Separation

Against "Secondary Separation"

In 1974, the evangelist John R. Rice wrote a book on separation entitled Come Out or Stay In. Most Baptist fundamentalists are familiar with Ernest Pickering’s book on the same subject, but few are aware that Rice contributed to the discussion. Fewer still are aware he took a dim view of “secondary separation.” In this excerpt,1 Rice states his position plainly:

There is a Bible doctrine of separation. There is not a Bible doctrine of secondary separation. What do we mean?

Define “secondary separation”

The Bible very clearly teaches that we should not give Christian recognition nor Christian fellowship to those who are “unbelievers,” the unconverted, but we should come out and be separate from them (2 Cor 6:14-18). The Christian should not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, not sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1). He should “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them,” (Eph 5:11). The Christian should not receive into his house (or pulpit or college or denominational program or even church membership) one who has forsaken the Bible doctrine of separation.

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The Position, Attitudes, and Objectives of Biblical Separation (Part 1)

By Paul Jackson (1903-1969): keynote address delivered at the 1958 GARBC Conference.

The Bible teaches clearly that every believer should be separated from all sin, including unbelief and apostasy. We shall seek to prove this statement with the Word of God, and to show that we must also have proper attitudes and objectives in the practice of Biblical separation.

Unfortunately there are many Baptists and other sincere Christian believers who do not share the convictions presented in this article. However, it is not written in a controversial fashion, but is designed to deal fairly and constructively with a great issue that faces all of us today. You and I who hold this truth live in an atmosphere charged with opposition. Much of this opposition springs out of misinformation or prejudice. We are in such a situation, whether or not we like it, and I trust we are convinced that we occupy a Biblical position. We urge your closest, most thoughtful attention!

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Another Word Concerning the Down-Grade

In the spring of 1887 C.H. Spurgeon’s The Sword and the Trowel began to decry the decline (movement down grade) of belief in essential Bible doctrines among many Baptists in England. Spurgeon published three anonymous letters on the topic (written by friends of his), then entered the fray himself by publishing the following signed article in the August 1887 issue. — Editor

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Why I Struggle with “Subjective Separation”

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