Archive for the ‘Separation’ category

SharperIron » Ecclesiastical Separation

March 24, 2009

SharperIron » Ecclesiastical Separation

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Resources on Ecclesiastical Separation « Orchard Keeper

September 25, 2008

Resources on Ecclesiastical Separation « Orchard Keeper

This is a great compilation of articles on ecclesiastical separation (something I addressed in a brief manner in this post).

When Do You Contact a Local Area Pastor?

September 1, 2008

The guys over at Expository Thoughts asked the question, “When do you contact a local area pastor?” (when one of his members begins attending your church). I have actually had this situation occur, and I handle it differently depending on the situation. If the church they are coming from is a church of “like faith” then I contact the pastor as soon as I find out they are members elsewhere (our visitor cards have a place for people to tell us where they are currently members, although people don’t always fill it out). I like to give the Pastor a chance to visit his member and see if the situation can be rectified before we begin to get them too attached to our church. I do not want to grow our church via transfers.

Let me explain what I mean by “like faith”: Our church is an independent Baptist Church that adheres to the fundamentals of the faith. I consider other churches of “like faith” to be those that are also ‘fundamental’ (I know that fundamental has bad connotations, but no other term to describe what I am has made it to the forefront. Just understand that I believe separation should be over doctrine, not preferences.) I try to make sure that I have a good relationship with all other ‘fundamental’ churches in the area, whether they be Baptists, Bible Churches, Community Churches, certain Presbyterians, etc. I maintain that relationship by showing them that I am not trying to ‘steal’ their members.

Now, if the person is visiting our church from a denomination or church that I believe has serious doctrinal issues, or that is unwilling to separate over the key doctrines of the Faith, then I make no contact with the Pastor. The only contact that will come is the standard ‘membership transfer letter’ that we send if the person at some point desires to join our church through transfer. I do this to make sure there are no church discipline issues that I am unaware of.

The only exception that I can think of is if I had a personal relationship with a conservative evangelical pastor in the area. If I felt that a person coming to my church from his would damage our relationship, then I would contact him just as I would a pastor of “like faith”. This situation is not currently a problem for me.

I would like to know if a member of my church is visiting another church as soon as possible. So I try to “do unto others” in this area.

Thinking About Separation & Unity (Part 3: Practical Separation)

June 23, 2008

Sometimes I am asked, “Why so many denominations? Why can’t we just all get along?” And sometimes I have asked myself the question, “If we’re all independent fundamental Baptists, then why can’t we get along?” It seems that there is always some issue or doctrine that divides churches. These are areas of practical separation. But I want to emphasize something from the start: These issues and doctrines do not call for total separation. There are times where unity can be realized, and other times it just isn’t practical. I’ll answer the questions above and give you and example from my own ministry.

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Thinking About Separation & Unity (Part 2: Pastoral Separation)

June 9, 2008

I want to continue my discussion on separation and unity this week. In part 1 we looked at personal separation from the world and how it affects unity in the church. This week I want to consider Pastoral (or Ecclesiastical) separation and how it affects unity between different churches.

I want to keep this post as brief as possible, so understand that there may be some “painting with a broad brush”. I will try to qualify some statements as we go, but just understand that this is a complex topic being boiled down to a short blog post.

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Smart Things Other People Have Written

May 12, 2008

Things have been sort of hectic here in the ministry and I am still formulating my thoughts on part 2 of ‘Unity and Separation’. In the meantime I thought I would give you some interesting articles that I have read by other people that are much more articulate than me.

First and foremost, this article on ‘A Fundamentalism Worth Saving’ should be required reading for everyone that claims to be a fundamentalist.

A very thoughtful evangelical writer, Dr. Al Mohler, gives his thoughts on doctrinal separation and unity. But he doesn’t address the difficult subject of what should be done about those that disobediently fellowship with false teachers. Here is a well written response to his article by Dr. Kevin Bauder.

Thinking About Separation and Unity (Part 1: Personal Separation)

April 28, 2008

I have been thinking a lot about biblical separation and unity lately. I think it might help to put into words my thoughts and see what folks in the blogosphere think.

There are two main areas of biblical separation: “Personal” separation and “Pastoral” (Ecclesiastical) separation. Both Personal and Pastoral separation have “practical” aspects that must be addressed.

First let’s look at Personal separation.

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