They can make a person want to scream, “What are you doing?”
“How could you?”
“What were you thinking?”
Toxic people in the Christian community are especially difficult to understand. How do you resolve the discrepancies of a person who can be two things at the same time? How is it possible to be good and bad, godly and evil, spiritually sound and morally corrupt, pure and defiled, truthful but insincere to the core, loving and unfaithful, committed while betraying, outwardly dynamic and yet a fraud? They are a hero to some and a villain to others—a matted mess of a person that you cannot untangle; for their good, for your benefit, or for God’s glory.
For example: How can a pastor give the impression of being a biblical family man while; unbeknownst to his wife, partaking in an extra-marital relationship with a bi-sexual atheist? How can priests make oaths to the Lord while molesting young boys? Why do a few go to seminary to enter full-time ministry for the purpose of seeking victims to prey upon. How does a pastor carry on a sexual relationship with another staff member, get caught having sex with them in a room at the church, and still attempt to lie his way out of it? Better yet, how do pastors/clergy forced out of one ministry due to sexual sins gain a new ministry without the next church ever inquiring into their background? How do they keep family, friends and church leadership blind to their sin?
They are toxic. They are professional liars who take deception to a higher level. Daring individuals who seek thrills while leaving clues; desperate for someone to catch them, yet hoping to not be caught.
Here is an example of a personal value statement written by a toxic person living in a deep pit of sin and dysfunction.
MY PERSONAL VALUES by Toxic Logic
Nothing comes before God.
My God is not the church.
The church does not come before my wife.
The church does not come before my family.
Money is no obstacle to love.
Love is not dependent on money.
Marriage can survive without money,
But it cannot without love.
Although my mind and memory may fail me,
May I never fail to love.
Love is more than memories,
It is the memory in the making.
The child we bear is a gift.
It is the ultimate responsibility to be a parent.
If we fail here,
Then we have ultimately failed.
The child bears the marks of its parents.
May I have cut away from me the lack of integrity, dishonesty and irresponsibility;
So that my child may grow to love and know love
In the most extraordinary way.
The beauty and grace and wisdom of a mother
All come from having been loved, nurtured and provided for by the man of her life who is
Possessed by her love and who remains her knight in shining armor…
A few nicks and bruises…but still shining.
Some wounds remain always as permanent scars.
May I never inflict another so painful and so cruel.
The heart breaks in ways like no other hurt,
And I have broken hers today.
Lord, I thank you for the days when I love my wife…
Completely, totally, consistently, blamelessly.
Forgive me for the shameful days when I forget to love her
…those times when I take her for granted and nearly lose her.
Sickness, fatigue and busy-ness are no excuse for failing to remember to love.
Always remember, I love you.
Behold, a shining example of a toxic person.
This was written after forgetting a special occasion. With an apology like this for a small issue how would a wife ever guess there were major betrayals and mental issues going on with her husband? Resolving discrepancies is next to impossible in a situation like this.
To make matters worse the wife had to listen to the “Value Statement” read from the pulpit as an apology to her, all the while knowing it was insincere, for a show, and to gain exaltation for being ‘real’, ‘transparent’ and ‘humble’. Though she knew something was very wrong she was still clueless to the demons lurking in the shadows. Only the love of family, the help of caring friends, Bible study, prayer, fasting and time would eventually reveal the depth of her husband’s depravity.
The condition of this man’s heart is a hard truth for her to accept; even to this day.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
It is for women like her that I write this blog. You are not alone and you are not crazy.
God loves you and has a plan for your life. Ask Him what His heart and will is for your life, your future, and your family. Seek it. Allow the Holy Spirit to comfort you. Jesus will intercede for you if you ask. He is everything you need.
I am praying for you and I hope you are finding applicable help for your journey and scriptures to pray over your situation. Previous Toxic Tuesday posts are full of such information.
Below is my theme song for life’s ups and downs. I have enjoyed it in the best of times and sung it in the depths of despair.
I love most genres of music but the strings in this arrangement weave through my inner being and touch my soul; awakening me to God’s love while keeping me centered in Him.