Sowing Discord Deception

I’ve noticing recently more use of the “don’t sow discord among the brethren” in my research and interactions with others, but this certainly isn’t something new.  Remembering back to my IFB days I distinctly remember this being a topic of sermons on a regular basis.  I also remember that whenever a disagreement came up the warning was usually something like “well, let’s not sow discord” and as a result the discussion would end.  It’s almost as if the IFB tries to use the “don’t sow discord” argument in the same way that Lex Luthor tries to use kryptonite on Superman.

This is still happening, unfortunately, and in large part typically for one of two reasons.  Either it’s a manipulative tactic to get people who show a glimmer of individual thought back under the control of the brainwashing so they will stop the free thinking and so that damage control will be easier or it’s a guilt tactic to make people (like us) who have actually broken free from the chains of legalism to feel ashamed for speaking our minds.

I’ve lost count of the number of times that an IFBer (or someone else who is just unhappy with us) rips us a new one because they think we are “sowing discord among the brethren” (all the while wondering why they are allowed to “sow discord” with me, but I’m not allowed to do it).  This guilt tactic is employed mostly when they have nothing else to say in defense of their belief system, but it’s also largely used to try and convince us that what we are doing is harmful to the cause of Christ.  The problem?  They NEVER (ok well hardly ever) use scripture to support their (what amounts to nothing more than a) philosophical temper tantrum.

My gut tells me that leaders use this to manipulate situations that leave them with a loss of control.  What better way to reign in someone who is trying to say something contrary to their beliefs then to tell them they are guilty of the sin of “sowing discord among the brethren”?  We see this all the time.  Someone stands up and speaks out against the horrible terrors of this abusive cult like denomination for the sake of healing and recovery of spiritual wholeness (i.e., this site) and the IFB counters with “you should be ashamed of yourself for sowing discord among the brethren!”.  The irony, of course, is that the IFBers are quick to point out someone else’s “sowing discord” but conveniently quick to ignore their own abusive and manipulative spiritual tactics that serve to “sow discord” among those in their congregation (I guess it’s only “discord” to the IFB when it opposes their teachings).

This idea of “sowing discord” is a very subjective concept.  What does “sowing discord” even mean anyway?  Well if you are IFB it means just about anything that goes against your belief system.  Its understood meaning in my IFB circles growing up was anything that caused hard feelings.  It was taught in a very subjective context that was way too broad.  So broad, in fact, that someone could say that anything was “sowing discord”” simply because they didn’t like what you were saying or doing.  And of course that’s the rub, another way that the IFB maintains control over what you say and do.  Say or do something that isn’t in agreement with their “standards”?  You’re labeled as a “sower of discord” (punishable by death, not literal death, but death of the soul – of course I’m being a bit dramatic, but you get the point).

The IFB leaders would use this verse as a way to squelch any type of open discussion or dialogue contrary to what they were teaching.  If someone had a question that challenged a particular teaching (even if it was a legitimate question due to a lack of understanding) and threatened the authority of the Man of God, he would respond that “we shouldn’t be sowing discord”, proceed to effectively hand wave the issue raised and conveniently move it to the side to be forgotten.

So, I’d like to dive into scripture to find out the truth regarding this notion of “sowing discord” and see what it’s all about.  We find the actual words “sow discord” in only two verses in about a half dozen translations (actually they all read “soweth discord”).  I bet you can guess what one of those translations is… if you guessed anything other than the KJV you haven’t been paying attention very well – shame on you.  The two verses are Proverbs 6:14 and Proverbs 6:19.

For those of you who know me well enough already know that I believe that context is king when it comes to scriptural interpretation.  These verses are no different.  Keeping Proverbs in context, chapter 6 is a continuation of some daily wisdom for everyday life.  He’s not giving commandments, he’s not telling us what we should or shouldn’t do.  He’s telling us what we should be careful of and starting in verse 16 he tells us 7 things that the Lord hates.

Careful reading of the entire chapter reveals that the idea behind these verses is one who is constantly and consistently stirring up trouble – or being a trouble maker.  Verse 12 reads: “Here is a description of…wicked people: They are CONSTANT liars,…They stir up trouble (read “sow discord” in the KJV) CONSTANTLY.  This isn’t about the person who occasionally has a disagreement or someone who puts up a website to speak out against his perceptions of evil among the body of believers (wink, wink).  This is someone who “plots evil” and then acts out that plot (see the beginning of verse 14).

The idea is someone who goes around like a sneaky drama queen gossiping about one person to someone then going over that that person they were just gossiping about and gossiping to them about the person they were just gossiping to (I know that’s a bit confusing, but just think about it for a minute, you’ll get it).  This is a person who DELIBERATELY and knowingly causes people to fight and argue for the sake of their own enjoyment and entertainment (or for whatever reason they have – maybe a personality disorder?).   Then we get to verse 19 and we see once again that this is an evil minded person whose heart is seeking to deliberately cause division among the body of believers.

No, this isn’t about someone who shows disagreement, it’s about a wicket and vial person whose intent is to purposefully and deliberately cause “discord” among people.

I hear some of you saying “BUT what about those other passages that don’t use the words ‘sow discord’, but talk about causing strife among people?”  Well I respond to that by saying “OK, what are those other passages?”  We are told throughout scriptures to be careful about our interactions with others, but this idea of “sowing discord” is unique and each passage has to be interpreted in light of the context.  If you have another passage in mind that you’d like to bring to my attention, please let me know and I will consider it as well.


  1. Anderson has also produced videos attacking the religion of Judaism and questioning the official story of the Holocaust. The New IFB, like older independent Baptist churches, has been accused of being cult-like. Auckland, New Zealand, New IFB pastor Logan Robertson was deported from Australia in July 2018 after being accused of harassing Muslims at two Brisbane mosques.

  2. I am going thriufh this right now. Our new, young pastor is on this subject continually. 2/3 of the church has left. He came in, “with another gospel” which he hid through his internship,(?), then once in the pulpit its gone down hill.. a lot if ty he members dont see his deception and just keep saying, we need to pray for him. while that may be so, in the meantime no one can say , well I dont see that in the bible. Hes in complete control.. mostly teaches on our duty as a church member, not sowing dicord. This was the only church within mikes that “was” a true church, and kjv only… Satan us destroying this church.. its heart breaking… me also being a woman, I cannot rebuke him…ir even show him how biblically wrong he is.. thus has really left our famikt with a real son in law had recieved Christ as his savior, thanks be to God, just before he became in charge… now there is no pkace aroubd here anyway to be taught the truth…he wants to go to church, but he even says it does feel right.. so he could be easily decieved.. so sad…
    I needed this artical was really needed for me… ty

  3. Ral – Shoot me your addres and I’ll mail you our latest CD.

    If you don’t wish to post your address on here you can e-mail me

  4. Who can tell me where I can purchase a CD of the The Shenandoah Baptist Boys? They are a new favorite for sure. I’d love to listen to them while driving even at home. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!

  5. Bro Robert

    As a frequent commenter here, let me welcome you, and thank you for stopping by.

    I see your heart in your comments and I believe our spirits are bearing witness with one another that we are sons of God!

    I would simply tell you that after having been raised in the IFB from a child, I personally don’t want the “baptist” title put on me anymore. I wish to be considered a christian, that is enough! The baptist title carries more baggage now than what it is worth to me! I see no benefit to be called baptist. But more important than that, I see nothing from the bible or from Jesus that would hint to me any importance of carrying this title.

    I have been with a gospel bluegrass group that plays all over the area for 13 years, we are called “The Shenandoah Baptist Boys” I would really like to change the name frankly! But the leader of the group started this group long before I got here, and won’t go along with it.

    Btw, I’ve ben helping a friend establish a church for the last few years, it is an IFB!!!! Imagine that! My pastor friend is a wonderful man and has a heart for people and souls. I approached him some months ago about just dropping the baptist out of the title but he wouldn’t go for it. (we are still tiny, 15-25 on Sundays)

    Anyway just some of my thoughts. Let us remember to lift up the name of Jesus, because when He is lifted up, He will DRAW all men unto Himself.

    In Christ,

  6. Evangelist (Rev) Robert Howard

    Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

    I happened to find this blog and would like to particpate. I am a Baptist-Christian of 68 years. Could we get to specifics here, regarding IFB practise? The majority of IFB’ers are not Arminian nor Calvinists, and I think this is proper. I think you would agree, however, that there are some elements of the aforesaid “isms” that are Bible-based (total depravity, eternal security), BUT we must apply the whole Bible in context and be very careful with our exegesis and positional language (what, to whom, where and when). There are IFB pastors who are like arbitrary bureaucrats, who love power and control, and thus are not, I tend to believe, Holy Ghost led, while proclaiming old-covenant law (i.e., tithing, “ordinances”, etc), and who speak of “positional righteousness.” I respect the comment made about “basement-educated” preachers. In other words, a few Bible classes at Bob Jones U. does suffice for a well-informed minister. I have to be cautious here, though, since I’m not yet a seminary graduate, either. Such detractions, on the other hand, as I’ve just mentioned above, are an absolute betrayal of the IFB movement. Our IFB roots come from the Southern US, and I deeply respect this, where there is sometimes too much worship drama, yet I do believe that congregational response to preaching is vital and an accurate, positive and Holy Ghost-led expression of faith. Elsewhere in the US, there are IFB churches where worship is way too quiet (the cause being largely due to an influx of new members with no previous exposure to pentecostal acclamation), where pastors are mislead in their approach to effective IFB worship procedure, and thus are, in fact, misleading congregants. The latter problem stems greatly from inefficient deacons boards and search committees who do not know how to find qualified IFB pastors. Personally, I am not going to contend with pastors, or any other folks, over IFB doctrine and practise (though yesterday I criticized my errant, young, Bob Jones-trained pastor). His reaction was simply one of indifference. This means I must move on. God help us all with this stuff!

  7. Ashley – I don’t want to be snarky, but your comment is sort of rambling, and I’m not sure who you are addressing!

    We would definitely agree, at least on one thing, and that is that al curches/denominations are made up very fallible people who do and will make mistakes!

    Clearly it is my experience and thousands of others that we have heard the “ol, throwing discord preaching” around, and it is usually to keep the “sheeple” in line, and means essentially, never question me, your basement-educated IFB pastor (ok, that’s alittle snark, but hang with me) perhaps you’ve never heard it, you are among the minority, I promise you! I play gospel bluegrass music and have played all over my state and several others, and believe me I’ve heard it many times!

    Understand something. I hope to goodnes you are judging! Especially if you have children! No where is their teaching in the bible that tells us to sit back and believe everything the MOG says! There are thousands of recent cases of child abuse, and adultery among the IFB’s, just look at the recent one with Jack Schapp! Pls don’t give your IFB pastor a pass, he is a simple man, and far too often a very narsicistic one at that.

    Pls come back and explain yourself abit more fully. I truly don’t understand your points exactly, we may actually be in more agreement than you think

  8. That is usually how it works for most churches: people sit there and listen to their pastor, minister, priest for an hour or more so I don’t understand why that was even brought up.
    I attend an IFB church and have for years. I’ve never heard my pastor or anyone else in the church say sowing discord. Just because you went to a church and the pastor repeated that, it does not mean all of them do. Independent churches with independent pastors who run their churches as they see fit. Who are you to judge? Who am I to judge?
    Not all IFB churches are correct in their ways; just like with other denominations. Look at the Catholic churches with all the child molestation. Just because some of done it, doesn’t mean all Catholic priests have molested children.
    This is just an attempt from somewhere is doesn’t believe and wants to stir things up. For that, you should be ashamed. We stand in unity for God.

    1. Ashley – So basically you are saying that we are to just follow like dumb sheep anyone that stands in a pulpit and calls themselves a “preacher?” Hmmm, Who am I to judge?

      A single mom that entrusted my three children to the leadership of a Christian school and church that the preacher’s wife then set up my 16 year old son with her 16 year old daughter supplying sex education books, condoms, a hotel room and opportunity to have sex at the Preacher’s home (but first things first she had to be sure that Cecil Ballard was off to teach at Keith Gomez’s church college) all the while she lied to me that my son was staying over with her son. All the while knowing that I absolutely DID NOT WANT my children to date until college.

      FYI both of these MOG graduated from Hyles Anderson – hmmmm – so maybe had someone had the guts to judge Jack Hyles there wouldn’t have been opportunity for Keith and Cecil to hide the perverted secrets they have hidden – and if someone had had the guts to address that dirty little secret instead of shipping them off to Bob Buchanan’s my children especially my youngest son and God knows how many other children would not have been exposed to a perverted pastor’s wife. And then if Cecil had the backbone to obey God’s word no matter how much pride he had to swallow to admit he doesn’t have his house in order, how different things might be.

      Stir things up? You are darn right – let’s put the truth out there get to the point of repentance of the acknowledging of the truth; humble ourselves in God’s sight and THEN God will answer our prayers. Judgement starts at the house of God Ashley…do you really want your children to be treated like mine were? Do you really want more single mom’s to be duped into handing over thier children into situations that end up with the kids as far away from these christian hypocrits and out of church as they can get?

      We better open our mouths – listen to this….and as sickening as it is…I dare say this is how most IFB churches are. Make fun of it Cecil – there are victims of your actions and lack of..SHAME ON YOU!!! Shoot after you hear this there is no judging…he reads his wife admiting to facilitating this mess, he then admits he’s known about it…but he and his wife have gotten it right. WAKE up Ballard!!! Its not just you and your wife when you are SUPPOSE to be a leader. Its the WHOLE ministry and if you and these “men” on this audio of this meeting want to blame a fine young man like my son (no thanks to you) go ahead. Anyone that listens to this can see it as plain as day you are a coward for not dealing with this.

      So – no Ashley not all IFB churches are correct in thier ways – BUT we need to warn of the ones that the preacher and his wife on audio admit to this perversness and WARN others!

  9. Trudy – I’m in a similar situation. After leaving my old fundy church, we wound up for a time in a Southern Baptist, gottat tell ya, it was a night and day difference! My wife was not allowed to participate in the Lord’s supper because she was not a member (btw if your not busy, show me in the scriptures where ANYONE is supposed to join a church..smiles) One of our first Sundays at the SBC, they are about to take communion, and they went out of their way to invite every saved person to participate, it really soothed my soul!!! To finally hear some grace instead of some unbiblical bull! Anyhoo, an old friend started a small church and I felt compelled to try and help him get this work established. He is fundy, but he is also on a journey out of there and has taken some major strides in the right direction. I don’t hesitate to tell him what I think, and have written him some long letters and more than a few phone calls, God is definitely working on him, but we are very small (15-25) on Sundays, maybe (4-10) Wed. He invites questions and makes himself available at all times, I sincerely believe he has a servant’s heart and that means an awful lot to me.

  10. Trudy,
    My current pastor also encourages us to ask questions. He has even said from the pulpit that we are not to take his word for something. He wants us to search the Scriptures for ourselves to find out if what he is teaching/preaching is the truth according to the Bible. It is very refreshing to hear that, because that was not something I ever heard when I was growing up.

    I don’t think all IFBers are wrong either. There are good and bad churches and pastors in every denomination.

  11. After not being in church anywhere for a number of years I found a small IFB church started by a church planter/missionary. Have to admit that we have the opportunity to ask questions. We are a small group. The preacher challenges us with questions that he would like us to come next week with what we think are the answers.

    He has been burnt by preachers/those in the “ministry” as many of us have, but he got in the bible and found answers that have led him to where he is today in his preaching. We don’t get the five or six verses, shut your Bible and then listen to a man ramble on and on and on. I know that what God allowed him to go through has made him an awesome preacher.

    So I’m not sold on all IFBers being ALL wrong…I don’t think we have the discipline to keep on track without a little help from a God led preacher.

  12. “Where do IFB’s get that everybody sits down and listens to one man talk for an hour! The Corinthians, while not an example of the finest church in the 1st century were still, stopping the teaching asking questions etc, it wasn’t frowned on! I can’t imagine the Bereans sat through hours long lectures w/out asking some questions.”

    I never thought of that. With their hours long church services, of course the Bereans would have asked questions. Asking questions is the only way to gauge whether or not what a person is teaching is being understood. In my IFB Sunday School classes, I can remember sitting there and listening like a zombie…not comprehending anything. I can’t imagine sitting there listening to a lecture for a few hours and not being allowed to ask questions. I don’t think that’s how God intended for us to study things out of the Bible. Now, I ask so many questions of so many different people. Some of it might be because I was taught to never question authority so I have to rebel a little bit, but alot of it is because I truly want to learn and I truly don’t want to misunderstand what someone is telling me.

  13. (I guess it’s only “discord” to the IFB when it opposes their teachings” Exactly!!!!!

    Again, this is “nail on the head” type commentary! Where do IFB’s get that everybody sits down and listens to one man talk for an hour! The Corinthians, while not an example of the finest church in the 1st century were still, stopping the teaching asking questions etc, it wasn’t frowed on! I can’t imagine the Bereans sat through hours long lectures w/out asking some questions. If you or folks you know are in any type of church that doesn’t allow for questions or demands that everyone believe the same about everything, you may want to find another group to fellowship with.

  14. “I’ve lost count of the number of times that an IFBer (or someone else who is just unhappy with us) rips us a new one because they think we are “sowing discord among the brethren” (all the while wondering why they are allowed to “sow discord” with me, but I’m not allowed to do it).”

    LOL!!! I actually laughed out loud when I read that.

    I thought about something else while I was reading this. Why is it that IFB pastors can get behind the pulpit and blast other religions and the people who are part of them, and that is NOT considered “sowing discord?” There is a definite double-standard.

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