While looking at various doctrinal statements, I came across the Position Statements of Maranatha Baptist University. Of interest to me was their statement on fundamentalism and the accompanying statement on separation.
“The Bible faculty are committed to Fundamentalism. The fundamentals of the faith have historically been defined as those beliefs that are necessary to the biblical doctrine of salvation combined with a high doctrine of Scripture, so that we have an inerrant record of those doctrines. Fundamentalism as an idea is absolute allegiance to those doctrines united to a willingness to defend those doctrines and to separate from those who deny or contradict them. Fundamentalism as a modern American movement emerged in the late nineteenth century when theological liberalism began to infiltrate and overwhelm the mainline denominations, and a generation rose up to defend the faith against those onslaughts. The movement has gradually taken shape over the last century as a separatist wing of conservative Christianity, consisting primarily, but not exclusively, of premillennarians and Baptists.
Maranatha’s origin lies squarely within the fundamental Baptist movement. As such, we have self-consciously identified ourselves as a separatist institution serving primarily independent and separatist Baptist churches. We reject the evangelical mindset towards culture and the tendencies to develop strategies for ecumenical evangelism and to cooperate with non-evangelical theologies. We see our mission as a militant defense of the faith once-for-all delivered to the saints. We regard separation from disobedient brethren a sometimes necessary step in order to maintain fidelity to Scripture. In general, we believe that cooperation is possible in proportion to agreement, and separation is necessary in proportion to disagreement. We also reject the attitudes and actions of fundamentalists who elevate tangential and eccentric teachings to the level of the fundamentals of the faith and separate over them. With our fundamentalist forefathers, we believe that unity should be enjoyed when possible, separation practiced when necessary.”