Sectarianism

Christians Gathered Together to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ - Are They a Sect?

That a number of Christians in my locality, learning the will of the Lord as revealed in the Holy Scriptures as to the mode and purposes of their gathering themselves together, are found acting in obedience thereto, in contrast to adherence to the mere tenets and traditions of men, does not constitute them a sect.

1. The Origin of Present-day Testimony. Originally Christ Himself separated His followers from the apostate religion of Judaism, and this separation continued under the guidance of the Spirit of God in the formation of churches under the ministry of the apostles. Those who, together with Gentile converts, became obedient to the faith, are mentioned as "the sect" that was "everywhere spoken against" (Acts 28:22). This criticism, and the aspersions that were cast upon them, were to their honor in the sight of God.

2. The Formation of Sects. Gradually, owing to the rise of false teachers, and to other influences which led believers away from apostolic teaching, a system of clerisy developed, and, under the power of ecclesiastical domination, churches were combined into vast religious organizations. The result was that what is known as Christendom became characterized by a condition of things far removed from that which was instituted by Christ and had continued under apostolic teaching.

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