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A Sectarian and a Truth Seeker

by David Lipscomb1

A sectarian is one who defends everything his party holds or that will help his party, and opposes all that his party does not hold or that will injure the strength and popularity of his party. The partisan takes it for granted everything his party holds is right, and everything the other party holds is wrong and to be opposed. Hence the party lines define his faith and teaching. He sees no good in the other party. He sees no wrong In his own party, unless some one in his party should love truth and oppose an error of his party or defend a truth of the other party.

A truth lover and seeker always looks into whatever party he comes in contact with, and will first look to see what truth the party holds. All parties hold some element of truth. Usually each party holds and emphasizes some particular truth in a way of its own. One seeking truth above all other things will search out first of all this truth and appropriate it as his own. A true lover of truth seeks out and appropriates as his own every truth he finds, no matter who holds or teaches it. All truth is the heritage of the truth lover and seeker. He will approach every teacher and every system as holding and cherishing some truth that he desires to learn and hold. He will feel kindly toward all. The love of truth is a spirit of kindness and love toward all, even to the holder of error. He loves the holder of truth because he receives truth and strength from him. He loves those in error because he sympathizes with them and desires to impart truth and strength to them. He knows, too, the more truth and strength he imparts to others, the more he has for himself. A characteristic of truth is, the more we give away, the more we have to keep for ourselves. Imparting, giving away truth. Increases our own store. The lover of truth, then, feels kindly toward all and approaches all, whether to gain or impart, in a spirit of kindness and love. The effort to learn and gain truth from others opens their hearts to learn and receive truth from us. He who is most willing to receive truth from others is the most effective teacher of truth to others. When we are receiving another's truth is a good time to remove his errors and impart to him truth. Jesus and the apostles acknowledged the truth others held, and made the acknowledgment of that truth often the occasion of correcting their errors and teaching other truths.

1David Lipscomb, "A Sectarian and a Truth Seeker," Gospel Advocate (June 27, 1907): 409.