Something has been troubling me for a good while, so it must be time for a rant. I’ll get right to the point. It seems to me that some folks are too good for their own good–or anyone else’s good for that matter. Some time ago I posted a blog entitled “Longing to leave”, in which I quoted Jay Adams who said,”One of the saddest books I have ever read is the biography of A. W. Pink,who, it seems, withdrew more and more from the fellowship of others and eventually ended his life on an isolated island in Scotland, where he fellowshipped only with his wife and by mail with a few other devoted followers in various parts of the world.” I thought of that article when I ran across a message by Pink entitled, “A Call to Separation”, that carried the matter to far. After reading the article my first thought was, it must be terribly difficult to be so good and spiritual that you have to separate yourself from the rest of the world. I can’t help but wonder how that affected his dear wife! My second thought was this– anyone who would do that is not as good as they think they are. And I haven’t changed my mind. What Mr. Pink did and some others do is sheer nonsense. For those who might not know, Arthur Pink was brilliant man, a dedicated preacher, and a prolific writer. Nearly every preacher has read his books. Although I disagree with him on many doctrinal issues, I must confess that I’ve found much in his writings that were very helpful to me. His book “Gleanings in Genesis” was one of the first books I purchased after I surrendered to preach. I still have the copy in my library. So, to me it is a terrible waste that a man so gifted as he would isolate himself to the extent that he had no contact with the world. In his defense I must say that I agree that holiness should be our goal and that we should separate ourselves from evil. And I too get sick of the obvious hypocrisy that is so common among professing Christians. I too believe that we should stick to the standards of God’s Word and stand against the evils of our day. That’s what the Bible teaches. What the Bible does not teach is that we should cut ourselves off from contact with others to the point that we cannot be salt and light to the world. To be totally free from contact with corrupt people, Paul said,”for then must ye needs go out of the world”(1 Cor. 5:10). My dear friend, that’s about as selfish as you can get. Every Spirit-filled believer longs for things to be better, and often feels home sick for heaven, but they also have the attitude of Paul when he said,”Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you”. Indeed, to depart and be with Christ would have been far better for Paul, but he realized that he had a job to do. It is as though he was saying,”Heaven can wait”. It is a shame that some people spend their lives running from one church to another in search for the perfect church, or that some give up the search altogether and drop out of church. If they are so perfect, shouldn’t they be out-front teaching and leading by example, showing the rest of us what to do? I’m afraid these folks are too good, in their own mind, to be of any good. Sadly their self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude is so offensive to others that they ruin any chance to be of good use to the kingdom of God. They are of no good to anyone because they think they are better than everyone! I don’t see much of Paul or anything of Jesus in such people. Paul never considered himself to be better than others and he confessed, “But by the grace of God I am what I am”(1 Cor. 15:10). Jesus was known as the friend of sinners, and was merciful unto them. His most scathing rebukes were reserved for those who thought they were better than others. As my old mother used to say, these folks need to “get down off their high horse”. The only good in any of us is Jesus. Were it not for the grace of God you would be in the same gutter with those you condemn. Standing aloof denouncing them does nobody any good. Rather than thinking more highly of yourself than you should (Rom. 12:3), you ought to humble yourself (Phil. 2:3), and make yourself a servant to all men (1Cor. 9:19), by presenting yourself as a living sacrifice to the body of Christ (Rom. 12:1-10)–the church of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 1:18). There is nothing spiritual or good about separating yourself from the fellowship of the saints. In fact you are commanded to do just the opposite (read Heb. 10:24-25). How can you provoke your brothers and sisters in Christ unto love and good works if you are isolated from them? How can you be as the Good Samaritan if you avoid the company of those in need. Have you ever thought about the possibility that you’re the one that’s most in need? Could it be? Think about it!