One major problem of today's believers is that many follow the "big" men of the assembly (church) such as Luther, Calvin, Darby, and other organizations in the world. Many believers fall too deeply in love with their teachings and opinions instead of sticking with the black and white text of the New Covenant. These believers tend to talk about what these men say, instead of taking verses and sharing their own understanding of the biblical matter.
We can recognize them easily because they distinguish themselves from other believers by labeling themselves names after the man or group they follow: Lutheran, Calvinists, Darbyites, Baptists, Pentecostal, etc. Unintentionally or not, they create partition within the body of Christ. They commit the sin of sectarianism.
This is similar to what happened in the assembly of Corinth. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1: 11-13, "For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers... Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ. Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!"
In the same way, these believers create division, even competition, instead of unity in the assembly.
Again, be careful to whom you associate yourself with. These "big" men of the assembly (church), how "big" they may be, are still humans and are susceptible to mistakes like every one of us. By reading the history and biography of these men, we can find flaws easily. Yes, they MAY be saved and have some sound doctrines, but what they believed and taught may not be 100 % in line with the scriptures.
To name a few, J. N. Darby believed in the baptism of infants. Mature believers know that there is nothing in the New Covenant that supports this. So if one says he is a Darbyite, he automatically puts himself under this false doctrine. Likewise, Luther, in his lifetime, hated the Jews so much he told the German people to burn the synagogues! The list could go on and on about the rest of the "big" men in the assembly. But my intention for this blog is not to enumerate their mistakes.
My point is that we should remind ourselves, as believers, to stick to the scriptures and not to go too far following the strides of ordinary men. It is good to examine what they say. It is part of questioning and studying the scriptures anyway. But to blindly follow every teaching they have to the point of not searching the scriptures to prove whether their teachings are valid or not-- is wrong. Even worse when we take their names to label ourselves and causing division instead of promoting unity in the assembly.
After all, who is Luther? Who is Calvin? Who is Darby? Even Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, who is far "BIGGER" than all these "big" men, rebuked the Corinthians for committing such a sin!
"So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God." 1 Corinthians 3:21-23
Let us associate ourselves only to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We follow Him and nobody else.
Related readings: Sin of Sectarianism
Building on the Foundation of Christ