Be Ye Holy
Chapter 5: The Spirit of the Separatist
is a battle. When one takes a positive stand for holiness
and truth, he embraces a cause that reflects God's nature.
That cause also is contrary to every purpose of Satan. The
separatist will have to identify false teachers and their
doctrine. He will have to expose them and separate his ministry
from them. Conflict with Satan and men whom he uses is inevitable.
Bible believers will sometimes have to separate themselves
with a heavy heart from brethren who are dear to them.
a conflict brings accompanying dangers. Separation and purity
are a vital part of the ministry, but they are not all of
the ministry. It is easy for the separatist to forget the
other vital facets of the ministry. Ernest Pickering lists
several dangers which lurk to harm the ministry of the separatist:
"An improper spirit, . . . over-occupation with the issues, . . . uncontrolled
suspicion, . . . a desire to dominate, . . . failure to see the larger
picture,. . . caustic language, . . . public instead of private rebuke."1
Paul Jackson also describes the tension that the biblical
separatist experiences as he seeks to stand for truth. After
describing the dangers of radicalism and a wrong attitude
he says, "When we have great convictions, the natural
tendency is for us to become rough and vehement. It is equally
difficult, on the other hand, to manifest a gracious attitude
and yet be strong. The tendency in the manifestation of
grace is to compromise and be weak. Only in the Lord Jesus
are these two things properly brought together in balance."2
purpose of this chapter is to learn what the Bible teaches
about the spirit of the separatist. It will challenge those
who stand for biblical separation to let the Holy Spirit
make their heart attitude what God says it ought to be.
first element of the separatist's spirit to consider must
be a desire for holiness. This study has clearly demonstrated
that separation is a part of the holiness of God. Let it
be understood that separation is by no means all there is
to God's holiness, but separation is one integral part of
that holiness. Man's separation naturally flows from his
understanding of God's holiness. Personal separation from
the "former lusts" (I Pet. 1:14) of his old life
comes as the Christian imitates the holiness of God (I Pet.
1:15-16). The separation of the local church from unbelievers
comes from a desire to perfect holiness (II Cor. 6:14-7:1).
The local church must also separate from erring believers
when those believers offend God's holiness by tolerating
and practicing sin in their lives (I Thess. 4:1-7; II Thess.
who understands this truth concludes that if the individual
Christian and the local church will pursue holiness (Heb.
12:14), then the right kind of separation will follow. God's
holiness, and the meaning of that holiness for mankind,
permeates the Scriptures. Its depths can never be plumbed.
One who studies and pursues holiness will come to a proper
understanding of God and will properly balance biblical
separation in his life and ministry.
Be Ye Holy: The Call to Christian Separation. By Fred Moritz. ©1994.
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