Friday, March 12, 2010

MacArthur Tells Christians: Don't Fornicate with the World


"The church, if it is to be anything, it is to be absolutely distinct from the culture, absolutely distinct from the world, absolutely distinct from unbelievers," said prominent author and evangelical pastor John MacArthur.

Speaking from the pulpit to thousands of fellow pastors at the Shepherds' Conference, MacArthur underscored the biblical command not to be yoked with nonbelievers and to be a separated people.

"Paul demands a total break," he said Wednesday at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., citing the apostle in the New Testament.

MacArthur, author of Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World‎, grew up in a fundamentalist environment. At that time, the word "separation" was a big word on the evangelical word list. Fundamentalists built high walls in terms of church conduct and relationships, he explained. If those walls or lines were crossed, the violator was vilified.

Even MacArthur was a victim of the highly separatistic fundamentalism. He recalled being stripped off of about 55 radio stations in one day when they felt he was behaving outside their parameters.

The fundamentalism back then was cruel and unbiblical, he said. And it was so cannibalistic that it consumed itself and disappeared.

But MacArthur feels there needs to be a "biblical (not traditional) understanding of separation" among Christians today.

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