Sectarianism is Foolish/Forbid him not!


adj. 1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect.                                                                             2. Adhering or confined to the dogmatic limits of a sect or denomination; partisan.


“… sectarianism does not spring full grown from the ground. It is sown as a seed of self-chosen opinion, which grows into a division, and ultimately reaps, sectarianism. The sin of sectarianism is one of the worst sins. The Apostle Paul told us to “look at, regard attentively, take heed, beware, consider” those who behaved this way and “refuse, reject, decline, shun, avoid” them.”

Here is an example in the 9th Chapter of the Book of Mark …

….What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”
34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.
35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,
37 Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
40 For he who is not against us is on our side.
41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Insight from a couple commentaries …

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers:
“The disciple desired to show, as in self-vindication, that he not only “received” his Master, but that he was unwilling to “receive” any who did not openly follow Him as a disciple. The fact of which he speaks is significant historically as indicating that one of the effects of our Lord’s work had been to stir up and quicken the spiritual powers of men outside the range of the company of disciples that gathered round Him. They believed in Him, or they would not have used His Name. They were fellow-workers with Him, for they were seeking to rescue the souls of men from frenzy and despair. Their faith was effective, for, as the narrative implies, they not only claimed the power to cast out demons, but did cast them out.”
The true disciples of Christ are to hinder no one who is really doing His work. The very fact that they do it will bring with it reverence and sympathy.”
“St. Paul rejoiced that every way Christ was preached”
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. Philippians 1:18
Benson Commentary
“But to confine religion to them that follow us, is a narrowness of spirit which we should avoid and abhor.”
 “Forbid him not — Neither directly nor indirectly discourage or hinder any man, who brings sinners from the power of Satan to God, because he followeth not us, in opinions, modes of worship, or any thing else which does not affect the essence of religion. For he that is not against us, is for us — Our Lord had formerly said, He that is not with me, is against me…”
Also, previously the disciples were not able to cast out a demon, so it must have been a real dissonance to them that they were Jesus chosen disciples–which they were likely proud of — but couldn’t cast out a demon like another person, who likely heard the gospel, but wasn’t as ‘set apart’ as them, or still a ‘child in christ.’ I wonder how often churches today who are proud of their status (historical, traditions, size) notice what the Lord is doing through smaller, less ‘impressive’ churches? (or smaller stricter, elitist churches towards the larger ‘liberal’ ones)
And speaking of churches, notice how ‘factions’ are seen as a deed of the flesh?
(factions: a small, organized, dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics)
19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Just a thought, but I feel that Jesus is humorously upping the ante here (below), He speaks previously of the pride of sectarianism, and deals with the envy of wanting to be best in the kingdom,  followed by suggesting that they amputate their limbs to avoid sin! The Lord knows that even our hearts are deceitfully wicked and our minds can have wicked thoughts – so the only way that we could avoid sin on our own accord is to be a maimed vegetable at best, but more likely dead. He reveals to them their lunacy of their self vindication.  But since we know that that is not the route to salvation, the main point he’s getting at us  …..“Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where

‘Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.’

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— 48 where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

Now all this brings me to my final/foundational thought of this blog – the Doctrine of Separation, which is apparently based on 2 Corinthians:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? [16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate [emphasis added], saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you (2 Cor 6:14-17 KJV).”

“Unfortunately, some churches and individuals use it bolster a sectarian mindset which excludes from fellowship any that differ, even in the slightest way, and have gone to great lengths to separate from others who do not strictly observe certain “fundamentals” of the faith.” TheRecoveringLegalist/Separation

It is as though we forget that they were born again of the same spirit, washed in the same blood, and in also written in the Book of Life!

So in closing, whenever we are tempted to not welcome a fellow believer because of a difference in denomination or preference, remember the words of Jesus: “Forbid Him Not!”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s