Bible Question:

Should a Christian support a non-Christian in an evil activity?

Bible Answer:

Many Christians struggle with the issue of when should they refuse to join a non-Christian friend in a sinful activity. If a friend wants to do something that is sinful, he or she may ask a Christian friend to join them. Christians struggle because they do not want to disappoint their friend. Maybe the Christian would really like to join the friend. What should the Christian do? The following reply will provide an answer to this common problem.

Should a Christian support a non-Christian in an evil activity?

Non-Christians Urge Others To Sin With Them

In Romans 1:32 God tells us that non-Christians want Christians to join them in their activities. Few people enjoy being alone and usually want a friend or someone else to join them in their activities. But God warns us that non-Christians enjoy committing sin and want everyone to join them. Romans 1:29-31 list the different types of sins that non-Christians enjoy. The list is not exhaustive. Sexual sins are mentioned earlier in Romans 1. Therefore, they should be added to the list.

. . . being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:29-32 (NASB)

Verse 32 reveals that non-Christians want everyone to join them in their evil deeds. Notice that verse 32 says they give “hearty approval.” That is, they will urge and encourage Christians to support their sin and join in the fun!

True Christians Will Increasingly Sin Less

The Bible reveals that a true Christian will increasingly sin less with time (Romans 8:12-14) since the Holy Spirit is dwelling with them (Romans 8:9). Yes, there is a war within every Christian between the desires of their flesh and the desire of the Spirit; but if they are a true Christian, they will increasingly have victory (Galatians 5:16-23; 1 John 2:12-14). For more information visit “Filled With The Spirit.”

A true Christian will desire to be holy and be pleasing to God.  Moses is a good example. Hebrews 11:25-26 says that Moses denied himself the pleasures of sin for Christ.

. . . choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. Hebrews 11:25-26 (NASB)

He fled sin. Joseph fled Potifar’s wife who repeatedly urged him to have sexual intercourse with her (Genesis 6:6-15). Joseph is a wonderful example for us. We need to flee sin too!

In 1 Peter 1:16 God commands every Christian to be holy.

. . . but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NASB)

That is, every Christian is to be holy in character. One who is holy will be righteous.  Consequently, this creates a problem for Christians since non-Christians are slaves to sin (Romans 6:6) and under the control of the devil (1 John 5:18-19).

Therefore, Should Christians Join Non-Christians?

Therefore, Christians and non-Christians have very little in common, except for the things of this world. That is why the apostle Paul tells Christians to not be bound with non-Christians. The Greek word for “bound” refers to being “yoked together” like oxen which pull a wagon. Note that Belial is another term for the devil or Satan.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (NASB)

This eliminates business ventures and other joint activities between Christians and non-Christians.

Christians are also commanded to marry only Christians and not non-Christians. The following command is consistent with the preceding passages.

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:39 (NASB)

Therefore, can a Christian support a non-Christian in business or marry a non-Christian? A Christian cannot support a non-Christian in any formal, lasting way because Christians and non-Christians have nothing in common, except the things of this material and dying world.

Should Christians Support Non-Christians In Sin?

The following verses are proverbs that contrast Christians and non-Christians. As you read them, note that each one compares the wicked to the righteous. A righteous person is defined as one whose conduct is holy.

Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
Proverbs 4:14-15 (NASB)

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.
Proverbs 4:18-19 (NASB)

The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
Proverbs 15:9 (NASB)

He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;
But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
Proverbs 24:24-25 (NASB)

The above verses should not be understood as teaching that non-Christians are horrible people but that are non-Christians slaves of sin and their moral standards are different. That is, the spiritual condition of non-Christians is opposed to the spiritual condition of non-Christians. They will be in constant conflict.

Consequently, Christians have nothing in common with non-Christians. The only thing they share is life on this planet and the things of this world. An ongoing close relationship will eventually affect a Christian.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB)

Conclusion:

The following two verses should be memorized.

An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked. Proverbs 29:27 (NASB)

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB)

Therefore, should a Christian support a non-Christian in an evil activity? The answer is no since Christians and non-Christians have nothing in common, except life on this planet. A non-Christian will be in constant conflict with a Christian. Therefore, if a non-Christian wants a Christian to join them in some sin (Romans 1:32), the Christian must answer no!

. . . but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:16 (NASB)

Reference Links:

Filled With The Spirit
Be Filled With The Spirit, part 1
Be Filled With The Spirit, part 2
What is the difference between holy and righteous in the Bible?
Should a Christian sin to accomplish a good purpose?
Why is Rahab praised as an example of faith after she lied.