International Testimony to an Infallible Bible

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S.B.C. House on the Sand?

by David O. Beale

Appendix Three
What Fundamentalists Mean by the Term Separation or Holiness

The term biblical fellowship is the positive side of the separation coin. Fundamentalists believe that the Scriptures clearly teach certain criteria for true Christian fellowship.

The Scriptural Criteria for Fellowship

Fundamentalists believe that the scriptural bases for fellowship are genuine belief in and consistent obedience to Christ and the Bible. They regard the doctrine of biblical fellowship as fundamental. It is inherently part of the scriptural doctrine of God's absolute holiness—separation (sanctification) from the world, from false religion, and from every practice of disobedience to God's Word. Key Bible passages teaching separation from the world include I John 2:15-17, II Corinthians 6:15-7:1, and James 4:4. Key passages teaching separation from false teachers include Galatians 1:8-9, II John 9-11, and I Timothy 6:20-21. Key passages teaching separation from disobedient Christians include I Corinthians 5:1-13, II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15, and Matthew 18:15-18.

The Scriptural Attitude Toward Disobedient Brethren

There is a basic difference between separation from religious apostates and separation from erring Christian brethren: separation from a brother is not irrevocable. Separation from a Christian brother should never be a total rejection which allows no place for repentance. Allowance should be made for ignorance, errors of judgment, and momentary weakness. Nevertheless, when Christian leaders begin to steer God's people into disobedience and compromise, they must be scripturally rebuked and their error exposed. This principle of rebuke and correction is often illustrated in the Bible: Leviticus 19:17; Joshua 22:11-20; Proverbs 25:12; Ezra 9-10; Nehemiah 13:13-29; Matthew 18:15-18; I Corinthians 5:1-13; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; Titus 3:9-10; and in many other passages.

S.B.C. House on the Sand? ©1985. BJU Press. Reproduction prohibited. This work is currently out of print and is not available for purchase.

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