Series 1 - Lesson 4 - Annotation 2
What is a "sect"? What causes the forming of "sects"?
2. The word "sect" comes from a root word meaning "to cut." According to Webster's dictionary a "sect" is "a group having in common a leader or a distinctive doctrine or way of thinking. A school of philosophy or of philosophic opinion." From a religious standpoint, the dictionary states that a "sect" is "the believers in a particular creed, or upholders of a particular practice; especially, now, a party dissenting from an established church; a religious denomination; a separate religious organization."
Groups have drawn away from an established church because they, or a leader, feel that only the "letter" of the scriptures is being followed by the established church, rather than "the spirit" that "giveth life." On the other hand, "sects" have been formed because of some belief on the part of a leader, or a group, that when truly analyzed could be found to be itself only the "letter" based often on some outer rite or ceremony.
No matter for what reason a "sect" has been formed, it can be seen as concerned primarily with the expansion and growth of mankind to the knowledge of the Christ consciousness. Many times in history when groups have drawn away from an established church, it has caused the church to look into its own doctrines and practices to see wherein it may have erred in presenting the Truth, so this soul-searching can be the open door to the church's own expansion. On the other hand, those who have drawn away from the church, for reasons other than direct guidance from the Spirit, will through their own experiences eventually have to attain the Christ consciousness and come to see oneness rather than differences.
When we come to really know Truth, through our communion with God in the "secret place," we are free from beliefs in separation. No matter what outer religious organization we may belong to we shall know that we are "all one in Spirit" with every other seeker after God, thus part of the great "body of Christ," the "Lord's body" or universal "church of Christ."
Preceding Entry: What is the "church of Christ"? What do we mean by "universal church" and "particular or individual church"?
Following Entry: What is the basis of real unity, and why?