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[thoughts] A Separated Lifestyle (December 4-10, 2000)

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  • Mark Roth
    Egroups placed the above message and link; not I. IMPORTANT QUESTION: Are you getting strange symbols or extra characters at the end of any lines? If so,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2000
      Egroups placed the above message and link; not I.


      IMPORTANT QUESTION: Are you getting strange symbols or
      extra characters at the end of any lines? If so, please
      let me know. Thanks!


      Now for this week's thoughts....



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      A Separated Lifestyle
      (Matthew 6:24-34; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)


      Why heart separation alone is not sufficient.

      Yesterday I wanted some Pepsi ONE. Now do some imagining with me. To my
      shock and incredulity, all soft drinks are in unmarked cans. Puzzled at
      this, I point out the matter to an employee. He assures me that everything
      is fine because the manufacturer knows what is in each can. When I protest
      that *I* also need to know what's in a given can, he sternly informs me
      that I should rest content in the knowledge that the *manufacturer* knows.
      Exasperated at such senseless absurdity, I march off to a competing
      store...and discover the same situation. Resigned, I call the manufacturer,
      request a special code which will identify a can's contents, and return to
      the first store. I find a can with the Pepsi ONE code on the bottom, pay
      for it and go outside for a hard-earned drink. My first mouthful sets me to
      coughing, spitting and sputtering -- the stuff tastes precisely like pure
      mint. At this stage I'm perturbed enough to cup a hand and pour some of the
      can's contents into it. It smells like mint, looks like mint and feels like
      mint. Knowing it will be pointless to talk to store management, I call the
      manufacturer again. Their answer? "What comes out isn't important. What you
      see doesn't matter. It's what's on the inside that counts. And only the
      manufacturer knows what's on the inside. How dare you judge what's on the
      inside by what's on the outside?!" *Click.*

      How silly, far-fetched and logically-challenged! Yet we see its spiritual
      equivalent espoused everywhere by those who want to make Christianity and
      separation a heart matter only. They seem convinced that a separated heart
      does not necessarily lead to a separated lifestyle.

      I used a long, fanciful paragraph to illustrate that externals *do* matter.
      The Scriptures are much more direct and have authority which I shall never
      have.

      "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which
      is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth
      forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth
      speaketh" (Luke 6:45).

      "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or
      figs of thistles? A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
      corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Matthew 7:16,18).

      The Scriptures are unequivocal and clear. Even logic leaves no doubt.
      Separation from the world that is not a whole-life experience, is not
      separation at all. We cannot be friends of God in our hearts, but His
      enemies with our life expressions. How far-fetched!

      "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the
      world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world
      is the enemy of God" (James 4:4).

      We can find another valuable point in James 2:17--"Even so faith, if it
      hath not works, is dead, being alone." Separation that goes no further than
      the heart will not last long.


      Is separation a godly goal?

      No. Otherwise some fifteen years ago I should have commended those young
      folks in Seattle for their brilliant purple spiked hair.

      Yes, because God specifically commands separation for His people -- "Come
      out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Corinthians 6:17).

      Separation must have conformity to Christ as its motivator and purpose,
      otherwise it falls short of godliness. How does our separation rank?



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      Mark Roth


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