November 14, 2013

Secondary Separation: When to Stand Apart, and Those Who Won’t

Dr. Peter Masters, pastor MetropolitanTabernacle (1970- present), recently published, Secondary Separation: When to Stand Apart.1 This was a well-defined explanation of a biblical principle, namely secondary separation and necessary application of it.

Dr. Masters gives understanding to and several practical applications of the principle.  The section, Dr Lloyd-Jones and Billy Graham, has a direct bearing on how one current day so-called “conservative” evangelical ignored applicable scriptural mandates under the very same circumstance.
Dr Lloyd-Jones and Billy Graham  
The question arises – how should evangelicals who obey God’s call to stand apart treat fellow-evangelicals who refuse to do so? Should they maintain full fellowship, or stand apart from those who disobey? The latter is called secondary separation.” 
To prove the point we remember the way in which Dr Lloyd-Jones refused to work with Billy Graham, and this is a significant example of secondary separation. In 1963 the evangelist asked Dr Lloyd-Jones to chair the first World Congress on Evangelism (eventually held in Berlin in 1966; predecessor to Lausanne). Dr Lloyd-Jones told Billy Graham that if he would stop having liberals and Roman Catholics on his platform and drop the invitation system he would support and chair the Congress. 
Billy Graham would not change his views, and Dr Lloyd-Jones declined to endorse or commend or work with him. No doubt the meeting between them was courteously conducted (it lasted three hours) but the outcome was a firm application of secondary separation. 
Dr Lloyd-Jones adopted the same attitude to Billy Graham’s London crusades. He took the view, and stated it publicly, that to have visible unity with those who are opposed to essential matters of salvation was sinful. (He also believed the invitation system was a source of mass-delusion and harm to churches.) 
Despite Billy Graham’s high standing with most British evangelicals, the enthusiastic support he received from the secular media, the fact that his name was a household word, and despite the significant place in world evangelicalism that he was offering to Dr Lloyd-Jones, the latter stood by his biblical principle, and declined all the overtures. He would not commend or work with Dr Billy Graham. This is true loyalty to God’s Word, and protectiveness of one’s congregation. 
For what it’s worth, as far as the present writer is aware he goes no further in his view of secondary separation than Dr Lloyd-Jones (although he does not share the great man’s latter day enthusiasm for a new evangelical denomination). [Bold added]

In 2001 Dr. R. Albert Mohler shared no such principled conviction, such as Lloyd Jones in 1963, when he (Mohler) agreed to chair the Billy Graham crusade in Louisville, Ky. Where Lloyd-Jones determined to obey the scriptural mandates for “secondary separation,” Mohler simply brushed them aside. From the Graham crusade, through numerous ecumenical compromises since,2 Al Mohler has routinely and irrefutably ignored the Lord’s Word on biblical secondary separation.

Dr. Masters begins to wind down his article with this challenge,

May I say to pastors, elders and deacons – we have a choice. We either show unreserved kindness, protection and solidarity toward the offender, or we show it to the Gospel and our congregations. We either commend one or the other. Which will we embrace? No pastor or church officer can be truly loyal to the Word and protective to the flock of God without the practice of biblical secondary separation, applied with all the sensitive discretion of charity.”

In spite of Al Mohler’s long time, consistent pattern of egregious ecumenical compromises Dr. Kevin Bauder has been relentless in “lavish praise” for, tolerating, ignoring or excusing Dr. Mohler.  By this I think we can know the measure of Kevin’s loyalty to the “Word” in “the practice of biblical secondary separation.”


See thread comment #1 for Dr. Masters on the Texts for Biblical Separation & References to Separation from Worldliness and Harmful Practices.

1) Secondary Separation: When to Stand ApartSword & Trowel 2013: Issue 2, pp. 23-32.

2) Examples include: 

We also learned, “Richard Mouw was a featured speaker at the celebration of the life of Carl F.H. Henry [one of the architects and high priests of New Evangelicalism] held at SBTS in September, in conjunction with Fuller Theological Seminary.”

Related Reading:
“The new Calvinism with the new Calvinists constantly extol the Puritans, but they do not want to worship or live as they did. One of the vaunted new conferences is called Resolved, after Jonathan Edwards’ famous youthful Resolutions (seventy searching undertakings). But the culture of this conference would unquestionably have met with the outright condemnation of that great theologian.”


  1. Texts for Biblical Separation
    The obligatory, insistent, imperative nature of the commands shown below, tells us how great a wrong it is to reject them, and why the principle of 2 Thessalonians 3.6 and 14 must take its course toward those who do.

    2 Corinthians 6.14-18; Galatians 1.8-9; Ephesians 5.11; Romans 16.17; 2 John 6-11; 2 Thessalonians 3.6 and 14; Titus 3.10; 1 Timothy 1.18-20, 5.22, 6.3-5; 2 Timothy 2.16-21; 2 Timothy 3.5; 2 Chronicles 19.2; Revelation 18.4.

    References to Separation from Worldliness and Harmful Practices
    James 4.4; 1 John 2.15; Galatians 1.4; John 17.13-16; Romans 12.2; Ephesians 5.8.

  2. So much for today's evangelicals following in the steps of their forefathers.

    1. Brian:

      I've said this before, (and Mohler, et. al. keep going further) we have not yet seen the full extent to which Mohler and his fellow so-called "conservative" evangelicals are going to go into this kind of ecumenical compromise. And so will Kevin Bauder follow suit in his defense of Mohler's egregious errors and/or ignore the worst of what he's done to harm the cause of Christ. I think its high time that even the most zealot apologists for Mohler can drop the "conservative" label to finally acknowledge he is a New Evangelical.


  3. To whomever is using this site's threads to send me their opinions of a certain Christian ministry on the east coast: Use my email and include your name, all previous have been all will future be, otherwise, ignored.



  4. Lloyd-Jones was a forerunner to today's charismatic Calvinists. Is he really a good model for separation?

    Isn't Peter Masters an amillennialist?

    John Wilson

    1. Lloyd-Jones, charismatic? I don't know. Good model for separation? In the example given here, yes. Peter Masters, millennialist? I don't know.