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The Church of God | Daniel S. Warner

In Coming Out of Sects, Must We Form Another?

We are very thankful to God that we can answer, NO. God forbid that any more of the harlots should be conceived in sin, and “shapen in iniquity.”* (Psalm 51:5) If that were so, sectism is a sin from which there would be no escape. But the voice from heaven says, “Come out of her, my people.”* (Revelation 18:4) So there is a way out of her, and “it shall be called The way of holiness.”* (Isaiah 35:8)

When a sinner is converted to God and born of the Spirit, he is thereby made a member of the church of God, but is in no sect at all. And since there is no command in the Bible to join any sect, he can obey all the Word and keep salvation, in the church, without ever joining a sect. So can every saint of God on the earth do the same.

Suppose any number of such disciples of Christ should, through false teaching, be led into a sect corporation and afterward discover the deception practiced upon them. Cannot they renounce the sect organization and come out of it, as the Word of God commands them, and remain only in the church, which is the body of Christ, as they were before they were decoyed into the sect? To deny this fact is simply perverse cant.

If men were to come out of sects and join themselves together, and make their own creed, they would be another sect. But the church of the living God is not thus produced. She is the result of men and women being saved in Jesus, and therefore joined together by the Lord in the “bond of perfectness.”* (Colossians 3:14)

The question is not, what system is most practical for all Christians to step upon as the basis of union, but rather, what foundation do all Christians actually and necessarily stand on? By abiding only in Christ, His body the church, we stand on the foundation which includes all Christians in heaven and earth, and not a member of any sect or cut-off faction. If the Word of God had said, “We are all one in the Methodist body” (or any other human corporation), then Methodists would occupy the divinely appointed platform of union, and every other name and order would stand condemned for the sin of division. But the Word commands us to abide only in Christ, and declares us “all one in Christ Jesus,”* (Galatians 3:28) “one body in Christ.”* (Romans 12:5) Therefore, by staying in Him only—in whom all Christians must abide, and in whom there are no sinners—we are joined to all saints, and separated from all sinners, and stand free before God of the great transgression of sectism.