Kevin Schaal (FBFI): "Separation is Not Always the Answer"

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Ron Bean's picture

I see this as a needed change for good in the FBFI. I'm assuming that this editorial is an admission that this change, and it would be a change, is needed.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Joeb's picture

Boy would that be a move in the right direction. The local IFB Bob Jones connected church by me did a little of that and the Fringe Fundies Barbecued the Pastor on the Internet Royally.  You should see the verbal Spears they threw at this Pastor.  

When in truth this Pastor is a real man of God who has  reached many nonbelievers for Christ.  I have never heard anyone believer or non believer say anything bad about the church other than they're real conservative. He is no Fringe nut case and is very well balanced.  

To bad other FBFI members can’t take some lessons from this guy. If they did  maybe they could start doing the Lord’s work instead of throwing verbal grenades at other believers over music drinking skirt length and mixed swimming with teens. The mixed swimming was one of the Spears the Cult Fringe Fundies threw at this Pastor.  

PS These are the same type of people that got BJU in the Funny papers in the first place. 

Rob Fall's picture

somebody not re-fighting the last war/battle.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

TylerR's picture


Bro. Schaal:

In the FBFI article, you're clearly appealing to younger fundamentalists. Yet, in the comments congratulating you on the brave outreach, you're desperately trying to walk everything back for the sake of the older constituency, who's no doubt reading the comments. You need to decide which way you're going. The article makes it clear which way you're going. Good for you.

However, based on your response to comments, it's clear you're tap-dancing, trying desperately to walk a tightrope and not offend anybody. This is impossible and it will fail, in the end. However, you can make it easier on yourself if you don't respond to comments,and let the article stand by itself. Every comment you make trying to walk back the implications of your outreach is self-defeating.

Three comments:

  1. I suggest you make a clean, decisive break and go with the more moderate faction. This is clearly where your sympathies lie. If you can survive at least a few years, you may recruit enough younger men to make a difference, going forward.
  2. Suggestion #1 may be politically impossible and impractical. I understand. If you fear you won't survive this decisive of a break, then walk away. Is the FBFI worth it? Hardly ... Your church deserves your time more than the FBFI, if it looks like you can't accomplish anything meaningful.
  3. Again, every attempt you make to walk back the obvious implications of your outreach is self-defeating. Astute men (i.e. like me and the others you're appealing to) can see exactly what's going on.

This made my morning. I'm off to make coffee and approve a few fraud cases. Ciao.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Ron Bean's picture

Please take heed to Tyler's suggestions. I recently received a fundamentalist periodical with and article titled "The Beauty of Separation" equating separation with holiness. The Beauty of Separation The Projector I believe in separation and while it has a connection to holiness, practicing separation does not make one holy, particularly when implemented with the joyful zeal of some of its practitioners. 

"Separation is the answer to most problems and is our identifying trait" is more than a perception and I'm glad to see it addressed. Be prepared for pushback from the old guard as they may assume a defensive position.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Don Johnson's picture

Tyler, from my perspective, you are reading a lot into what Kevin is saying. You have a preconception of the FBFI which is foreign to my experience but seems to frequently colour your comments and viewpoints. I don't see the tightrope you seem to see. When I was a younger preacher, I found the then leadership of the FBFI to be approachable and helpful. As a  now older preacher and directly involved, I find the same spirit among the men.

I think some Fundamentalist fellowships have contributed to the caricature, and individual cases among all of us no doubt have done the same. But it is a caricature, and is largely undeserved in my opinion.

One of the comments Kevin replied to implied conclusions about his stance that were not at all in keeping with what he is trying to say. Why shouldn't he respond to that and set the record straight? I think your advice (just keep quiet and don't tell us how you really feel) would be disastrous. We should speak clearly, and when misunderstood seek to clarify. Otherwise we would be accused of dishonesty.

My take from what Kevin is saying is that we see the need for orthodox younger men to get involved in the fundamentalist cause. We think they have something to offer, and we think we have something to offer them. That doesn't mean we are going to take some kind of non-fundamentalist approach (i.e., "moderate" as you suggest). But it does mean that there are battles that still need to be fought, we need young men and older men to join those battles with us to do what we can for the Lord until he comes.


Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

TylerR's picture


Fair enough. God bless!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry Nelson's picture


"The FBF reaffirms its commitment to separatist Fundamentalism. This title, separatist
Fundamentalism, is a clear statement of our distinctive character. "Fundamentalist" identifies us
as a group committed to orthodox Christianity and distinguishes us from groups which have deviated
from the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. "Separatist" identifies us as a group which
believes that we can have no fellowship and engage in no cooperative ministry with apostates (II
John 9:11; II Corinthians 6:14-18). It further distinguishes us from other orthodox Christians who
refuse to acknowledge and obey the biblical command of separation from apostasy (II Thessalonians
3:6-15). As Separatist Fundamentalists we believe that separation on both fronts, from apostates
and disobedient brothers, is essential to the preservation of God's truth. On the basis of our
separatist commitment, we believe it is necessary to limit the scope of our fellowship in ministry
to those men, churches, and ministries which likewise agree with and practice separation from those
who deny the fundamental doctrines of the Faith and from those who deny the doctrine of separation
from disobedient believers."

97.05 Regarding Separation [1997]:

"The FBF asserts that there can be no true Biblical Fundamentalism without a Biblical doctrine of separation, and that it is not sufficient to hold to the "fundamentals of the Faith" without a commitment to "earnestly contend for the Faith" (Jude 3) and to separate from those who deny that Faith outright, or refuse to obey it in practice. That which calls itself Fundamentalism that does not insist on obedience to the Bible is a "form which true Fundamentalists must separate. The notion that so-called "degrees" of separation exist is fallacious. Some have suggested that the man that holds hands with the heretic is a compromiser from whom we must separate just as we would the heretic, but that the man that holds hands with the compromiser is merely 'questionable.' We believe that if the so-called "questionable" man is holding hands in disobedience, there is no difference in his disobedience than that of the man who is clearly a compromiser. If he is "questionable," we say, "Ask your questions." The answers given will shortly reveal whether a man is disobedient or simply ignorant of the issues at stake. If he can be restored in a spirit of meekness, he should be; if not, separation is the Biblical response. This is not so-called "second-degree" separation, it is obedience. 


Question: Does the current Proclaim & Defend article differ from, dilute, or even contradict these prior resolutions in any way, shape, or form?