One great problem for Christianity is sectarianism. What is it? It is an adherence to a dogmatic set of beliefs and practices while believing that any other person that fails to adhere to the same dogma is condemned and a false Christian. Sectarianism has been a huge problem for Christianity since it was founded in the first century A.D.

Paul touches the subject of sectarianism in 1 Cor. 1:10-13  – (NWT) “10 Now I exhort YOU, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that YOUshould all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among YOU, but that YOU may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.11 For the disclosure was made to me about YOU, my brothers, by those of [the house of] Chlo´e, that dissensions exist among YOU. 12 What I mean is this, that each one of YOU says: “I belong to Paul,” “But I to A·pol´los,” “But I to Ce´phas,” “But I to Christ.” 13 The Christ exists divided. Paul was not impaled for YOU, was he? Or were YOU baptized in the name of Paul?”

The Corithian congregation though still fellowshipping together were starting to become divided. Some were saying “I belong to Paul” others that they belonged to Cephas or Christ. In verse 13 Paul reminds these new Christians that they weren’t baptized in the name of Paul and that Paul nor any other apostle had been impaled for them. Though Paul had brought these Christians the gospel, Jesus was their leader, they had been baptized in his name.

Paul humbly says in 1 Cor. 3:5-7 – ” 5 What, then, is A·pol´los? Yes, what is Paul? Ministers through whom YOU became believers, even as the Lord granted each one. 6 I planted, A·pol´los watered, but God kept making [it] grow; 7 so that neither is he that plants anything nor is he that waters, but God who makes [it] grow.”

The Corithians had begun to look to men for leadership, but Paul let them know this was dangerous. Because that many times is the start of sectarianism. Many Christians today likewise say “I belong to the Catholic church” or “I belong to Jehovah’s Witnesses” or some other church. Echoing Paul’s words we could ask “The Watchtower Society wasn’t impaled for you, was it?” or “Were you baptized in the name of the Watchtower?”

Although Jehovah’s Witnesses are far from being the only bad example as regards sectarianism, they are one of the worst. The opinion of the Society as well as the vast majority of JWs is that the organization is the only repository of truth, goodness, and spirituality. Most JWs would say all others who claim to be christian but are not associated with the Watchtower organization are false, apostate Christians. Most JWs would say a sincere, moral, humble person who claims to be a Christian but isn’t a JW, will be destroyed in the Great Tribulation the same as a Satan worshipper. Is this kind of self-righteousness pleasing to God?

Notice Luke 18: 9-14  ” 9 But he spoke this illustration also to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and who considered the rest as nothing: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and began to pray these things to himself, ‘O God, I thank you I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give the tenth of all things I acquire.’ 13 But the tax collector standing at a distance was not willing even to raise his eyes heavenward, but kept beating his breast, saying, ‘O God, be gracious to me a sinner.’ 14 I tell YOU, This man went down to his home proved more righteous than that man; because everyone that exalts himself will be humiliated, but he that humbles himself will be exalted.”

Before God opened my eyes, I must admit that I was like that Pharisee. I thought my religion (Jehovah’s Witness) was the only one of value. Anytime in the field ministry some householder would claim to be Christian and a spiritual person, I would disbelieve it immediately. I thought I had the answers. I thought all other members from other churches either were lacking in desire to worship God in the right way, or so hopelessly stuck in false doctrine that they in actuality were serving not God but Satan. I would never have considered the Christians I met in the field ministry as my brothers, rather they were “worldly” to me. I was a prime example of the result of sectarianism.

This spirit of sectarianism contributes to things which God hates. Notice Prov 6: 16-19  “16 There are six things that Jehovah does hate; yes, seven are things detestable to his soul: 17 lofty eyes, a false tongue, and hands that are shedding innocent blood, 18 a heart fabricating hurtful schemes, feet that are in a hurry to run to badness, 19 a false witness that launches forth lies, and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.”

The vilification of all those not Jehovah’s Witnesses does a huge disservice to all JW’s who believe and then teach this self-righteous, Pharisaical doctrine. It divides us from other Christians who are our brothers. We may not believe everything they do nor vice versa, but this was also the case in the first century congregation. Anyone who believes that it was all peace and harmony and doctrinal unity in the first century, simply has not read their bibles very carefully. There are many doctrinal issues that the bible is not clear on. What does that tell us? That it isn’t that important for us to know right now. As Paul admits his limited knowledge in 1 Cor.13:12 – ” For at present we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face to face. At present I know partially, but then I shall know accurately even as I am accurately known.”

We should always strive to understand what the bible teaches on all matters, but at the same time not condemn as worthy of death any who don’t agree with us. It is a matter of certainty that we ourselves have the wrong opinion on certain doctrinal matters. We will not be sure of all doctrinal matters until Jesus clears everything up at his coming. Nowhere in the bible does it say we will have to pass a doctrinal test in order to gain everlasting life. In fact, notice what Jesus tells the doctrinal knowledge loving Pharisees in John 5: 39,40 – ”  39 “YOU are searching the Scriptures, because YOU think that by means of them YOU will have everlasting life; and these are the very ones that bear witness about me. 40 And yet YOU do not want to come to me that YOU may have life.”

A correct theological understanding does not give life. Belief in Jesus and showing our belief by our actions is what will give life. Do not many Christians from the churches love God? Do they not have faith in Jesus ransom? Do they not show love to neighbor? Then why do JWs not consider them brothers? Even some JWs who have seen the haughty spirit of the Governing Body and have recognized the falsehood of some of their doctrines, still believe that the JWs are the only true Christians and all others are false and apostate. They still displease God by rejecting their brothers from other denominations.

The bible makes clear it is not what we know that is important. What is important is who we are as a person. In the parables of Jesus in Matt. 24 and 25, he talks about the adjusting of accounts with his slaves or in other words those who claim that he is their master. This will take place at his coming. What is the determining factor? Doctrinal knowledge? the realization that a certain group of men have been appointed by Jesus? No; it isn’t about what they doctrinally know, it is about who they are. Are they faithful and sensible or wicked and abusive? Are they awake or asleep spiritually? Are they industrious or lazy? Are they hospitable and charitable or do they withhold practical help from the vulnerable?

If someone accepts Jesus as their Master and are doing the best they can in imitating him, that person is our brother. Let us not make teachings over the Trinity, 1914, the immortal soul, the place of reward for faithful Christians, etc. as a measuring stick to decide who is a true Christian and who isn’t. We may have strong opinions on these matters or on other matters. But let us not be so dogmatic, opinionated, and narrow-minded that we reject all those who don’t agree with us completely. Jesus, not us, will determine who has been faithfully serving him and doing his Father’s will. If we do that even though we don’t and cannot agree completely at this time on doctrinal matters we can still “be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought”.

Rating 4.77 out of 5

Tags: ,

17 Comments on Sectarianism and Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. serein says:

    i think like u do on this,but also as others have said to me is that althoe we have bros and sis in christianity who love god also they stick with what they know and stay with it beleiving it to be ok and true, but they havnt got the mindset to look for the silver the gold, the real truths that we gain with an acurate knowladge og god so they fall short, but they will still not all die like we were taught in the jws but all will get another chance well i think personaly that not all will get another chance,but im puting all this in my own words with memory of whats been said to me on the bs site,yes i beleive myself that we will only get that acurate knowladge in the 1000 years and not now or maybe only thoes for heavenly calling will get it first, no one right now is gona get it i dont think as we lie in the hands of the wicked one right now whos blinding us from the truth so that no one sees it perfectly,but i think sertain ones will see it and they are the ones who arnt satisfide with what theyve got and feel the need to keep searching it out they are the ones like us who love god so much we dont stop we keep searching not just threw the scriptures to try and get it right but for help through prayer to get acurate knowladge, to keep our eys open and so not to fall asleep thinking weve found it and dont need to search any longer i think all will be revield in the end and wel all reaslise that actualy there was no true religion only a true sinseir heart of man who god sees .


  2. greybeard says:

    This is one of the best posts on here Andrew if not THEE best. I loved it. I love the way you used 1 Cor. 1:10-13. I never looked at it that way but you are right. You hit the nail on the head. Just as they were not baptized in Paul’s name, we are not baptized in the name of the Watchtower. Then again…. Maybe they do do that now… I’ll look it up……. YES, the second question is:
    “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization? Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism.”

    More on this here:

    Your brother,


  3. Thomas says:

    So sincerity alone is enough? Hmmm I think I remember Jesus saying something about that in Matthew 7. So if I’m a good catholic and believe that God speaks to the pope I’m your brother? If I believe in A triune God I’m your brother? If i think mohamed is the true prohet and i’m Muslim i’m your brother? Interesting notion “brother” Andrew…Sorry but your reasoning doesn’t hold water


    • andrew says:

      Thanks for your comment Thomas. The verses in Matt. 7 I assume you are referring to are 21-23.

      21 “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.

      What is the will of Jesus’ Father? Is it get correct doctrinal knowledge then condemn as false any Christian that disagrees? I did not intend to say that sincerity is enough. What is important is who we are. Do we love God with our whole heart and mind? Do we love our neighbor? Do we have faith in Jesus’ blood? These things are God’s will.

      Jesus has been appointed judge. Has he appointed us as lesser judges? Is our opinion of the doctrinal beliefs of others important? As I have said perhaps many cherished doctrinal beliefs that we have, will ultimately proven to be wrong. Why then condemn others?


    • greybeard says:


      What if “my brother” was raised a Catholic believing the trinity? What if he was raised believing Mohammed is a true prophet and is Muslim. Does this mean because of what he believes he will be destroyed? What kind of a God would do that? Are there not good hearted Catholics and Muslims that are good clean moral and loving people? What do you think God cares more about, loving people with good hearts or religious people who think they are Gods chosen ones?

      I’m going to put this bluntly for you. There is not ANY TRUE RELIGION on this earth. Nobody has 100% truth. Especially Jehovah’s Witness’s who think they are Gods chosen people.

      What is Gods will anyway? Is not the greatest commandment to love our neighbor? Or do we only love our “brothers”? James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (NASB) Are there no Catholics that take care of widows and orphans? Are there no Catholics that are not worldly? What about Muslims? What this scripture is saying is show love to people especially those who cannot pay you back like widows and orphans. Can you say you are “without spot from the world”? Can anyone? I personally don’t know anyone without spot from the world except Christ. JW’s think they are but they are just as caught up in this worldly system as most. Making money and living a life of luxury. Is that what Christ had in mind when he said “follow me”? Or be “without spot”?

      I agree with Andrew, this is not about “true doctrine” it is about our heart and showing LOVE to everyone. If you are showing LOVE then you are doing Gods will. The wicked will be torn away from the Earth, Why??? Because they didn’t find “true doctrine”??? NO, because they are unloving wicked people.

      Jesus said, “when the son of man returns will he find the faith on the earth? You tell us, where is it???

      You brother,

      Off my soap box now 😉


      • Amos says:

        Brother Andrew, I must echo Brother Greybeard’s comment…THE BEST YET!!

        A brilliant study article indeed….1000% agreement.

        I too was like yourself, as you expressed.

        Please also see the following verses;
        1Peter 5:1-7; “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,a not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;b not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

        6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

        All to often the WTS stressed the verses concerning shepperds & also verse 8 (satan), & didn’t stress the need for ALL (including themselves) to be “clothed” with humilty. It goes along with the “suit of armour” & the “new (christian) personality”.

        But don’t stop there, please read the complete chapter, then read James chapter 5 & see how this complements Peter’s words (God’s words)beautifully.

        Your Brother in the Lord,


  4. andrew says:

    I felt uncomfortable at the congregation bible study last night (week of Feb 28). If there could be a more sectarian study, I don’t know what it would be. The Society really bashed the churches saying the churches humanitarian work was not doing Jesus’ will and therefore he was really angry at them. According to the book only JWs are making Jesus happy.
    This is actually quite standard fare. It just is bothering me more lately. The self-righteousness seems to come across in the paragraphs very clearly. It seems to be a case of seeing the straw in the eye of our brother and not noticing the rafter in our own.


  5. JJ says:

    I noticed it too Andrew. When a person is captive to the concept that the WTS is YHWH’s and Jesus’ only channel then it becomes easy and even logical to reach those conclusions.


  6. LonelySheep says:

    JJ what is your email address?

    Silly question. Why do you want my email address?


  7. LonelySheep says:

    Hi JJ,

    Hope you are well. I look forward to hearing from you.


  8. Cory says:

    THANK YOU brother for this article!!! Perfect! 3 years ago my mom started attending the Kingdom Hall after being diagnosed with Cancer. She was raised in the religion, but her and my dad didn’t raise me and my 2 sisters with a solid foundation in any religion. When my parents started attending, I rebelled when their whole life consisted of the Kingdom Hall. Out of this rebellion, I started attending Church with my husband and our 2 young kids to prove them wrong. Thankfully, I opened my heart and surrendered to Jesus in the process, with the focus on Jesus instead of proving them wrong. Today, my husband and I have been baptized, are involved in weekly Care Group, Discipleship Class and attend Church regularly. I read the bible and pray daily! I forgive and love my parents now. It is very hard though, now I see so clearly. My dad is going to come to my church with me this Sunday (please say a prayer!). He knows something is “off” with the JW teachings. I don’t think my mom will ever see though. But, your article has the EXACT thoughts I’ve been thinking, when I read those scriptures myself.


  9. serein says:

    as an ex jw i still find it hard somtimes and struggle when im down,thinking are they right is it me,and yesterday i cryed i prayed and i feel very lost at the moment, i prayed for jehovah to find me as im the sheep thats lost and why do i have to find him, im sick of looking on diff sites sick of reading my bible and still feeling lost,why do i have to go looking for the truth for god for the right path when the sheperd is suposed to go look for his lost sheep and bring them to him,i feel like im giving up, im starting to think god did find me and i made myself lost,duno if this is anything to do with this post but i feel i duno which church is right or who to beleive im starting to think maybe jws are more right than others but i feel i cant go back as i also think theres thing i feel is wrong so cant, isnt god suposed to find us and not the other way round


    • greybeard says:

      Hi Serein,

      I think I know how you feel. I have felt the same way at times. Jesus said to keep on knocking and the door will be opened. I have been knocking for a long time and I still wonder about truth myself. One thing I do know, I know JW’s don’t have it.

      Serein, what if our purpose in life is not to figure out and understand God completely but rather to help others with whatever we can. Maybe if we focus on helping others, maybe volunteer at a hospital or old folks home. What are we doing to show God that we care about other people? Forcing our belief on people of what we think God is, is not what I think God wants. He wants us to show love and help our fellow man without asking something back. I go to AA and I am a planning on volunteering more. I have can help others who have the same problems I have.

      The Bible says, to those who have, more will be given, to those who do not have, what they have will be taken away. My opinion is if we want to get to know God than we should be like the good Samaritan that Jesus used as an example. Doing Gods will is helping others and showing love not forcing our view of what we think is truth on others. JW’s do not practice this. They think they do but in reality they do not. They are not into charitable works unless it involves teaching their views. Jesus said when we give do not blow a trumpet or brag about it. If JW helps a non JW maybe after a storm he helps roof a persons house. He makes it a point to blow his horn and announce he/they are JW’s.

      We can help others without cramming our belief’s down some ones throat or tooting our horns.

      I bet the more we do this the more we will see God acting in our lives.

      When we focus on helping others out own problems fade into the dark.

      If you know what LOVE is than you already know what God is and you know the truth. God is love. He wants us to love and not judge. I personally do not think you are going to find God in a church/building or religion. I believe we already know him deep inside. We need to not focus on our problems but get out of self and help others. Then we will have something that God can add to.


      Your brother,


      • Amos says:

        Hi Serein,

        Dear Sister, I too have very often felt as you have stated, even recently. Please carefully read our Brother Greybeard’s reply to you, very good advice & encouragement.

        I don’t believe there is any church system that has it all correct, just as Greybeard has said, not even the WTS.

        Please be patient, as our Father will have some work for you to do in due time, perhaps He is testing you now to see if you can stick with Him. You see, I believe that we are all being refined, as in a fire….or being shaped like clay by the Great Potter, until he gets us ready for our asignment, whatever that may be. In my own case, I believe that I’ve been motivated by HIM to move so that perhaps I may be able to help others who have been ill-treated by the WTS. Remember, Our Father has great love for His earthly children….enough to send His only-begotten Son as a ransom for them.

        Take courage dear Sister, you are greatly loved by our Heavenly Father & His Dear Son.

        Your brother in the Lord,


  10. Ana says:

    I have read this proverb before and I have thought about the WT organization bringing conflict among brothers and family with shunning too … “and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.” I remember when I wed a “wordly person”, his Greek Orthodox priest told him and his mother not to be afraid of JWs as they were also good Christians too. Other Pastors tell the congregation JWs are good Christians misled my men. This made a big impression on me as it is contrary to the “godly hatred” the WTC instill in JWs against all other Christian denominations. Very good article. Thanks.


Leave a Reply

Website Apps