Summary: A look at what happens in the church when we divide up into camps and start taking shots at each other.
Dakota Community Church
April 22, 2007
Sower of Discord
These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.
This morning I want to talk about a quality that far too many of us have slowly and quietly incorporated into our brand of the Christian faith.
We do it for many different reasons; sometimes it is to feel superior to others, for some it is a way of gaining acceptance to an exclusive clique.
I’m talking about the need some people feel, to be against something in the church. Have you ever fallen into this snare? Maybe you know someone who has.
What are you against?
It definitely has been an issue for me so today I will share some of my own journey from sower of discord to man at rest and the effects it has borne in my life.
First let’s lay a little bit of a foundation.
1. What is the big issue to God?
May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
As a parent when you are confronted by fighting children, what is the real issue?
Is it the details of the argument? They are secondary aren’t they? Their importance is only an issue if it leads to fixing the real problem. What we want is a return to peace and love.
No loving parent wants separation between the children.
Remember God is love! He wants his children to love each other.
The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth.
Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father’s nakedness.
When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers."
Realize that this is about 4 of God’s children – Noah, Ham, Shem and Harpo, no sorry that last one should be Japheth.
I want you to notice what the higher issue is here. The hard consequence does not fall to the one who is drunk and disorderly; the higher issue is the tale teller who brings discord.
2. Who and or what are you against?
Some people feel the need to be against their pastor for something he preaches, or fails to preach.
Some are against the worship leader for the style of music he plays or refuses to play.
Some are against members of the body of Christ for doing or failing to do something to or for them.
Am I trying to say that church leadership should just be followed and never questioned? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
When disagreements arise between members of the body, particularly at the local church level there needs to be dialogue and resolution. If resolution cannot be reached then there needs to be a loving parting of ways. That is not always available but where possible it should be sought.
“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way”
- C. S. Lewis
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ’every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
How do you treat a pagan or a tax collector? Spit on them? Ignore them? Say nasty things about them behind their backs? How did Jesus treat them?