"SOWING DISCORD AMONG BRETHREN"
David M. Green
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:16-19).
What strong language we find here in God's Word! These things are abmination to God! The word abomination is something we do not hear preached about very often. But, very simply, this word means “Extreme hatred; detestation.” When we think of an abomination to God, we most often think of the sin of sodomy, but we seldom think of God's people ever doing something that would be an abomination. However, God's people can be guilty of any of these things listed in this passage. And, one of the most common of these is the one about sowing discord among the brethren.
Baptists are very good at telling stories and spreading tales among the brethren! What a sad commentary it is to know that it is the bad stories and the false tales that get spread the fastest. And with the telephone and internet, some brethren have gotten really quick with it. Why, most of us have cellular phones we can use anywhere and email with high-speed internet! We can hear a new story in one minute and the next minute have it sent to the four corners of the world, without ever stopping to think about it or to find out if it is true!
"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:16).
A direct commandment from God says not to be a talebearer! Some may argue that this law no longer applies, but I ask you, since when? Folks, this was a serious sin in the Old Testament and it is still a serious sin today!
"Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." (Proverbs 26:20-22).
This passage ought to be on the wall of every church building. It could certainly be placed on the tomb of many a church that is no longer in existence. Many a church split could have been avoided if talebearing was avoided!
The words of a talebearer are as wounds! These tales are usually false, but they may actually be true. If something is not needful, if it is not true, if it is not helpful, if it will cause someone else to get hurt, then it ought not to be told.
"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." (2 Thessalonians 3:11).
A busybody is very similar to a talebearer. They like to meddle in other people’s business. They will spread tales and gossip all over. The Thessalonian church had members who were guilty of these sins and many in our churches are guilty of this as well. No church member is immune. I have heard pastors telling stories about missionaries, church members gossiping about their pastor, etc. And the sad part of it is, some people would rather climb a tree and get out on a limb to hear (or tell) a lie than to just stand on the ground to hear the truth.
"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." (1 Peter 4:14-16).
If you suffer as a Christian, that is a good thing. But if you suffer because of sowing discord, or being a talebearer, or a busybody then you have absolutely nowhere to stand. You ought to be ashamed of yourself! May God help us to avoid the awful abomination of sowing discord among the brethren!
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