“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.” -1 Corinthians 5:10
Paul was writing to the Corinthians about the immorality that was taking place in their congregation. When he tells them to not associaate with the sexually immoral person he makes sure to clarify that does not include unbelievers. Oftentimes, as the Church, we get this wrong, even backwards. We avoid certain people at work because of their foul language, or we don’t talk to a certain relative because of their poor life choices, and so on. But in this Scripture we see that this should not be our behavior. He says, in effect, that if you don’t want to interact with sinful people, you need to leave the world. In fact, if you don’t want to interact with sinful people and you spend your time judging them it’s probably better that you do leave the world.
There are people who say things like, I wish I could work at a Christian organization or around no one but Christians. It is good that they desire things to be right in the work place, but such a statement is a selfish one. People who want to only work around other Christians all the time say such things because they want to better enjoy their work atmosphere. However, to separate ourselves from the world is to condemn the world, because we are removing the light (our own witness) from them. Again, if we separate ourselves from the people of the world – how shall they be reached?
Therefore, the goal of the Christian is not to get away from evil as much as possible. Instead, it is our mission to brush shoulders with evil on a daily basis so that we might be the means of expelling it. We need to interact daily with the immoral, the perverse, the unbelieving so that through our witness – in both word and deed – such people may come to a knowledge of the truth and a sincere faith in Christ.