The word "separate" is a military term, and it means to "stay in ranks." My son Jason just graduated from an intensive 9-week school for Drill Sergeants (we Brownworths never seem to finish going to school!). He will now be responsible for training as many as 240 "raw" recruits in each cycle what it means to form and stay in ranks. More importantly he will help them know that in battle keeping in ranks may just save lives. Rank and file is not just about marching in parades on holidays – order, discipline and tactical symmetry are the strength of ranks; it is how battles are won or lost.
Soldiers need to stay in their ranks; Christian believers are also in ranks (local churches) as parts of the Body of Christ. We must not only stay in ranks, there is also the need to keep those ranks strong and alert for signs of the enemy. Paul put it this way – what possible relationship can light (Christ) have with Belial (Lucifer, Satan)? What happens when you mix darkness and light? One of them has to die!
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Brian Mavis on Oct 27, 2000
You share Christ by imitating Christ. A story is told – by Fredrick Beuchner I believe – called “The Happy Hypocrite." It is a story about a man who was born with an awful facial deformity. He grew up alone and lonely. When reaching adulthood, he decided to move from his town to begin a new life. ...read more
Contributed by Tim Zingale on Dec 12, 2000
Remember the opening scene: the village and you see a fiddler on the roof and Tevye says:"A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? but in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. ...read more
Contributed by Owen Bourgaize on Oct 18, 2000
Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna was brought before the Roman authorities and told to curse Christ and he would be released. He replied, "Eighty-six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong: how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?" The Roman officer replied, "Unless you change ...read more
Contributed by Philip Makari on Jan 17, 2001
Here I speak of a special type of giving, the giving of our total selves first to God. It is the giving of body, soul and spirit for God’s use that we may achieve, for ourselves and for others, the higher ends of God. This is not, as you can see, charity giving. This is dedication giving. ...read more