Are there Christians among the sects?
CHRISTIANS AMONG THE SECTS
by W. Carl Ketcherside
"I am convinced that there are many Christians among the sectarian parties of our day."
"Mind you, I do not believe that there are any Christians outside the body of Christ." 1
Answering the charge that 'we consider the various sectarian bodies as parts of the one church of the New Testament,' Ketcherside recognizes "This is exactly the opposite to my position. I have repeatedly said that the church of God is not a sect. No sect is the church of God. No coalition or aggregation of sects constitutes that church. The various sects exist in opposition to the word of God. They are a manifestation of the work of the flesh."
"...we contend there may be children of God among the sects. That is far from saying that the sects are a part of the one body. There are citizens of the United States in Russia, but Russia is not a part of the United States." 2 "But there are thousands of honest, sincere believers in Christ among the sects. God's sheep have been smitten by men, and scattered by creeds over the hills. We feel a compulsion of spirit to seek them out and show them the way. We cannot do so by creating another sect." 3
"It is inconceivable to me that for the greater majority of the time since He ascended to heaven, Jesus has been a shepherd without a single sheep, a king without a subject, a head without a body, or a Saviour who saved no one for seventeen hundred years. Yes I think there may be many children of God scattered among the various sects." 4 "Not everyone in a sect is a sectarian. Some of God's children are a dispersed, displaced and exiled people..." 5
"It is only when we recognize our brethren and love them as brethren that we can move toward a closer association with each other and a closer walk with God. We cannot unite the family by denying the paternity of those who compose it. This was clearly understood at the outset of the restoration movement of which most of our readers are the heirs. Alexander Campbell described it as 'a project to unite the Christians in all of the sects'. We have lived to see the day when the parties resulting from such a project, or from the abuses of it, regard as 'heresy' the mere intimation that there are Christians in the sects. This is a complete reversal of thought. What has happened?" 6
1 June, 1961, p. 8
2 Sept., 1958, pp. 2, 3
3 Oct., 1958, p. 7
4 Feb., 1960, p. 6
5 Jan., 1960, p. 5
6 June, 1961, p. 8