When it comes to our interactions with unbelievers, we have two scriptural requirements we have to keep in mind. We have to do both of these things at the same time, which presents a monumental challenge to the tidy-minded. The question is this — do we share table companionship with unbelievers and sinners? This question is an urgent one because of the current full court press coming from the totalitolerance brigade. And the answer of course is that we certainly may, and we must not.
It is comparable to those two verses in Proverbs that are side by side:
“Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit” (Prov. 26:4–5).
Do not get down on a fool’s level because you don’t want to become a fool yourself. Make sure you answer a fool at that level lest he walk away thinking he won the exchange. But when do you do which? You measure by the result. Did you become like him and feel like you had to go home and take a shower? Did he walk away with his chest puffed out and his chin up? You measure by the result. We not only measure false teachers by their fruit, we must also measure false tactics by their fruit.
This is why wise Christian bakers will never bake a cake for a homosexual wedding reception, and they should always bake a cake for a homosexual’s birthday party. This is why families must not attend a homosexual wedding reception, and why they certainly should attend a homosexual’s birthday party — the one that the evangelical baker made a cake for.
This is because the Bible teaches us that it is possible to partake of sins that you yourself are not committing. And the Bible also teaches us that such partaking is not created by the mere fact of your physical presence.
Here are some instances of the first category:
“for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 11).
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).
“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22).
“and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 23).
So then, believers may not give aid and comfort to unbelievers who are in hot pursuit of their sin. We can give this false comfort to false teachers by hosting them, we become partakers of sexual immorality by failing to reprove it, we can partake of other men’s sins by agreeing to ordain them when we know better, and by trying to evangelize people without hating their corruptions.
But then, on the other hand . . .
“The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children” (Matt 11:19).
“If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake” (1 Cor. 10:27).
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world” (1 Cor. 5:9–10).
So then, taking Scripture with Scripture, we can plainly see that there is a type of interaction with sinners that is not only permissible, but considered as a general pattern in the church, is actually required. In other words, it ought to be normal. There are other instances when Christians should have nothing to do with it.
Use biblically informed wisdom to tell the difference. What is the context? What is being declared by the event? Because homosexual activists have not been shy or reticent about what they are up to, we are in a position to know. They have told the whole world what it all means. They are demanding that our entire culture normalize their sexual perversion, and give it all the honors that God first gave to the man and woman in the garden. Moreover, they want any expression of scriptural disapproval to be automatically categorized as either hate or fear. When they have made it mean that, as they have, you cannot participate on their terms.
To use my favorite illustration of this principle, if there are twelve clowns cavorting about in the circus ring, and you jump down there and start quoting Isaiah 40, to the audience you are just the thirteenth clown. We may not allow our presence to become a partaking. Have they in fact successfully determined the meaning of the broader context? If they have — and they have — then we must not partake.
When the sackbut sounded, Shadrach did not have the option of pretending that he had dropped a quarter and was just down on his knees looking for it. An Israelite man dancing around the golden calf could not defend himself to the Levite who had a sword pointed at his throat by saying, “Oh, I was not worshiping. I just heard the band was really hot, and I love to dance. The bass player is just terrifgggkkkk . . .”