Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Doctrine of Seperation

It is clearly a vital duty of Christians to stand apart from false teachers who deny the fundamentals of the faith. 'Do not be mixed up with them,' says the apostle Paul (see 2 Corinthians 6.14), 'Do not associate.' Full Bible references follow the article. This duty has become known as the doctrine of separation....

The question arises – how should evangelicals who obey God's call to stand apart treat fellow-evangelicals who refuse to do so? Should they maintain full fellowship, or stand apart from those who disobey? The latter is called secondary separation.

In the past, independent churches, Strict Baptist churches and Brethren assemblies in Britain have practically all held that secondary separation, often with great regret, is also our duty, but nowadays we hear pastors of such churches saying they do not believe in secondary separation. Some call it 'hyper-separation' and make it sound harsh and loveless. We have even heard it called 'the sin of schism'....

It should not be forgotten that the duty of separation, whether primary or secondary, is laid upon us in the Bible by the infinite kindness of God. Far from being loveless, it is a Gospel-preserving and a church-protecting duty. It is designed for our blessing and power. It is to keep us from a thousand snares and heartaches....

If a minister in an apostate denomination is knowingly, wilfully and actively cooperating with false teachers we should have no fellowship with him, but if such a man is grieved by his non-evangelical colleagues, remonstrating with them, witnessing to them, and declining cooperation with them, then we must respect him, and be charitable. Perhaps he has never considered his position. We should certainly recognise him as a brother, fellowship with him privately, pray for him and persuade him to leave that denomination if we can. However, we would be unable to share a platform with him, or ask him to preach for us, because that would endorse his apostate denomination and confuse God’s people. But we would not withdraw ourselves from him to the extent that we would from a wilfully disobedient evangelical minister who cooperates with his denominational false teachers….

"To prove the point we remember the way in which Dr Lloyd-Jones refused to work with Billy Graham, and this is a significant example of secondary separation. In 1963 the evangelist asked Dr Lloyd-Jones to chair the first World Congress on Evangelism (eventually held in Berlin in 1966; predecessor to Lausanne). Dr Lloyd-Jones told Billy Graham that if he would stop having liberals and Roman Catholics on his platform and drop the invitation system he would support and chair the Congress…."

"Billy Graham would not change his views, and Dr Lloyd-Jones declined to endorse or commend or work with him. No doubt the meeting between them was courteously conducted (it lasted three hours) but the outcome was a firm application of secondary separation. Dr Lloyd-Jones adopted the same attitude to Billy Graham's London crusades. He took the view, and stated it publicly, that to have visible unity with those who are opposed to essential matters of salvation was sinful. (He also believed the invitation system was a source of mass-delusion and harm to churches.)"

"In 2 John 11 we learn that the one who even expresses a blessing to a false teacher is a participant in his evil deeds. God assigns guilt to the non-separator, and we must not brush that aside."

The obligatory, insistent, imperative nature of the commands shown below, tells us how great a wrong it is to reject them, and why the principle of 2 Thessalonians 3.6 and 14 must take its course toward those who do. 

2 Corinthians 6.14-18
Galatians 1.8-9
Ephesians 5.11
Romans 16.17
2 John 6-11
2 Thessalonians 3.6 and 14
Titus 3.10
1 Timothy 1.18-20, 5.22, 6.3-5
2 Timothy 2.16-21
2 Timothy 3.5
2 Chronicles 19.2
Revelation 18.4

End quote.

I would just add that Billy Graham has made a thorough and clear claim that there are people saved and in Christ who don't even know it, nor have they heard the name of Jesus Christ nor His Gospel. This on it's own makes Billy Graham a false teacher and worthy of direct or primary separation.

 Peter Master's also wrote this in 2009:

What follows is a brief article published in the Sword & Trowel early in 1971, soon after the Metropolitan Tabernacle had seceded once again from the Baptist Union. It had done so before, in 1887, but in 1955 rejoined, during a ‘low’ period of the church. When the present pastor arrived at the Tabernacle in October 1970, the remaining members were fervent for secession, which was unanimously resolved at a church meeting held on 22nd February 1971....
Charles Haddon Spurgeon withdrew from the Union when he discovered that there was no basis of faith strong enough to restrict membership to evangelical believers. He was deeply grieved by the influx of modernists into the denomination. Today the position is far worse, as the denomination has been practically completely taken over by non-evangelicals.
Some evangelicals would say that we should stay in the Union to win it back. While we acknowledge this policy to be sincerely meant, it has never been successful whenever it has been tried in the history of the Christian Church. Once a religious denomination has gone into such serious decay that the majority of its members no longer believe the biblical faith, it has never been possible to save it.
More important still is the fact that God has told us what our course of action should be in this situation. We are not at liberty to use our human wisdom and say ‘we must remain in it – to win it’, for the Word of God has already bidden us to come out of it. (The same scriptures just quoted in connection with the ecumenical movement speak to us on this matter also.) Should we go on having fellowship with modernists; giving monetary support to liberalsand identifying our message with that of non-evangelicalsWe believe the Lord has clearly given us our instructions for Biblical Separation in his Word.
A further source of guidance to us has been the clear example of our Lord Jesus Christ in his dealings with the Jewish religious parties of his day (who believed more of the Bible than many of the modernistic Baptists with whom we are in fellowship)....

More here.

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