There are people in Christianity, in Christendom, in the church world who act nothing like Christ, but have taken on beast-like behaviors. They attack other Christians so savagely, that they seek to utterly destroy them. Behold, the abominable Christian.
The Bible warns us about the negative power of words:
The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell.This verse from James is addressed to those who wanted to be teachers in the church and the verse above from Matthew is addressed to the quintessential teachers of the people of God, in the time Jesus lived.
Children of snakes! How can you speak good things while you are evil? What fills the heart comes out of the mouth.
-James 3:6. Matthew 12:34
The warning that Paul is giving, is that if you desire to run down and run over your theological opponent, your love; your love in Christ will be eaten away like salt that is no longer any good (Mark 9:50).
It is interesting that Paul writes that the whole law is summarized in, "love your neighbor as your self" (Leviticus 19:18); just before he makes this statement about people conversely treating each other like wild beasts.
The Jewish religious leaders brought Jesus up on heresy charges and those who persecuted the church did the same. Were they living out Leviticus 19:18? No. When Christians fight in a "take no prisoners", abusive, destructive, hateful way, in the church today, over any number of things; are they loving their neighbors as themselves? No.
Love builds up. Anti-love tears down. Love serves others. Anti-love serves self. The ends never justify the means, when it is your brother or sister in Christ. Satan cannot cast our Satan either. You just end up more demonized, in a different way.
You can not get away with trashing other people without it ruining you as well. You could point to the Pharisee's who were against Jesus and say that they did evil, while 'acting' good, because their hearts were bad (evil). But that person did not start out that way. We know that the scriptures are good and maybe these men started out loving the scriptures with good intentions.
At some point, people do bad in the name of good. They fly far off the path of loving their neighbor as themselves. What happens to that destroyer is that they themselves are destroyed.. When you find yourself acting in subhuman, barbaric ways towards others; you are on the path of self-destruction. If you don't turn away, turn back from it; you will be destroyed.
This is not a happy, feel-good message, but it is a warning to Christians not to attack each other. The Holy Spirit, through Apostle Paul's pen, says that this is behavior that is exhibited in ravenous animals and has no place in the family of God.
There are two paths for everyone, including Christians. One is the path of God's love, expressed in Jesus Christ. The other path is to not be on the first path. The path of God's love, expressed in Jesus Christ, is the path of unselfish love: loving your neighbor as your self.
The other path is the path of selfishness. There is love on the other path, but it is not the love of the first path, but rather, fleshly desire or lust. In a word, hunger; and it is a hunger that is never fulfilled
The hunger or lust or false love is utterly selfish. It might mask itself in a hundred ways, but it is selfish. Self is at the center.
Those who are not in Christ and are their own "christ's" (I am not going to capitalize it). This is the evil path. Devil is "duh" plus "evil". Evil is dumb, even though it thinks it is smart.
The Devil goes to church a lot. Stay with me here, I am almost done. He is on the prowl. The Devil is not omnipresent or omniscient, like God. I'm referring to the Devil's forces.
The Devil's forces are watching and want Christians to stumble and go back to the hunger games, where they forget the path of Christ and seek self fulfillment. When Christians do that, they consume and destroy other Christians and self-destruct, themselves.
Don't do it. If you choose to go back to a selfish life, you will lose what you have in Christ (see Mark 9:50). You can repent and get it back though. But, what is tragic is that when someone does not repent of their cannibalistic (Galatians 5:15) behavior towards others in the church, and they go on, like it never happened, perhaps even self-righteously blaming others.