I Corinthians 14:33 has long been misinterpreted by the IFB leading to a very dangerous deception.
I was taught in my IFB experience that when making a decision God would give me peace about the right direction and I Corinthians 14:33 was always quoted to justify the idea. The KJV writes: “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
I remember several big decisions in my life where I was very confused and my parents and pastor would always tell me, “God is not the author of confusion, Satan is the one confusing you”. Then they would proceed to tell me that God would give me peace about which direction to take. (Then they would give a subtle hint that the one God would give me peace about is the one that fit more inline with the teachings of the IFB, but that’s for another post).
There are several things to point out about this topic that are important to point out and be aware of. The first thing to notice is the mis-interpretation of the KJV in this verse. The KJV incorrectly interprets the this verse by using the word “confusion”. The correct interpretation should be “disorder” rather than “confusion”. When interpreted correctly we see that “God is not the author of DISORDER“. The NLT, by the way, gets it right: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”
The second thing to consider is the context of the entire passage. Paul is instructing the church at Corinth about the order of their worship services. He is giving them instructions so that their worship would be orderly. It’s pretty clear from the context that Paul is talking about God’s desire for us to be orderly.
It’s important for the IFB to stop making this deception. There are times when we all will be confused about things and even if we are confused it’s not because Satan is confusing us nor is it because we don’t have peace from God about a particular situation. This idea of God giving us peace about the decision He wants us to make is unfounded and unscriptural.
Many people suffer because they have a difficult time finding peace in certain situations. There are, however, situations where peace can’t be found. That doesn’t mean God isn’t involved. I’m saddened by this abusive teaching and misunderstanding of God and I Corinthians 14:33. Please remember, when you are facing a difficult decision or you are confused about a path of life and someone tells you “God is not the author of confusion” they are not really understanding what they are saying.
On a related note the IFB has trumped up the idea that the mental illness of anxiety is related to “being out of God’s will” because of this verse. They will tell you that if you are anxious or confused that you have Satan’s influence on you and that you need to “get right with God since He is not the author of confusion.” Be very careful to make sure you understand that this isn’t true.