Probably one of the groups who receive the most frequent criticism among Christians are those who desire to live their life according to the Scriptures. This may seem like a pretty broad statement, since many Christians believe they follow the Bible, but they may not practice Biblical separation.
Biblical separation is the recognition that God has called believers out of the world and into personal purity in the midst of a sinful culture. Separation is plainly taught throughout God's Word in both the Old and New Testament, and we are told to be separate from the world, from false teachers, and from disobedient brethren.
The purpose for separation is to create a wall of protection against spiritual danger. Many churches view this separation as unnecessary since God has given us freedom, therefore its all covered by the blood - so their thinking goes. This is a doctrine that was brought in with New Evangelicalism and many of their doctrines are far from truth. Christians today who practice being separate are called legalistic by those in the modern Church, but it can still be found in the New Testament scriptures.
The truth is that failure to separate from error leaves one open to the influence of more error (1 Cor.15:33). The reason why a shepherd separates the sheep from wolves is to protect them. Likewise, a faithful and godly preacher will seek to separate his flock from spiritual dangers that are even more destructive than wolves.
Many contemporary churches and denominations are part of what is termed the "ecumenical movement." Its goal is to bring everyone in Christianity into unity and cooperation, and is part of New Evangelicalism. The movement purposely overlooks the reason Christians and churches are divided in the first place. The Lord Jesus Christ warned us of false teachers, and instructed us to stay separate in doctrine and practice. Therefore, a true child of God will pay attention to those doctrinal differences. If a true believer then joins with those who are teaching and practicing false doctrine, she will then become part of their error and is not honoring God's Word.
Separation is not an optional part of Christianity; it is a commandment (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Cor. 6:14-17; 1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 3:5; Titus 3:10; 2 John 7-11; Rev. 18:4). Separation is not mean or unloving; it is obedience to God.
- “mark them . . . avoid them” (Rom. 16:17)
- “Be ye not unequally yoked together with” (2 Cor. 6:14)
- “Have no fellowship with” (2 Cor. 6:14)
- “Come out from among” (2 Cor. 6:17)
- “withdraw thyself” (1 Tim. 6:5)
- “shun” (2 Ti. 2:16)
- “purge oneself from” (2 Tim. 2:21)
- “from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:5)
- “reject” (Titus 3:10)
- “Receive them not into your house neither bid them Godspeed” (2 Jn. 10)
Give Me Examples of Apostates
A Bible believer will not cooperate with churches and church organizations who support the teaching of false doctrine, or follow teachers who listen to apostate teachers. These individuals may profess to be Christian, but they clearly compromise the Word of God. If you doubt it, do the Internet research. Check them out on YouTube and see if others have caught them in apostasy. There are more false teachers today than there are those teaching the Word. Here are some known apostate teachers:
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (retired)
Roman Catholic Church
And the list goes on....
Separation from the world grows out of the very character of God and His right to take first place in our lives. There are many other aspects to a life of separation that I have not touched on, but this will give you a start. May we please God by our faithful walk and separation unto Him.