Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have transgressed and have taken pagan wives, adding to the guilt of Israel. Now therefore, make confession to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the pagan wives.” Ezra 10:10-11
Perhaps to you, this seems an extreme measure for the people to take. However, they were serious about their total devotion to God.
The concern was over the intermixing of religion. God is a jealous God and does not share His devotion with things that do not exist. His jealousy is not related to envy but in being protective and vigilant of His possession.
The Law said, (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods. Ex 34:14-16
The people did exactly opposite of the Law.
As a result, those extreme times called for extreme measures.
Because of today’s societal thought, this seems extremely discriminating, bigoted, racist, and intolerant. Those overly used words make society acutely sensitive to matters that seemingly discriminate against others.
You are told to accept others regardless of how you feel. Your feelings really do not matter.
I don’t care for McDonald’s food. I do not like Quarter Pounders. Is that discrimination? Should I learn to accept the taste of the burgers and set my personal taste aside? Do I need to frequent McDonald’s and spend my money to support their establishment?
Do not get me wrong. When it comes to people I do not support discrimination.
But the scripture is not about discrimination based on race. It is based on spiritual matters.
The church needs to examine the leaders of the church, just as Ezra did.
The church should demand the leaders to “put away” their worldly ways, just as Ezra did.
Do not get me wrong, I am not proposing divorce, as Ezra did. Please read 1 Cor. 7:10-16.
I am advocating to put away those things interfering with your whole devotion and service to God.