Secondary Separation

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Pastor_Bob, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Pastor_Bob

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    In another thread, one brother made the following statement:
    To discuss this topic in that thread would be to take the thread off topic. I would like to discuss this subject here in this forum.

    How would you define "secondary separation?"

    Since it is looked upon by many in a negative light, how would you scripturally refute those who practice secondary separation?

    As I understand secondary separation, it is not only separating from what we consider as wrong, but also separating from those who participate in what we consider as wrong. II Corinthians 6:14-17 seems to support this idea.
     
  2. jw

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    My understanding of Secondary Separation is separating from those who do not separate themselves from those who do wrong. It is most often applied to situations like, "IFB should not fellowship with SBC because they tolerate liberals within their convention".

    2 Cor 6:14-17 is talking about separating yourself from unbelievers (more specifically, idolaters). That is primary separation. Not separating yourself from those who don't separate themselves from idolators.
     
  3. Roguelet

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    Dr. Bob can you be more specific ?

    there is no way we can seperate ourselves from everyone ! We have to go to work and work with sinners, we have to go to church where there are sinners, we have to go to the store where there are sinners. and so on. What exactly do you mean ?
     
  4. Pastor_Bob

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    Roguelet, please notice that I am Pastor Bob and not Dr. Bob. I'm quite sure that the good doctor would not agree with me on this issue. At least not in it's entirety.

    I am not advocating separating ourselves from "everyone." As you stated, this is simply not possible. Paul said that we must be an example to the lost and dying world. "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

    My belief is such that, if I believe that adultery is wrong, and I most certainly do, then I would do well to avoid close, personal contact with someone engaged in adultery.

    Consider this verse: Proverbs 22:24 "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:" (KJV)

    Does this mean that we have to quit our job if there is an angry man working there? I don't think so. It is saying that we "make no friendship with an angry man."

    What we constantly see in our friends and close associates we will begin to condone and accept. That is what Paul is teaching in I Corinthians 15:33, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." (KJV)
     
  5. Roguelet

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    Whoops sorry Pastor Bob ( Blushing )

    I think seperation is good not only who we hang out with ( don't we tell our children who they can hang out with or for them to be careful who they hang our with ) But i also feel it is important to use seperation from those sinning in the church as mentioned in Matt 18 and 1 Cor 5 says to do.

    I think when using these chapters the bible is very clear on what we are to do. Don't you think PASTOR Bob ?
     
  6. Tim

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    Doesn't secondary separation logically lead to tertiary separation and quadrupary (is that a word?) separation and so on?

    The logic would proceed that if is wrong to associate with someone who is not separated from sin--someone who does so is sinning, and thus we should separate from him, someone who doesn't separate from the one who doesn't separate is also sinning, so we should separate from him, etc, etc.

    There is no logical end to it. That is why I believe that only primary separation is commanded of believers.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  7. bapmom

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    Are we talking about two different entities doing the separating? I mean there is "organizational separation" which is different than "individual separation"......right?
     
  8. Roguelet

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    thats what I was thinking
     
  9. Humblesmith

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    This is a very good point, and is one of the key problems with the idea.

    However, to me, the biggest problem is not the separation itself, but when we hold others to the second or third level of separation. It's one thing for me to do it personally, but it's quite another for me to judge someone else because they're not separating like I think they should. It sort of sounds like the pharisees judging Jesus for hanging out with Tax Collectors.
     
  10. tinytim

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    ...How would you define "secondary separation?"

    becoming a Pharisee. I know that is a little harsh, but the facts are that the sect of Jews that were known as Pharisees began as seperationists.

    "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."
    (Mat 23:1-7)

    Pastor Bob, you wrote,"My belief is such that, if I believe that adultery is wrong, and I most certainly do, then I would do well to avoid close, personal contact with someone engaged in adultery."

    What would you say to Jesus, who hung out with sinners, and then hung on the cross for them?
    I'm glad He didn't avoid "personal contact" with the lepers, or prostitutes, or the woman caught in adultery, or you, or me.
     
  11. tinytim

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    I get teased a lot right now because I am a youth pastor in an ABC/USA church, and the denomination is dealing with the issue of homosexuality and churches affirming it.
    I hear that we should seperate ourselves (church) from the denomination because of affirming churches that call themselves ABC/USA. The logic is secondary association.

    I've heard ministers state that they wouldn't feel right drawing retirement from our retirement board if homosexuals were paying into it.

    But when I asked them about drawing Social Security while homosexuals are paying into it, well, they answer, "that's different".
    No it's not.

    If you are going to separate yourselves from sin, go live on Mars. Then maybe you can be the perfect person God created you to be.
    Christ was the only one perfect and he had dinner at a thief's home!

    Of course the Pharisees scoffed, "You wouldn't catch me doing that."
     
  12. John of Japan

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    To discuss this topic in that thread would be to take the thread off topic. I would like to discuss this subject here in this forum.

    How would you define "secondary separation?"

    Since it is looked upon by many in a negative light, how would you scripturally refute those who practice secondary separation?

    As I understand secondary separation, it is not only separating from what we consider as wrong, but also separating from those who participate in what we consider as wrong. II Corinthians 6:14-17 seems to support this idea.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Pastor_Bob, you are actually mixing up personal separation (separating from wrong practices) with ecclesiastical separation (separating from churches or groups because of their positions or practices).

    When the term "secondary separation" was invented in the early 1970's, it originally referred to a form of ecclesiastical separation which some held to in which a pastor (or other Christian leader, or a Bible college, etc.) separated from believers who did not separate from what or who they thought they should.

    God bless. [​IMG]
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Actually, tinytim, the originators of the term and/or concept of "secondary separation" would have considered you leaving your denomination to be primary separation, not secondary. I'm not trying to be offensive (I mean this to be kindly advice.), but by remaining in your denomination are you not associating with apostates? There are plenty of Bible commands on that (Titus 3:10, 1 Cor. 5:9-13, 2 Cor. 6:14, 2 John 9-11, etc.).

    This is a quite different matter from separating from sinners, who we should love (1 Cor. 5:9-10). If I knew someone who was a homosexual, I would not separate from him (it would not be an ecclesiastical separation issue) but would seek to win him to Christ. However, I would consider to be apostate any church that thought homosexuality was not a sin, and would separate from it. This means, I would not preach there, I would not have their preacher in my church, and I would not be part of any fellowship or denomination of which that church was a part. It does not mean that I would be nasty to them, walk on the other side of the street, never speak to them, etc.
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    I think separation is good and important as long as we do not exceed the biblical instructions. I do agree that it applies both to those inside and outside of the church.
     
  15. Pastor_Bob

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    I would say that Jesus is God in the flesh. He alone has perfect love for the sinner while, at the same time a hatred for the sin.

    I would say that this same Jesus instructed us to be very careful in our associations with those who might hinder our walk with God.

    To you I would say, biblical separation today is in no way connected to the Pharisees in Jesus' day. The Pharisees did what they did with the wrong motives. They wanted to appear to men as being more spiritual.

    I am in no way advocating that separation makes me more spiritual than you or anyone else. Separation makes me more obedient personally to what I believe God would have me do.

    It is when I begin to hold you to extra-biblical expectations that I become Pharisaical.
     
  16. David Ekstrom

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    Since the 50s, "separation" has become the sine quo non of IFBdom. While many Christians have barely even heard of I Cor. 7:14, it is elevated to being on a par with John 3:16 with some circles.
    Extremism is not total error; it is an exaggeration of truth. Separation is a biblical teaching but it is distorted in IFB circles.
    Question: If you were invited to preach in a Catholic Church, would you? If you were invited to preach in a mosque, would you? If you were invited to preach in a Hindu temple, would you? If you would not, you are not like Paul. He went right up to the capital of paganism when he preached on Mars Hill.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    Nope, I wouldn't preach in a Catholic church, a mosque or a Hindu temple (shudder--have you ever even seen the entrance to one of those? Hinduism is a sexually perverted religion). I wouldn't want to put my seal of approval on any of these by being there. I certainly wouldn't preach in a Buddhist temple of Shinto Shrine. What would the people of the community think? "Oh, Missionary Himes thinks Buddhism and Shinto are okay."

    Yes, Paul preached on Mars Hill, but come on. That wasn't a temple, it was an open forum, the first century equivalent of an Internet forum on comparative religion.

    Now, if you could prove to me that Paul preached in the Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, that would be a different matter.
     
  18. Benjamin

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    Oh come on!!!; Fire and brimstone the Gospel of Jesus Christ! What fun are you? :D
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Yes, I know, Benjamin. I'm mean-spirited, narrow-minded, bigoted--just an ignorant back-woods missionary. (Sob!) Maybe God will forgive me someday! [​IMG]
     
  20. paidagogos

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    Obviously, you don’t understand the Biblical doctrine of separation. You are morphing it into something that it is not. Your illustration and analogy is fatally flawed. Paul was not preaching under the sponsorship of the pagans. His preaching on Mars Hill is more comparable to preaching on the street or in a park than preaching in a Roman Catholic church or Hindu temple. The problem with your reasoning is that your mind is already made up before you begin the process. Your analogy is crafted to provide your bias rather than elicit the truth.

    The whole idea behind Biblical separation is to draw a distinct line between truth and falsehood. It is separation unto God from all sin, wickedness and error. By associating with false religion, one rubs out the line. Poor untaught sinners are mistakenly led to believe that Christians accept the false teachings. Thus, we do the heathen sinner no favor by deluding him into a false security in his religion under the guise of reaching him for Christ. As the Pharisees, we make him seven times over the child of Hell.

    IMHO, Ravi Zacharias had no business in speaking to the Mormons in Salt Lake. The Mormons are trying hard to make their false religion accepted as just another Christian denomination. Ravi just made it a little easier for them to propagate this lie. Now, they can say, “Oh, we’re just like other Christians; we even had Ravi Zacharias speak in our meetings.” BTW, don’t come with the argument about what a witness he had. Whatever he said was negated by the circumstances. It’s rather like taking out a prostitute to witness to her.
     

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