“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3–5 (ESV)
The idea of separation in fundamentalist circles has been a blessing at times and at other times it has resulted in the unnecessary weakening of the Church through schism after schism. Some historians have noted that the doctrine of separation in fundamentalism has probably helped to preserve the Bible church from the influx of much that is plaguing the evangelical church in its ecumenism and inability to even define the gospel. Of course, fundamentalism has its own issues to deal with.
Getting the right balance, biblically speaking, can be a challenge and it takes great wisdom along with a desire to be faithful to the Lord and the Word above all else. This wisdom and fidelity, when applied with humility, will allow for the opportunity to partner with other biblically faithful Christians to do the work of the ministry for the glory of Jesus Christ.
As Paul reflected on his time with the Christians in the city of Philippi, he fondly remembered their partnership for the sake of the gospel. Although Paul was the church planter and Apostle in this city, he could not carry the burden for the work alone. Paul joyfully proclaimed the gospel and watched as the work of God in the heart of his people in Philippi bloomed into a beautiful fellowship of saints who would carry on the work as Paul carried the gospel seeds elsewhere.
Right now in our country the world is ablaze with such hatred and violence that it is shocking to see. More evidence of a coming persecution like we have never seen in the States is looming on the horizon. Like Paul, I am thankful for the many gospel partnerships that exist within my fellowship at IFCA, and those outside as well. I have noticed that where there had been bad blood between certain groups and denominations in the past, many biblical Christians are now seeing that our differences were really in-house debates with other brothers and sisters, and as such should be laid aside as we gear up and band together for the work that Jesus has sent us to do. That is a great thing to see!
I pray that as the circle of those who are committed to biblical truth and the fundamentals of the Bible becomes smaller in the face of a growing external aggression, we would draw closer to one another, working together, praying for one another, and if we are called, being willing to suffer together for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the end, it is not about our little corner of the vineyard. Instead, may we remember that it has always been about Jesus.