If a villain enters your home with his pistol pointed at your wife and murder in his eye, what do you do? Put him out and close the door. This is “first degree” separation. But if you see him later through the window crouching on the lawn, priming his pistol, preparing for a second intrusion, do you piously argue: “‘First degree’ separation, yes; ‘second-degree’ separation, no!” You do not. You telephone the police! And if perhaps you have had lingering thoughts which delayed your action, you summon an ambulance!
In preparation for my last few Bible classes on new evangelicalism, I have been reading “Biblical Separation” by Charles Woodbridge from the 1970’s. It doesn’t take long to find out that he was very strong in his opinions about separation. Consider the following quotation he gives about first and second degree separation.