Is it wrong for a Christian to join a secular organization?


Dear minister,

I'm grateful I stumbled onto your site. It has been very helpful in finding answers to many specific questions I have. Thanks for your sound and biblical advice. It's hard to find these days.

I have a question about Habitat for Humanity. I've recently been going through a personal struggle at church. There are not many sound congregations around me but this one, and it has an active college program. I have been in a relationship with a fellow brother in Christ that has recently ended. His parents are the leaders of our college group, and it is hard to be around and serve with them when I strictly wish to move on from my relationship with him while also still being in the congregation. I've been looking for other outlets outside of and search to meet new people, possibly evangelize, and make new acquaintances in the right way without going out with friends outside of the church, who like to drink on occasion. It is definitely uplifting in some ways to be around others who consider themselves "Christians" even if they haven't obeyed the gospel because they have a similar focus.

This is my reasoning, but I do not want to sin by becoming involved in an organization that is outside of the church. I don't feel tempted. I am merely seeking a hobby that allows me to be in a good environment because being in a public college doesn't always allow for such opportunities to be in the best of circumstances with our faith. So my question is: Am I sinning by volunteering and building houses under an organization that is welcoming to many faiths because I am a New Testament Christian? I want to serve God to the best of my ability, but I also need a personal outlet and this is the best fit I could find in my environment.

Please help. Thank you.


So long as the organization and the people involved don't require you to violate your principles as a Christian, there is nothing wrong with joining such organizations. Volunteer work is a great way to help others.

"For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you" (I Corinthians 9:19-23).

Being a Christian does not mean isolating yourself from contact with the rest of the world. "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world" (I Corinthians 5:9-10). We don't get involved in the world's ungodly behavior, but this doesn't mean we don't talk or do things with people who are worldly. Otherwise, how would the gospel ever be spread?


I'm so appreciative of such a humbling and biblical response. Thank you very much!

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