by Ray C. Stedman

What does Christian separation mean? Your effectiveness as a Christian hangs on your concept of what separation means. Perhaps most of our personal and church problems would be solved if we had a biblical concept of what it really is.

This question of separation has been a bone of contention among Christians for many, many years. Though I believe that the Scriptures are very clear on the matter, still I am sure that we will not solve all the problems in this article. But we do want to take a good look at the subject.

You won't read very far in the New Testament without becoming aware of some very pointed warnings to Christians concerning their danger from the world around them. Second Corinthians 6:14 is a very well known passage. "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers...and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
These words, "come out from among them, and be ye separate" have been nailed to the masthead of many denominations and church groups as the supremely important idea that Christians should heed in these days.

Then we have that very strong passage in I John 2:15-17, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."

James comes out with probably the strongest word of all along this line for he says very flatly and plainly, "...know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is an enemy of God."

Christians have rightly taken these passages very seriously. They have recognized that the Lord would not speak so plainly if there was not something serious involved. They've remembered the sad words of Paul concerning one of the young men who traveled with him: "...Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world." Christians have often had reason to see that a worldly Christian is a useless Christian. He is of no value to the world and no good to God. No man can serve two masters!

So Christians, as a result of these warnings, have through the centuries drawn up lists of things they considered worldly. Naturally, their ideas have differed widely on these matters. Whenever people had difficulty with some temptation or some particular type of recreation or some activity which gave them trouble, they learned a lesson from it, or thought they did, and marked that particular thing down as worldly.

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