A sect is a group whose distinctive religious beliefs differ from the recognised, traditional teachings of the larger group to which they belong. e.g. Christianity or Judaism. As an offshoot or splinter group, they remain isolated and exclusive of others, considering they, and they alone, have the truth.

Errors in belief come from wrong motivation as well as incomplete, unbalanced and distorted interpretations of Scripture, resulting in human rules which have greater authority than the Word of God being made and adopted by the group (Isa 29:13; Jer 23:25-32; Mk 7:8; 1 Tim 6:3). The

  Know the truths of the Bible so you                                      will not be lead astray

responsibility is placed on teachers not to add to or subtract from the Bible’s message but faithfully and accurately share the Scriptures without bringing in their own views (Deut 4:2; Mt 5:19; 2 Tim 2:15; Jas 3:1; 2 Pet 3:16; Rev 22:18,19). Doctrine must line up with the principles and teachings of the Bible (Mt 22:29, 28:20; Act 17:11; Gal 1:8; 1 Tim 1:3, 4:1).

Sect leaders are often persuasive, authoritative, unsubmissive individuals who operate in seclusion and independence, taking advantage of and manipulating vulnerable people, leading them into further deception. Thus, it is wise to receive spiritual input from a variety of sources, as this provides a more balanced input of truth and enables ‘testing’ (1 Jn 4:1).

See also: balance, Bible, cults, deception, denomination, error, false teaching, isolation, truth.

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