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Should a Christian go into business with an unbeliever?

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The question of whether a Christian should go into business with an unbeliever is a common one. The most often-quoted Scripture is “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Many times, this verse is taken to be a prohibition against Christians marrying non-Christians. Marriage would definitely apply here, but there is nothing in the context to limit it to marriage. All types of “unequal yokes” are forbidden—marriages, intimate friendships, and, in many instances, business partnerships.

The command implies that a great difference exists between a believer and an unbeliever. Generally speaking, the motivations, goals, and methods of a Christian are incompatible with those of an unbeliever. Faith changes the character of a person. A Christian’s highest ambition in life is to glorify the Lord Jesus and please Him in all things; an unbeliever is, at best, indifferent to such goals. If a Christian’s methods and goals in business are identical to the methods and goals of an unbeliever, the Christian very likely needs to reevaluate and reconsider his/her priorities.

Second Corinthians 6:14 goes on to ask, “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” People are said to be “in fellowship” when they share something. Business partners are united in such a way that they must share things—what belongs to one also belongs to the other. This is precisely what is meant by “fellowship.” With these principles in mind, it is best to avoid uniting with unbelievers in business. If a Christian is truly seeking to honor the Lord through the business, conflict with the unbelieving business partner is unavoidable. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3 KJV).

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Should a Christian go into business with an unbeliever?
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This page last updated: January 4, 2022