Scripture does call for believers to be separate from the world, but this word has been so badly misused it has led to the abandonment of Christian duty as often as its fulfillment. The separation Scripture calls for involves not withdrawal from the world but a moral distinction. Separation of the believer to something. It is a separation to Jesus Christ, to His Kingdom, and to His service.
The problem of man that Jesus came to remedy was the moral one — i.e. man is a sinner who cannot be righteous or just by his own works. When God fixes our sin problem by paying its penalty, He calls us out of sin into life as new creatures in Christ. We are “new” men with a “new birth,” hence we are called to be separate from the world.
This new life of separation is to a new purpose. It is not a retreat from life, but a transfer of loyalty from our old life to our new, from a dedication to life in Adam to life in Jesus, who Paul called the “last Adam.”
The separate life of the believer should be one of focused activity, in which righteousness is our standard and the glory of God is our purpose. We yield nothing that is God’s to the world. We are separated as part of a new people to a cause that demands intense and dedicated activity. We yield nothing that belongs to our Lord and King. Christian separatism, rightly practiced, should strike fear into the hearts of nonbelievers. Christian retreatism actually enables them.
As believers, we have a responsibility as citizens of the Kingdom of God and His Christ. We obey His laws and further His claims. We do not compromise or back down or fail Him. As believers, we are separated from the world and self-service to our calling in the Risen Lord.
The answer to humanism and its statism is Christian faith and liberty. The Chalcedon Foundation is leading in this great mission of Christian education, and we need your support. Click now to donate.
- Mark R. Rushdoony
Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.
He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.
In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu.
He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.
Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.