Members of the Stanton Churches of Christ will not like my use of the term “sect,” and I assure you, it’s not meant to be hurtful or derogatory. Here is the definition:
- a dissenting or schismatic religious body; especially : one regarded as extreme or heretical
a religious denomination
- a group adhering to a distinctive doctrine or to a leader
I think any fair-minded person would have to agree that all of these definitions apply. They were founded based on Merie Weiss’s dissenting views from the mainstream Churches of Christ in the late 60’s and early 70’s. As such they became a schism when she broke away and formed her own distinctive church body or “fellowship.” They adhere to a distinctive set of doctrines as well as a leader (or leaders, depending on who you’re talking to).
So again, please don’t be offended by the use of the term “sect.” I’m just using the English language to convey my thoughts, and I’m not trying to offend anyone with that word. In fact, to not use the term on this site would be to accept their premise that they are not, in fact, a division of the body of Christ, but the whole of it. I obviously can’t agree to that; so…we’re stuck with the word “sect.”
I certainly must agree because that is the pure definition of Christianity as found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Anonymous, could you clarify what you mean by your statement above?
A group of people considered "dissenting, schismatic, religious extreme, heretical,a group adhering to a distinctive doctrine or leader." Exact quote from your post.
All of the above adjectives apply to the first church, of course depending on who you talk to, especially the religious leaders of the day. So much so, in fact, it got their leader crucified.
The beauty of the English language, or language in general is it can be artfully formed in any direction you want it to. If one were to look up the definitions of these words contained in your post, they all deal with opinions in some form or fashion. From dissenting, down to heretical. The definitions of those words only deal with departing from a status quo or a majority belief. When one arrives at the next portion however, we get to the heart of your argument. "…a group adhering to a distinctive doctrine or leader." Yes, the churches in the… Read more »
Anonymous 1, yes, it's true that first century Christianity was a sect of Judaism, just as the Pharisees and Saducees were. In fact, it was a sect they called "The Way." So how does this help your case? Are you admitting the "Stanton" churches to be a sect as well, then?
Actually, Acts 28:22-"But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this SECT, we know that every where it is spoken against." So, in comparison, I do not see the problem with the word sect. In fact, I would say that would put the 'Stanton Churches' in friendship with those of the New Testament Churches of Christ. I say Amen to that, brother.
But a sect of what? The New Testament Churches were a sect of Judaism. The point is the Stanton Churches of Christ are a sect of Christianity and are a result of a schismatic, dissenting and religiously extreme heresy by Merie Weiss and her followers. Additionally, I found Acts 28:26-27 extremely apropos since you brought that up. 26 "GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY, “YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; 27 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND… Read more »
I made it clear in my first post that I don't necessarily consider the term to be derogatory. The word sect simply means a part of a larger group (as in a "section" of the whole, but not the whole). It is simply a statement of fact that a particular group is not the whole of Christendom, but merely a part of it. In the case of the first century church, they were not the whole of Judaism, but a part of it, thus the Christians were considered a sect. Therefore, to claim that you are a sect in the… Read more »
While the first century church was thought to be a sect of Judaism by some, it was no more a sect of Judaism then than the church today is a sect of Christianity.
Sect: a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French secte or Latin secta, literally ‘following,’ hence ‘faction, party,’ from the stem of sequi ‘follow.’
Christianity clearly was a sect of Judaism in the early years, at least until gentiles were accepted into the fold. At that point, one could argue that at least the gentile members of the "sect" of Christianity were no longer members of the Jewish community.
I have a question if I might ask
The continual drumbeat of exposing the corruption and hypocrisy in the church leadership must continue. It is difficult at times to believe the posts but even if there is only a grain of truth in the complaints is should be looked into. The lives which are destroyed through the teachings of guilt and self hatred are way to many. Take a stand today and post your story it may help someone else get through a tough time.
Anon 8:29, what's your question?
Should we just sit still and not ask questions we one is blasted in class and the teacher and preacher never in the first place asked why or what did you do wrong…
My teacher just walked away from me while I was talking with her about why she drugged me thru the mud in Wed class..they never once asked me why,were,whom,about,etc etc,…and its not about to me well you had this wrong so I'm not gonna listen its about every word that came out was incorrect and when I just simply wanted to talk about it you just walk away from me like I'm a nobody or something..they say they don't shoot from the hip well they did…and I was told don't try and fix it or ask about it just except… Read more »
Where do you live?