Darren at LivingRoom quotes Letty Russell
This fear of difference is reinforced by a dualistic view of church and world that assigns good spiritual aspects to the church and evil material aspects to the surrounding world
in the context of churches being inclusive or exclusive.
I think this hits the nail right on the head, although I come at it from the opposite side as Darren. It is precisely this “dualistic” view of the church and the world that _drives_, not just _justifies_ my views on separation.
Jesus drew pretty stark contrasts with statements like “Whoever is not with me is against me”(paraphrase). There is no middle ground in scripture. You’re either a child of God or a child of Satan. Light and darkness, good and evil, right and wrong – these are the divisions Scripture presents us between those who have been reconciled to God and those who have not. You’re His follower or His enemy.
Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patiant when wrong, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
Do you view non-Christians as captives of Satan who do his will? Or do you see them as fundamentally good who just need a little bit of love and care?
I believe your answer to that question will dictate your beliefs about separation from the world.