Scott Mitchell: Cannibal Christians

In nature, various species of insects and animals use their mouths as tools for both defense and offense.

For example, the praying mantis not only defends itself by biting but also attacks and consumes its prey, sometimes even its own kind. This behavior, though common in the animal kingdom, would seem shocking and unthinkable within a Christian community. Yet, this is metaphorically what happens in some of our churches today, echoing the conflicts Paul addressed in Galatia.

As Paul warned in Galatians 5:15, “But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.”

The sad reality is that many Christians are engaging in speech and behavior that wounds and destroys the very fabric of our community. Such behavior discourages outsiders from joining and even strengthens the devil’s efforts to tarnish the Christian witness.

The devil doesn’t need to work all that hard on his own to discourage people from following Jesus when we Christians are doing an effective job of undermining our testimony through our actions.

Despite the presence of many wonderful people and dedicated preachers in our local churches, the negative actions of a few can have such a damaging effect. As the Bible says, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough,” or as the saying goes, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”

This implies that a small number of Christians, through their divisive behavior and criticism, can impact the entire community adversely.

They bite at each other to elevate themselves, and some live in ways that make it hard to distinguish if they are truly following Christ.

God calls Christians to a higher standard of behavior. We are instructed to do better, to be better, and most importantly, to love one another. Jesus Himself said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

This love and obedience are meant to be the hallmarks of a Christian’s life, demonstrating the transformative power of the Gospel to the world.

Today, Christians should make it a point to serve, support, and love one another, as commanded in the Scriptures. Our actions are not just observed by our immediate community but also by many others who may be considering following Jesus.

A unified and loving community can serve as a powerful testament to the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel.

As Christians, we must remember that we are being watched, and our behavior can either draw people to Jesus or push them away. Let us choose to build up rather than tear down, to love rather than to bite and devour.

In doing so, we fulfill God’s commandments and present a compelling witness to the world.

Scott Mitchell is the pastor at Solid Rock Baptist Church, located at 13704 Farm Road 1040 in Exeter.

He may be reached at 417-846 6619.

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