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The Church of God | Daniel S. Warner

What Does the Bible Say of Sects?

“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?”* (Habakkuk 1:13-17)

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”* (1 Corinthians 12:25) Sects and schisms mean the same thing.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”* (Romans 16:17-18)

“A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”* (Titus 3:10-11)

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”* (2 Peter 2:1-3)

The words “damnable heresies” are rendered “destructive sects” in the German version.

“For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”* (1 Corinthians 11:18-19) Here we see that heresies means the same as divisions. And in the margin the translators put it in plain English, “sects.” Paul declared the Corinthian brethren carnal, because they were inclined to schisms, saying, “I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos.”* (1 Corinthians 3:1-4) In Galatians 5:20 the apostle classifies “heresies” (translated “sects” in the Emphatic Diaglott) with murders, and the whole catalog of “works of the flesh,”* (Galatians 5:19) and declares “that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”* (Galatians 5:21)

God help man to flee out of heresies—sects—and be complete in Christ. Since God’s word renounces sects, they cannot be His church.