Biblical Separation Is Not A Non-Essential

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”  (1 Cor 1:10)

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11)

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17)

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”  (2 Cor. 6:14-17)

“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (2 Thess. 3:13-15)

A recent post, Preparing For Separation And Loss, gave some advice for those who are struggling with false teaching in their church, and the difficulty of coming to a decision on when to leave.  The doctrine of biblical separation clearly can be applied in these situations, yet, it does not seem to be a doctrine taught much anymore.  With the influence of the ecumenical movement, pastors and churches have compromised biblical principles for the sake of fellowship with any group that proclaims the name of Christ.  However, that should not be the case.  I have seen examples in the Nazarene denomination where there are ecumenical services with Roman Catholic churches* and Episcopal churches** (which condone homosexual clergy).  These and other apostate denominations are being allowed to blur the lines of what is a biblical church or not, and the logical conclusion then should be to also have fellowship with Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also proclaim the name of Christ.  So what’s the difference?  A few weeks ago, “evangelical” churches across the country allowed passages of the Quran to be read in their services, in a misguided show of “understanding.”

The ecumenical movement’s philosophy is clearly contrary to scripture.  This philosophy believes that “diversity” amongst many groups makes for good fellowship.  Ecumenists often justify their ungodly associations with any group that calls itself Christian, with that familiar phrase, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity.”  But as David Cloud states in A Limited Message or A Limited Fellowship, “Some things are not essential to salvation but they are essential to full obedience, and the Christian has no liberty under God to sort out the Scriptures into essentials and non-essentials! It is our duty to declare the whole counsel of God, and to do it wherever we are.”  This is absolutely true, and we have no right to try to parse out and decide what commandments the Lord has given us as “non-essential!”

The following is a letter from a reader which I am re-posting by permission:

“Dear Brother Manny,

       We totally agree with your six points  regarding what to expect when one separates from apostasy and/or implements biblical separation whether ecclesial or personal. We can attest that they are universally true, regardless of denomination. The effects on most who choose to separate are complex and varied as you have summarized, but we believe it is a way the Lord baptizes us into genuine and increased separation/holiness/sanctification, by using what might be called “tough love” by which the Lord paints the extreme contrast between Himself and man’s ways. Our own experience over several years in the Nazarene church was a reminder to us of just how far the Nazarene church and other denominations large and small have sunk in the name of ecumenism and emerging growth methods, although at the time we knew nothing about the “new paradigm of doing church”.
      As I told you before, we attended and were members of a large Nazarene church in the early 1990s outside Norristown, PA, close to Philadelphia. I was in the choir and my wife headed a “sort of biblical” if you will, 12 Step ministry. After a lot of “grief given and taken” with leadership and loyal Nazarenes over the decline of a biblical/holiness focus and the mental illness of the then pastor which was denied, we made a complete break with this church, which now already had a new pastor who was implementing the Warren/Drucker business model and the Hybels modelof the new emerging growth movement. It was more painful to stay and silently acquiesce to this new “enlightened” and arrogant authority structure than to leave.
      Subsequent church experiences outside the Nazarene church were not much better and generally worse. We were adrift for a long time. Each time we were branded as negative and divisive if we dared even question the leadership about the decline in Bible focus and content. Sometimes it was so bad we left a particular church almost immediately without contesting what was happening therein, thinking again that our standards were way too high.
      There was a long period when I did not go to church due to bitterness and also failing to find a truly biblical church that was not also extremely legalistic. My wife would try going somewhere just to “keep in fellowship” which was no biblical fellowship at all. Sometimes our very young daughter would sense there was something wrong and refused to go, or go reluctantly.
      A move to Delaware six years ago did not improve matters. Trying several “Independent Baptist” churches and one Southern Baptist church also disappointed. Both the Southern Baptist one and two of the Independent Baptist churches have and still do accept Freemasons into membership with either ignorance or dismissiveness about the occult nature of Freemasons yoking with true believers.
      Now we know that these churches as well as the ones in PA typically never taught separation/sanctification/holiness. We also know now that those doctrines do not fit well in a church committed to inclusiveness and ecumenism, but rather are relegated to a vast and growing group of “non-essentials” of the faith, a downgrade if you will from doctrine to an optional status. With the aim of unity at the expense of purity, all these churches are willing to incorporate unregenerate persons into fellowship, ministry and programs on the strength of the recitation of a “sinners prayer” usually devoid of the need for faith in Jesus Christ along with concurrent repentance, and the misguided hope that they will grow into the faith. After all, they need these people to staff all the numerous and sundry programs heavily covered with fun and entertainment, at the expense of the Word of God and the truth contained therein.
       Praise God He has led us to an “Independent Fundamental Baptist” church in PA which is all it says it is. And finally, we have a pastor who believes in biblical separation and teaches it. Not the legalistic set of rules common among many, but separation TO the Lord, for His sake and glory.
      Put aside all the hurts and disappointments. See that the Lord always has something better for us and wants us to grow in Him, not stagnate spiritually where man has put himself on the throne.
      For your readers we would recommend two websites in addition to Manny Silva’s that have greatly helped us understand where we’ve been and where we’re supposed to go. They are:

Trust in Him and Him alone”

Footnotes and  Resources:

* Roman Catholicism And It’s Heresies
True Christian Unity (David Cloud)


** Why would Bible believers fellowship with the Episcopal church, along with its support of homosexuality in the church, and when its Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, says the following: “The overarching connection in all of these crises has to do with the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God. It’s caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus. That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy, at the center of existence, as the ground of being. That heresy is one reason for the theme of this Convention.” (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/78703_112035_ENG_HTM.htm)  And imagine your denomination joining up with the United Nations, a godless anti-Christian organization.  That’s exactly what the apostate Episcopal Church has done: http://kjvbiblebelievers.com/episcopal.php

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2 responses to “Biblical Separation Is Not A Non-Essential

  1. Good article bro. Its very sad to have to separate from churches these days. Its important to note more often we are separating from false teachers and false teaching rather than the people within the walls of a church. Unfortauntly false teachers will lie about you to your brethren (because thats all they know to do) and that makes separation that much more tough. Ive seen what happened to folks like our friend Angie as well as myself and I know you have experienced this as well. I see the denominations crumbling which may not be a bad thing for the true Body of Christ. The Nazarene’s, Methodists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians seem to be leading the way.The scriptures speak of this in the book of Revelations as well. This is the formation of the anti-christ religion. And when you have people like Dan Boone (who has influence sorry to say) writing Immature in the Lord, anti scriptural book’s like “Answers For Chicken Little” God help the people who read his garbage. But when you have leaders leading people into the ditch all you can do is warn them of the ditch. At least thats my opinion.

  2. Manny, Excellent article pointing out the dangers facing our church today. The church will without doubt suffer when we begin to remove scriptural barriers that God erected for our well being which you pointed out. These truths are not to keep us in or from keeping the church from accomplishing the great commission, as many may think today, but to keep the church safe so we can carry out the true mission of the church and that is to win souls. The lies proffered today by the emergent group is not the answer.

    In my devotions the other day in Ecclesiastes [10:18] the Preacher said; “Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.” This is a sad commentary of what is happening in our church today. Because of the neglect of what is going on the roof will eventually cave-in.

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