Brandon E’s Objections: #4 – I Promote Sectarianism – Not True!

For an explanation of this series, see Brandon E’s Objections:  #1.

Brandon wrote the following (you can find it in context here):

I would suggest that you continually placing yourself on the side of God, the apostles, and the believers, and placing the believers whose views you contradict and antagonize on the side of the Sanhedrin who opposed the very name of Jesus, indicates an exceedingly sectarian spirit.

To be sectarian is to promote a sect.  A sect is a group.  I am one person who follows the Lord.  I want no one to follow me.  I only want to see people follow the Lord.  You are the sectarian because you want me to join a sect – you just won’t say which one.

16 Replies to “Brandon E’s Objections: #4 – I Promote Sectarianism – Not True!”

  1. Mike, a “sect” can mean parties, factions, or schools of thought. “Sectarian” has other definitions than the one you provided, as well. Since you complain of 30,000+ denominations and yet are the only one we know of who has arrived at your combination of views about the truths in Scripture, I have informally described your position as a “sect of one.” Everyone thinking that their own interpretations of Scripture are right and then being willing to meet separately because of these differences is how we ended up with so many denominations in the first place. My most recent reference to you exhibiting a “sectarian spirit,” as should be evident from the quote you cited, was in your more-than-willingness on repeated occasions to portray yourself standing over and against all the believers whom you contradict on major scriptural topics as somehow parallel in its piety as Stephen, the apostles, or believers standing firm against the Sanhedrin and the Jews who opposed their testimony that Jesus is Lord.

    I haven’t asked you to join a sect. I have asked you to be open to the possibility that you are mistaken and to not compare the believers whom you contradict with the Jewish Sanhedrin. I also believe that the universal church is composed of all the believers throughout time and space, that the church in any given city is all the believers in that city, and that the church both universally and locally should be one.

    1. “Sect of one” is a metaphor, and I’m not the first to use it. And you should know that “sectarian” doesn’t only mean to “promote a sect” as in a official organization of persons. And my point about this is evident in my first comment, but you’re not responding substantively.

      You claim that you “offer nothing for anyone to join expect the Lord Jesus Christ Himself” but you do have it that the repentant, spiritually-minded persons will agree with what you tell them is the very revelation of God in the Scriptures on so many other topics, and that the ones who would disagree with what you would tell them are unrepentant and fleshly-minded. So you draw these lines, while claiming that your interpretations of Scripture are not your opinions liable to be mistaken but are the very revelation of God in the Scriptures. But since you are the only one we know of who has arrived at your conclusions from Scripture through their own reading of it, and you divide believers into the “spiritual” ones would agree with you and the “Sanhedrin” ones who would not, and think that this is to trust God, that’s why I say a “sect of one.”

  2. Brandon, let’s say that all I wrote on my blog was that Jesus was Lord. Let’s further say that someone contradicted this, and continued to contradict this even when I took pains to explain how the Scriptures supported my claim. Would you say such a person was unrepentant and not seeking the kingdom of God or would you say it’s possible he is repentant and seeking the kingdom of God?

    1. Is this theoretical person saying that the Bible doesn’t reveal that Jesus is Lord, or that he personally doesn’t believe that Jesus is Lord regardless of what the Bible says?

  3. Well then, perhaps I would ask him. If he really denies that the Bible says that Jesus is Lord, I would show him verses that say so. I don’t see how he could reasonably deny that the Bible unmistakably says this. At this point his attitude towards the Bible–whether he is responding to its authority or not–would become more clear. Then if I were to ask him if he has any thought or intention to repent for his sins and receive the Lord Jesus, to seek the kingdom, to seek to be spiritual according to the biblical understanding of these terms, he very well may say no, he doesn’t believe the Bible or in its authority and hence doesn’t see the need of it. And there you have it. It would be fair to take him at his word, and not think that much of it. Though, we may sense that the Spirit is working on him in other ways and look for ways to help him to appreciate Christ.

    The problem, Mike, is that you have it that even believers in Christ who believe that Jesus is Lord, who believe that the Bible is the word of God and affirm its authority, are not repentant, not seeking the kingdom of God, etc., if they would not agree with your doctrinal distinctives. In their case, they simply don’t believe that your doctrinal particulars are the revelation of Scripture. They’re not denying a truth so basic and obvious as Jesus being Lord, or else agreeing that your doctrinal particulars are the revelation of Scripture but refusing to accept it anyway. So I am not sure what we are gaining by comparing what you would claim about those who disagree with you, and a situation with non-believers who don’t mean to take the Lord or the Bible as their authority in the first place.

    1. “Then if I were to ask him if he has any thought or intention to repent for his sins and receive the Lord Jesus, to seek the kingdom, to seek to be spiritual according to the biblical understanding of these terms, he very well may say no, he doesn’t believe the Bible or in its authority and hence doesn’t see the need of it. And there you have it. It would be fair to take him at his word, and not think that much of it.”

  4. I’m still not sure of what you’re saying. Do you deem him unrepentant and not seeking the kingdom of God or do you think it’s possible he is repentant and seeking the kingdom of God?

  5. If he says he has no intention of repenting or seeking the kingdom, and doesn’t care what the Bible says about these things as far as his life is concerned, all on top of continuously contradicting that Jesus is Lord, then I would take him at his word. Yes, in all likelihood he is unrepentant and not seeking the kingdom in the biblical sense of the words (though the Spirit could already be gradually working on him to change this).

    I wouldn’t say this about someone who confesses that Jesus is Lord, accepts the Bible as the authoritative word of God, and who would not say that they shouldn’t repent or seek the kingdom.

    1. They’re factual descriptions based on their own word and concept. If someone consistently denied that Jesus is Lord, that the Bible is the word of God, that they have any need or desire to repent or seek the kingdom, I would be violating my own conscience and their own if I insisted that the opposite was true of their present condition.

      In contrast, you’ve said that I am fleshly-minded, not spiritually-minded, not seeking the kingdom, not repentant, not dependent upon Scripture, not trusting to God, that I need to be stood up against as if I were part of the Sanhedrin, even that I am taking the side of Satan in opposing God’s word…why? Because I followed my conscience and didn’t agree with your interpretations of Scriptures. As if you are in a position to know such things. And apparently this would not apply just to me but anyone who likewise would not accept what you would tell them is the truth. So yes, I believe it is fair that you make distinctions among others (even those who believe that Jesus is Lord, that the Bible is the word of God) along “sectarian” lines.

  6. I don’t make distinctions between Christians and non-Christians. I believe we are all God’s children.

    As for the “you’ve said that I am fleshly-minded, not…etc.” you have taken out of context isolated statements I’ve made and assembled them together into a blanket indictment of you as a person. Who you are before God is your business, not mine. I am not your judge, nor am I anyone else’s judge. However, what I am proclaiming on my blogs is the truth of God and to the degree that you fight against it you are indeed fighting against His word.

    1. Concerning the first paragraph, the apostles did make distinctions between the regenerated children of God and those who had yet to receive Christ and hence did not possess the life of God (1 John 5:12), even though Jesus had already been crowned with glory and honor and made Lord of all in His resurrection, ascension, and enthronement.

      As for the second paragraph, I’ve explained that here:
      http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/pleasing-god-is-not-a-matter-of-knowing-the-right-facts/#comment-3130

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.