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Marks of a Christian Sect – Better Taught then Other Christians

Christian Sects Assume They are

Better Taught then Other Christians

or

“Our” Wisdom is Better than “Theirs”.

 

identifying groups - not apostles fellowship- the dissection of christian sect

Sects …they would exclude you…

 

1 Corinthians 2:13

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

Marks of a Christian Sect: Philosophy, terminology, theology

Christian sects use theology as a prop to get around talking about the Bible and they are just left talking about and comparing systems. If you take away the theological terminology and just discuss Scripture, then the groups have no basis for existence. Most sects are built around fanciful and flimsy systems of their own creation.

People will use fancy words to set themselves apart, but what does the Bible say?

2 Corinthians 13:7

not that we should appear approved

2 Corinthians 10:18

For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

2Corinthians 10:5

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

1Corinthians 2:1-8

And *I*, when I came to you, brethren, came not in excellency of word, or wisdom, announcing to you the testimony of God. For I did not judge [it well] to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and *him* crucified. And *I* was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling; and my word and my preaching, not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of [the] Spirit and of power; that your faith might not stand in men’s wisdom, but in God’s power.  But we speak wisdom among the perfect; but wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who come to nought. But we speak God’s wisdom in [a] mystery, that hidden [wisdom] which God had predetermined before the ages for our glory: which none of the princes of this age knew, (for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;)

Jude verses 17-21

But *ye*, beloved, remember the words spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they said to you, that at [the] end of the time there should be mockers, walking after their own lusts of ungodlinesses. These are they who set [themselves] apart, natural [men], not having [the] Spirit. But *ye*, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1 Corinthians 1:23

Since Jews indeed ask for signs, and Greeks seek wisdom; but *we* preach Christ crucified, to Jews an offence, and to nations foolishness; but to those that [are] called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ God’s power and God’s wisdom.

Swelling words of man’s wisdom appeals to large crowds of people, this is how many groups grow and look prosperous but “*we* preach Christ crucified, to Jews an offence, and  to nations foolishness; but to those that [are] called, both Jews and Greeks,  Christ God’s power and God’s wisdom.”

Marks of a Christian Sect: Approved actions

Many Christian sects will have their trademarks of approved actions.  For example they may approve or disapprove of various holidays, eating certain meats, forbidding to marry, require their members to show up at certain functions and avoid others, such as picnics, even to the point of regulating when an approved member may eat donuts.  Romans 14 addresses a believer’s liberty in regards to these things.  A sect will try to deprive us of our God given liberty by substituting their man-made rules.

1Timothy 4:1-5

But the Spirit speaks expressly, that in latter times some shall apostatise from the faith, giving their mind to deceiving spirits and teachings of demons speaking lies in hypocrisy, cauterised as to their own conscience, forbidding to marry, bidding to abstain from meats, which God has created for receiving with thanksgiving for them who are faithful and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, being received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God’s word and freely addressing him .

 

Galatians 5:13

For *ye* have been called to liberty, brethren; only do not turn liberty into an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Galatians 5:1

Christ has set us free in freedom; stand fast therefore, and be not held again in a yoke of bondage.

Marks of a Christian Sect: Excommunication

As with membership “Excommunication” or “Putting away” for not following their rules is a sectarian act.

Any sect may own a doctrine or standard. This may be enforced to protect their system. by “Excommunication” or “Putting Away”

In 3rd john there was a system that didn’t include the apostles. In protecting that system Diotrephes cast out those who would have included the apostles.

3 John 10

babbling against us with wicked words; and not content with these, neither does he himself receive the brethren; and those who would he prevents, and casts them out of the assembly.

Here is what an individual was to do to properly react to a person with bad doctrine. Note this was not an action of the assembly.

I Thessalonians 3:14 – 15

But if any one obey not our word by the letter, mark that man, and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed of himself; and do not esteem him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Please note this is not the putting away of a “wicked person” as in 1st Corinthians 5, whose life demonstrates what it is and who is commonly reported to be such. Such an instance is very rare and is not “discipline” but obedience to clear themselves from this blatant, overt, commonly reported evil.

Marks of a Christian Sect: Their own rules, doctrine or training.

A Christian sect will decide who is in their fellowship by creating its own teaching. The New Testament assembly has nothing to teach. There are many groups, who have their own doctrine or teaching as we see in the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, a system perpetuating it self by having its own doctrine.

There are many examples of this: Catechism, West Minister Confession of Faith, Confirmation Classes or Creeds. Not all are bad documents, some are quite good but they are used to separate God’s people and are a barrier to unity.

When a Christian is asked to sign off in agreement to anything as a requirement for fellowship it is a sect that is asking. Scripture provides no such barrier to fellowship. Scripture gives us the apostles’ doctrine; Christ’s assembly is subject to that. Truth, not these barriers, is the standard for fellowship.

An example of this is Acts 21:20-22.  A sect had developed in Jerusalem that was marked by its own traditions and teachings.

Acts 21:20-22

And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:  And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.  What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.

Marks of a Christian Sect: Exclusive or Higher Achievement, Position or Level of Truth.

Because of this a trap was laid for Paul Act 21:20 – 21

And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

People who preach, or hold an exclusive position, higher achievement, (or level of truth) protect their group or sect at the expense of unity and liberty.  They cater to their group without keeping in mind the whole body of Christ.

We need to guard against this. It is a snare to believe that we are “the one place,” “the only ones who have this truth,” or that we have a pedigree that excludes “the apostles’ fellowship.” This leads to members of a sect feeling superior to other Christians, and it could be said “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.” Job 12:2

As noted at the beginning, there is but one fellowship for all believers, although we often excuse ourselves from its true meaning in favor our little sects of like-minded people.

 

Unity instead of being a Christian Sect

If we do not want to be a Christian sect marked pride and arrogance, there must be a Christian unity that we should endeavor to maintain, the unity that the Lord prayed for when He said, “that they all may be one.”

He first speaks about the apostles.

John 17:11

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Then He speaks about us.

John 17:20-21

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one;

The only fellowship that is sanctioned by scripture is the fellowship that we all can have with the apostles, based only upon the apostles’ doctrine.

Acts 2:42

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,

1John 1:3

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us (the apostles): and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

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