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“Don’t mingle with unbelievers.”

The first time I heard this, I thought I understood what was communicated. I was just a child following mummy and daddy to church. I thought unbelievers were nonchristians, pagans, muslims and ‘children of the world’. But growing up, I began to observe the discrimination between Christians.

The orthodox against the Protestants.
Protestants against the Pentecostals.
Pentecostals against the Sabbatical.
Evangelical against the White Garments.
White Garments against the rest.

I found myself in the Pentecostal sect, so I narrowed it down to the sect and observed we also are against ourselves.

Assemblies Of God against Synagogue Of All Nations.
Deeper Life against Christ Embassy.
Winners Chapel against The Lord’s Chosen.

Each church judging the other. Schisms everywhere. Gradually, “don’t mingle with unbelievers” embraced a new meaning. By unbelievers, my pastor meant non Deeper Life members.

I remember, during Search The Scriptures (our version of Sunday School), the youth leader used subtle words to describe the so called ‘unbelievers’.

Also Read: The Texture Of Faith Thickens As Rituals Spools It

  • “Those churches where women wear trousers”
  • “Those churches who claim to know God but play drums and dance like the world”
  • “Those pastors that dye their hair and make jerrycurl of it, they are endtime prophets of doom”

They planted the seed of discrimination and segregation in us. The same people who preach against racism place boundaries among religious sects. They never ceased to remind us that we are a pure breed, custodians of the holy word of God, privileged people called out of the world into the kingdom of his dear son.

They praised the founder, a man called by God. One that maketh no mistake and haveth no flaw. We were encouraged to be like him, dress like him (for the males), dress like his wife (for the females). And Speeeeeaaaak liiiiiiiiikeeeee hiiiiiiiiiiim.

Associating with children from other churches became a taboo, it does not matter whether or not they all are from Christian homes. If they are not from our church, they are sinners, bound to eternal damnation in hell.

I do not understand why and how every denomination has it’s own doctrines created for the members. Didn’t Jesus pray that we all be one?

Are we following his footsteps or walking in the steps of church founders whose doctrines are influenced by their temperaments, life experiences and personal views of the holy writ?

Each denomination believe their denomination is the best. They believe the others are hellbound. They instruct their followers to beware of the other church. They judge themselves. Yet, we claim to serve and love the same God?

Also Read: An Oasis Of Crimson Waters

Why can’t I mingle with the Catholic or marry from Christ Embassy? Why is it a taboo for a member of Assemblies of God to marry a Witness? What happened to Paul’s epistle: “…there’s neither Greek not Jew?

Who. Is. The. Unbeliever? The fellow from a different church, or the fellow who do not believe in God and his Christ?

What do we believe in? Our pastor’s interpretation of God’s word or the Spirit’s inspiration of same?

On my way to work a day ago, the bus I was in passed by a madman wearing a nosemask.

My co-passengers thought it weird. The driver made a joke of it. Conductor had a great time laughing out loud. But, what they failed to understand is that we all are mad.

The religious. Mad

The irreligious. Mad

The Orthodox. Mad

The Protestant. Mad

The Pentecostal. Mad

The Celestial. Mad

The Evangelical. Mad

The Witness. Mad

The Sabbatical. Mad

We. All. Are. Mad. In the Lord. Doing the work of God with the zeal of the devil. And the madman with a nose mask is saner than us all.


What did Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 by the term “unbeliever”? The Greek word used is apistos, an adjective. Apistos is the negative of pistos, another adjective. Pistos is usually translated “faithful,” “believe,” “believing” or “true.” The same root when used as a noun, pistis, is usually translated “faith.” The negative noun, apistia, is translated as “unbelief.” The verb form of the word is pisteuo, and is usually translated as “believe.” In all forms, this word-group is found over 600 times in the New Testament, 560 times as a positive and 42 times as a negative. But like the English words “believe,” “trust” and “faith,” it was used in a great many ways, both religious and civil. Homer used it to show the gods vouching for a treaty. Only by context can we tell what a writer means by these words.

What does Paul mean by “unbeliever” in the context of 1 Corinthians? Does he mean someone who displays carnal and unconverted traits? If that were the case, it would appear that a large percentage of the Corinthian church would be unbelievers. Note 1 Corinthians 3:3: “For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”

Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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