Separation: Non-Fellowship of Convenience (Part 2 of 4)

In Part 1, I argued that the term separation should be used only for situations involving sin or false teaching. This means that “departing” without censure is sufficiently dissimilar from separation that it should be considered as a different category. It should not be called “separation.” This category would include those times when we do not label our brother as “in sin,” but we still choose to “depart.” I suggested Non-Fellowship of Convenience (NFC) as a label for this category. This paper isn’t really about “separation,” in my opinion. But it is about something that several people like to call “separation,” so it is important to address it in this series. In this paper, I want to explain NFC. If you have not read Separation: Split or Lump (Part 1 of 4), then just realize that I do not believe that situations that lack censure (either sin or false teaching) should be called “separation.” The phrase I use for “separation without censure” is Non-Fellowship of Convenience.

Two types of situations do involve non-fellowship but are not biblical separation: NFC (Non-Fellowship of Convenience) and NFI (Non-Fellowship of Impossibility).

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Separation - Split or Lump? (Part 1 of 4)

Since we are commanded to separate, it is important for all believers to know what that means. If your church is associated with the GARBC, then this should be especially important to you now. Therefore, I want to encourage you to think through a couple aspects of separation.

What is Separation? I want to ask what type of situation fits within the doctrine of separation.
Specifically, I want to look at one type of situation which has recently been taught as part of “separation.”
- Paul and Barnabas disagreed over whether John Mark should be given a second chance to go on a missionary journey. “Contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed.” Acts 15:39-40. Some call this “separation.” After all, they deliberately departed company. I would not call it separation because nothing in the text indicates that either party was involved in sin or false teaching. So this is my question: Should we think of a situation like that as “separation”?

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The Folly of Pure Incarnational Ministry

“…(O)ur model of Jesus has to be one that He commends. This means that, while maintaining all appropriate humility and never considering ourselves morally superior, we will discriminate against false teachers, not converse with them. This means we will have to know what constitutes true teaching and what constitutes false teaching.”
-David Wayne, JollyBlogger

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