The Necessity of Personal Separation in Biblical Fundamentalism

Editor’s Note: This article accompanies FBFI Resolution 09-05 and is reprinted with permission from the May/June issue of FrontLine magazine.

Paul declares that all Scripture is “profitable” or “useful” (2 Tim. 3:16) in the sense of yielding a practical benefit (1 Tim. 4:8; Titus 3:8). The Scriptures construct our faith by establishing correct belief (“doctrine”), convict by exposing incorrect belief (“reproof”), correct by exposing incorrect behavior (“correction”), and counsel in order to establish right behavior (“instruction in righteousness”). Sound doctrine includes the moral implications which necessarily result from genuine faith in the truth: “For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:10).

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FBFI Resolution 09-05

See “Note to the Readers.”

Regarding Personal Holiness

Whereas the Scripture consistently commands us to practice personal holiness,

And whereas the nature of personal holiness grows out of the very nature and character of God,

And whereas many professing believers have significantly departed from aspects of personal holiness commanded by the Scriptures and practiced by Bible believers for centuries,

And whereas God calls us be to salt and light in the world,

And whereas we recognize that failure in this area is a problem in our own lives and our own churches,

We call on all who name the Name of Christ to recommit themselves to a life of purity and distinction from the sinfulness of the world. This purity must flow from a deep love for our Lord Jesus Christ and a gratitude for the great work He has done for us in salvation. Such holiness must not be corrupted by the excesses of false liberty or the arbitrary boundaries of a passionless legalism. We must seek a deep and committed relationship with Jesus Christ that captivates every thought, dominates every activity, and brings every aspect of our lives under His loving Lordship.

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Separatist, Baptist Fundamentalism

Editor's Note: This article accompanies FBFI Resolution 09-04 and is reprinted with permission from the May/June issue of FrontLine magazine.

The FBFI reaffirms is position and core value as promoting separatist Baptist Fundamentalism. Historically, Fundamentalism has been identified by an adherence to the fundamentals of the faith as identified during the Fundamentalist/Modernist controversies of the early twentieth century. From its inception Fundamentalism has not only held those doctrines known as the fundamentals but has also contended for them when necessary and battled any doctrinal position that would oppose or threaten them. In its purest form, Fundamentalism is a deep commitment to and willingness to contend for the clear teaching of the Word of God.

We readily recognize that not all Fundamentalists are Baptists. Early Fundamentalists included Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, and many more. They fought royally the corruption of theological liberalism within their own denominational structures.

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FBFI Resolution 09-04

See “Note to the Readers.”

Regarding Separatist Baptist Fundamentalism

Whereas the history of the FBFI evidences clear and unbending commitment to the fundamentals of the faith without which New Testament Christianity cannot exist,

And whereas the FBFI remains absolutely committed to its identity as Baptist both in doctrine and in practice,

And whereas the practice of separation is a Biblically mandated response to unbelief and disobedience to the faith,

And whereas these principles are based upon Scripture and are therefore normative, regardless of the surrounding culture or theological climate,

The FBFI reaffirms its commitment to maintain and preserve separatist Baptist Fundamentalism both now and for as long as this fellowship shall exist.

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Separation versus Limited Participation

Editor’s Note: This article accompanies FBFI Resolution 09-03 and is reprinted with permission from the May/June issue of FrontLine magazine.

Is There A Difference?


Pastor Robert Corso is facing a hard decision. Another Bible-believing pastor in his town has asked him to participate in a joint youth outreach emphasis. The difficulty is that Pastor Corso has some significant differences with the other church in terms of ministry philosophy and the practice of youth ministry. Although he does not wish to throw stones, he does not feel comfortable participating in the event. Pastor Corso is sure that some of his church members believe that he should publicly separate from the other church. Other members would see nothing wrong with participating, given that the gospel is more important than a church’s “parochial interests.”

Although there are times when a church must unequivocally separate itself from individuals and ministries, many times a pastor is faced with a situation like the one above. He does not believe that he has clear enough Scriptural warrant to publicly declare another ministry or minister to be “in sin,” but he does not think it prudent to involve himself too closely with that ministry or a particular project. The question is whether he has the leeway to limit his participation without officially separating from the other ministry. Are there such things as prudential limits on association that are different in nature from Biblical separation?

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FBFI Resolution 09-03

See “Note to the Readers.”

Regarding Limited Participation

Whereas the Scripture admonishes believers generally to maintain fellowship with one another in the love of Christ and in the bond of peace,

And whereas the Scripture also commands believers, individually and collectively, to separate themselves from professing believers who persist in disobedience to the clear teachings of the Word of God,

And whereas Christian individuals and ministries that otherwise enjoy fellowship with one another in the Lord may still disagree over sincerely held convictions, over questions of ministry philosophy, and over judgment as to the prudence of various courses of action,

And whereas such disagreements may be significant and may limit the degree to which individuals and ministries may participate together in various aspects of the work of the ministry,

And whereas the Bible establishes the pattern of respect for the soul liberty and responsibility of individuals and local churches as to matters not clearly determined by Scripture,

Now, therefore, the FBFI urges God’s people:

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Is Fundamentalism a Cultural Phenomenon?

Editor’s Note: This article accompanies FBFI Resolution 09-02 and is reprinted with permission from the May/June 2009 issue of FrontLine magazine.

One criticism leveled against Fundamentalists is their refusal to engage the culture. Sociologist Alan Wolfe writes, “When believers refuse to engage the culture, their opponents dismiss them as fanatics, frustrated people rendered insecure by the dilemmas and opportunities of modernity.” 1 Implicit in this complaint is resentment toward Fundamentalists for being unsociable: they are generally an intolerant people who do not mix well with their culture. Interestingly, this same complaint was directed against first-century believers by Roman hedonists.

It is true that historically Fundamentalists have refused to tolerate, let alone participate in behavior that exalts sensual pleasure and denigrates Christian values. The criticism is perennial, and understandably so, since sincere Christians have taken seriously the Biblical admonition to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. They love and are loved by God, whose values are theirs and whose commands they seek to obey. And those living for the world have hated them for it.

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