What Are Your Thoughts About Leaving Sodom?

The posts on raising your children in Sodom and or Chorazin have caused some discussion about whether families should be getting out of Sodom.

Raising Your Family in Sodom – GTY

Sodom or Chorazin?

I know I typically never get a chance to read the comments left for another website’s post so often I do miss the best parts. So I’m encouraging you to read over the comments on Raising Your Family in Sodom.  It is a hard subject and there is no clear cut direction from Scripture such as once XYZ happens in a city we are to pack up and leave.

How do you determine whether or not to stay in a location?

What are the criteria?

I must add a disclaimer I’ve never really been to a big city.  Atlanta is the biggest city I’ve been in as an adult, I guess, and all the cities I’ve been in have been in the South which I’m sure is different from other big cities.  When I was 16, I traveled to London but that was a long time ago and the things I remember striking me there as bizarre; dyed hair, body piercing, tattoos, strange clothes and hair styles are pretty commonly seen today.

My best understanding that I arrived at is this:  (this is from a comment box yesterday)

Obviously homeschool is not a panacea for the evils of the world. There are many homeschooling families that I would not let my children spend much time with. However, homeschooling has the advantage of allowing parents to be with their children and know what is going on and being taught. That is one of the biggest advantages. There is a big difference in being in Sodom along with your children and sending your children out in Sodom alone.

Granted Lot was told to leave Sodom and we should all obey the Lord when and if He says leave. But while often the focus is on Lot and Sodom, we tend to forget that some of the biggest problems were when Lot withdrew to a cave with his daughters. He was out of Sodom and yet his “holing up” mentality is what led to his and his daughter’s sins. We are never as NT believers told to leave the world and “hole up” in a seemingly safe place; no place is safe without being in the Lord’s will.

We are told to not love the world:

1 John 2:15 (ESV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Nor to be transformed to the world:

Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The problem is we do not distinguish between the world and brothers in Christ. When those who claim to be Christians are living like the world, we are to separate from them particularly, but not necessarily the unsaved world. Obviously there is a distinction to be made.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—
10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world
.
11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

America’s problem today is that there is no distinction between the world and the brothers in Christ. So maybe we should be running from the worldly churches. Yet not running from the unsaved world in the cities, but running toward them with the gospel.

So what do you think Scripture would have us do?



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45 thoughts on “What Are Your Thoughts About Leaving Sodom?

  1. I think that perhaps we are using the word “Sodom” too loosely. We are using the word “Sodom” to mean “the world”, when there is a big difference. The little hamlet where I live is definitely “the world.” We can’t escape the world; we have to be in it but not of it, to paraphrase Jesus’ words. We are to preach the Gospel and be a witness.

    When a place becomes “Sodom,” however, it has gone many steps beyond just being “the world.” Sodom was a very wicked place rampant with homosexuality (the men from every quarter of the city — no decent neighborhoods left — Genesis 19:4).

    Lot was no longer a witness; Sodom had rubbed off on him and his family, which is why they still had perverted ideas when they fled Sodom and took refuge in the cave.

    There comes a time when a place is so wicked it is slated for destruction by God. It is winning you, not the other way around. It had won Lot, and he was a joke to the people of Sodom. Nobody took him seriously. He should never have been there (that’s what I have always been taught all my life in church) in the first place. It corrupted him and his family. They had to be dragged out kicking and screaming, even though it was so wicked there. His wife paid the ultimate penalty.

    Has your town/city become a Sodom — no longer just “the world,” but much worse, slated for destruction? Makes me wonder if God nudged Christians in New Orleans to flee long before it was destroyed by Katrina.

    We are to come out of the Sodoms. We are to come out of the Babylons (“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” — Revelation 18:4 — I have in my Bible written down the cross-reference of Isaiah 48:20, “Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans….”)

    There is a time to stay and be a witness, in the world but not of the world, and a time when a place crosses a line and we must flee it (this goes for corrupt churches, too), because our witness is over. We can change nothing, our presence indicates our approval, and worst yet, it begins to rub off on us.

    Be sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit. If he is telling you to flee a “Sodom” or a “Babylon,” do it. His provision will be confirmation.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mary,

    It has been busy here so I’ve just now had time to sit and seriously read through the comments. 🙁

    You know at first when you mentioned that Sodom was different from being in the world that seemed to make sense. Sodom was know for their particular “sin” which we even still today use that word to described particular depravities. But I do remember the verse that Terry mentioned later in Ezekiel 16:49-50. Then upon looking through the Scripture I found Sodom is a symbolic example for us throughout Scripture; but it does not always refer to a particular sin, unlike it does to us today. Sodom was more so a symbol of God’s judgment on a city and people for their sin and not for a particular sin.

    I would naturally prefer to flee from Sodom, Babylon or even Chorazin; however, that would also be contrary to our great commission of going into all the world. I’m going to study through this more but my understanding is that today in the NT we are not in the same situation as Lot. We do have the Holy Spirit in us and we also have been granted a clearer understanding of Scripture.

    More to come as I study the issue.

    Berean Wife

  2. Hi,

    I left a somewhat lengthy comment on your previous ost (I read the article posted on Macarthur’s site), and it got wiped out. Ack!! I’ll try and re-stae what I was driving at.

    You had this to say in the combox:

    But I still think that at times the more blatant sins are actually the easier to deal with and the easier to teach our children about. It’s the “littler” sins that most everyone struggles with:

    Pride

    Anger

    Lack of Thankfulness

    Self-righteousness

    Self-centeredness

    Apathy

    I STRONGLY agree. I truly believe that the biggest battle we have to face, spiritually, is within our ugly hearts. It is these sins, such as what you mentioned, that trip us up — NOT bathing suits, magazines, or refuting evolution to our daughter’s hostile public school science teacher (I actually had a bit of fun with that last one). It is not the fact that we have to carefully teach, with my husband’s leading, what God instructs as a basis for godly marriage, although we live in a state that pioneered “same sex marriage” and our kids have neighborhood friends with two moms.

    It doesn’t matter that we live in suburban Massachusetts. Guess what? We used to live in Bulgaria, and as elsewhere in Europe, the culture is exponentially worse, morality-wise, than in the United States. It is the most heavily sexualized, atheistic society on earth; I promise you. We are Puritanical over here (even in New England) by comparison, I promise you.

    But IT DOESN’T MATTER. Geography truly doesn’t matter, in terms of true holiness. Just as there are sincere, devoted, joyful followers of Christ in Sofia, Moscow and Stolkholm, so can we be here. It doesn’t matter if you withdraw to Amish country, homeschool your kids, wear an ankle-length denim jumper and bake organic bread (those things can actually breed a false sense of “holiness” – a pharisaical self-righteous, spiritual smugness – if one is not careful). We have to teach our kids wisdom and discernment no matter where we are. There is no such thing as a “Christian society”, because Christianity is personal; not collective. Beyond the fact that withdrawing and living on the spiritual equivalent of a desert island = hiding your light under a bushel, it isn’t the way Christ and the Apostles lived, either.

    Corinth was just as bad (I would say a step worse) than our 21st century American culture. Yet Paul told them how to live – blameless, so that no one could bring a charge against them (Peter essentially gave the same message to the Church in Jerusalem, facing persecution). They weren’t told they had to withdraw and break off all contact. Often, we tend to think that in antiquity, people lived much more pure, noble lives. Umm…1st century Hellenistic culture was notoriously promiscuious, and gross immorality is what ultimately led to Rome’s downfall. And yet, followers of Christ were expected to stay the course.

    It’s not that hard to be “above” the blatantly sinful elements of our culture. What’s much harder is avoiding the temptation to see ourselves as “better Christians” because of this. I struggle much more with having love for the bretheren, not holding grudges against unbelievers who hurt me years ago, and reading my Bible instead of going on Facebook than I do with buying my daughter modest (yet fashionable) clothes; refuting pagan ideology in the public school curriculum; or explaining why the homosexual agenda is wrong to my kids. I’m a prideful, rebellious sinner in need of a Savior, and those hidden, internal sins are much harder to see and deal with. It’s on THAT that God will judge His people….and it’s a universal problem. We can’t blame the culture (no matter which one we are born into) for our self-seeking, self-gratifying sin nature. I wish it were as easy as withdrawing from secular culture to be truly holy, but it’s much deeper than that.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Marie,

    Sorry about the lost comment, it didn’t make it to the spam filter so I’m clueless. 🙁

    I think America lost her solid grounding when we failed to continue to fight for our children and for our faith. We initially were founded on somewhat of a Biblical basis, although faulty at times, yet the day things became easy we stopped contending for the faith. America became self-righteous and smug. But once we became complacent, we began to lose our children to the world.

    I can’t find reference in the NT Scriptures for separating from sinful cities but it is clear we are to separate from brothers in the faith walking unworthily. Still studying though.

    “I’m a prideful, rebellious sinner in need of a Savior, and those hidden, internal sins are much harder to see and deal with. It’s on THAT that God will judge His people….and it’s a universal problem. We can’t blame the culture (no matter which one we are born into) for our self-seeking, self-gratifying sin nature. I wish it were as easy as withdrawing from secular culture to be truly holy, but it’s much deeper than that.”

    Amen. I think that is the problem. It is also why we are worthless as a witness to the “world”. The world watches the average church focus on themselves, their buildings and their programs. The world doesn’t see holiness in the church.

    Berean Wife

  3. God destroyed those places. Persecution scattered the Christians from those places. There comes a time to leave before we are swept away by the gross sins of a society and destroyed, too. Well, persecution of Christians is coming to America, too. We used to live in Europe, too, and yes, Marie, it is much worse. I’m glad we got out of there, too. Christians need to be sensitive to this. There is evil all over the place like there has not been since the 1st century. There comes a point in time where we become partakers of their sins.

    Yes, we must guard against thing such as pride, the things you mentioned, since they are definitely sins that God does not approve of. We will always struggle with those and should. There are, however, sins that “push the envelope” with God and when societies are rife with them, God destroys them. Many of our cities today are there.

    We just got back from the West Coast, where we had not bee in 15 years. We were horrified. We stopped in at a church we used to attend. We couldn’t believe how the pastor’s daughter was dressed, and they didn’t even seem to notice (she was still under their roof) — kind of like the frog in the proverbial kettle. They had ceased to be a witness and had become part of the world. We are all in danger of this. Like I said, there comes a time…Lot was never commended for living in Sodom.

    Anyway, Berean Wife, thank you for allowing this discussion. I didn’t always feel this way, but then, I live in a place that is not yet a Sodom and figured every place was like this. I have always been against holing up in places like Amish colonies (and still am) because those people remind me of the Essenes of Jesus’ day, whom he ignored because they were irrelevant.

    I don’t want either one (a colony, or Sodom), but if I had to choose (thank God, I don’t — there are still decent places in which to live), I’d choose the colony. Never thought I’d say that. And I well understand that being clean-cut and living on a colony or whatever is not necessarily “saved.” Hope you understand what I’m trying to say.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mary,

    You’ve provided much food for thought. But I don’t know if the place in which a person lives is as much of an influence on a person as their faith is, or lack thereof. Maybe what we all need is more trying of our faith and not the comfort of the “colony”. A Sodom will try our faith and either we will fall or we will persevere. Most of us would prefer to have the easier path, especially when involving our families, but I’m afraid the easier path is more likely to lead to those who call “Lord, Lord” and yet the Lord does not know them. I think those who are “clean-cut” and living in safer areas risk not being confronted with sin enough to be convicted of their own need for a Savior.

    Where does parenting fit in here? I’m not sure. But for our family parenting involves homeschooling, a sound Biblical church (even if we must drive a distance), selected friends and limited exposure to the world with constant parental guidance. Then as they age they are given more and more opportunities to be guided by the Lord directly. I’m sure families are different but still following the Lord’s will.

    Berean Wife

  4. Hi Mary,

    I definitely do – and I do agree. I just visited your blog – LOVE it – and having read your whole post I see where you’re coming from. And yes; I think some places (like where we live) are much more akin to Chorazin or Bethsaida than Sodom….Central MA is ungodly, but it’s not San Francisco. One of the biggest reasons we (my husband and I) decided to stay here in MA was just that….we cannot imagine bringing up our children, as Christians, in the “Sodom” of Sofia, Bulgaria. But we have no illusions about the spiritual condition of where we live, or the world at large. (Thankfully, we’re part of a great church, so that helps a LOT).

    Anyway, nice to “meet” you, and have a blessed day! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Weigh In; What Are Your Thoughts About Leaving Sodom? « Breathing Grace, A Life In Bloom

  6. Before I weigh in with my thought, BW, you should know that I have “invited” readers of my blog to click over here and weigh in on this question.

    As for my thoughts (and I, too read your post Mary and appreciate your position):

    I live in a city that has its, problems, shall we say? We live in the suburbs of that city and am blessed to have several believing families as neighbors that our children are friends with. We go to a pretty good church with sound teaching.

    That said, the more I think about it, the more I do hope that our family gets an opprtunity to live in a slower paced community. I believe it would just be an easier envirnoment in which to raise kids.

    Also, I agree with the perspective offered by the commenter referenced above. There are definite problems with “holing up” from the undesireables. She is correct that Christians who are indistinguishable from the world are probably more dangerous.

    But it not so hard to live separate from the really bad stuff if you really want to. Of course, the despicable magazine covers in the grocery store aisle are annoying (I usually just turn them around), and if someone nearby is using profanity in their conversation, what are you gonna do?

    In short, I don’t see how we can ever expect to be able to escape sin, and even in a metro area, we can order our lives in such a way that our families are fairly insulated. We do. And we do so without walling ourselves off from the world.

    Each family needs to prayerfully consider the will of God for them. One thing is sure: wherever God puts us, He will guide, protect, and shelter us under the shadow of His wings.

    Mary Reply:

    Like I said, we are using the term “Sodom” too loosely, to mean simply “the world.” We cannot escape the world, nor should we try. Sodom, however, went a step beyond. They were destroyed, not simply for being “bad people,” or “worldly,” but for being given over to homosexuality. That is the sin. It is a sin that pushes the envelope with God. It marks a society for destruction. Do we want to be numbered with them, once our witness is lost and it has could rub off on us? Do we want to be desensitized to that sin? We are deceiving ourselves if we think we are so strong we can stand up against such a sin when it is so prevalent and blatant.

    In Sodom, it says “men from every quarter of the city” — in other words, there was not a decent part of the city that was free from homosexuality, and the families and their guesets were not even physically safe from it. This is way different and worse than just living in a place that has bad magazines in the stores. It’s not the same. I’m talking about places where there is deep sexual sin on display reaching out for you and you can’t escape it, you’re not safe from it.

    We know two IFB families that have recently moved up here from the South. One said that in the city in which they lived in the South, you could not even walk through a shopping mall without seeing lesbians kissing and fondling each other.

    He could no longer live apart from it or take his children into the mall. We’re not talking magazine covers here or bad language. This is what I am talking about (the specific sin of Sodom and other blatant sexual immodesty and immorality), and there are many cities in our country like that now.

    As responsible Christians, we need to get away from it (gross immodesty, blatant public sexual sin), not just sit and wring our hands like Lot, with our souls vexed, perhaps compromised with our witness gone. It rubbed off on Lot and it will rub off on us. And, yes, we need to get away from Christians that are no different than the world. That is dangerous too.

    Be in the world but not of the world; but get out of Sodom. There’s a big difference.

    [email protected] breathing grace Reply:

    For the record, Ezekiel 16:49-50 reads thusly:

    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…”

    Now from what I understand the Hebrew to English translation does indicate that the “detestable thing” referred to appears to be homosexuality. But look at the first part of the verse. There is a lot more there than homosexuality.

    And those sins are certainly not isolated to the city…

    And while I must admit that I have (on occasion, rare occasion) seen same sex couples together displaying their affection openly (hand holding, etc.) I think I may have only seen that once or twice in my adult life, and I’m not a young’un. I guess that’s relative though because I am under 40.

    And certainly you aren’t implying that there are no homosexuals in the upper midwest?

    Mary Reply:

    Yes, you are right, Terry, they did other bad things, things you see everywhere, but it was the detestable sin that cause the eventual destruction, Genesis 19, not just that they were bad people. Abraham was not sent there to witness; he did intercede for the city. Lot was dragged out.

    Is “daughters” in the verse you quoted speaking about actual women in the city, or just about the city inhabitants themselves, both men and women? I don’t know. Anyway, the verse mentions “detestable things,” not just being arrogant, overfed, unconcerned and not helping the poor. You are right, those things happen in the country, too. It is the “detestable things” (the gross sexual immorality) that eventually push God to destroy a society.

    I have not seen homosexual people here openly displaying affection. Really. I’ve lived here 15 years. There were some ladies here in my little village that were reputed to be lesbians, but that was just rumor, I don’t know if they really were, they kept to themselves and behaved decently; (I really don’t know of any others.) Those ladies don’t live here any more, moved out years ago.

    We live in a village of 250 people, 25 miles from any other tiny village, 50 miles from a city of 23,000. Everybody is related. I now realize how differently I live from my blog friends.

    I certainly believe in being kind to homosexual people, they are people, and after all, God has delivered us all out of different things, and maybe you can get a chance to witness.

    I’m talking about fleeing cities totally given over to that sin to where you can’t get away from it (or other immorality), it is in your face all the time, and the city is under the judgment of God, on the verge of being destroyed.

    There are some cities in our own state in which I would not live. I think only the strongest of Christians can stay in such places, or visit such places, and witness. We should not think we are stronger than we really are.

    I really think that by the time you have fled the schools and the churches (the hubs of any town or city) it is time to get out altogether, because otherwise all you can do is hole up. That’s no way to live. You can’t do much witnessing when you can’t even mingle with people naturally.

    No, we don’t see that here (open displays of affection). Really. Nor the degree of immodest dress. We were all freaked out on our recent trip.

    I guess where you live is not Sodom, Terry. Not every city is. Christians have to be sensitive to the Spirit on this. I’m glad God put us in a decent place. We have enough problems, but I see know it could be a whole lot worse if we were in Sodom. We can at least live here and move about and preach the Gospel and do some good, have a witness.

    Two weeks ago, I was not even talking like this. I’ve had an epiphany. I’m gonna quit complaining about how God has sent us to this cold, boring place, lol. Guess I needed a wake-up.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    There is no doubt that living outside of the city is easier than living in the city, especially a big city. But I wonder if that doesn’t make things harder at times?

    I’m a magazine turner myself! 🙂 Wish I could cover a few billboards when driving in big cities!

    We can’t escape sin because everywhere we go there it is! Mostly because I brought it along. 🙁

    It is an interesting topic and I think that studying the Scriptures will reveal more than we ever expected.

    Berean Wife

  7. There are only 500,000 people in our whole state (and the one north of us), and only a couple of cities that are about 100,000 or so. We don’t have any cities with, say, a million people in them.

    Don’t understand why it is ok to tell Christians to flee schools and apostate churches, where, after all, there are loads people to witness to, but when I say we should maybe flee entire communities, that is not understood.

    You must leave a place, whatever it is, when you no longer have a voice or a witness; when your presence indicates approval; and when (hard to admit) the wrongdoing is rubbing off on us, we no longer think it is wrong or we are eventually doing it.

  8. Mary, I get your point. But given that this isn’t Abraham’s day, where we can just fold up our tents, pack up and hit the road, we MUST trust the Lord wherever we are.

    Would it be better in many cases to move on? Certainly I think so. I’m not arguing with you on that note.

    But an apostate church is not the same thing as the city in which you live. And when believers stay in fellowship and prayer and accountability with one another, it is possible to live in a place and not fall into the sin of that place. You might remember from Scripture that Lot and his family were isolated in their faith. which was why they were the only ones warned to flee the coming destruction…

  9. Sorry, been gone to the splash pad for an end of the summer time of fun. I’ll have to catch up on reading the comments. 🙂

    I’ll get back later after everyone is dry and fed. Ya’ll continue on.

    Mary,

    Thanks for the discussion; obviously I’ll have to read your post. 🙂

    Terry,

    No problem. Funny how my typos are always my most linked posts. :0 I went to public school and that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

    Berean Wife

  10. Of course, Terry, I believe you should listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and not pack up and leave because some lady (me) on a blog told you to, lol.

    I looked up that verse: Ezekiel 16:49-50. The passage is talking about the 10 tribes of Israel (figuratively called Samaria) and Judah (figuratively called Sodom). Obviously Israel and Judah exhibited the same sins as actual Samaria and Judah. They are listed, and it is also mentioned that they committed abomination and were swept away.

  11. I had to quit to go to the store. I was going to go on and say that the “daughters” mentioned in the verses in Ezekiel that you quoted are the cities or countries on which Sodom or Samaria had an impact, not talking about only the females in those places, literal or figurative.

    Criteria, Berean Wife, would be for me first and foremost, without a second thought, if a city or town is totally given over to homosexuality, a Christian should leave. That is when God gives places over to their sin, and to destruction. It is why Sodom was destroyed. It is why the ancient world of Noah was destroyed (although the people in those places did other bad things, too). Lot was compromised and his witness was worthless; Noah was NOT compromised, and his witness was still worthless. God got them out. Noah took a while to get out because it took a long time to build the boat.

    Christians who are living in Sodoms (that is, towns or cities that are refuges for homosexuals, and you can’t get away from seeing it — and as I have been saying, not every city is a Sodom, but just worldly) need to start building a “boat” — that is, figuring out how to get out, move their jobs or businesses, sell their homes, etc.

    I wouldn’t want to be around when God finally destroys these Sodoms. Don’t stay there and let them have an impact on you or your family. Get out. Begin to build a “boat.”

    I see nowhere in the Bible where Corinth was as bad as Sodom. Believe it or not, even gross sin such as “having your father’s wife” or the sin of Lot and his daughters of incest, is not as bad in God’s sight as homosexuality.

    Once Christians start believing the lie that all sin is the same, they will begin to justify anything. All sin is not the same, according to the Bible. Some sins are more serious than others. The Bible teaches this.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mary,

    We also have the example of Nineveh. Nineveh is an example of God’s mercy to wicked evil people when they repent from their sin. Through the preaching of one man the whole city was saved from destruction. Nineveh was a wicked city. Jonah was forced into the city of Nineveh by the Lord. He didn’t want to go to such a wicked city.

    Without the guidance from Scripture and the Holy Spirit we will not know whether we are in Sodom or Nineveh until the Lord acts. Thus even when we desire to flee we may be told to remain or even to go to the wicked place. No matter what we better be on our faces before the Lord seeking His will and not our own.

    There are degrees of sin and we should never take it lightly; some sins affect others more. However, I think the sin of divorce is just as bad because it destroys the picture of Christ and His Bride, the church, yet we don’t react to divorce like we do other sins. Divorce has become an “acceptable sin.”

    Berean Wife

    Berean

  12. The break between verses makes the Scripture hard to read in English. However, I take the passage from Cor 5 to mean that it’s okay for Christians to live as a separate community in an immoral city.

    In effect, the author is saying, “Resign yourselves to the fact that in this mortal, material world, there are always going to be sexually immoral folks, cheaters, etc. You don’t have control over that. But you do have control over your freedom of association. Don’t allow an immoral person to call himself part of your congregation, and expel anyone in your congregation who is immoral.

    In fact, don’t even eat with them.

    In effect, this is telling Christians to act like Jews. Set yourselves up as a chosen people, demand the privilege of excluding natives from your gatherings.

    The Jews managed to prosper as isolated little communities that often exploited and subverted the larger communities in which they lived. I don’t regard the Jews as role models – and if I’m reading the Gospels correctly, neither did Jesus.

    So it looks to me like Pauline Christianity re-introduced a lot of bad Jewish habits that Jesus had tried to eliminate.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Anonymous,

    Your first portion of the comment is very true we as the church are called to be separate particularly in the church. The church has not done that for years. It is very rare to hear of a church enforcing any type of discipline on its members who live in sin.

    However, you are incorrect in the last half. Christians do not have to set ourselves up as chosen people. The Lord Himself has chosen His own. Jesus was as Jewish as one could be. He had no problem with being Jewish; He rebuked those who sinned, not those who were Jewish.

    There is no Pauline Christianity! There is only one Gospel. Paul did not teach anything contrary to Jesus’ teaching. Paul taught us how to live in the New Covenant while Jesus taught that the New Covenant was coming soon.

    Def.Con. has had a series on Paul’s quoting of Jesus. You might find that helpful.

    Berean Wife

  13. Marie, I really agree with this :

    “There is no such thing as a “Christian society”, because Christianity is personal; not collective.”

    And hey, I’m wearing an (almost) ankle length denim skirt right now (lol ;))

    Marie Reply:

    I’m wearing shorts. But they nearly reach my knees sitting, so I get a pass! 😉

    I rather like the long skirts, which seem to be somewhat fashionable right now anyway. But if somebody told me I “had to” wear one, I’d probably start wearing just ripped jeans to spite ’em. 🙂 LOL!

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Is spite a sin? 😉

    Ma Reply:

    I think Paul and Jesus were rather sarcastic at times, so I think we can be too:) ..at times.

    I started wearing skirts for comfort reasons and I also have rather long hair (not for religious reasons either) so I’m sure when people see me out and about they think I’m one of “those”. tee hee

    Berean Wife Reply:

    🙂 … at times sarcasm works better than other ways of communicating.

  14. I live in the country but the world is here too! . I have at times been not to sure sbout how much seperation from the world we do, kind of like don’t do as the world does but be there to shine a light (I am the worst of lights I hate to say) We did however seperate from our chiurch, it became clear to me as a new Christian as time went on that the elders were living in sin and the new minister did not believe the bible or that Christ was actually God on earth and he said he learned this in divinity school!!He said that I would be so sad if I continued to hold on to my beliefs and that if I had studied as he had I would see the truth too. I wonder now in these times more Christians should rise up and take their churches back or leave altogether? Has “Christian” church become the new Sodom?? Hope I don’t sound like a nut case but sure hope people are careful to discover what divinity school they send their children to.

    Heather Reply:

    Anonymous,

    There are a lot of people who seem to be fleeing from gimmicky, surface, formulaic Christianity. I’ve also wondered whether we ought to be standing up and fighting to keep congregations together or whether the Lord is actively calling out those who are focused on simply serving Him. In many cases, those who try to bring attention to the error eventually get run out as troublemakers.

    The idea that we are experiencing a Protestant re-Reformation has actually crossed my mind.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Heather,

    I hope we are experiencing something of a new reformation or great awakening, or something. I have found that there is a building dissatisfaction with the status quo of the church and the average life of a believer. I’m a troublemaker. 🙁 I ask questions and want a Scriptural backing!

    Berean Wife

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Anonymous,

    I totally understand what you are saying about divinity school. I’ve seen the same things happen; good sound teachers going away and becoming “more open-minded” and less firm on the gospel, creation or their reliance on the Bible. 🙁

    It is a hard decision to decide whether to stay and fight the sin and false teaching in the church or to leave. I think that often depends on the numbers involved. If we become the one odd person then the chances of change are slim, but not impossible. However, there is more of a chance to change things when we aren’t the only family fighting for change. We must depend on the Lord’s guidance but Scripture is clear we must separate from those brothers who live in sin. If they do not leave the church, then we very well may have to leave.

    Now the city that is a whole ‘nother can of worms. 🙁

    Berean Wife

  15. Here I go with another thought .as a 13 year old my family was actually snubbed by 3 Christian families in the neighborhood. My Daddy had died 2 years before and my Moms best female friend who had never married moved in and was a huge help to us financially and emotionally they were never “gay” they were like sisters , The other neighbors were friendly and caring and even helpful at first but the Christians would turn their heads as they drove by and certainly there were signs of gossip and disgust at my brother and I . is it a wonder that I hated Christians and counted them with Satanists until God spoke the truth to me 30 years later. When turning away from the world we have to be careful not to do harm.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Anonymous,

    Your experience is why I think the Lord is so adamant about believers separating from other brothers who walk in sin. Otherwise we allow them to drag the name of Christ and Christians through the mud. I’m sorry that that happened with your family but we can trust the Lord, He does know what is best. Ultimately even the sins of another will bring more Christ likeness to us and will bring glory to the Lord. It just may be hard to see from our vantage point.

    Berean Wife

  16. Christianity is personal; not collective.”

    It’s both

    Hi Berean Wife!

    Terry asked a related question on my site and, in typical fashion, I wrote a novel-length answer. I’m copying my final statement below:

    Some (possibly most) of us American Christians don’t belong intermingling with certain aspects of “the world” for various reasons. If a person has a choice in this area, it would be prudent to honestly examine why he wants to become separate from or stay in close contact with unbelievers. Exposed motives can reveal a lot.

    There can definitely be a time to pack up and move out. But the only way to know for sure what to do is to be in fellowship with the Lord on a daily basis so we will hear clearly when He gives instruction.

    Considering the millions of persecuted Christians who stand fast even in the midst of the incredibly hostile environments in which they reside, I have no choice but to believe the Lord is perfectly capable of keeping safe those who seek first His kingdom and His righteousness regardless of where He has them living.

    Hope it’s okay to link back to the post that contains the full response as it seems better to do this than hog up all your comment space.

    http://onmysoapbox2.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/gospel-of-matthew-sermon-on-the-mount-38-love-your-enemy-3-last-look/#comments

    And, a second, recently resurrected post which also relates to Christians being “in” the world, but not “of” it.

    http://onmysoapbox2.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/onward-christian-soldiers-2/

    God bless,

    Heather

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Heather,

    Sorry the links made the comment sit to be moderated until I got home. I’ll have to head over to read them.

    Motives are very important. But often we aren’t honest with ourselves or even don’t realize what our motives are for certain behaviors. We may think we are witnessing to unbelievers but some people actually enjoy flirting around the borders of temptation. Some people actually relish the persecuted position. Me, I fight apathy and laziness. I would prefer to leave Sodom and just mind my own business, tending my own. But alas, that is not the Lord’s desire.

    “… the Lord is perfectly capable of keeping safe those who seek first His kingdom and His righteousness regardless of where He has them living.”

    So agree!!!! And as we saw with Noah and Lot, when it was time to leave the Lord, pulled His own out and through the danger.

    Berean Wife

    Heather Reply:

    I love to be able to agree with other believers 🙂

  17. Christianity is personal; not collective.”

    It’s both

    No. Both justification and sanctification are personal. You don’t “inherit” salvation from your parents; or sneak into heaven on someone else’s coat-tails. Both the Gospels and the epistles are unequivocal that each person will face judgement individually.

    Heather Reply:

    Please do not misunderstand me. I did not say that salvation (justification/sanctification or judgment) is “collective”.
    I said Christianity is both.

    Christ died for the Church, His bride–New Jerusalem, if you will, (all believers in all ages. That’s collective) even as He intends to establish individual relationships within the group.

    When a person enters into Christ’s family through faith, there is most definitely an interactive, group focused aspect that we need to recognize or we will miss an important truth that Scripture teaches. Our behavior and attitude toward each other is definitely a factor, as is group accountability. Its what the physical family picture is meant to reflect.

  18. Yes, I agree, Heather, when it is time for us to leave, like Noah, He will get us out. Not saying that everybody has to pack up and leave and go to a small town just because a lady on a blog (me) says you have to. Everybody must be sensitive to the leading of the Lord, making preparations as He leads if this is what you are to do, but I’m encouraging people to flee Sodoms. Still, I feel dismayed by Lot, who had to be dragged out kicking and screaming with his daughters, while his wife looked back and paid the penalty. We should not be so attached to the world: the beaches, the shopping, the culture, whatever, that we cannot even obey God, but are in denial.

    Question: why do many, like Dr. Dobson and the SBA (and some homeschoolers) adamantly tell Christians to flee the public schools and dismiss all arguments like: we don’t feel led, or we can’t for various reasons, or we feel led to have us and our children stay there to witness, or our schools are not bad where we are, but when I suggest fleeing the corrupt and corrupting cities, I’m given these same arguments? Just something I’ve noticed.

    Cities which are known for perversion (not all cities) have a corrupting influence on the adults, not just the children.

    My husband felt a drawing to live in a small town long before circumstances propelled us out of a city.

    Of course, every Christian must hear from God for himself before listening to any person. I, along with everybody else, am just a person with an opinion.

    Intersting discussion here. Thanks, Berean Wife.

    Heather Reply:

    My husband felt a drawing to live in a small town long before circumstances propelled us out of a city.

    My dad had a similar “drawing” experience 36 years ago–even before he had a relationship with the Lord. He’s never regretted the decision and none of his children have felt a driving need to go live in a city.

    On the other hand, my husband has both a brother and a cousin who are far more urban in their orientation. One is active in small-city (including delinquent youth, homosexual and drug abuse instances) mission work and the other works with homeless people. Neither have children to consider, though.

  19. Ma – you and I have so much in common it’s funny! I, also, have very long hair (always wanted to – since I was a kid). From the back, it looks like the picture in this “Maidens for Modesty” button on the blog. It has nothing to do, of course, with my faith (although I’ve heard of churches where the women are taught it’s a sin to cut it. I just shake my head in wonderment).

    I also am partial to the longer skirts, especially the peasant ones, which seem pretty popular at the moment. I am sure someone could draw the same conclusion about me, but they’d be dead wrong! It’s just personal preference. (I also don’t drink, but that is because I used to have a drinking problem — nothing to do with being a Baptist.) 🙂

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Marie & Ma,

    You’ll get me accused of fostering some bizarre cult! Here I sit in my denim dress (not a jumper, thank goodness!) with my mid-length hair. Only reason it isn’t longer is that is as long as it grows now. 🙁 We’ve laughed at church that we do look like a strange cult. Large vans, lots of children, girls in long dresses with long hair (we just like long hair, not required) and all ages playing together, maybe we are a cult after all. 😉

    Berean Wife

    Ma Reply:

    Be one of us! lol

    Ma Reply:

    🙂

  20. Speaking of ancient Corinth, BW, I did find this in my ongoing study on this subject (thanks for letting us hash it out here!): The Corinthians, were the one that Paul told, “Flee fornication!” (I Corinthians 6:18), speaking of fleeing lust wherever you find it, and, “…come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (II Corinthians6:17), speaking of fleeing worldly religion. Perhaps some of them left that city, I don’t know. People must be honest with themselves and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In some instances, we shouldn’t have a supernatural voice to tell us when to leave.

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