VOICES OF DISSENSION

By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel


INTRODUCTION

Voices of dissension are becoming more vocal in nature; outrageous in demands with little forethought of the results for having done so, as long as selfish ambitions are met.  Dissension is disagreement in opinion; often displayed in a nature that produces debates, angry words, contentious divisions, bringing discord rather than unity.  (Comment)


Voices of Dissention - Traits

Scripture reveals some of the traits of dissension which include:  Hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife (Galatians 4:19-21).  We see many of these traits at work when voices of dissension sprang into action.  When such comes into focus it is as a venomous snake about to strike. 

Such a person is domineering, combative, contentious, and quarrelsome.  The tongue devises mischief's like a sharp razor working deceitfully (Psalm 52:2).  A dictionary noted that a seditious person raises dissension among the people.  A Bible commentary noted:  Strife brings seditions, schisms and factions, dissensions in all things domestic, civil, and religious.

Schism in the Body

There should be no schism (or division) in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another.  The eyes cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the hand, I have no need of you (1 Corinthians 12:21).

Yet, we are seeing this happening through voices of dissension!  It is not just in the domestic field, in our government, but in the religious world as well; as various factions fail to come together in unity.  How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Psalm 133:1).

Criticism from the Left

An encyclopedia noted some features of dissension:  Decidedly left-wing, critiques both liberal and conservative views and occasionally reserves its strongest criticism from the left.  There is an unwillingness to cooperate with an established source of authority which can be social, cultural, or governmental.  Dissension has primarily been associated with activity of critical thinking, questioning accepted notions of authority.

We have vacated the source of our strength as pointed out by Abraham Lincoln:  We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation as ever grown.  But we have forgotten God.

Those words were spoken to a nation that had become divided by civil war.  Voices of dissension have not been helpful to the life of a nation when ill-conceived.  There needs to be a unity of brotherhood; rather than a withdrawal.  Voices of dissension separate rather than unite.

Disposition of Man

Some quotes concerning disposition are:  The wearer of smiles and the bearer of a kindly disposition needs no introduction but is welcome anywhere (O. S. Marden).  The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances (Martha Washington). 

These sayings have been preserved in the annuals of time because they are not voices of dissension but rather encouragement towards a right attitude. 

Be Not Consumed One of Another 

If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another (Galatians 5:15).  These words readily fit into the voices of dissension in many lands.  

A Bible commentary noted:  No civil community, either public or private, divided against itself can stand long.  Voices of dissension often are the very ones who threaten a coming together.  There are many instances throughout past and present times that give note to such.  There are many nations divided today because of dissension in the ranks.

God Governs in the Affairs of Man

In a Constitutional Convention deadlocked in a bitter controversy, Benjamin Franklin rose and made a plea:  I have lived a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth; that God governs in the affairs of men.

If a sparrow cannot fall on the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it."  I firmly believe this; I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed in business.

Envying and Strife - Not Welcome

Scripture reveals that where envying and strife (or dissension) is, there is confusion, and every evil work.  Such disturbances raise uneasiness, and cause turmoil wherever they appear.  We are seeing many outspoken, and boisterous individuals, who would bring down a godly nation rather than uphold it.

Voices of dissension, opposed to godliness, are breaking out as that of a disease that spreads rapidly.  Laws and rulings have been made to legalize, pamper, and protect the sinful nature of man in many nations.

Voices of Dissension - Recorded in God's Word

There are recorded instances in God's Word, where voices of dissension come into foreplay.  One such instance was when Miriam and Aaron (Moses sister and brother) spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he married (Numbers 12:1).

God revealed how He had spoken to Moses mouth to mouth, and not in dark speeches (as Miriam and Aaron had done) in which they were not afraid to speak against Moses.  And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them (Numbers 12:8-13).

Voices of dissension can be harmful; not only to others, but also to the one voicing unmerited opposition.  There is character assassination being committed; unjust accusation, with no concrete evidence to sustain such an accusation.  God's Word does not honor such action.  Scripture reveals that one day we all will have to give an account of our actions to God (unless repented of) (Romans 4:11).

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