READ : 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1
Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. (v. 17 NIV)
In the long history of Dutch Calvinism—the branch of Protestantism that I know best—there has been a great deal of separatism. When viewed from this side of history, most of the issues that caused church divisions seem small. Card playing, dancing, close adherence to confessional standards and psalm singing do not seem important to most of us today.
Nowadays we talk much more about unity and working together through cooperative ministries—and rightly so! There are many more things that unite us than divide us. Besides, it was our Lord’s great desire as he voiced in his prayer of John 17 that “all of them may be one” (John 17:21 NIV).
And yet, there are reasons for a verse like this that calls for separation. Obviously, there are some things with which Christians simply should not associate themselves. I know of one man who worked in an X-rated movie theater, and when he met Christ, he felt in his heart he had to find another job. He just couldn’t reconcile that sort of work with his faith.
A good rule of thumb is to ask, How will my actions or associations affect others? Will they cause others to stumble? If so, it is better to “come out from among them and separate yourselves.”
Lord, may our witness be such that none will stumble and you will be glorified. Amen.