Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
“One that sows discord among brothers” is an abomination to God. It’s an amazing passage that is often overlooked when considering offenses which God hates.
The events presently taking place around the world are causing more discord among people than I’ve seen in my lifetime. Everyone I’ve spoken with from around the world seems to agree that this phenomenon is increasing. And while it’s understandable that people in the world are cracking and conflicted under pressure, it’s even more troubling that this fracturing and division seems to be affecting the body of Messiah as well.
A particularly sad example of this surrounds the recently opened television station (Shelanu TV) in Israel developed by believers in Yeshua for communicating the Gospel to a Hebrew speaking audience. Amazingly, what could well be seen as a breakthrough in freedom of speech and the expression of NT faith in a substantially unreached nation, has been bitterly attacked by some believers calling for the station’s removal.
Of course, everyone vehemently believes he’s on GOD’S side of the argument. It would seem to be crystal clear that, as the Apostle Paul states, the Gospel is “to the Jew first”. And how could anyone dispute that it was always the heart of God to reach the Jewish people with the Gospel. Paul even said he could wish himself to be accursed if only His people Jewish people might be saved. And we should absolutely share that passion with him.
But what counsel might we offer in a situation like this one? Apart from the details of the argument, and the passions on either side of it, I believe we need to follow Paul’s instruction to Timothy: “The servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents in gentleness … that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the enemy.”
It’s an attitude; not so much the “words”, but “the music”, the tone of the discussion, the way we “argue”. Because, while there will always be disagreements and controversies among us, discord, and those who sow it are walking in the flesh, the sinful nature, a self-righteous and belligerent attitude, which is an abomination to our Lord. As passionate as we may be over an issue, we ought to remember that it’s so easy to get in the flesh and sow discord among our brothers and sisters. But it’s one of the things God hates, so keep it in mind.