On "Sowing Discord" and Other Attempts to Control Discourse

by E.L. Anglin

Every day I see posts from friends on social media which state generally, and sometimes very specifically, "I am a proud Apostolic!"

I'm honest enough to say that these expressions bother me for a variety of reasons which I have spent a lot of time addressing. However, I would never respond to those declarations, expressed on my friend's pages, with a request to "Stop sowing discord."

Flip that example. If I were to state "I am a proud non-Apostolic!" what would the reaction be?

I think we all know.

Social media is often frustrating because the people with whom we're connected post things we find objectionable. Thankfully, there are controls in place. If and when a person's posts become entirely objectionable we can simply click the "Ignore," "Unlike," or "Hide all posts" tab. However, while those actions may bring a measure of peaceful ignorance, they in no way invalidate the messages we choose to hide.

Are our belief systems really this fragile? Is it wise to ignore things that make us think? I've found that God usually challenges me to change via convicting messages that make me uncomfortable.

Also, did I miss the memo that states who is and is not permitted to speak about important issues within the Church? I only ask because I've noticed that those who PROMOTE certain doctrines are given free rein, regardless of the damage those teachings bring, while those who speak against religious lunacy are accused of sowing discord, being bitter, etc.

You should know that expressing a contrarian opinion does not make one entirely contrarian, nor does it make one bitter. On every issue there are differing opinions. That's the nature of human interaction.

Let's cut to the chase...It is not "sowing discord" to warn neighbors of a wolf, snake, or thief. Those are acts of love. By all means discuss tradition and Biblical texts. False doctrine flourishes in willful ignorance. Truth is revealed by the light of examination.

Sowing discord is to purposefully distort God's word in order to damage or control other people. Anger arises when we love our positions more than our neighbor.

In the absence of the aforementioned memo, I'll speak freely.

You should, too.


This writing is the copyright of E.L. Anglin and is reprinted on this site by permission. View all of his available articles here.


Page added July 2, 2015

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