Isaiah 10:1–2 (NIV)
Woe to those who make unjust laws to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed.
2 Corinthians 6:14
What partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?
You might be familiar with the movie Ghostbusters, and the line from it in the midst of a fierce battle against a ghost of gobblin of some sort when one of the characters yells out, “Don’t cross the streams!” Two busters were spewing some sort of anti-ghost plasma streams on their enemy and grave damage would result if they crossed their streams.
If we are to battle the real enemy of our souls, the concern is not that we might bring harm on ourselves or our world by mixing the multiple strands of the Holy Spirit’s work in us, but much more in mixing our confession of truth and word of God with things other than truth, and a godly life.
This is not just an issue of nuanced theological minutia. We’re not talking about opera trinitatis ad extra indivisa sunt, or not – important as that may be. [If you want to read further about the mystery of the Triune nature of God, click here.] We are talking about the danger of undercutting the message of the Gospel by works of unrighteousness, godlessness, or injustice.
God’s truth, revealed in Scripture, centered in Jesus, and confessed by believers is pure and true no matter how the persons who confess it sully that truth with ungodly behavior. But not everyone can see past evil behavior to the pure goodness of God’s truth. And even the best behavior cannot undo a lie about the Gospel.
Our words and lives must align with each other to the greatest extent possible if we are to have the impact God desires to have through us. We dare not hide a false confession behind supposed good works, or undercut our confession by evil actions. Jesus put it this way: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, …and love your neighbor as yourself.” Thankfully our love for God flows from his love for us, and that love moved him to forgive our failures and sins. We live that out not by sinning more, but by loving our neighbor and doing good to all people.