I read a beautiful article by Tony Roos on compassion this morning and saw this phrase which intrigued me:
If you do a search on the compassion of Christ you see each time that word is used for him it is coupled with an action that he gives to alleviate the suffering the he encounters.
So, I went to biblegateway.com and typed the keyword “compassion” and found the verses below. I had to see for myself. Hmm, maybe this is a good sign – – I’m testing Christian leaders and seeking out answers myself, not following blindly. How did Jesus show compassion? What did he DO?
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matt 14:14
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Matt 15:32
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34
“I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. Mark 8:2
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Luke 7:13
YES! Tony Roos was right. When Jesus had compassion, it motivated him to action. Look at the definition of compassion:
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others
Here was another verse that came up in the verse search:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Col 3:12
This verse is saying that we are to “put on” compassion. So maybe this implies that we might not have compassion to begin with, but regardless, we are to have compassionate hearts. This is what God wants us to have. Fair enough. That works for me. Give it to me. I want compassion.
I want to be like Christ. I want to have compassion with action where feet move to meet, where hands reach out to touch, where ears listen, where mouth encourages and brings grace. Love is just like this, too, isn’t it? Compassionate people were moved to action on Wednesday when I was down. Those compassionate people with their move to action helped to bring me out of my funk. Christ worked through them, representatives of Christ, and reached my soul. Compassion is Jesus action.
Let’s now turn this around to some of our church leaders for a bit. One of the things we’ve come to realize about cases of spiritual abuse, neglect, abandonment is these pastors and leaders who were supposed to be caring for our souls like Christ would, failed to do so. Not only did some of them fail, they have an established pattern of what I would call, anti-shepherding. There will be times we and our church leaders will fail to be compassionate. I’m not talking about that, but an established pattern:
- When pastors protected the church’s image and kept pedophiles in the church rather than reporting to civil authorities of crimes, that was not showing sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
- When a head pastor over a franchise of churches (ie, Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel) said his hands were tied and couldn’t do anything about the scores and scores of personal accounts of abuse at the hands of Pastor Bob Grenier, he was not showing sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
These men busy themselves doing a form of religiosity, making sure their doctrine is just right, having a showy appearance of Christianese, write books, speak at conferences, but they lack love and compassion. Isn’t that what the bible calls a Pharisee?
I think in our minds, we still try to keep them in that position or title of “pastor.” We need to change that. When we see blatant lack of compassion in our church leaders, an established pattern in which they are behaving like anti-shepherds, we need to fire them from that position in our minds. We also need to vote with our feet. I don’t think God would call them shepherds of His flock, why should we?
There is a very important reason why we need to do this. We can wreak spiritual chaos in our minds when we continue to keep them in our minds as a “pastor.” The spiritual chaos is because these guys sometimes DO speak the right things. Much of what they say IS absolutely right, but when what they DO conflicts with their message, we have a problem. We must dethrone them. They are not worthy of any titles. They are fake. They just babble with their mouths. These are not our leaders. We cannot treat them as such. They distort Who God is. Let’s leave this wretched stench behind, people. It is not of God.