the weblog of Alan Knox

Quote 6 from Your Church is Too Small

Posted by on Mar 19, 2010 in books, church history, unity | 8 comments

This week (March 14-20, 2010), I’m taking part in a blog tour of John H. Armstrong’s new book Your Church is Too Small. Armstrong begins each chapter with quotes from various writers throughout church history. Each day this week, I’m going to highlight one of those quotes.

Sectarianism is seeking unity in uniformity rather than unity in diversity and expecting other Christians to comply fully with my views before I have genuine fellowship with them. -Rex Koivisto.


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  1. 3-19-2010

    Good quote. Sectarianism always shows a lack of understand of what Biblical unity really is. The Holy Spirit wrote through Paul in Ephesians 4:3 “..being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” NASB We cannot “preserve” what we do not have. The Spirit is our unity and He produces Biblical unity based on Himself and not on my understanding of doctrine. I believe Biblical doctrine is very important, but it is not what makes us one – He, Himself does that. Otherwise, it would be really impossible and our circles would get smaller and smaller.

  2. 3-19-2010

    Now if we could only hold this view without confusing unity with idolatry. Imagine if I walk into a fellowship with a little wooden statue that says “jesus” on it and say to you “hey brother – I serve the lord just like you do, come rub his belly and he’ll bring you good fortune”. I wonder if our writer would still “seek unity in diversity” at that point. Sadly, as long as my “jesus” statue is carved in my mind, most would still accept me in the name of unity.

    BTW – this comes from a guy who home churches with people of many different denominational backgrounds. There is a ditch to fall in on both sides of the highway of holiness. Just my widows mite of a comment.

    In Christ – Jim

  3. 3-19-2010


    “I believe Biblical doctrine is very important, but it is not what makes us one.” That statement is extremely important. Thank you!


    This week on my blog, I’ve been talking about unity among brothers and sisters in Christ (that is, Christians). I would not consider a person who worships “a little wooden statue” as a god to be a Christian (brother or sister in Christ) regardless of what he/she may name the statue.

    However, you are correct. We are not united with just anyone. We are united with those who are indwelled by the Spirit. Our goal, then, is to live in that unity… not create some other kind of unity.


  4. 3-19-2010

    “Honestly, it scares me today to see men building little fiefdoms based on secondary issues or even tertiary issues. And whose basic raison d’etre is not the great orthodox, catholic Faith. Oh that the biblical catholocity of Fuller and his friends might be more in evidence!”

  5. 3-21-2010

    What is biblical doctrine? I got 10 groups pulling me in the “biblically sound” direction and each emphasizes their position on each part. I can list them if you like :o)

  6. 3-21-2010

    Lionel, please read the book. “Biblically sound” is a catch phrase for whatever the individual wants to say is “sound” or not. This leads to sectarianism, as I argue. Yes, I believe we should be “biblically sound” but I believe the earliest creeds of the church were just that, biblical and sound. Without them we shall never again have a proper starting point for the basic teaching of what really matters in the NT itself. This is why there are 10 groups tugging at you all claiming to be right.

  7. 3-22-2010


    I am definitely going to read the book. Thanks for the comment, so far I have enjoyed what Alan has posted about it. I pray that it does for the Body what your intentions were at least it is causing me to shed a lot of the extra baggage 😮

  8. 3-24-2010

    Alan, this quote says there is too much radical communialism. Anybody who [rightly] disagrees with the sectarian views is [wrongly] labeled as a radical individualist. In my view, much of what we hear about individualism is actually caused by communalism.