Last time we started a discussion of the Doctrine of Separation or How to protect one's spiritual life when dealing with those who are living in the kosmic system. that is found in 2Thes 3:6;,2Cor 6:17; and 2Tim 3:5;
The Greek words that are used in these passages for this command are:
"Stello" that means to avoid." aphorizo" that means to be separated, and "apotrepo" that means to turn away from.
In 2Thes 3:6 Paul states it as a command in the 2Cor 6:17 and 2Tim 3:5 the Greek words are in the imperative mood.
Separation is the technique of switching from personal love to unconditional integrity love as a means of dealing with others who are persistently living in the kosmic system.
We saw last time that physical separation is to be used only when there are persistent issues with locked in behavior patterns not just an occasional false step.
The issue does not necessarily have to do with differences of opinion, offensive personality traits, or competing worldviews.
A mature believer is able to function in an environment where their belief system is not accepted by others in the group simply by the use of mental separation.
We all have family and extended family. Family reunions draw together common bloodlines but a multiplicity of personalities and viewpoints. Great flexibility may be needed to get through these without becoming argumentative, vociferous, or combative.
We usually cannot choose those with whom we work or have to associate with on sports teams and musical groups such as band, orchestra, or choir; church congregations, or schoolrooms but we learn to adjust.
Social skills enable us to orient and adjust to these various situations in order to accomplish a common objective.
The believer is placed Into all of these environments in all stages of spiritual development spiritual childhood, adolescence, and maturity and as a result takes with them an inventory of doctrinal principles that define the spiritual skills that are available to them.
These principles establish the believer's norms and standards and develop a scale of values that sets one's priorities in life, determines what is right and wrong, discerns the difference between good and evil, and is able to distinguish between lifestyles that are established from the wickedness from the kosmos and lifestyles of righteousness from function in the PPOG.
One's ability make these assessments depends on their level of spiritual growth.
This means that the person in spiritual childhood is far more vulnerable to the influence of others than one who is in spiritual adolescence, and they more susceptible than those who are in spiritual maturity.
Therefore, any decision to separate should occur more quickly for the spiritually immature than for the more spiritually advanced.
This presents us with the problem that those with a relatively small inventory of biblical ideas are vulnerable to the subtlety of duplicity and deceit and temptations to evil that are being promoted by a degenerate and degenerating society.
For those who are still under the authority of their parents, the parents must determine when they must intervene and be the watchdog and decision-maker regarding who will be their children's associates.
Those who have advanced far enough to be at least in the arena of spiritual self-esteem have the problem-solving devices of personal love for God and unconditional love for all mankind that enable them to manage the providential preventive suffering involved with attacks from people whose thinking is from the kosmos.
With spiritual autonomy they are able to use their inventory of Bible Doctrine to determine if further association with certain people jeopardizes their spiritual growth, hinders their spiritual momentum, or challenges their priorities.
If these things are the case then the believer is commanded to use either mental or physical separation in order to safeguard their spiritual life and maintain the proper priorities in their life.
The first category of Separation we will examine is mental separation.
The integrity of the believer is not only challenged by the actions of others but also by the assaults that are directed toward the believer because of their loyalty to the Word of God.
When one associates with those who are in opposition to their standards often those standards are not only violated, but they are also criticized for having the standards at all.
Under these conditions the believer must remain filled with the Holy Spirit and maintain status quo spirituality in order to have proper discernment and grace to deal with the situation.
This is accomplished by reliance on the two problem-solving devices of stage one of the advanced spiritual life: (1) personal love for God and (2) unconditional love for mankind.
Personal love for God is developed through spiritual growth and the acquisition of doctrinal principles that become the basis for one's norms and standards and scale of values.
Personal love for God is expressed by the application of these principles that have been established from Bible Doctrine when under pressure.
Loyalty to God's Word is an expression of reciprocal love for Him. 1John 5:1-2;
This inner integrity is expressed outwardly towards others as honor and toward circumstances as courage.
Unconditional love for others stresses the integrity and virtue of the subject rather then the attractiveness or repulsiveness of the object.
This means that one's associates are not evaluated subjectively through emotional reaction, instead they are evaluated objectively through doctrinal analysis.
This is a professional approach to others that avoids emotional counterattacks, arguments, or judgments.
An example of this objectivity occurs when a health care professional is called to attend an injured person.
Often people who have had a personal injury accident enter into an emergency room in an emotional state and they think they are about to die.
However, the health care professional who treats the injured patient must remain objective and begin to evaluate the patient's condition rapidly and efficiently in order to determine the best course of action.
It would not be good for the health care professional to become emotional and begin to agree that the person is mortally wounded and that all hope is gone or to become upset with the patient because of their irrational behavior.
The health care professional's job is to remain professional, to reach an accurate diagnosis based on their knowledge of medical science and then to apply those techniques in an effort to restore the person to heath.
In a similar way, believers, are to strive to reach the level of spiritual growth where they can deal with people, life, and circumstances with a professional response from rational thought from their knowledge and application of Bible Doctrine rather than an emotional reaction from the OSN.
In Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary; Profession, professional, and professionalism are defined as follows:
Profession: a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.
Professional: (1): characterized by conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace.
Professionalism: the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize a professional person
These definitions describe the way that a believer is to apply unconditional love to others that enables them to maintain a mental separation while continuing in a personal relationship.
We have learned that Christianity is a calling that requires specialized knowledge that comes from intensive academic preparation from consistent attendance in Bible Class.
A professional Christian is characterized by conforming to the technical (spiritual) and ethical (establishment) standards of the Bible.
A professional Christian exhibits a courteous because they have unconditional love, conscientious because they are governed by divine guidance, and a generally business like manner that is expressed in thoughtfulness of others without being hypocritical while they are in the presence of those that they have discerned are implacable because of their locked-in arrogance that is manifested by consistent function in thoughts and actions that are incompatible with the spiritual life.
This is how the believer can continue in a relationship without compromising their standards and maintain their integrity and composure in a difficult environment.
Unconditional love demonstrates the Lord's attitude on the cross. It motivated him to die for the sins of the world and to pray for those who carried out his prosecution and execution. Luke 23:34;
Another category of Separation is physical separation:
There are circumstances where mental separation through unconditional love isn't sufficient.
These include situations where one's thinking is being continuously assaulted by propaganda and deceitful lies from those who are entrenched in the kosmos.
Those who wish to propagandize the innocent and unsuspecting often use rhetorical veils that are designed to conceal their true intentions while they advance their hidden agenda.
This technique is used by those who attempt to win the acceptance of the naive who would otherwise reject them outright if their hidden agenda were clearly known and prevent them from accomplishing their objectives.
In this case, The Word of God provides the authority for physical separation that comes from one's free volition under the laws of Divine Establishment.
When client nations are in decline the intellectual, cultural, ethical and moral climate of the nation is in a constant downtrend and believers may sometimes even have to physically separate themselves from the reversionists: Paul describes this situation:
2 Tim 3:1 - Come to realize this fact, that in the last days ( of a client nation ) perilous times will threaten.
v. 2 - For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money ( monetary lust ), boasters ( approbation lust ), arrogant ( think highly of themselves ),
This is describing the Gates into kosmic thinking from the Arrogance Complex of sins that include:
Attitude Arrogance, Negative Volition, Authority arrogance, Self-righteous arrogance, Sexual arrogance, Criminal arrogance, Psychopathic arrogance, Arrogance of unhappiness, Iconoclastic arrogance. Rational and irrational arrogance, Arrogance of Christian service, Client nation arrogance.
revilers ( blasphemers ), disobedient to parents ( authority arrogance ), ungrateful ( no grace orientation ), unholy ( no standards from the PPOG or Divine Establishment),
v. 3 -unloving ( superficial overt sentimentality that disguises hidden ulterior motives ), irreconcilable ( implacable ), malicious gossips ( sowers of discord and division ), without self-control ( self-indulgent ), brutal ( violent ), haters of good ( hostile to divine viewpoint ),
This leads to the Gates into kosmic thinking from the Hatred Complex of sins that include:
The old sin nature, Negative Volition, Degeneration, Ant establishmentarianism, Demonism, Kosmic panaceas, Religion, Anthropocentric academic speculation, and Evil
2Tim 3:4;- traitors ( collaborators that are often crusaders & politicians ), thoughtless (crude insensitivity ), puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God ( being self absorbed or narcissistic rather than having virtue from integrity love );
v. 5 -holding an external appearance of godliness ( the pretentious altruism of "do gooders" who try to force their ideas on others ), although having denied the power ( the necessary filling of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of Bible Doctrine that is actually required to produce divine good ); avoid ( second person singular present middle imperative of apotrepo: turn away from; shun ) such people as these.
2Thes 3:6; Now we command you, fellow believers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you separate yourselves from ( "stello": to withdraw from; shrink back ) every believer that consistently conducts their life in an irresponsible way (" ataktos peripateo ") which is not according to the tradition that they received from us.
The word translated "irresponsible' is the Greek word "ataktos" .
The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volume 8 Page 47 defines ataktos:
As "Disordered," often in a military sense, such as a disorderly retreat; unbridled, irrational, unseemly; without order or plan; without law or order; to roam about in a disorderly fashion.
Atakteo (the verb form) means "to set oneself outside the order," "to evade one's obligations," "not to fulfill one's divinely appointed duties"; often military: "to act without discipline," "to act irresponsibly"; "to evade work which is ordered."
Secular examples show that the word group is well-known and important and that it relates to several spheres but especially to that of human conduct, both ethical and political.
In both cases it characterizes those who have established themselves outside of the necessary and given order.