At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty, but our duty. –C.H. Spurgeon

I found this today. I thought I would share it with my readers:

In recent weeks there has been an upsurge of discussion in regard to the Church Growth, Seeker and Emergent Church movements. Each of these movements, are to varying degrees, contra-biblical. If there is one common denominator in each it is the willful disregard for the biblical mandate to separate and come out from among apostate religions.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17

King James Version (KJV)

 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Among the Growth/Seeker/Emergent movements (such as Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven movement) it seems as if there is almost no mainline denomination, religion or organization to far removed from biblical Christianity to warrant rebuke and separation. The evidence shows that these movements prefer unity with apostasy at the expense of fidelity to God’s mandated course of action found in His Word.

“It has been said of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) that he was the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul. Spurgeon began preaching at the age of 16. At 25 he built London’s famous Metropolitan Tabernacle, seating around 5,000. It was never large enough for the crowds he attracted to hear him preach. Wherever he went in the United Kingdom thousands came to hear from him. The London newspapers reprinted his Sunday sermons, which were read by thousands. Spurgeon published thousands of devotionals, commentaries, poems, tracts, sermons and songs.” (In Defense of the Gospel, p. 55.)

In the Fundamentalist Distinctives thread at Sharper iron I have posted two excerpts from Spurgeon’s article, The Drift of the Times, published in 1888. I think it is befitting to post the article here, in its entirety.

The thrust and force of Spurgeon’s article is as timely today as it was nearly 120 years ago. Because of the insidious spread and attraction of the Growth, Seeker & Emergent movements The Drift of the Times may be more needed and applicable now than when it was originally published.

The Drift of the Times
Sound the Alarm!

Separation Not Alone Our Privilege But Our Duty

As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate but quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been, “Come ye out from among them.” If I have rejoiced in the loyalty to Christ’s truth which has been shown in other courses of action, yet I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil.

The Brethren in the Middle

The brethren in the middle are the source of this clinging together of discordant elements. These who are for peace at any price, who persuade themselves that there is very little wrong, who care chiefly to maintain existing institutions, these are the good people who induce the weary combatants to repeat the futile attempt at a coalition which, in the nature of things, must break down. If both sides could be unfaithful to conscience, or if the glorious gospel could be thrust altogether out of the question, there might be a league of amity established; but as neither of these things can be, there would seem to be no reason for persevering in the attempt to maintain a confederacy for which there is no justification in fact and from which there can be no worthy result, seeing it does not embody a living truth. A desire for unity is commendable. Blessed are they who can promote it and preserve it! But there are other matters to be considered as well as unity, and sometimes these may even demand the first place.

Separation A Duty

Numbers of good brethren in different ways remain in fellowship with those who are undermining the Gospel; and they talk of their conduct as though it were a loving course of action which the Lord will approve of in the day of His appearing. We cannot understand them. The bounden duty of a true believer towards men who profess to be Christians and yet . . . reject the fundamentals of the Gospel is to come out from among them. . . . Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. If any body of believers had errorists among them but were resolute to deal with them in the name of the Lord, all might come right; but confederacies founded upon the principle that all may enter, whatever views they hold, are based upon disloyalty to the truth of God. If truth is optional, error is justifiable.

The Army of Intermediates Should Cease Being Politic

There are now two parties in the religious world, and a great mixed multitude who from various causes decline to be ranked with either of them. In this army of intermediates are many who have no right to be there; but we spare them. The day will come, however, when they will have to reckon with their consciences. When the light is taken out of its place, they may too mourn that they were not willing to trim the lamp nor even to notice that the flame grew dim.

Our present sorrowful protest is not a matter of this man or that, this error or that, but of principle. There is either something essential to a true faith–some truth which is to be believed–or else everything is left to each man’s taste. We believe in the first of these opinions, and hence cannot dream of religious associations with those who might on the second theory be acceptable. Those who are of our mind should, at all costs, act upon it.

Separation, The Only Complete Protest

At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty but our duty. I have raised my protest in the only complete way by coming forth, and I shall be content to abide alone until the day when the Lord shall judge the secrets of all hearts; but it will not seem to me a strange thing if others are found faithful and if others judge that for them also there is no path but that which is painfully apart from the beaten track.(source)

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Comments
  1. You wrote… At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty but our duty.

    The question is… who goes?

    Grateful to be in His Grip

    ><>

  2. Good question!

    The answer depends on the makeup of the congregation. I fear more times than we would like to admit, it is those who practice true discernment who are the ones that end of leaving the church. Bereans cause the comfort zone of the “church” to be disrupted, therefore they become a problem. I’m not saying this is the case in every church(because as humans we all have issues), but in mainstream organizations like the SBC, etc. it seems to be the norm.

    I left my last church because the leadership had their eyes upon numbers vs. simply trusting God to draw sinners to repentance. Instead of going out and spreading the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, they bought into Rick Warren’s purpose driven dogma. Traditional Bible studies were being replaced with more relevant specific studies. The women of the church dropped all Bible based study in favor of Beth Moore book reading. Erroneous preachers/teachers/authors like Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, and Rick Warren replaced the pulpit quotes of godly preachers like Spurgeon. When I brought my concern to the leadership, I was told that I was divisive because I had let my blog cloud my judgement. I was told that I needed to focus on winning souls instead of casting stones. The whole problem was a new “hip and cool” seeker-sensitive church had moved into the area and the leadership wanted to “reform” to compete. I removed my family as quiet as possible and we washed our hands of this issue.

    Too many times people had rather sit in silent agreement vs. speaking out for what is right. We need another reformation by people who love sound doctrine and who are willing to remove themselves from the lure of the fruits of the apostate seeker-sensitive movement. The modern church is more like the whore of revelation that John witnessed in Revelation than it is as the bride of Christ.

    In Christ,

    David J

  3. Elisabeth Bunnell O'Reilly says:

    With all due respect, I must confess firm disagreement of much of what I have read of your teaching thus far. In fact I fear some of your conclusions could potentially be quite dangerous.
    While I am greatly dismayed, as you are, at not only the omnipresence of dangerous individual preachers currently blanketing our airwaves, news and general culture, I believe much of what you have purported as truth shows a degree of commonality between your methods and conclusions to some of those you have pointed to as false.
    A major problem I have with your teaching springs directly from knowledge I have obtained through prayer, and a serious study of the Bible, history, philosophy, politics and political history and theory, literature and many other important subjects. Intrinsic in my study/research method is the use of comparison and analysis of results of conflicts, confrontation, and dialectics. From this type of analysis, I fear that some of your most serious beliefs could, potentially, have a high incidence of negative repercussions, especially regarding the concentration of alleged divisive portions of statements of Jesus, which not only make up a clear minority of comments of Jesus, but are also often either taken out of context and/or misinterpreted.
    A very dangerous problem with a strong degree of certainty about what some may see as egregiously dogmatic themes or ideas is the following: When we, as very imperfect humans, believe we have reached the truth, we often cease to continue the absolutely necessary process of serious reflection, retrospection and reevaluation concerning the Truth according to God.
    How do we discern who is interpreting everything correctly, when, especially in this historical time of access to information never before available, we hear hundreds of humans (mostly men) preach God’s alleged truth in so many and to such a degree of difference, that one wonders how they could have began with the same source? Many are sincere in their belief that their interpretation is obviously the meaning of scripture. When two people will often completely disagree to both specific and general Biblical meaning, how do we discern who is interpreting everything correctly?
    As much as we would all like to believe we have the ability to evaluate scriptural meaning, the fact is that the Bible is a book made up of various and quite differing separate pieces, written 2,000 (and more) years ago. Additionally, all individuals sieve information through an infinite array of preconceived beliefs. Not only is the very reasoning processes vastly different and varied according to each individual from similar backgrounds, but the existing ideas, beliefs and ephemera which influence all of our conclusions are truly infinite; created according to all the experiences of that person up until that time, varying ever more greater as similarities dissolve according to origin of place, age, opportunity to access information, the different types of information we use, an intellect which is influenced by nature and nurture, as well as countless other influential factors?
    Forgive the loquaciousness of what could be viewed as an antecedent to actual specifics. However, when ones Christian beliefs include strong and devisive political views and theories and other beliefs, ones assertion of truth becomes questionable. For instance, I firmly believe that Jesus would find much to fault in the current trend to attribute a belief to him that his ministry supports our country’s current period of perverted capitalism. I see Jesus’ teachings supporting more of a social justice economic and general socialist form of government. This most likely is anathema to your beliefs. I believe that Jesus would be very upset at a movement such as the Tea-“Party”, the current republican emphasis on the obscene system of subsidies to oil companies and the unfathomable amount of money to war-promoting mercenary corporations such as Halliburton and Black Water.
    Additionally, Jesus made no comments to conclude that abortion or homosexuality is wrong. He lived as a provincial under Roman rule from the time of Augusta’s reign to that of Tiberius. Homosexuality was an accepted Roman practice during this time period. As to abortion, the entire Bible is silent at best and actually contains portions which could be used as evidence in a debate that abortion is not wrong. The latter occurs in what is referred to as “Rabbinical” law and/or that of Moses (specifically, the section determining when a child becomes a person, as well as the laws/remedies concerning a person who causes a miscarriage which is determined to be a property issue, not that of a life).
    I guess my point is that I have studied with a sincere search for God’s Truth, using prayer and constant self-examination. Because of the current popularity of many religions swing toward a literally new type of fundamentalism, many Christians would find great offense to my beliefs. Many of these Christians also believe the U.S. is of such importance to God that it trumps Israel. Additionally, many believe that Jesus was Caucasian, even spoke English. My Sunday school teacher taught the story of Adam and Eve with the assumption that Adam and Eve were white and we really didn’t know how Chinese (and all other ethnicities) came to be. Thus, according to your teaching, what do sincere, serious Christians do when their beliefs differ so enormously? If I read your posits correctly, I not only should see you as a false prophet, but should stay away from people who share your beliefs.
    Simply put, God as revealed through Jesus Christ is Agape. The central and most important Christian belief is to love not only thy neighbor, but thine enemy. If there is one thing I am sure of is that if one truly lives by this belief system, that person will be KNOWN by God.

  4. MRWBBIII says:

    JOHN MACARTHUR – ROB BELL RICK WARREN MARK DRISCOLL SERMON JAM

  5. Truth Seeker says:

    Wow…Elisabeth…what a long-winded “loquacious” reply to this blog! With all due respect, I must say that I am in “firm disagreement” with much of your comment! Please explain how this man’s beliefs “could be dangerous.” Is he advocating violence? No, I don’t think so… He is merely stating that his belief that people are being led astray from Biblical truth by some of the “seeker sensitive” preachers.

    You go on to list your many “qualifications” for your disagreement—and there are many, mind you—however, your writing style tells me that you’re trying to use your extensive vocabulary and education in an attempt to give more credibility to your views than they might really deserve. That said, however, I will attempt to decipher your comments and explain my disagreement with your views. My reply may be long, but hopefully it will not be too complex or verbose.

    You seem to be concerned about David Horn’s beliefs – “A very dangerous problem with a strong degree of certainty…” So do you mean to say that you’re upset with the fact that Mr. Horn actually has firm convictions? As opposed to what? Swaying to and fro with every new idea that comes down the pike? And what is so “egregiously dogmatic” about believing what the Bible actually says?

    You are correct when you say that different people preach the same scriptures in different ways. Yet you seem to be scolding this blog writer for daring to put forth his interpretation. The Bible addresses this issue. We are to be like the Bereans, and search the scripture for ourselves to weed out false teachers. One way people are led astray is when they try to interpret scripture in an allegorical manner. Most scripture is literal—it says what it means, and means what it says. However, of course, Jesus sometimes spoke in parables. Other ways of understanding scripture is to look at it in the proper context—from a Jewish perspective in a Jewish culture.

    You then go on to speak about some Christians having “strong and divisive political views” so that their assertion of truth becomes questionable. What?? Then you say that Jesus would find fault with capitalism? Where in the Bible did you get that from? I know capitalism isn’t perfect, but have you given any thought as how many people have been brutally murdered under communism? I believe the number is somewhere around 100 million. How do you possibly define Jesus as a socialist? Would He condone the government’s confiscation of rightfully earned wages for the sole purpose redistributing said wages to someone who did not earn them? THE CHURCH to supposed to support the widows and orphans — we are not to throw money at the lazy or the drug-addicted. The Bible has a clear teaching on how the poor are to be treated. Please read Leviticus 23:22 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.’” God didn’t give the food to the poor who just lounged around, the poor had to go get it. That way, they still worked, and were allowed to keep their dignity.

    As for your comments on homosexuality—the Bible clearly states that it’s wrong. However, all sin is wrong—adultery, fornication, theft, etc. Jesus didn’t have to go through the list again, everything had already been addressed in God’s word. We are ALL sinners, separated from God, and it’s only through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah that we can be reconciled to God. When we are saved we are to REPENT and sin no more. You seem to think that Jesus has given the okay to live as we see fit, regardless of what that may be! Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;  And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” The reason Jesus had to die for our sins was because of our iniquity! Because we turned to our own way.

    Then you have the audacity to say that the Bible is silent on abortion! Commandment number six: Thou shall not murder. Period. End of discussion. Also this: Proverbs 6:16—17 “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood…” You do not get anymore innocent than an unborn baby who has not yet lived, much less committed a sin.

    Jesus loves children: Matthew 19:13 “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.” I seriously doubt that Jesus would condone the killing of babies! As for your assertion that “the Bible actually contains portions which could be used as evidence that abortion is not wrong” I notice that you do not cite said scripture. I dare you to do so. In fact Jeremiah 1:5 states “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Why would Jesus condone the killing of infants when they are formed in the womb by God? Hmmmm??? Babies are precious and innocent—not to be discarded like garbage by uncaring, selfish women who can’t be bothered to at least give the baby life so he/she can be adopted.

    And NO, I do not believe that Jesus “was a Caucasian who spoke English.” Also, God’s timepiece and the apple of His eye is Israel. And believe it or not, everyone is not as ignorant as you think. Your elitist attitude is nauseating. Also—you are making a big mistake in discarding much of the Bible and basing your entire belief system on only a few scriptures that are to your liking. For Jesus said in Matthew 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Now we are saved by grace, not the law, but that doesn’t give us the liberty to willfully sin. Romans 6:1-2 “1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

    The way I see it, you are following a false god—one you’ve created in your mind that suits YOUR beliefs and wishes. NOT the ONE true God and Savior—Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

    • soldier for Christ says:

      Truthseeker has certainly pointed out some solid facts that I would absolutely agree with. When it comes to the different churches, I firmly believe in the quote, “those that are not against us, are on our part” There are certainly faithful among all Christain denominations and in heart, true believers who have made that spiritual journey that leads to repentance and salvation unto Life eternal. When it comes to abortion, again truthseeker, I agree, is absolutely on track, for the bible also states that those who offend those “little ones” who believe in Christ, would better off than a millstone tied to their neck and drowned in the sea. And in heaven those “little ones” always are beholding the face of God our father. … The fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom and I would certainly take every word of the scripture as truth, from beginning to the end. Seen with a spiritual eye, and in prayer, we each find our own interpretation which will agree when the holy ghost is among gods people….Much study is a hindrance to faith as far as my experience. Humble heartfelt prayer to a true and living God who does and will forgive all who come to him in spirit and Truth., which also leads us with that still small voice which is our conscience to which every soul is subject
      to the higher power. As it also says, If God be for us, who can be against us.

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