Separation At Central -- By: Warren Vanhetloo

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 03:4 (Winter 1960)
Article: Separation At Central
Author: Warren Vanhetloo


Separation At Central

Warren Vanhetloo

Dean Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary
Minneapolis, Minnesota

One morning in early August a young man and his wife drove in, pulling their worldly possessions behind. Though there had been no advance indication of their coming, they were welcomed and assisted in finding living accommodations and suitable employment. At lunch that first day President Richard V. Clearwaters asked the new student, “If you had to name one thing that led you to pack up and drive clear across the continent, by-passing other seminaries along the way, to come to Central, what would you name?” Without hesitation, the young man replied, “That one thing would be Central’s clear-cut stand regarding separation.”

Praise God that fellow Christians know where Central stands regarding separation and that those who are true to the Gospel and want sound training are attracted toward Central because of this consistent and well-publicized stand. Recognizing that the separatist stand appears in many publications of the Seminary, it is surprising that only two items of over one hundred published in the first five years that Central has existed deal directly with the doctrine of separation, President Clearwaters has written on “Separation of the Individual Christian and the Local Church,” and Professor Ernest Pickering has written on “The Biblical Doctrine of Separation.” Now as Dean of the Seminary, this presentation will be slightly different from others that have previously appeared, and yet the careful reader will note that although differences of personality and experience result in a slightly different emphasis, the same convictions characterize those who have been called to work together at Central.

Even before Central C. B. Seminary came into official existence, Dr. Clearwaters stated concerning its forthcoming polity: “It will be separatistic from unbelief rather than inclusivistic, which endeavors to infilter unsound organizations and fellowships in a fifth column manner.” Perhaps one of the most revealing areas of separation in this day is that of New Evangelicalism and its half-sister Ecumenical. Evangelism. Regarding these, Central has publicly declared its consistent separatist stand.

Concerning the conversion of those who had believed in. Thessalonica, Paul noted, “How ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9). Separation is like conversion in this respect, being of necessity at the same time both positive and negative, There are those moralists in the world who speak of turning from certain sinful practices but never call unto de...

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