Saturday, 19 April 2008

False compassion

Modern religious sentimentality has been heavily influenced by the resurgence of social and psychological theories, which were fashionable in the 1950s. Simply put, these theories state that we must focus on the good in in human nature, and that people's deviant behaviour derives from their social and psychological background. Therefore, the are not solely responsible for their misdemeanors.

As a consequence, punishment for criminal behaviour should either be suspended or be used in conjunction with methods of rehabilitation. So when dealing with criminal behaviour, the emphasis should be on forgiveness, compassion and mercy. At the same time helping the guilty to understand and come to terms with the social and psychological factors that caused them to be any thing from petty criminals to malevolent psychopaths. And, of course, in this process very little thought is given to the victims.

This mindset is very evident among the so-called churches of God, but is not to found in the pages of the bible. Most in the churches of God, continue to makes excuses for the behaviour of the hirelings who have sought to divide God's church, or fed themselves instead of the flock. The flock is supposed to understand the social and psychological factors that caused the hirelings to abandon them. The flock is expected to forgive, show compassion and extend mercy to those who lied to them and betrayed them for money!

At the same time, the pain and suffering of the flock is to be seen by them as God's way of testing their faith. Well, this mindset is pure religious sentimentality, and is a product of the "spirit of the world."

On the other hand, the mindset of the bible is that people are responsible for their actions, whether good or bad. And although God is love, he is also a God of justice: and he does not give any consideration to the social and psychological factors that influence those who break his laws. On the contrary, the history of Israel, which was written for our learning, is replete with examples of God's attitude towards those who ignored his warnings and repeatedly broke his laws.

So to emphasise God's mercy to the exclusion of his justice, is to lull people into a false sense of security. A careful study of the teachings of Paul will show that he was very careful to warn the ministry and the churches to "walk worthy of the vocation with which they were called." So those hirelings who betrayed God's people for filthy lucre, will suffer the wrath of God, whatever the social or psychological factors that influenced their treachery!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2 Cor 11:7-15 and Acts 18:3 Ministers should support themselves, not look to others to support them. There should be no centralized authority, with salaries from "the top down." If one cannot work as Paul worked, one has no business preaching.