Richard Baxter on the devilish nature of extreme Separatism

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Reformed Covenanter, Jan 12, 2020.

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  1. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    ... Dare you cast out the holy worship of Christ as false worship, and seek to draw people into the contempt of it? Dare you damn those Churches and millions of Saints that Christ hath bought with his precious blood? Dare you seek to draw men to hate their Teachers whom Christ hath set over them, and to hate his people as if they were the Children of the Devil, and to hate his worship and holy ways? ...

    ... That the devil can no sooner bait his hook, but they greedily catch at it, and swallow it without chewing; yea, nothing seems too gross for them, but so it seems Novelty all goes down. I am afraid if they go a little further, they will believe him that shall say, The Devil is God, and to be worshipped and obeyed. Shall I freely tell you whence all this comes? Even from hellish pride of heart: You see it not (it’s like) in your self or in them, but I shall endeavour to make you see it both in your selves and them. ...

    For more, see Richard Baxter on the devilish nature of extreme Separatism.

    N.B. The preview is longer than usual, but, in case you are not inclined to read the whole thing, it is worth taking note of how serious this matter is.

    @Pergamum - here is the extract that I mentioned on FB last night.
     
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  2. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Separatism can flow from a deluded conscience according to James Durham"
    A fifth characteristic of a deluded conscience is that it “is ordinarily bitter and cruel in the effects of it. As it is proud and vain, so it will persecute to the death them it differs from; hence were the persecutions of the apostles and of Paul especially. And we have seen it in poor deluded souls, who have thought themselves obliged to slay all that were against them or differed from them in these their delusions. Somewhat of this bitter spirit accompanied the delusion of the Galatians. Therefore the apostle says to them (Gal. 5:15), If ye bite and devour one another, etc. And James speaks to the same purpose of such persons (James 3:14). If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not and lie not against the truth; this wisdom descendeth not from above. Bitter zeal and strife is an evil token, and a bitter conscience is readily no good conscience. When a man supposing himself to be in the right, is carried on with a spirit of bitterness ... it flows from pride in such persons, exalting themselves above all others. Therefore, as soon as they are deluded and go wrong, they must have a church by themselves, and will join with no other persons in Christian communion, but such as are of their mistaken opinion.” James Durham, Heaven upon Earth, 22 sermons on the joys of a good conscience (1685); Collected Sermons of James Durham: 61 sermons (Naphtali Press & Reformation Heritage Books, 2017), from Sermon 4 of 6 on Acts 24:16, p. 217.​
     
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