I think the people are not to be censured for
believing it is a terrible matter to carry on "religious" work
without being a member of some organized church. The idea has been
drilled into them by teachers.
I have recently had some experiences that show how
strongly the people feel on the matter. It is really serious with
them. A preacher visited my homea painfully sectarian
preacher. He was friendly toward me, "for old-time
sake." We had been associated in church work in other years,
while I was orthodox. His friendship did not show any coolness
until I told him of some recent meetings I had held. He shut up
like a clam, and made no comment. He looked at me as if he were
thinking, "What a pity, that he thinks he can be pleasing to the
Lord without being a member of an organized church."
In a certain town I met a preacher and his
wife. They were extremely cordial to me, until I told them I was
on my way to conduct a series of meetings. Their interest in me
ceased, and they turned away in apparent disgust. They really are
fond of me, but they feel that it is blasphemy to presume to work for
the Lord, without the sanction of the church.
In a certain town lives a woman, more than sixty
years of age. In other years I visited in her home. She
lived with her parents. She is a widow. I conducted the
funeral of her father some years before I became unorthodox. Her mother
died this year. I felt a real interest in the matter, and wrote
her a letter of condolence. Toward others she is the very
"soul of courtesy." But not toward me. I had
desecrated the name of the Lord by presuming to serve Him without being
a member of an organized church! Her feeling in the matter made
her so discourteous that she would not even write and thank me for the
words of comfort. I wrote the second letter to her. I still
have received no answer.
She does not know that the scriptures say: "A
sectarian man, after one and a second admonition, refuse,"
Titus 3:10. She believes that she is obeying the scriptures, when
she refuses the man who in NOT sectarian. "Church"
people have played havoc with that passage. First, the King James
Version of the scriptures renders it "heretic," instead of
sectarian. Then churchmen gave to the word a meaning that suits
them, and excuses their sectarianism. They tell us that a heretic
is one who holds a belief contrary to the "established faith of the
church." Therefore, the lady in question feels justified in
considering me a heretic. She feels that she is doing God's
service when she even refuses to write me a letter of thanks.
"Does not the Bible say 'A man that is an heretic, after the first
and second admonition reject'?" Seems to be her line of
reasoning. True, she has not admonished me, but such little
details do not matter!
In translating "hairesis," heresy, and
"hairetikon," heretic, the King James Version has done great
damage. Still that Version incorrectly renders these words only
when it is necessary in order to protect Christendom from the charge of
acting contrary to the word. In Acts 5:17, the Version renders
hairesis, "sect." In Acts 15:5, the translators
correctly render it sect. In Acts 24:5, they again correctly
translate the word.
But in Gal. 5:21, where Paul mentions
"sects," among the works of the flesh, they translate it
heresy. This was dishonest. They knew that hairesis means a
sect, or a religious party. Paul says in the passage just
mentioned, that it is of the flesh, to belong to a religious
party. They could not afford to let Paul say this; so they made
him say it is of the flesh to hold to a belief contrary to the established
teaching of a religious party. The translators, themselves, were
members of a religious party, and it was more important to them that
they be justified in this, than that the truth of God be taught.
So they deliberately corrupted the translation. They did this in I
Cor. 11:19, also.
As for Titus 3:10, they could not afford to have Paul
telling us to reject them, the translators.
The translators correctly rendered hairesis, in three
instances; they made a false rendering of it, and its adjective form,
four times. The one passage to which I have not referred in this
article, is Acts 24:14. It is important. Paul does not
confess that he is a member of a sect. His denial of it is clearly
implied. He says his enemies call it a sect.
I have the King James Version as authority for saying
hairesis should be translated "sect." See Acts 5:17;
15;15, 24:5. If that is true, then hairetikon should be translated
"sectarian." It is an adjective. So Titus is told
to refuse the person who is sectarian. Christendom is so far from
the scriptures, that it refuses the one who is NOT
Other Versions of the scriptures have tried to
correct the King James Version in this passage. One says "a
factional man." This is correct. Another says "a
factious man." Wilmore's Analytical Concordance says hairesis
means a religious party. In spite of all this, Christendom says it
means one who is not agreed with the church in doctrine. As a
matter of fact, the word does not even touch doctrine. A religious
party is a "heresy," or "sect," even if it is
Paul censures those who use the name of Paul, Apollos
or Cephas, for sectarian purpose. And he censures just as
emphatically, those who use the name of Christ for sectarian purposes.
See I Cor. 1:10-13. To believe in Christ Jesus is wonderful.
To have the assurance that He is our Savior is much to be desired.
But to use His precious name as a means of separating ourselves from
other saints is decidedly wrong. And if we may not belong to a
denomination bearing the name of Paul, Cephas or Apollos, neither may we
use the title of John the Baptist, or the name of Martin Luther.
Furthermore, we should never use man-given names, such as Methodist,
Presbyterian, Catholic, etc. Further still, we should not call our
assemblies "classes." The name given in the scriptures,
is "the ecclesia." Fortunately, no one has appropriated
that name. It requires the use of no name coupled with it.
The ecclesia is what we call our assemblies in this section. And
everyone knows what assembly is designated by this word. And
everybody around here is aware that we consider any assembly of saints,
just as much an ecclesia as we are, and that we are glad to fellowship
For, in the passage under considerationTitus
3:10Paul is not discussing the matter of fellowship. Titus
was to constitute elders to suit each city 1:5. Elders are here
regarded as teachers. A sectarian man would teach
sectarianism. Titus was to refuse himnot as a brother, but
as an elder. Today, Christendom refuses any elder who is not
sectarian. Paul tells us to refuse those who ARE
I have said the people are not to be censured for
their attitude in the matter. They have an incorrect Version of
the scriptures, and their preachers do not even preach as good sermons
as may be given from that Version. Those preachers who have
attended theological schools are supposed to know the truth.
Knowing it, they refuse to teach it.
But the people could read the Version. They do
not do this. So I do censure them for blindly accepting the
oft-repeated statement made from the pulpit: "Christ commands you
to join the church." In the days when I was orthodox I said
that very same thing, thousands of times. If someone had asked me
to show the passage where Christ commands this, it would have been an
embarrassing moment. Strange to say, I never thought it to be
necessary to even look for the passage. That is, not until a few
years ago. When I looked for it I failed to find it.
Members of a sect are united by a creed, First, the
creed says the scriptures are the word of God. Then it proceeds to
mention about a cozen things that it says are to be believed. Some
of them are true; some are not. But if the scriptures are the word
of God, why say we believe certain parts of it? This implies that
there are other parts which we do not believe. And this is exactly
the truth, concerning Christendom.
Being bound by a creed, members dare not search the
scriptures. If they should find something contrary to the creed,
it would be "just too bad." If they believe it, and say
so, they will be expelled. If they want to stay in the
denomination they must either ignore the scriptures, or keep quiet about
anything they find that is at variance with the creed.
When I first began teaching the salvation of all
mankind, many creed-bound people accepted it. They were happy in
it. But the day came when they found that they must profess to not
believe it, or be expelled. Some did.
My brethren in the ministry told me that if I would
be silent on the salvation of all, they would have no objection to my
believing it. They would fellowship me if I pretend to not believe
it. "In other words," I told them, "if I play the
hypocrite, you will fellowship me, but if I am honest, you will expel me
from the church."
I am indebted to a Methodist preacher for the
statement that "all progress in scripture truth has been make by
Let it be understood that a person is not necessarily
sectarian-minded just because he is a member of some religious
party. Neither is one free from sectarianism just because he is
not a member. Furthermore, a non-sectarian persons not necessarily
correct in doctrine and deportment. But I emphasize that we should
be absolutely non-sectarian, and also correct in doctrine and
deportment. Sectarianism, both in and outside an organized church,
hinders scripture research. Even we who pride ourselves that we
are not sectarian, may be mistaken about it. Let us carefully
search our own hearts.
One trouble about organized churches, they, as a
general thing are intolerant. I have preached in the woods, in
yards, and in private homes, in communities where there are church
houses. If sectarianism breeds such an attitude on the part of its
devotees, this is sufficient reason for staying out of it.
Recently I was shut out of a church that has never shut a person out
before. It is because I am non-sectarian. If I belonged to
some church, this would not have been done.
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