How do you respond to issues related to partnering either in ministry, marriage, business, politics and cooperation for good causes? Especially in business and social causes, alliances are almost inevitable and the modus and value of additional spiritual due diligence remains questionable till you consider some thoughts.
“A handful of prominent evangelical activists are defending their decision to attend television host Glenn Beck's conservative rally in Washington this weekend after some Christians complained that evangelicals shouldn't be partnering with Beck because of his Mormon faith ...” CNN Blog
We are in a vicious spiritual battle – your enemy has said "no prisoners are to be taken." Instructions are to kill, steal and destroy at sight. However tactics are now more refined to wait patiently for unguarded moments and strike to wreak utmost damage at the time of greatest weakness.
David regrets an act of stupid carelessness that costs the life of 85 priests. I Samuel 22 David said to Abiathar, I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all your father's house. (Amp)
David felt responsible for ignoring the presence of Doeg the Edomite at a time of weakness and sensitive exposure. The Edomite tribe are the descendants of Esau the brother of Jacob. Holy Scriptures describe this tribe as hated by God from the womb even before they fulfil a destiny of resisting and tormenting the children of Israel.
Recall the final meeting of Jacob with Esau. Examine this meeting a little closer if you will.
Genesis 33 Then [Esau] said, Let us get started on our journey, and I will go before you.  But Jacob replied, You know, my lord, that the children are tender and delicate and need gentle care, and the flocks and herds with young are of concern to me; for if the men should overdrive them for a single day, the whole of the flocks would die.  Let my lord, I pray you, pass over before his servant; and I will lead on slowly, governed by [consideration for] the livestock that set the pace before me and the endurance of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.  Then Esau said, Let me now leave with you some of the people who are with me. But [Jacob] said, What need is there for it? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord. (Amp)
Esau offered to unite with Jacob in direction and Jacob, as tactfully as he could, responded negatively with very polite and acceptable excuses not seeking to create offence. Even when generous manpower was offered - Jacob declined in very kind language. Jacob knew that cooperation or any alignment or gift from Esau – the enemy of God will pollute his covenant and ultimately lead to his destruction.
Many generations later we see Edom unveiling their true colours in examples of future recorded incidents of hatred against Israel...The first - the Edomites resist the passage of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Second, Edom cheered happily as Israel was carried into Babylonian captivity and brutally massacred. Third, Doeg the Edomite engineered the massacre of scores of priests as Saul hunted for David.
Numbers 20 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying, Thus says your kinsman Israel: You know all the adversity and birth pangs that have come upon us [as a nation]:  How our fathers went down to Egypt; we dwelt there a long time, and the Egyptians dealt evilly with us and our fathers.  But when we cried to the Lord, He heard us and sent an angel and brought us forth out of Egypt. Now behold, we are in Kadesh, a city on your country's edge.  Let us pass, I pray you, through your country. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink of the water of the wells. We will go along the king's highway; we will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed your borders.  But Edom said to him, You shall not go through, lest I come out against you with the sword. ... . Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him. (Amp)
Psalm 137 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites, that they said in the day of Jerusalem's fall, Down, down to the ground with her! (Amp)
In another scenario, Samuel violently disagrees with Saul (genteel but fearful, stupid and disobedient) in his decision to preserve Agag - the Amalekite King against the instructions of God to wipe out the entire ruling dynasty. Samuel executes instant correction - but too late. Haman the Agagite (a descendant) emerges generations later with the agenda to completely exterminate the Jews in the days of Esther. God dwells in eternity and gives battle instructions not just meant for our immediate context (I Samuel 15; Esther 8:3) .
In the New Testament the Church was warned 2 Cor. 6  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?KJV
The Bible perspective on warfare suggests some uncomfortable painful realities...
- The enemy of God can emerge even from the same womb that delivers a friend of God. Close family (not people from far lands) can provide the best terrain to unleash resistance against divine purpose in our lives (Jacob and Esau were twins).
- If children of God make friends or forge any alliance with the enemy of God ( in marriage, business, politics) – the ultimate plan of the enemy will simply be to destroy and terminate their destiny – perhaps not immediately but a patient agenda of destruction is strategically executed.
- Patience is a weapon that the enemy has well mastered in a world programmed to seek instant gratification...the devil can wait for decades before he strikes – understanding well that the carnal believer has been nurtured to want everything now. Biblical battles sometimes run through centuries and war strategies and tactics can span generations.
Back to Evangelicals, Mormons and Catholics, Rabbis, Moslems etc. Perhaps another blog will dare to draw the spiritual battle lines...and I admit lack of boldness and astuteness to tackle this only in a few paragraphs ...but the Bible is bold to declare in James 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. The enemy of God is the friend of the world
Acts 13 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.  Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,  And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? The enemy of God perverts the right ways of the Lord
But we are to love our enemies ... Indeed, this does not mean to act in stupidity. In the same way we love animals but do not sleep with pythons...nor permit a mad dog to run loose on our children’s play field. Is it still difficult to see that every alliance, agreement and accommodation with the enemy of God can have damaging future consequence ?
I Peter 5 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Surrender fully to Christ – All that are truly His and believe He is the only way to the Father are on His side of the battle. The enemy of God in this battle of faith is not necessarily always the person who disagrees with our favourite social, cultural, and church positions or counters our progressive thoughts and values ... and may well be. Also consider the polite language and civility of Jacob in managing the separation from Esau . We do well to always avoid strife.
Phil 2  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Also, we see the paradox that there was fear to join the early Church even as multitudes came.
Acts 5  And none of those who were not of their number dared to join and associate with them, but the people held them in high regard and praised and made much of them.  More and more there were being added to the Lord those who believed [those who acknowledged Jesus as their Savior and devoted themselves to Him joined and gathered with them], crowds both of men and of women, (amp)
May God give us the wisdom to be set apart for Him yet shine in a dark world ... always acting without strife and in love...and that many come to know Jesus.
Lord as you guided the wise men not to return to Herod...show us the enemy we must simply avoid ... Let your word also teach us how to love in a dangerous war. May our carelessness not hurt our destinies or the destiny of others.