Yesterday, at the My Two Cents blog, a man named Paul Ferguson posted two comments that I feel are worth a wide reading. His comments are posted well down the thread under an article by Chris Anderson titled, My Two Cents on Elephants and Ecclesiastical Separation.
Brother Ferguson’s intial comment appeared here and is as follows.
The “Elephant Room saga” is 1948 secondary separation for slow learners at TGC. In fairness, many of the “Conservative Evangelicals” have practiced a form of separation for many years. When has MacArthur or Baucham preached in a liberal church or on the same platform as liberals?Before his second comment appeared I included one of my own to recognize his excellent contribution and to expand its application.
The point is that they practice separation inconsistently. This current little spat is a case in point. Baucham/Dever etc separate from MacDonald over promotion/dialogue with a Modalist/Prosperity heretic but they don’t over Piper and his dialogues with another false teacher, Rick Warren or Piper’s claims that Mother Theresa is the model of sanctification. Indeed, Mohler also continues to get a pass for his tie ups with the universalist heretic Billy Graham.
We still await a biblical exposition and practical application by the Evangelical crowd of the doctrine of biblical separation. You can search through all of their copious writings and textbooks and you will find it is the doctrine that no one wants to talk about. That is the real “elephant in the room.”
To this excellent analysis I would only [emphasize] that Piper is routinely given a pass by fellow evangelicals. Furthermore, men in fundamental circles who claim to be biblical separatists are giving Mohler and Piper a pass by refusing to openly mark and admonish them for the egregious (unrepented of) errors noted by Paul above and call on believers to withdraw from and avoid them (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).Brother Ferguson’s second was,
Chris, I applaud anyone who makes a step in the right direction in respect of separation. It is good that some of the Evangelicals are at last thinking about the idea.I trust you appreciated these two comments by Paul Ferguson as much as I did.
But before we roll out the red carpet, let us remind ourselves that for 60 odd years they were the ones claiming to be the “expositers” and “exegetes.” The Fundamentalist movement were the obscurantists and lacking in exegetical sophistication.
The doctrine of separation began in heaven with the expulsion of Lucifer and carries on till the eternal golden age with the Great White Throne judgment. It is an integral part of Scripture –both OT and NT. So those who claim to have been at the vanguard of biblical exposition such as MacArthur, Dever, Piper et al have either:
(1) Missed a central doctrine of the Bible (2) Deliberately avoided a central doctrine of the Bible for expediency (3) Misunderstood a central doctrine of the Bible
My suspicion is that they are like Jonah – they know what they should do but have deliberately chosen not to do so. I cannot believe that a movement that has been going on for 60 odd years, whose roots were in Fundamentalism, could have missed such an obvious biblical doctrine....