Whenever a Christian attempts to shine light on errant teaching there is a predictable response; that being, “You are sowing discord among the brethren.” Why? That’s easy; none of us want to admit that we are, or have been, foolish. Simply put, it’s all about pride! Which, by the way, is referenced forty-nine times in the Word of God. Something here comes to mind about “Weightier Matters,” because the word “discord” only appears two times in the Scriptures.; once in Proverbs 6:14 and again in Proverbs 6:19.
If you do not have a working knowledge of grammar and an understanding that the punctuation found in your Bible was added many years later…you will fall prey to errant teaching or a misapplication of the Scriptures. Yes, the earliest manuscripts were written in the tradition of Greek texts of their day, in all capital letters, with no division between the words or sections.
So let’s look at the first usage of the word “discord.”
Proverbs 6:14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
Proverbs 6:14 Frowardness is in his heart he deviseth mischief continually he soweth discord.
See the difference?
I find it easier to grasp the entirety of thought and meaning without the punctuation, but in the interest of learning let’s explore the grammar.
A comma marks a slight break between different parts of a sentence. Used properly, commas make the meaning of sentences clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses. Commas are used to separate clauses in a complex sentence (i.e. a sentence which is made up of a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses).
And the main task of the semicolon is to mark a break that is stronger than a comma but not as final as a full stop. It’s used between two main clauses that balance each other and are too closely linked to be made into separate sentences.
Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; [subordinate clause] [subordinate clause]
he soweth discord.
See the relationship?
Even those who added the punctuation to the Bible knew the clauses were too closely linked to be made into separate sentences.
Therefore, he that sows discord is: one who has “frowardness” (perverseness) in his heart and continually devises (plans, invents or plots) to do mischief (harm, hurt or injury). Pointing out errant teaching, goofy theology, traditions of men, personal standards, half-truths or outright lies is a far cry from being “perverse” or attempting to cause harm.
In fact, you will discover many more passages of Scripture that tell us to mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them; warnings in regards to false prophets or those who obey not the words written in the epistles; to note these persons and have no company with them.
Look, I am commanded to love the brethren. And I do! That is an easy thing. I have no malice towards those who concerning the truth have erred. I have done so myself. For years I studied to show myself approved unto man. Why? I wanted to be accepted into the group. Upon a closer examination of the Scriptures I learned the truth of 2 Timothy 2:15. We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God; not unto man. It is those who refuse to admit their mistakes that have the problem.
Moreover, in reference to the verse everyone loves to quote “…and he that soweth discord among the brethren,” I find it highly interesting that it is most often quoted out of context. Of course, such is the methodology so often used by those who want to avoid the truth of the Scriptures and protect their own sacred cows.
Look at the entire verse in Proverbs 6:19. It says, “A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” In essence, he that accuses a brother or sister of sowing discord, without addressing the validity of the words spoken by the person being accused, is the false witness that speaketh lies.
In the final analysis of the entire context (Proverbs 6:16-19) in these things which God hates, let us be ever mindful of those things and pray against them; and avoid, with marked disapproval, all which are guilty of them.
To those who continue with profane and vain babbling, and have erred in the truth of the Scriptures I say, “No…I won’t back down. I will stand my ground.”