bits from bob....

Spiritual Cannibalism

by Robert J. Young
©, 2001, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

"If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (Gal. 5:15)

Have you considered "spiritual cannibalism"? Physically, cannibalism is appalling to me. The complaint of 2 Kings 6:29 communicates the despair of eating human flesh. "We boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give they son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son."

I only wish that spiritual cannibalism were as appalling to us as physical! In the text, people-- church members at that!--are pictured as rushing at one another as wild beasts. When Christians bite one another seeking to injure, "gulp one another down" and consume each other, only destruction can result. This passage serves as a warning concerning the inevitable result when discord and contention exist in Christ's body. Strife and dissension are fatal! When we with ease move quickly beyond the stage of petty and personal rivalries, we endanger the church. Paul suggests that various factions, each claiming to have truth, can bring about spiritual devastation and ruin in the entire body.

It has been said that "the church is the only army that shoots its members instead of the enemy." Paul's picture is even more vivid. Love conserves; lack of love consumes. Brothers consuming brothers destroys the bond of Christian fellowship which is so vital to the spiritual life of every child of God. We cannot hate our brothers and sisters in Christ and maintain a true church of Christ. Unless we solve the problem of living together there, we cannot hope to live together eternally. Life becomes impossible and unlivable. Hatred, selfishness, and intolerance in the end do not exalt God's people: they destroy us.

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Last updated November 23, 2001.