What is Biblical separation?
Biblical separation refers to Christians separating themselves from the sinful things of this world. The Bible calls Christians to be salt and light to a bland and dark world. Matthew 5:13-16 declares, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Christians are to be distinct from the ways of the world - peculiar even. 1 Peter 2:9 declares, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
Biblical separation is not fellowshipping or having close connections with immoral and ungodly people. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 tell us, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.' Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord."
Biblical separation is not doing anything that would make you appear to be involved in or approve of any immoral or ungodly activity.
Biblical separation can be summed up as being in the world but not of the world. When Jesus prayed for future believers, He said, "I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it" (John 17:14-16). Biblical separation is not refusing to have any contact of any nature with unbelievers. Biblical separation does not mean we must always separate ourselves physically from those who do not believe in Christ. If this were the case, it would be impossible for us to fulfill the great commission in proclaiming the Gospel to a lost world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). The Apostle Paul wrote, "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people - not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world" (1 Corinthians 5:9-10).
Christians are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to be ministering to immoral and ungodly people, but not identifying with them. We are to love lost people, but not fellowship with them. Biblical separation is a delicate balance. We are to be separate enough from immorality and ungodliness that it does not influence us…and at the same time be close enough that we can minister to those trapped in it.