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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Winter Edition 2000

Chief Characteristics Of Congregations Of Darbyites

    We are convinced that many local churches that are nominally part of what we call "the Holiness Movement" today are not true New Testament Christian churches at all, but rather "congregations of Darbyites," whose biblical theology and Christian world-view are molded more after the teachings of John Nelson Darby and the nineteenth century  English  antinomian Plymouth Brethren sect called "dispensational premillennialists" than they are after John Wesley, and Jesus Christ.

Here are four important indications that a professed Christian church may not be a New Testament church at all, but may rather be in a cult of false doctrine we term a congregation of Darbyites.

1In congregations of Darbyites the people, typically, are legalistic in their approach to Christian Holiness. "Holiness" is viewed among these people strictly as a matter of do's and don'ts. Concern for the outward appearance of things takes precedence over the issue of the motive of the heart. In this climate of legalism, or lack of genuine Christian love, hypocrisy becomes the order of the day.

2.  In congregations of Darbyites the people, typically, are in bondage to one another, and/or to men's traditions that go beyond the Bible. This spirit of bondage to men's opinions and ideas obstructs and obscures the understanding of Bible truth among these folk, resulting in a lack of faith/reason integration, and loss of Christian focus.

3. In congregations of Darbyites, the people, typically, are lawless. Their religion consists of sentimentality and emotionalism grounded in personal subjectivity. There is a lack of objective obedience to the Bible among them. The result of this condition of "antinomianism" is often manifested in the forsaking of the outward Bible standards of holy living, as well as in the inner manifestations of carnality—envying, strife, and divisions—, which betrays the absence of a pure heart, or true Bible Holiness.

4. Judgmental attitudes. Finally, members of congregations of Darbyites commonly ascend the Great White Throne to hand sentence on the character or profession of others in clear violation of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7:1-2. The consequence of this spirit of non-charity is, again, divisiveness, often over the most petty issues.

Brethren, let us examine ourselves, whether or not we are of New Testament Messianic faith! Sooner or later congregations of Darbyites are bound to demise, and well they should, for they do not represent New Testament Christianity in the first place.

The true Bible Holiness church--and there are also many local manifestations of the one true church of God--, on the other hand, is still live and well throughout the world today.

Please note that none of the statement we have made above are meant to be disparaging of any of the true work of God--we personally pray constantly for the overthrow of antinomianism, and the blessing of the Lord on all the true holiness works of God--please, if you will, join us in this prayer.

    If the so-called "church" you attend is sickly, as described above, it may well be that  you are a member of a "congregation of Darbyites," and should leave that cult of false doctrine for a true Christian fellowship, where common-sense understanding of the Bible is the law of life, and where Jesus Christ is truly lifted-up, loved, honored, and obeyed. Amen.

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