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Outside the Camp
Jan 22nd, 2016
Commentary
Art Sadlier
Categories: Exhortation

One of the significant lessons we learn from the Levitical offerings is the importance of separation. The Lamb which was sacrificed as an atonement for sin, was burned without the camp. The significance of that statement is unfolded in the Epistles of Paul. In the Levitical offerings we learn much about Israel’s call to separation. The whole Levitical system marked out Israel as a separate and distinct people and nation. They were separated from the world unto Jehovah.

God called Abraham to come away from the pagans around him: it was a call to separation. Abraham was to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go to a new land that God would show him. The story of Israel is the story of separation. Everything about Israel involves separation. They were given a distinct diet, distinct clothing, a distinct religion and even the haircuts of the men made them appear different from all other men. They were also given a distinct land as their exclusive possession. Three time God took them off the Promised Land because of failure to be separate from those around them. Each time their separation was restored and they were returned to the land (though that present process is now not yet completed).

Today in our world, though very few understand it, the major issue of our time is the separation of Israel from the nations around her. The devil is determined to prevent that separation if he possibly can.

We as followers of Christ are also called to go outside the camp. Hebrews 13:12-13, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach
.”

The church is a group of called out ones, the word “church” means a group of men and women who are called out of the world, to gather around the Lord Jesus Christ. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

All of Israel’s major problems have been related to the failure to separate from the nations around them. I believe that the major problems of the body of Christ today are related to the failure to separate apostate Christianity that surrounds her, and from the worldly people who would influence her. This issue of separation far exceeds any other issue in this present hour concerning the body of Christ. If you feel that I am labouring this issue to much, my answer is this issue cannot be over emphasised. New Evangelicalism has literally destroyed the Evangelical/ Fundamental Church.  I have watched this process for over sixty years and we are now witnessing the final stages of the great apostasy.

Something happened to the Church of Christ about sixty years ago. It began a process that has been ongoing ever since, a process that is now climaxing in a great apostasy. The church abandoned its separation with the birth of New Evangelicalism.

We have a telling statement about New Evangelicalism by the man who gave birth to it. Dr. Harold Ockenga wrote, “Neo-evangelicalism was born in 1948 in connection with a convocation address which I gave in the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism, this address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory. The ringing call for a repudiation of separatism and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many evangelicals... It differed from fundamentalism in its repudiation of separatism and its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day. It had a new emphasis upon the application of the gospel to the sociological, political, and economic areas of life.”

Notice some the distinctive marks of New Evangelicalism that are revealed in this New Evangelical manifesto. These marks are found in present day New Evangelical churches.

First we see that this new movement intended to hide behind the theology of fundamentalism. “While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism,the New Evangelical pastor gives lip service to the same general theology as Fundamentalism. You can go into most New Evangelical churches today and hear what may appear to be the same bible teaching as found in fundamentalism. However, it is filled with the compromises of the New Evangelical movement, it involves easy-believism and it is shallow and carefully crafted to give no offense. It has the form of fundamentalism but it calls for no commitment to separation from the world. All the while the undiscerning Christian is deceived into thinking the message is generally sound.

Second we see a real change in New Evangelicalism in the area separation from liberal Christianity. Okenga said, “This address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory.” The position of the fundamental church up to that time was separation from liberal apostasy. The new movement would now enter into dialogue and association with liberal apostasy. The ones who had hitherto gone forth without the camp of false Christianity were now committing to returning to the camp. A few years later the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association invited liberal churches to be involved in cooperative evangelism. The barrier between liberals and fundamentalists was broken down, separation from apostasy was lost.

Ockenga also included the repudiation of the churches social theory. Individual believers would no longer be encouraged to practice separated living. The idea was to get involved in the world and the things of the world in order to show the world that you are really like them. If you appeared to be no different from the people of the world then maybe they would be open to the gospel. This man’s philosophy but it is counter to God’s clear commands. The walls of separated living were broken down.

At that point in 1948, the many in the evangelical church took a 180 degree turn and began a march right back into the camp of the world and the camp of liberalism. It abandoned separation from the world and separation from the apostate counterfeit church.

At that point the Church of Laodicea was born out of the fundamentalism of Philadelphia. Laodicean-Evangelicalism has been on a downward spiral ever since, you can easily trace it.

As we have stated in the 1950’s under Billy Graham, evangelicals and liberals came together in ecumenical evangelism. Separation was abandoned in direct disobedience to God’s Word. But who can oppose evangelism?  That is the deceptiveness of the whole movement.

Following that, theological dialogue began to take place between evangelicals and liberals. When you mix truth with error you get error. Wrap a mud ball in a white sheet and what happens to the mud ball? The mud ball remains unchanged. What always happens to the white sheet? It is so corrupted that it is useless for its intended purpose. The new Laodicean church was making everyone happy and growing in favour and popularity with the world. It did not even notice the real changes taking place within.

By the 1960’s the new ecclesiology and the new social theory were fertile ground for the Church Growth Movement. The methods of the world and the philosophies of the world were used to bring people into the church. It all seemed so good, but it was contrary to God’s plan and purpose for the church. Gradually the church changed. They now had growing numbers of unsaved people, the converts of easy-believism. They had to take care not to offend or discourage this new crowd from returning next Sunday.

By the 1970’s the User-Friendly church came upon the scene. They developed ingenious ways to draw and entertain the crowds that now felt as comfortable in church as in a movie theatre or a rock concert or a night club. The message was still from the Bible but it had to be watered down, made more palatable for the carnal and unsaved.

The church growth gurus stated plainly that if you are to attract the unchurched you must change the way you do church. You must offer them new settings and new and experiences. You must meet their felt needs, (not their real spiritual needs). You must do away with hymns and major on the contemporary music of the world so that they will not feel that they are in church. Remove the pews, do away with the choir and replace it with the worship team. Dress casually and conform the church to the world, if you make the unsaved feel at home in the church they will flood in with their friends, and they did.  The crowds will buy into the gospel of easy-believism because man is religious in nature and is seeking for an easy way to heaven.

By the 1980’s the Purpose driven church came on the scene. Rick Warren credits the spectacular numerical growth of his Saddleback Church to his Purpose Driven Model, an organizational and marketing strategy primarily inspired by a marketing expert, Peter Drucker; a man who professes that he is not a Christian.

Paul Smith, a Calvary Chapel pastor, and author of the book entitled, “New Evangelicalism” states that the Purpose Driven model comes straight out of the business world. It appeals to a wider audience with its common sense approach, seeker friendly, and soft-sell approach. The Purpose Driven model has successfully integrated Drucker’s systems theory into postmodern church theology and practice worldwide.”

New Evangelical seminaries train men to take a traditional church and mould it into a postmodern accommodating mindset that will reach a postmodern culture.

The New Evangelical movement started on a slippery slope that produced the market driven User-Friendly church, out of which came the Purpose Driven Church, out of which the Emergent church has now come. All three are headed together down the road to the apostate church of Revelation 17. That process is now fully underway with the use of mystical contemplative prayer, which is thinly veiled Catholicism. The growing new evangelical left is moving rapidly toward the theology and practices of fathers of the Roman Catholic Church. They are reviving the liturgy and the icons and the eschatology of the ancient fathers, a term used for the medieval Catholic Church.

One recent poll claims that 25 percent of American evangelicals do not believe that Christ is the only way to heaven. Whatever the percentage is, rampant apostasy is sweeping the Laodicean/Evangelical church.

It all started with the abandonment of separation in 1948 and the birth of the New Evangelical movement. The church has moved one inch at a time, no one would contend for the inch, and now much of the church is miles away from where it once was and ought to be.

The source of apostasy is always the failure to separate, the failure to go without the camp. In our personal lives and in our churches, failure to separate is always the source of great problems and failure. There are many symptoms and consequences, but only one source. The basic problem is not the music, though it is a real problem. The basic problem is not the methods, though they are a real problem. The basic problem is not the type of worship, though that is a real problem. The basic problem is not the translations, though that is a real problem. These are all the fruit of the loss of separation.

I think we little realize the full extent of our compromise with the world. We, God’s people, have compromised with the world. The effect of the New Evangelical movement has deeply impacted almost all of us. It has impacted upon our fundamental churches more than we realize. The world has flooded into our lives, into our hearts and into our souls. The love of the world is more pervasive in our lives than we fully realize.

Separation is God’s remedy for apostasy and worldliness. Oh how the flesh nature reacts against the call to separate from the world and all it stands for and all it has to offer. The heart cries out, “ask me for anything, but do not ask me to separate!”

Jesus said,” So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple,” (Luke 14:33). That is separation from the world and death to our own desires. If you redefine those words you do it at the peril of your soul. Jesus says what He means and He means what He says.

Tozer said, “Let us plant ourselves on the hill of Zion and invite the world to come over to us, but never under any circumstances will we go over to them. The cross is the symbol of Christianity, and the cross speaks of death and separation, never of compromise. No one ever compromised with a cross. The cross separated between the dead and the living.

The timid and the fearful will cry Extreme! And they will be right. The cross is the essence of all that is extreme and final. The message of Christ is a call across a gulf from death to life, from sin to righteousness and from Satan to God.

The first step for any Christian who is seeking spiritual power is to accept his unique position as a son of heaven temporarily detained on the earth, and to begin to live as becometh a saint.

The sharp line of demarcation between him and the world will appear at once; and the world will never quite forgive him.

The sons of earth will make him pay well for separation, but it is a price he will gladly pay for the privilege of walking in fruitfulness and power.”

Paul spoke clearly about separation from the world, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). Separation from the world is here as a mark of salvation; it is not presented as an option.

We look out at the evangelical church today and we see lukewarmness and apostasy. If you could put your finger on one single thing that has destroyed the church in the last sixty years it would unquestionably be New Evangelicalism.

New Evangelicalism has compromised with the world. It has compromised its life style and its theology and it has compromised with liberal apostasy. Through failure to practise separation New Evangelicalism has all but destroyed the evangelical church.

If New Evangelicalism is the Trojan horse that has destroyed the church we ought to separate from it. We need to go outside the camp of New Evangelicalism.

The Church Walking With the World

The Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shores of time,
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.

“Come, give me your hand,” said the merry World,
“And walk with me this way!”
But the faithful Church hid her gentle hands
And solemnly answered “Nay!

I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way that leads to death;
Your words are all untrue.”


“Nay, walk with me but a little space,”
Said the World with a kindly air;
“The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there.

Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain.

The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe.
There’s room enough for you and me,
To travel side by side.”

Half shyly the Church approached the World
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World grasped it and walked along,
Saying, in accents low:

“Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair.”

The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.

“I will change my dress for a costlier one,”
Said the Church, with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,

Beautiful satins and shining silks,
Roses and gems and costly pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.


“Your house is too plain,” said the proud old World,
“I’ll build you one like mine;
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine.”

So he built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold.

Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there.
Laughter and music and feasts were heard,
In the place that was meant for prayer.

There-were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
But the poor who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.

“You give too much to the poor,” said the World.
“Far more than you ought to do;
If they are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?

Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine;
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine.

My children, they dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in.”

Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church
Walked closely hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.

Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,

“I am rich and my goods increase;
I have need of nothing, or aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast.”

The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside:
“The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;
And her shame is her boast and her pride.”

The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame.

And a voice was heard at last by the Church
From Him who sat on the throne:
“I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
‘I am rich,’ and hast not known.

That thou art naked, poor and blind,
And wretched before my face;
Therefore, from my presence cast I thee out,
And blot thy name from its place.”

But out from the side of harlot church,
While she sleeps in indolent shame,
Will be taken the remnant who keep God's Word,
And honor His holy name.

By the word of their testimony, and the blood of the Lamb,
They overcame the world.
For those who keep their garments clean,
Shall walk with Him in white,
In the day when He comes to claim His own,
To make them His jewels bright.  -  Unknown

The above poem tells the story of the evangelical church of our generation in this Laodicean age. New Evangelicalism is the root cause of the disaster which has befallen much of the evangelical church. New Evangelicalism with its inherent neutralism, its refusal to contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints, and its refusal to separate from error, has spawned the apostasy that Jesus said would be so deceptive in the last days.

When a navigator sets a course by his compass, a small deviation at the beginning of the course will result in his ending up miles from the right destination. Back in 1948; when Dr. Ockenga determined a course for New Evangelicalism, he did not intend to make much of correction. He just intended to repudiate separatism, to add some invigorating social involvement and win over some liberals with erudite dialogue. However that seemingly small deviation from obedience, has led the evangelical church far, far from where it once was.

Now, many New Evangelicals find themselves on a totally different road. Unless fundamentalists obey the Bible by separating from disobedient brethren we will find ourselves with them on a broad road, totally different from the one on which we set out. When the disciples asked Jesus about the days prior to his return, he warned of religious deception, that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. It breaks my heart to see so many of God's people deceived by the neutralism and pragmatism of New Evangelicalism in this hour just prior to the coming of Christ.

Some say, don't worry about the church, the Lord will look after the church, the church will be just fine. I am reminded of what Israel said to Jeremiah, just prior to the Old Testament Day of the Lord. They said, “Jeremiah don't worry about us we are the people of God, God is not going to judge us, Jeremiah, you are a false prophet.”

Charles H. Spurgeon gave the following exhortation.

Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. Hebrews 13:13.

JESUS, BEARING HIS cross, went forth to suffer outside the gate. The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master.

Christ was “not of the world.” His life and His testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in Him; but still He was separate from sinners.

In like manner Christ’s people must “go out to Him.” They must take their position “outside the camp,” as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and His truth next, and Christ and His truth beyond the whole world. Jesus would have His people “go forth outside the camp” for their own sanctification.

You cannot grow in grace while you are conformed to the world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all.

No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals Himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife than others in their hours of rest. The highway of holiness is the highway of communion. It is thus we shall hope to win the crown if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow Christ “outside the camp.”

The crown of glory will follow the cross of separation. A moment’s shame will be well recompensed by eternal honour; a little while of witness-bearing will seem nothing when we are “forever with the Lord."

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2.


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