Separation. 2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1 speaks of entirely ‘exiting the game’—Scripture’s ‘monastic’ option. The passage is tricky:
- Firstly, the referent is unclear (although it is probably false teaching from which the Corinthians are to separate).
- Secondly, it is metaphorical, so not geographical in the first instance (remembering that 1 Cor. 5:10 & 12 remind us that total separation is impossible and not very desirable).
But geographic forms of this separation might be the best format for the ‘life of praise’ e.g. dark ages monastic communities that operated as islands of the gospel, taught, and lived according to ‘rules’ shaped by the gospel. Such separate Christian communities take the modern form of hospices for the terminally ill, or homes for pregnant women who wish to keep their children.
How should Christians decide when to ‘separate’?
What are other forms of separation?
How long should separation be in effect?
Would Christians ever re-enter society after separating, e.g. from systems of private schooling?