Mark Twain once told, as an experiment, he put a cat and a dog in a cage together, to see if they could get along. Surprisingly, they did. Next, he put in a bird, a pig and a goat. With a few adjustments, they, too, got along fine. Then, he put a bunch of religious- spirited church people together, and soon there was not a single living thing!
Proverbs 16:27 and 28 declares, “An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.” This is a strong warning. Note: “Ungodly” means “a worthless, wicked person, a man of Belial.” “Belial” is a reference to an evil force, used of Satan in the New Testament, and in Milton’s Paradise Lost, one of the fallen angels. Such a person plots against others, by lying on, and defaming their reputation. “Perverse” is defined as “a deviant, sexual perversion, abnormal, and a fraud.” He “digs up evil,” i.e., seeks to destroy people. Proverbs 8:13 says God hates such activities, and in Proverbs 2:12, we are told to separate from them. “Whisperer” means “a slanderer” who “separates friends,” i.e. division.
Terry Forrest said, “To sow discord among the brethren is sinful regardless of the motivation.” In Proverbs 6:16 – 19, we are told of seven things God hates, and are said to be “an abomination to Him.” The last listed is “one who sows discord among the brethren.” Interestingly enough, such a person is listed on equal ground with pride, liars, murderers of children, vile, and corrupt hearts. “Abomination” means “something disgusting, and an abhorrence to God.” It is the same word used when God expresses how such practices as sexual deviancy, demonism, occultism, witchcraft, and idolatry are an “abomination” to Him (Leviticus 18:22 and Deuteronomy, chapter seven). Astonishingly, Scripture lists those who sow discord right along with these type people.
The prayer of John Wesley is one that needs to be heeded: “Lord, if I must contend, let it not be with thy people.”
“It is an honor to cease from strife, since any fool can start a quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654