Paul and separation

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    There are several people on this board, usually given the label of "fundamentalists" but not always, who believe that we should be completely separate from the world. During a Bible study last week with the college students, we were studying church discipline in I Corinthians 5. Here is the passage in question:

    Paul seems to be encouraging that we befriend those in the world who are "sinners" and having nothing to do with those who act sinful and who claim Christ. This, personally, seems like a HUGE blow to those who believe that we should be separate from the world - especially when comparing those words with the actions of Christ.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    I think it depends on what you mean by "separate from the world." I agree that we should have relationships with unsaved people for the purpose of evangelism. At the same time, 1 Cor 5 teaches that we should not have relationships with people who profess to be saved but live like the world.

    In my experience, when people says "we should be separate from teh world," they usually mean the values and actions of the ungodly world system, not the people who are unsaved. Else, as Paul says, we would have to go out of the world.

    So this seems to me to cut both ways.

    BTW, I think this is one of the problems withe modern Christian day school movement. In our efforts to be separate from teh world, we have ceased to teach children how to think biblically so that they can live in a world system without conforming to it. Unfortunately, many modern methods of youth ministry are not helping because they incorporate the world's values under the guise of teaching Scripture.
     
  3. Johnv

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    That would make us Amish [​IMG]
     
  4. Circuitrider

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    Separation is clearly taught thoughout the Word of God, whether relating to Israel's connection to the nations of their day or the NT believer of today.

    No passage more clearly shows that principle than II Cor 6:14-7:1. Vs. 14 makes it clear that we must practice separation (note it does not teach isolation) in our relations with unbelievers. Our course of action is detailed in vs 17, "come out from among them, and be ye separate...." We must be careful to not be joined together with unbelievers, while at the same time we must keep up a vital witness contact with them so that we can win them to Christ.

    In I Cor 5, Paul is not teaching against separation, but he is simply using the basis of comparison to emphasize that there are times we must separate even from those who are believers just as we are to do with unbelievers. In vs 10 he simply makes that point that we cannot be isolationists as believers, but it does not negate what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture.

    A true biblical fundamentalist must be a biblical separatist as well! [​IMG]
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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  6. massdak

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    becoming seperate from liberalism is what this seems to mean.
     
  7. Tim

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    I'm just wondering if our friendship with unsaved people is only a means to be a witness to them--won't such a friendship seem shallow and insincere to them?

    Maybe if we just said, be a friend and be a witness, rather than be a friend in order to be a witness, our efforts in both regards would be more successful.

    Just thoughts for our consideration,

    Tim
     
  8. Walls

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    Just wondering, what is a railer?
     
  9. David Mark

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    I handle both sides of this like I do everything else.

    CAREFULY!

    If I try too hard to reach someone who does things I don't dare do, then I put myself at risk.

    How much risk am I able or willing to submit myself to?

    Paul said something like this:
    Nevertheless, as you quoted above,
    The key to me is bringing this together in a fine tuned balance.

    Today, several women at work were joking with me. I perceived their jokes as laced with subtle sexual innuendos directed toward me. Whether real or imagined, I sensed it.

    I resisted them and found the back door so I would not have to walk by them again. I've marked them as basically dangerous. I will strive to avoid them and never be too friendly to them. Danger! Danger! Danger!

    Dave.
     
  10. ScottEmerson

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    You might have to ask people on the Bible versions - those KJVO people know that language pretty well. I was a Milton scholar in college (wrote my senior thesis on Paradise Lost) and was well-versed in reading the literature from that time period, and I'm not excatly sure without looking it up. But apparently, it's God's word for the rest of eternity, so I should know what it means? (Note the sarcasm in the post, but seriously, ask a KJVO person! [​IMG] )
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    I agree - youth ministry is increasingly pragmatic - "Do what it takes to get them there." I've found that if we preach the Word and show them how to apply it to their life so they can live a life like Christ, then they will come...and generally, they will stay.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    This is a great case for modern versions. All of the modern versions say "reviler." It obviously is someone who reviles someone one. The Greek word is defined as a slanderer. "Railer" is an old-fashioned term that doesn't get used much anymore. Therefore, a translation is unnecessarily confusing.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    What other purpose would a relationship have?? What kind of friend can I be if I do not share the gospel with someone? In Scripture, relationships exist for the purpose of encouragement to godliness. For the unbeliever, that has to start with evangelism. It is usually called relational evangelism. I don't suggest in anyway being insincere. I try to foster genuine relationships with unbelievers. When people have problems, they go to people they know and trust. If they trust me, they will come to me. Along the line, I can talk to them about the purpose and meaning of life, as given by the one who created life.

    So, I don't see your proposition as an either/or proposition. I think it goes hand in hand.
     

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