Why do some Christians separate themselves from people, especially from unbelievers? Why do people suddenly start separating themselves immediately they get born again? Many still preach that your closest friends should not be unbelievers or even believers who are not strongly committed to following the Lord. Many believe its extremism when you teach things like that and encourage people not to flow with their friends who are not committed to God passionately. Let us look a little into this line of thought.
If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.
Then said Haggai, if one that is unclean by a dead touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
Haggai 2: 12-13
The conclusion of the analogy the prophet gave in the passage above is that holiness is not contagious, but unholiness is contagious. This is a deep issue. It is the mystery that makes evil to spread faster, while good struggles to breathe. Many have found it hard to believe, nor even accept, but this has been the nature of things. In the Old Testament the garment the priest wears to perform his function is holy. If that garment touches anything, like a chair or bread or any item whatsoever, or even a man, it does not automatically make the object or man holy. The priest who wears it also sanctifies himself before wearing it. This is because, though the garment is holy, it does not make the priest holy by his just wearing it. It cannot transfer its holiness to the wearer. But the priest that is sanctified, becomes holy. If this priest touches a man, or object while wearing his holy garment, complete in his holiness and holy attire, it does not transfer the holiness to the person. The person or object will still have to go through the process of purification to be considered holy. Holiness is not contagious. It is not transferrable.
Conversely, if a priest touches a dead person or animal, he is considered unholy by Old Testament standards and is set aside from his priestly duties for a period of time, until he passes through the process of purification to regain his holiness. Do you know why he is set aside while he is unholy? Because anything he touches in that state of unholiness becomes unholy. Unholiness is contagious. It is easily transferable.
This is the deep dilemma of the young Christian and many impressionable ones. Many think it is a matter of extremism or overdoing. They think that it is somewhat going over the top when they are advised to maintain a distant between those who are immoral and have no love for God in their lives. Scripture says, ‘Do not be deceived, evil communication corrupts good moral.’ Why does good morals not subdue the evil one? ‘I will change him with my lifestyle’ is a fallacy many have told themselves, even used it as a defense to enter into a godless marriage only to find out in a hard way that unholiness is contagious. Many have decided that it is not really a bad thing to continue with their old acquaintances who do not engage in godly conversations. ‘It does not hurt’, they say. ‘I don’t join him in his lewd jokes. I don’t join him to do what is sinful’. What they forget is that unholiness is contagious.
The bible said in the book of second Corinthians 6, that a believer should not team up with an unbeliever. Modern day Christians argue this point. ‘He is not far from the kingdom’, some say. ‘I will convert him by my holiness’. This is a terrible mistake. And those who have taken that risk live to regret it, and the few who have succeeded in converting their spouses have terrible stories to tell for it. You wonder why it is that hard? Unholiness is contagious. Holiness is not.
The Christian walk is a narrow walk. Jesus Christ said, narrow is the road that leads to life and there are only few that walk on it, while the way to death is a broad way that many walk in. So the Christian will walk a lonely path. It may not be cool or modern or socially acceptable, but those who will live a godly life will walk a very lonely path. You can’t have it both ways dear. If you are addicted to social media, and claim that you learn a lot from it. The moral decadence that flows in that space will soon infect you faster than you can be transformed by the few Christian handles you follow. Your friends must be few for you to really please God in the world today, and they must be those who are passionate about pleasing the Lord. This is why scripture says that we must not forget the assembling of ourselves together. It is because holiness enflames holiness. Iron sharpens iron. Holiness can rub off on holiness, and hence encourage more positive morals.
I encourage you today to be careful of your association. When you are advised to ponder the step of your feet, it is because you can easily be infected by unholiness. Encourage yourself in the lord and cultivate the friendship and companionship of the Holy Spirit and brethren who pursue holiness unto the Lord. May we not be deceived into believing that those who went ahead of us were too narrow minded and too strict that they made so many hard rules that were irrelevant. I agree that many made rules out of their personal dealing with God and graduated it into doctrines, but then it must be said that there is a separation that must happen to anyone who will please the lord. It is the path Enoch and Elijah followed. It is the path that Jesus Christ followed. It is the path we must follow.
SCRIPTURE REFEREENCE: 1st Corinthians 15:33; 2nd Corinthians 6:14-16; Mathew 7:13-14