to purchase anything without carrying enormous lists around telling us who the offending companies were? Do the scriptures advocate such actions? I wonder if we haven't confused biblical commands to not associate with unrepentant believers steeped in sin (e.g. 1 Corinthians 5:11) with commands concerning our business practices. Paul had no problem with buying meat from a market that may or may not have been sacrificed to idols, but he had a big problem with believers associating with other believers who wouldn't repent of their sin.