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Sectarianism Is Sin
10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:10-13 NKJV)
One certain church had a pastor who was getting up there in years. A Godly man he was who stood firmly upon the Word of God. We will call him Steve. He was a man who rightly divided the word of truth and preached the full counsel of God. Steve pastored this particular church for some 30 years. The church also had a youth minister whom Steve saw great potential in. The youth pastor's name is Brian, who likewise stood firmly upon the Word of God and rightly divided the word of truth. Pastor Steve decides to start sharing the pulpit with Pastor Brian in order to give him experience. All is well at first, but soon the church was dividing. All the younger members started demanding Brian take over as head pastor and the older members were demanding Pastor Brian to be gone saying, "we want our older pastor preaching."
One must always remember the cross of Christ divides the saved and the unsaved, but not the body of Christ. Some mistakenly accept all forms of doctrine for the sake of unity. But this is not what the above passage is saying. "If someone comes preaching a different gospel, let him be accursed." (See Galatians 1:8) The foundation for a unified church is found on the centrality of the gospel of Christ. Can we meet in agreement here? If so, then we are able to come together and to be one in Christ. If the church above hired a pastor who did not believe in the resurrection, then we have a problem. On the other hand, if one church believes in a pre-trib rapture, for example, they would want a pastor who believes like wise. This is understandable. While two may disagree in the timing of the rapture, they still may be accepting of each as brothers in the Lord and serve Him in many ways together. Also, it is OK to have our favorite teachers, but we must remember we may only be a few steps away form having a sectarian spirit. If our boast is in any teacher, then we are in danger of fractions and divisions. Paul finished the first chapter of Corinthians with a key to remember; "that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:31) This is key to avoiding a sectarian spirit; keep our boast on the Lord, and not on ourselves, anyone or anything else.
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14 NKJV)