David Lipscomb on Sectarians

I would say that it is wrong to encourage sectarianism in any way, if we can tell which are sectarians. But my observation is that it takes a sectarian to ferret out a sectarian, just as “it takes a rogue to catch a rogue.” Unfortunately, all the sectarians are not in sectarian churches; and I hope that some in sectarian churches are not sectarians. Things get badly mixed in this world.  Sometimes people who wish to obey God are born and reared in sectarian influences. A man who loves party more than he loves God is a sectarian. A man who divides the church of God for a theory or teaching not required by God is a sectarian. A person who pushes an idea or practice not required by God, to the disturbance of the peace of that church, or that exalts a human opinion or practice to an equality with the commands of God, is a sectarian and a heretic.

There are some in nonsectarian churches who are sectarians, who violate the laws of God in order to oppose sectarians. There are some in sectarian churches who will obey God and follow him in spite of the sectarianism of the churches in which they find themselves. As examples, there are persons in the Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian Churches who were baptized to obey God rather than to please the sects. In this they rise above the sectarian spirit, despite the parties in which they find themselves. They ought to get out of the sectarian churches, but they see so much sectarianism in the nonsectarian churches that they think they are all alike.

Peter and John, Paul and Barnabas, all met with the sectarian Jews at their times and places of worship and participated with them, that they might find an opportunity to speak a word for the truth. I do not think it hurts any man, sectarian or sinner, to read the Bible anywhere at any time. I do not think it hurts any one to heart the Bible read by sectarian or sinner at any time or place. The great end is to be true and faithful to the truth and at the same time kind and sympathetic with those in error. The nearer we can do these two things, the more like Jesus we will be and the more sinners and sectarians we will save.

From Queries and Answers, ed. by J. W. Shepherd (Cincinnati: F. L. Rowe, 1918), pp. 381-2.

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