What is Secondary Separation?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Ulsterman, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    What is secondary separation? Is it Biblical? Do you or your church practice it? If so, please explain how and why.
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    My understanding of secondary separation (I may be wrong here and will gladly accept correction) is the separation of believers or a church from another believer or church that is not perceived to be properly “separated” from the world, another religious group, etc.

    For instance, I have a Baptist friend in Belfast whose church began practicing secondary separation against another Baptist congregation because some of their members were publicly and privately “associating” with Roman Catholics on a social basis. The members of the church practicing secondary separation were not to associate with the other Baptist congregation until they disciplined their members from having Roman Catholic “associations”.

    My friend left his Baptist church over the issue and, last I heard, is now a member of a non-denominational house church.

    No.

    No.
     
  3. Gunther

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    In scripture, we have the command to separate from the world, false teachers, and those who are in known rebellion to God's word.

    We are not given the command to separate from a person who does not properly separate themselves.
     
  4. timothy 1769

    timothy 1769
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    well, isn't their lack of separation a known rebellion to God's word?
     
  5. DCK

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    What exactly is meant by "separation?" I know the dictionary meaning, and I know that Scripture tells us to be unstained by the world and not to compromise our beliefs. I understand all of that. But what is the official meaning of "separation?" How is it put into practice? I cannot withdraw totally from the world; and I'm sure that every Christian I know (myself included) has compromised at some point. Is having Catholic (or any non-Baptist) friends a sin? Just asking for a clarification.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. timothy 1769

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    verses to consider:

    Romans 16:17
    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    1Corinthians 5:11
    But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    2Corinthians 6:14
    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Secondary separation is an unfortunate misnomer. It is used to refer to biblical obedience in the matter of our relationships to those who are openly defiant of Scriptural commands.

    A person who does not properly separate themselves is in open rebellion. That person or institution is to be confronted and urged to repent. In the face of continued defiance to Scripture, we are to biblical separate from them as disobedient brothers. Hence, it is not secondary. It is primary.

    We must be careful becuase it can be taken to far, when unbiblical standards are used as the basis for separation. But the use of unbiblical standards for separation by some does not alleviate our responsibility to be biblical in our own response. For example, just because someone separates from another over the matter of the Bible version that they use does not mean that we can fail to separate from those who aid and abet false teaching. In other words, someone's disobedience does not excuse my disobedience.

    I wish we could just do away with the term secondary separation and call it what it really is: Biblical obedience.
     
  8. Refreshed

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    Excellent response, Pastor Larry!

    It helped me to understand the issue better, as I have been mulling it over for a long time.

    Jason [​IMG]
     
  9. Artimaeus

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    Person A knows Person B who knows Person C who knows person D, etc. Now Person E seems to be a fine Christian man except that he is a card carrying member "The Society for the Preservation of Heresy". Should we seperate from A because he won't seperate from B because he won't seperate from C because he won't seperate from D because he won't seperate from E (whom A has never even heard of E)? Now, everyboody should seperate from E but the question is, should we seperate from A? This is the concept of secondary seperation. It isn't should we sepeate from an erring brother but from a nonerring brother who won't seperate from an erring brother. Carried to its logical conclusion there would be nobody left except me and you, and I would be a little worried about you. :eek: [​IMG]

    Real life example: A missionary which had been supported by our church for around 20 years recently became friends with and accepted donations from a man who was a member of the WCC (a heretical outfit if there ever was one) but, we did not stop supporting the missionary (That would have been secondary seperation). Then the man created a missionary board (subgroup of the WCC) and our missionary started accepting funds from them. We then stopped supporting the missionary because he then came into a direct relationship with the WCC (primary speration).
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Separation from the ungodly world and unsaved ecclesiastical error is a hallmark of Baptists. That is FIRST DEGREE SEPARATION. We do not have joint services with Catholic or Lutheran, et al.

    Separation from "unruly" or "disorderly" brothers (truly saved) is sometimes necessary. The Bible says that some from among us must be "marked" and "avoided". To many folks, this separation from real Christians who are walking in error is SECOND DEGREE SEPARATION.

    THIRD DEGREE SEPARATION is then from someone or some organization that will NOT practice 1st or 2nd degree separation.

    Example: My church "A" will not cooperate with "X" church. A neighboring church "B" WILL cooperate with "X" church. Therefore, my church will treat these good, well meaning christians as a brother "in error" and practice First Separation from "A" and Secondary Separation from "B".

    Now assume another church "C" like us will have nothing to do with those evil "X"ers. But they choose to still have fellowship with "B". If we think that THEY are now also in error, we will be taking separation to the Third Degree from "C" as well.

    Man, sounds like a bad algebra class. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Gunther

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    Larry, my only disagreement would be that a person may not know he/she is in violation. For that, there needs to be a time of instruction and teaching. If after receiving the truth, that person still cooperates with apostate and/or rebellious institutions (I dare not call them churches), then they are in sin.

    For example, the Alliance of Baptists, CBF, BGCT, etc, are groups that primarily focus on unity and then work toward doctrinal "understanding" of one another. They all have it backwards.

    Unity only exists where truth does.

    I believe in tearing down the walls of separation. That must be accomplished through evangelism and discipleship though.

    The disobedient tear down the walls ASSUMING that unity exists. That is ecumenicalism and that is in violation of God's Word.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    I agree. That Bible says that these people are to be confronted in a loving yet biblical manner.
     
  13. Maverick

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    The context used in my circles is that I cannot hang out with you if you hang out with someone that I would/could not hang out with though in every other way you and I could hang out together. ;) You become unclean if you touch the unclean or someone that touched the unclean.
     

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