How To Handle Them
1 Cor. 15:33
I. What Does The Bible Teach Us About "Sowers of Discord?"
A. "Sowers of Discord" sow the seeds of bitterness, anger, and hatred, --- these do Not Come From The Spirit of God but rather from the Enemy --- a Spiritual Warfare.
Eph. 6:12, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
B. Not only do "Sowers of Discord" Play Into The Hands of Evil Forces that are intent upon destroying the mission of the church --- they also Enjoy It!
1. They regularly nourish these feelings by brooding on:
a. Past injuries,
b. Present suspicions,
c. Future insecurities.
2. Like in the Garden of Eden --- these desire to be Their Own God --- make Their Own Decisions --- do Their Own Thing.
C. Can a "Christian" be in the grip of Evil Forces?
a. Matt. 16:22-23, "Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
b. Luke 22:31, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:"
2. Ananias and Sapphira:
D. We dare Not Sit Back And Watch "Sowers of Discord" Cripple and Disfigure the church.
1. "Sowers of Discord" can so thoroughly work their way through a congregation that there remains only a Deadly Mockery of what was once a Healthy, Lively and Loving Church.
2. What an Absurd Tragedy for the flock to be Devoured because everyone thought it Impolite To Cry, "Wolf!"
Matt. 7:15-16, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits."
II. Why Does "Sowing of Discord" Happen In Churches?
A. "Sowers of Discord" are "Sowers of Discord" By Nature --- it is their Personality.
1. Although Change in a full-fledged "Sower of Discord" Is Rare, all things are possible with God.
2. Their Personality Problems are most certainly Deep-Seated, yet they are Not Out of Touch with reality.
3. "Sowers of Discord" are Not Neurotic --- Neurotics experience Anxiety, Guilt, Dissatisfaction with their problems, and a Desire To Change --- "Sowers of Discord" do NOT.
B. "Sowers of Discord" are people who are Never Satisfied.
1. No Amount of Accommodation on your part will ever suffice.
2. Attempts at Appeasement Only Encourage Them to make more demands --- "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile."
3. They carry a great deal of Hostility, coupled with an overwhelming Drive For Power.
4. Many "Sowers of Discord" Fight on Until there is Nothing Left but rubble.
C. "Sowers of Discord," many times, have Ulterior Motives:
1. Revenge ---
a. "The Pastor Knows I'm Divorced, he should Not have preached about that Subject ...
b. "The preacher was Preaching Right At Me today --- I'll Get Even with him ...
c. The preacher doesn't pay enough Attention to me --- I'll get another pastor who will.
(( Out-Reach or In-Reach Ministry ))
2. Guilt ---
a. The pastor Knows Too Much about me.
(1) My Husband/Wife has counseled with him ...
(2) My Child has counseled with the pastor --- no telling what he has been told ...
b. "I am Embarrassed to face him --- it is Much Easier to Get Rid of Him ... or Go To Another Church.
3. Independent Spirit ---
a. Being Their Own Authority --- they Rebel against the authority and preaching of God's Word.
b. Not being strong Spiritually --- they do Not Understand the seriousness of their actions.
c. I Samuel 8:7, "And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."
d. Luke 10:16, "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me."
e. Matthew 10:40, "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me."
f. John 13:20, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me."
D. "Sowers of Discord" may present some Valid Points but generally do Not offer Constructive Criticism.
1. Instead of pulling God's people together, they Divide them.
2. They Displace their Angry Hostile Behaviors onto people in the congregation --- usually the leaders.
3. The Targets are Not The Cause of the antagonism, but merely Recipients of it.
E. "Sowers of Discord" tend to Attract Followers --- some Reasons Why individuals follow "Sowers of Discord" are:
1. People sometimes mistake "Sowers of Discord" for Activists --- working for a Cause ...
2. Lies And Half-Truths are often far More Exciting than the truth.
3. To adamic man, Bad News is more exciting than good news.
4. Some people are Gullible, and "Sowers of Discord" take advantage of that.
5. Some people tend to Follow Orders without question.
6. Some people are Intimidated by "Sowers of Discord."
7. Many people just don't want to Rock The Boat.
8. Some people follower "Sowers of Discord" in order to Be One of The Crowd.
9. Some join "Sowers of Discord" as a way to Express Their Own Feelings.
10. Others follow "Sowers of Discord" because of Misguided Loyalties --- "They are My Friends..."
11. Some follow "Sowers of Discord" because "Sowers of Discord" frequently make their followers Feel Important --- Show Them Attention.
Jude 16, "These are murmurers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage."
12. Some follow "Sowers of Discord" as a way of Rebelling Against the Authority and Preaching of God's Word.
III. And Then, There Is The Question of Priorities --- What Value Do You Place On The Lord's Work?
A. We Must decide whether our Love And Loyalty is to be to some Friend of ours --- or to God.
(( More about this later ))
B. To Do Nothing, Concedes to the "Sower of Discord" the Right To Continue behaving Destructively --- Damaging God's people --- and Discrediting God's church.
C. Questions may arise in your mind:
1. What kind of Christian Am I? --- I Also Fail the Lord.
2. How can I Justify my actions against someone else?
3. How can I legitimately call Someone Else a "Sower of Discord"?
4. As a Christian, shouldn't I seek to Minister to the "Sower of Discord?"
D. Christians are called to minister To All People.
1. We are to Pray for our enemies --- Bless those who curse us --- Love the loveless, etc.
2. This Includes "Sowers of Discord" --- Christ gave His life for them also.
E. However, "Sowers of Discord" are Not Loved or Blessed simply By Letting Them Have Their Own Way.
1. Letting a Small Child Play With Matches is not a loving action.
2. Permitting a Drunk person to Drive a car is not a loving action.
3. Allowing "Sowers of Discord" to Wreak Havoc in the midst of and At The Expense of The Lord's Church is Not a loving action.
F. You may think that an individual has Done So Much Good that his or her sowing of discord should therefore be Overlooked.
(The Same Argument might be made in support of:)
1. Mussolini --- "At least the trains run on time."
2. Hitler --- Played a major part in Germany's economic recovery from depression.
3. Jim Jones - People's Temple in Guyana --- did many worthwhile things for poor people.
G. Lev. 19:17, "Ye shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him."
H. Now, we need to Decide whether our Love and Loyalty is to be to some Friend of ours or to God.
1. Why can't I be loyal to both --- Why Must I Choose between the two? --- Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"
2. Prov. 12:26, "The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray."
3. Prov. 20:19, "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips."
4. Rom. 16:17-18, "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple."
5. The Lord is Not teaching us Not to keep company with Sinners but rather not to keep company with Worldly Saints.
1 Cor. 5:9-11, "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner - not even to eat with such a person."
I. Why! would God use such Strong Language in refusing to allow us to keep company with a brother in Christ when All We Are Trying To Do Is To Help him spiritually.
1. Sometimes when we try to help a friend, we merely Encourages Him To Continue In His Sin.
2. God Knows Better than you and I What Will Help your friend get right with God.
a. 2 Thess. 3:14-15, "And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
b. Your Sympathizing with him in his backbiting and criticism Will Never Bring Him To Be Ashamed --- it will only encourage him in his sin.
c. If you think you Know, Better Than God what will work in reaching your friend, your fight is Not With Me But With God.
J. If the Church were to Follow Christ's Teaching --- this person would be Excluded from church Fellowship.
1. Matt. 18:17, "But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector."
2. If you think this is too harsh --- maybe you had better Re-Evaluate Your Love For The Lord - Vs - your love for your Friend.
K. Jesus puts it even stronger in:
Matt. 10:37-38, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me."
L. If You Are more concerned about hurting the Feeling of Your Friend than you are of Grieving The Holy Spirit --- You Are Not Worthy of God.
1. Eph. 4:1, "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called."
2. Col. 1:9-10, "...we...do not cease to pray for you ... that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worth of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
3. 2 Thess. 1:5, "...that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;" --- V. 11, "...we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling,..."
A Search For The Truth