I know right now some of you are thinking, “Oh my gosh, Mark has lost it! There he goes, mister extreme, how could he use that title?!?!”
Here’s how: I got the title from God!! God, Himself, describes the carnage and savagery that I see happening today among Christians as I have never seen before. IN FACT, IT IS AT EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS TODAY IN THE CHURCH, AND IN MARRIAGES.
Here it is, spoken by God:
And from The Voice: “Why all this vicious gnawing on each other? If you are not careful, you will find you’ve eaten each other alive!”
My friends, I write today with a very, very heavy heart. This is the greatest epidemic of our time among Christians! Christians are destroying each other, couples are destroying each other with there constant criticisms, fault finding, backbiting, tearing each other down, grumbling and complaining against each other and with their gossip and slander. The church today has an epidemic of cannibalism. It is an abomination to God and it is tearing Christians, churches, and marriages apart. Christians are literally eating each other alive in the most savage, brutal, and destructive ways possible. If you don’t grasp what is happening through social media you have your head buried in the sand.
We have become like the children of Israel under Moses leadership during their 40-year desert journey. Those people were constantly grumbling and complaining and finding fault with Moses and it destroyed all their lives! Did you know that? Do you grasp that God judged them all severely, all the adults, and as a result, they all died in the desert wasteland and never, ever entered the promised land during Moses time? Do you not understand God will also judge us for doing the same thing!?
I am begging you dear friends, and I do mean begging, please hear me. Stop tearing each other apart with your words! With your tweets, with your texts, with your smartphone, with your Facebook, with your spoken words, with your thoughts! I have never seen so much destruction, so much bile, grumbling and complaining, slander and lies in all my life. As a pastor for 32 years of my life I was a first-hand witness, in fact, I was a personal, primary recipient of the vicious savagery of other Christians. I had a front-row seat to the vicious slander, gossip, backbiting, grumbling, fault finding, and constant complaining by Christians at other Christians, at pastors and leaders, and between spouses toward each other. It is an epidemic and it is devouring Christians, killing and destroying marriages, and killing love.
IT IS BREAKING THE HEART OF GOD.
We must recognize that the current culture we live in and its manifestations inside the church is abhorrent to God.
Jesus Christ paid an excruciating, tormenting, monumental, and personal price for our freedom. BUT not the freedom to destroy and devour each other with our words, our complaints, our slander, our backbiting, our fault finding, and our criticisms. He bought our freedom so we could humbly serve one another, in love!!
You would not believe the things I have seen firsthand. You would not believe the things I have experienced first hand. The savagery, the brutality of Christians – it is atrocious. I know of a dear pastor, who is a tremendous young man and loves God with all his heart, that has a burning passion for Jesus Christ and for people. He suffered immensely from a group of Christians who would meet at a coffee shop together just so they could sit around and tear him apart, grumble and complain about him with their slander and lies. I wept with him over the phone as he recounted to me the brutality of some of his church attendees. I watched it tearing him apart inside.
I have known of wives who gather together for “fellowship” and soon it digresses into husband bashing, all in the guise of prayer, pouring out complaints, criticisms, and slander against their husbands. Is it wrong to ask for prayer? Not at all. Is it wrong to share a need? No. But how it is done, the context that is given, and the humility on the part of the wife, acknowledging her own faults in the matter, makes some critical differences.
Dear friends, we must not be like the world. What is happening today, as a result of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., and the advent of the smartphone has brought forth from within the evil heart of humans, the most savage, vicious, toxic words, slander, and lies. In essence, very real cannibalism. Greater than I have ever witnessed in my whole life. It has infected the Christians and the church. Peoples fingers are an extension of their mouth. The mouth reveals that which is filling the heart! The heart of man is desperately wicked, full of evil, jealousy, envy, strife, gossip, slander, lies, fault finding, complaints, criticisms, and toxic garbage.
I have watched first hand as people have ruined their own marriage because of this kind of savage Christian cannibalism. I have watched churches destroyed, small groups destroyed, friendships destroyed because people keep tearing each other apart.
As a Christian couple, let us first determine that I will not be a Christian cannibal!! I will not backbite, fault find, tear down, and destroy or devour my own marriage and my spouse.
It is wrong to offer advice to each other in marriage? No, of course not. Is it wrong to offer godly reproof in marriage and loving correction to our spouse? No, of course not. However, how you do that, the spirit and attitude of your heart and the way you share it matters greatly to God, and to your spouse.
I have made it my primary goal to be a blessing to my wife, Kathy. I sincerely mean that. I learned early on my words and my spirit can be quite destructive. I can easily be pessimistic, critical, nitpick, find fault, grumble and complain. I could pick Kathy apart with my words and every day find things and ways to criticize her. She could do the same with me. I make it my goal instead to find ways, both in words and actions, to be a blessing to her. I have made it my primary goal to be a blessing to my wife, my children, and my fellow Christians. I look for ways, in words and deeds, I can bless and serve them.
This changes everything. This helps our marriage thrive. This is the life that God honors and blesses. Did you know that God will either bless or withhold blessing because of how we treat each other?
Let me share this final thought. I recently went through the most vicious, egregious, slanderous, destructive injustice you can imagine. It was brutal, barbaric, abusive, and extremely unjust. For months and months, I stayed silent. I did not retaliate. Finally, last Oct. 28th, I wrote a letter in my own defense. I believe it was appropriate to defend myself and done, to the best of my ability, in a God-honoring way. Do I have many, many other things I could write and say? I do. Do I have thousands of peoples email addresses that I could have written about this grave injustice? I do. Does my soul cry out for and long for justice? It does. However, I made a deliberate decision that I will not allow the quest for justice and the passion to right this wrong to define the rest of my life. I will not allow the slander against me or the vicious abuse to cause me to now make my life’s purpose the just regaining of my godly reputation. Instead, I am determined to put my gifts, my wisdom, my life, my words, and my calling from God – all those energies into how I can be a blessing still to the few I am allowed to love and serve. I will not be overcome by the evil of others towards me. I will overcome their evil by doing good for Christian husbands, fathers, and families for the rest of my life.
Will I use this ordeal, this story, and what happened to share the faith lessons with others? Yes. Will I share the pain and trauma with others? Yes, I will. But I will not become a savage myself. I will not take my own vengeance and make my life the quest to right this horrific wrong.
I will use what is left of my life to serve others and be a blessing.
DO NOT DEVOUR AND DESTROY YOUR OWN MARRIAGE BY WHAT I CALL “DEATH BY A THOUSAND BITES!!”
Marriage can be the most savage place in the world. We can tear each other down, rip each other apart, and spend our whole life cannibalizing our marriage/spouse by constant fault-finding, criticism, nitpicking, backbiting, and insanity.
Let us, each of us, determine to use our lives and our words to build our spouse up, to bless and encourage, and not tear them to pieces!
If you do not make an intentional, conscious, willful effort to do this, you will default to this wicked culture, to the evil lurking in each of our hearts and you will cannibalize your own marriage and you will eat each other alive!