Friday Challenge — Separation by Degrees

separation-are-3-degrees-enough

Defining Separation

Separation is a Bible word. So every Bible believer believes something about separation. But how much separation is enough?

Were fundamentalists everywhere coerced to pick one issue that defined them, ‘separation’ would likely take first, second and third place.

Fundie infighting is well known. So the question of how much separation is enough is far from a purely academic one.

dexter-statelySometimes, ‘separation’ [with implicit denouncement/scapegoating] looks rather like a ploy to mark boundaries of a pastor’s ecclesial ‘kingdom.’ The handsome boy to the left marks his territory every time I take him on a walk. But pastors do it for another reason.

If a pastor can make the ‘compromiser’ stick, the ministry of his ministerial rival will be crippled. This in turn will make the prevailing pastor’s financial future all the more secure. It’s a bit like rival business interests suing over rights to brand a product. The irony is that this itself make the church look … well … highly secular.

Friday Challenge

Today’s challenge is simple: How many degrees of separation is enough.

Do we separate from the unconverted?
Do we separate from the disorderly brother?
Do we separate from the guy with differing views on last things?
Do we separate from the guy who doesn’t do altar calls?

What exactly does ‘separation’ mean?

Have fun!

4 thoughts on “Friday Challenge — Separation by Degrees”

  1. How much separation is enough well ? Well in my IFB church growing up that depended on what article or “story” the pastor hear or read that week. There was always some new issue to seperate from.

    When i was a teenage I began to have questions about church history and those “apostate christian” So aways fearless I call our pastor up and had a chat about the free evagicial church. 😱😱 oh no the hated word right after Catholic in the IFB vocabulary.
    Well the pastor admitted something to me. “Adam lots of church preach the gospel and salvation through christ !!” i was so shocked ! So then i ask why is the IFB always putting these other christians and brother and sisters in Christ down, I asked? Well what sets us apart is WE HAVE HIGHER “STANDARDS” i nearly fell on the ground laughing that’s it that’s why we separate and you bash them is because we have High standards. That makes us holier then them ? I realized then that these “higher standards” thing was just like children push out a kid from the group because they did like them. I realized just how childish the IFB denomination was and how much of their belief system was based on just their options. I then turned away from IFB,God, and Christianity a i felt free for the first time. I would go back to christianity and god eventually, but never as a IFB or baptist in general.

  2. Do we separate from the unconverted?

    * No, of course not. If Jesus took that view we’d all be finished before we even began.

    Do we separate from the disorderly brother?

    * Yes, but then you’re going to have to ask what the meaning of disorderly is. Is this the brother who believes it is okay to partake in wine, beer, or assorted liquors? Is this the brother who enjoys an occasional fine cigar (like Charles H. Spurgeon)?

    Do we separate from the guy with differing views on last things?

    * Of course not, just so long as he agrees with me.

    Do we separate from the guy who doesn’t do altar calls?

    * No, unless this revivalist/tent meeting tradition from the American frontier is properly eisegesis-ed from holy writ (KJV1611).

    Your illustration says volumes about how certain self-righteous fundamentalist see themselves: Republican and on a pedestal above all others, especially them pesky demoncrats.

    “If a pastor can make the ‘compromiser’ stick, the ministry of his ministerial rival will be crippled. This in turn will make the prevailing pastor’s financial future all the more secure. It’s a bit like rival business interests suing over rights to brand a product. The irony is that this itself make the church look … well … highly secular.” <——–THIS

    1. Dear Free From Diotrephes:

      ‘If Jesus took that view …’

      This is EXACTLY the issue. Fundies give lip service to the incarnation as a point of confessional orthodoxy; but they refuse actually to allow the incarnation to shape the practice of faith.

  3. I saw the last two questions about separating from people and read it as, “Do we separate from the guy who doesn’t do last calls?”

    Silly me.

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