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Compassion:- “What is it? Who is it for?”

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The ministry I have been given is not glamorous, nor does it bring many friends, in or out of the Church, and it is part of my ministry to be accused of having no compassion. I am now very used to vindictive remarks and charges against me. Yet, each time I am accused of this supposed sin I check my soul and ideas, to see if I do lack compassion, even when critics resort to personal epithets without biblical evidence. I do it because I have no pride in myself and need to test myself for sins I may not even be aware of.

As usual, I will look at what scripture says about compassion, but I know one thing – those who make accusations are usually coming from a wrong attitude towards sin, so no matter what I say or do not say, I will still be accused! The same kinds of accusations are poured out onto similar ministers. Even so, each one of us should take care. I was particularly led to think about this matter because of my attitude towards the indescribable ‘refugee’ problem in Europe, which I see as a judgment from God on Christians, as well as on unbelieving, godless countries. Are Christians showing compassion where they should not? Or, is compassion a ‘universal right’, no matter what is done or said by these, or any other, people?

I know that most of the migrants are not refugees, because European research data prove it; the majority are those who wish to take money from our benefits system with no intention of working or paying back. I also know that a huge number commit crimes and hate the West, and they will continue like this if allowed entry. Plus, there are terrorists amongst their numbers, and only a minute number who are genuine. But, I must still look at my own motives and inward parts to see if I really do not have compassion. Do my arguments about the situation allow me not to show compassion to them?

The definitions will also apply to many other situations, such as those who claim mental illness to escape responsibility and to enact sin, or those who commit horrendous crimes. So, it is important to look at this in more detail. As is my usual method, I will pick evidences apart so that we can see the component details. I do this to ignore emotional appeals to compassion, and to go straight to the relevant vital arguments. I know from the start that what the world thinks of compassion will not meet the word of God in every (or any) sense.

What is ‘Compassion’ in Scripture?

It is ‘sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others’. It is often associated with empathy. Other linked definitions are: brotherly love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, humanity...

How do these meanings square with scripture? (We will look at texts later). In the Old Testament, ‘compassion’ is the transliteration of several Hebrew words: the verb chamal: to spare, to pity (and therefore) to have compassion on. It can also mean to commiserate with. (Sample: Exodus 2:6). Then we have the verb racham: to love, to love deeply; have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection (whether of God or of man). (Sample: Deuteronomy 13:17).

There is also the masculine noun (plural), racham: mercy, compassion, womb, bowels, pity, damsel, tender love. (Sample: 2 Chronicles 30:9). Rachuwm: this adjective is used only of God’s compassion (with only one exception): full of compassion or/and mercy. Indeed, these exact meanings are shown in Psalm 111:4.

New Testament instances: the verb splagchnizomai: to be moved in one’s bowels (to feel compassion), as with Jesus, Matthew 9:36. The verb Eleeō (as in Matthew 18:33): essentially to have mercy on or to show mercy, to have compassion, have pity on, to receive mercy. The verb oiktirō, is used twice in the same verse (Romans 9:15) and it simply means to pity or to have compassion for.

Hebrews 5:2 has the verb metriopatheō. Unlike the meanings above, this form of compassion is moderated and not full; it is compassion in due measure and includes moderation of emotions and response. It also refers to someone who is not unduly worried by the sins of others and ‘bears them gently’). Hebrews 10:34 uses a different word, sympatheō: this is very close to ‘empathy’ for it means one person has the same feelings as another, ‘to feel for’. 1 Peter 3:8 aligns with this – using the adjective form, sympathēs: this goes slightly beyond sympathy, where the person suffers the same way as the one who originally suffers. In a funny way, this is like a husband having the same physical and emotional symptoms as his pregnant wife. Hence the words “having compassion one of another.”

The above gives a broad outline of ‘compassion’ in scripture. Next we will analyse their use in scripture. In the analysis we will apply their use to current vital issues.

Scriptural Texts: Compassion

Old Testament

The first instance where we find the transliterated word, ‘compassion’, is Exodus 2:6.

“And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.”

Chamal: Obviously, this has nothing to do with Christian compassion, though we can be sure that God guided the response to seeing baby Moses in a river. Rather, this was pity and maternal instinct, leading the princess to spare the child’s life, though her father had ordered the deaths of all Hebrew male infants. If you wish, this is ‘common or garden human concern’.

“And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;”

(Deuteronomy 13:17)

Racham: this is one of those interesting settings for ‘compassion’, for in the preceding verses God commanded the slaughter of every inhabitant in a city, and the burning of the whole place. In verse 8, the Israelites were warned NOT to show pity (compassion) on the inhabitants, nor to spare them, because they were heathen idolaters. Do you dare look at Islam and its terroristic followers in this way? Why not?

God said (v9):

“But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.”

Should this not be the fate of all the sons of Ishmael who make war against God and His people? And is it godly, or lack of compassion, if we ignore those who are not violent but who nevertheless worship false gods and who hate God and His servants? Should we show compassion for them, when, throughout scripture, God calls them His enemies, and says we may not help them? (2 Chronicles 19:2, which must be taken into account when dealing with modern Islam).

They starve because of Islam; they are killed by their own kind, because of Islam; they spit on us, because of Islam. Do we thus feed and help them? Should we heap compassion on them because they have tears and help them to build the army of Islam in the West? Or is compassion towards God’s enemies a godless activity? God is very clear – those who try to pull us away from the Lord must stop joining with the heathen (v11):

“And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.”

Thus, to align with heathen is to be godless and wicked. That is why “all Israel shall hear”. Do you not see the link to modern Christians and their helping of migrants just because they cry in frustration or tell a ‘sob story’? They are in their condition because of their own heathenism, Islam. To help when they remain in Islam is to usher in an era of hate and violence towards Christians in the West.

It is notable that though they wish to escape Islamic terror, they wish to continue in their idolatry when in the West. Can you not see Satan behind this movement of people, and behind the inappropriate compassion shown by Christians for those God condemns, the “children of Belial” (v13)? Or, am I the one who is wrong?

Read the whole chapter and you will find God condemning heathen ‘children of Belial’ and showing compassion, NOT for the idolaters, but for believers who obey God by getting rid of the heathen – not just their beliefs, but their actual persons. Today, we have no command from God to destroy ‘everyday’ Muslims, but we certainly still have a duty to be rid of Islamic beliefs and, where this is not possible because of socialist liberal views and laws, we must oppose Islam in all its forms. And, if faced with direct violence, to defend ourselves, if not go on the offensive.

Throughout the Old Testament we find God showing compassion NOT to His enemies but to the Israelites, even at times when they were sinful. This is how Solomon prayed to the Lord, on behalf of the people (e.g.1 Kings 8:50). We find this compassion in 2 Kings 13:23, too – for the people of God, not for enemies and idolaters. Indeed, in God’s view all idolaters should be put to death!

For Christians this will be at the end of time when God judges the good and the bad. He also judges the bad when Christians and others fight idolatrous terrorists who kill in the name of an appalling idol and a false religious book. No, we are given no mandate to help idolaters, except on an individual basis, when the Spirit guides a Christian to witness to such an one. There can be no ‘mass compassion’, because we do not know all the circumstances and wickedness they commit.

In 2 Chronicles 30:9, we see God showing compassion towards His chosen people IF they turn to Him, even if they are taken captive. Otherwise, they are stiffnecked, earning the “fierceness of his wrath” (v8). Note the conditional nature of God’s love: “for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.” He is merciful and gracious to those who return to Him. To ‘return’ one has to have previously been in a position of faith and godliness.

It is biblically logical that this promise CANNOT be made to heathen idolaters (such as Muslims, or any others who worship false gods). Therefore, this makes any ‘compassion’ shown towards them false and godless. We must be very careful who we show compassion to. Remember – He has “compassion on his people” (36:15) and NOT on his enemies! To show compassion to idolaters and heathen is to directly challenge and reject God’s commands concerning these enemies, and to condone their false beliefs and actions.

Many Christians succumb to the tears and ‘sob stories’ of migrants; in Greece recently, two Muslim men appeared to attempt to hang themselves because they were stopped from going north to Europe. In Calais a woman apparently attempted to stab herself because the authorities were taking down the migrant shelters. Now here are the questions:

  1. Were these just stunts devised by a people who are well-known for becoming hysterical in their own countries? (Hence my words, ‘appeared to’ and ‘apparently attempted’).
  2. Do tears and hysteria prove the genuineness of their claims, or were they just performed to gain sympathy? I can assure readers that in my past work I have witnessed the tears of thousands of people, and almost all of them were false emotional outbursts used to gain sympathy for a wrong attitude or action. Outside that work I see the same thing.
  3. Do tears and hysterical reactions cause God to change His mind? No, they do not.
  4. Can such tears be genuine? Yes they can – but tears and bad circumstances do not prove we must have compassion or must help them.

In everyday life, we often see tears of a known criminal’s wife when he is put into prison and cannot support his family. Are these tears a cue to help her? They should not be, for, as police often say, the wives know what their husbands do, and enjoy the lifestyle coming from his wicked acts. Therefore, she should not be shown compassion. What if the same criminal has beaten her and she could not reveal his secrets? That is a different matter – but, even then, she had a choice to walk out or to stay, so she is still culpable.

In the same way compassion is shown towards other enemies, such as homosexuals (see my many articles on this). We see this sympathy for them coming from large sections of the population, including Christians, even though few understand the aims of homosexuals or what they really do. It is very hard to understand why people should show this sympathy when homosexuals are condemned to hell by God, they oppress Christians and others who do not accept what they say and do, they spread vile diseases and even do so by grooming children, they hate God and Christians and say that their prime aim is to rid society of all godliness, they cost the world billions every year in treatment for easily avoidable diseases, which they deliberately contract. Even so, government listens to homosexual pressure groups whose only interest is to spread their foul sins to others and to gain unnatural laws to ‘protect’ their activities.

So, should we offer compassion to the homosexual movement? Should we show pity when they contract awful diseases? Should we pay to treat them? The answer to the three questions is a simple, ‘No’. Christians should never be side-tracked by tears and emotional appeals; they must search the facts and be hard-headed. Why? Because God hates both homosexuality and unrepentant homosexuals! As I repeat many times, we may not accept or align with what God hates. Nor may we hate them – this is a God-only prerogative; however, we have every right to hate homosexuality and to oppose its activities).

This is why I once condemned a hospital run by Christians, for treating unrepentant homosexuals who had HIV/AIDS. To make matters even worse, they allowed partners to sleep with them in their rooms! This is not compassion – it is gross wickedness by those who profess to obey God. Infected homosexuals must treat themselves with their own money. If none is available, then their untreated diseases are their own fault.

Note what God did to the people of God when they stopped obeying Him:

“Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.”

(2 Chronicles, 36:17,18)

Before this national disaster, God showed compassion towards His people. Verse 16 begins with “But”: they mocked God and despised His words (v16), to such an extent that “there was no remedy”... God HAD to act against His chosen ones. This is what we risk as believers if we continue to show compassion where there should be none. When we show compassion we join with those we show it to, and become just as sinful as they are. So, God brings His hammer down upon us.

We are in grave danger of this by supporting the Islam-deluded and homosexuals in their foul deviances (which are many and wickedly varied). Surely, we should witness to the deluded ones? Yes – but they use law against Christians to prevent them from speaking or helping! On both a worldwide scale and on an individual basis, we are taken to law for offering a witness to truth, even when the subject is raised by the wicked one.

Rachuwm: This word is used exclusively of God’s compassion (except for one other instance). An example is in Psalm 78:38. Here God did not destroy His people, though they sinned greatly, but kept back the full extent of His wrath. After this the Psalm reminds His people that while God showed His compassion towards them, He destroyed the Egyptians (idolaters and enemies of God):

“He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;”

(v49, 50)

Do you not see this happening to idolaters in the Middle East today? Who can say that the barbaric terrorists are not “evil angels” sent to destroy Islam’s own people as well as us? And such who are condemned by God always turn against the good in their hatred, as vengeance. So, because we do not stop this pestilence of Islam we will ourselves be devoured. Yes, Christians can – if they do not mind being taken to law – IF prompted by God, witness to individual Muslims. But, the movement itself, Islam, must be condemned and shown no compassion or mercy. Its ‘holy book’ contains specific instructions to kill Christians and Jews. Is this what Christians show compassion for when they try to help migrants on our doorstep? By doing so, they scorn the Lord they claim to love, and embrace the false god, Allah.

In the Old Testament, then, God shows no compassion for those who hate Him, or who scorn His word, or who kill His messengers or people. Why, then, do so many Christians show compassion for idolatrous migrants, whose aim is to turn the West into another caliphate of the false god, Allah? The answer is sin.

Solemn Caveats by the Ignorant

Those with little biblical understanding love to issue caveats to those they think are going wrong. The implication, of course, is that they are themselves doing what is right. What about “love thy neighbour as thyself”? Surely, under this commandment, I must be bereft of compassion?

We find this command, for the first time, in Leviticus 19:18,

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

Note that God was instructing His people, the Hebrews. They may not bear grudges against their own brethren, but must, instead, love them. The ‘love’ (‘ahab) is not that between husband and wife, father and son, etc., but is broader, meaning to be a friend as one would within a family. If we have this attitude towards the brethren, we will always seek to compromise where possible, and to find a way to resolve problems before they get out of hand.

There is no reference in this text to foreigners, or those who worship idols, etc. In other texts we see a consistent hatred of God for those who are idolatrous and pagan, and a demand by Him for His people not to follow in a similar life of sin. Elsewhere, He commands that we may not help such people (previous text), for to do so is to reject God’s laws and commands. Therefore, the ‘neighbour’ we must love is the one who is our kin as God’s people. Jesus said something similar (see later).

We can look at it this way: am I being good to myself and my body if I take drugs that allow me to commit suicide? Would I be faithful if I allowed an enemy to enter my home and kill my family? Would I be a genuine Christian if I allowed my family or myself to indulge in homosexuality?

So, if I love my neighbour as myself, I will only do what is good and sound for my own body and mind. I will not do what is harmful. Therefore, my neighbour must, by definition, be just as good and sound towards me as I am towards myself. There is no sense in embracing someone who kills my family, or who encourages me to commit suicide (which is a judgment from God), or who urges me to be sexually perverted.

This latter instruction is repeated in Matthew 22:39. As Christ continued the Old commands and expanded them, we can say that His meaning must include that of the Old Testament, where our ‘brother’ is one of our own, believers in the same God, who do not do us harm. If we say we must love ALL people as brothers, then we enter into an illogical and unbiblical scenario, where those who do evil are not hated by God and will not enter hell. To say that all men are my ‘brothers’ regardless of their hatred for God or myself, bears no comparison to reality or to divine command.

The command to love our enemies is much misused today (see article on this). We might ‘love’ our enemies, but not in an intimate way, otherwise we also love their sins and wickedness. To be frank, I do not understand why Christians say they ‘love’ people who have murdered their loved ones. They go even further by saying they ‘forgive’ them. I doubt very much if the latter is true, especially because scripture says only the one who is offended may forgive, IF the offending one seeks forgiveness. But, as a dead person can do no such thing, there can be no forgiveness for an unrepentant killer.

The command to love our enemies must be properly understood, otherwise Christians become ‘sitting ducks’, almost willing themselves to be slaughtered. Even Paul escaped murderous crowds at times! When we take all texts of this nature and analyse them, it becomes more complex than dewy-eyed universal ‘love’ even for those who hate us.

My ‘brother’? Who is my brother? Jesus’ answer should be our model:

“But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

(Matthew 12:48-50)

This is very clear. Who are our brethren/brothers? Those who do the will of the Father! Automatically, then, this cannot include those who are idolaters and those who follow a false religion that displaces God as Lord. Nor can it include all who want to kill us, for murder is against God’s commands and will. Be careful who you call ‘brother’! For this reason Muslims, whether killers or not, are not my brethren; the same goes for charismatics who tell us we are now in post-biblical times, and true Romanists who obey popes rather than Christ.

Homosexuals, who hate God and commit foul sexual crimes against themselves and others, are not my brethren, for their actions and beliefs are opposed to the Lord and His design for the human race. Marxists claim to have got rid of God and follow their own hypotheses, so they cannot be my brothers, either.

If you have the money and opportunity, would you live next door to foul-mouthed, drug- and alcohol-taking louts who do you nothing but harm and threaten violence? Or, would you move to a better location? I choose the latter!

Think carefully when you say without real conviction that we must accept everyone as our biblical brethren and neighbours! Most who claim these unfortunate things have never been subjected to violence or hatred or foul behaviour. It is easy to be pompous and super-pious when you are in a safe place, and to look down on others who do not understand their insistence. What I see in these claims is the world’s compassion, not the type called for by God.

The World’s Compassion

Much of what we call ‘compassion’ in the world has a socialist/liberal/mystical root, based on communistic/cultic ideals. Other foundations are ‘philosophies of men’. In many cases ‘compassion’ is another word for ‘collusion with a favoured sin’. We see this plentifully, where, say, politicians agree with the wrongs committed by other politicians, or criminals who band together. It is my belief that suffering is not necessarily a reason to help, because it can be a direct judgment rom God, in which no man may interfere or work against.

At this juncture I wish to offer one aspect of compassion that, to me, requires far more investigation. I refer to a variety of charities who ask for money to send to children or adults in far-off countries. Being one who investigates everything I write about, I have many questions that Christians should look into. For example, who is the charity (whether Christian or not)? Who are the people the money supposedly goes to? How much actually reaches the people it is intended for? How much ends up in the hands of terrorists and despotic rulers (for example, international aid given to ‘Palestine’ is taken by Hamas to build terror tunnels and to buy weapons, while the people go hungry)?

How much is the CEO paid and other paid workers? What is this as a percentage of income? What is the religion/beliefs of those receiving money or help? Why does their own government not help? Should efforts be made to rouse them to action, rather than just pouring money into a bottomless pit (bearing in mind that Jesus said the poor are with us always and to concentrate only on His work)?

Charities tend to work in the land of ‘status quo’; that is, no matter how much is sent to them, the situations they say they help to alleviate continue unabated. Therefore, what is the point? The true point is that charities work in those areas they know will continue unchanged, so their income is assured! Why do Christians contribute to causes abroad and not to those on their own doorstep? What about giving help to fellow believers instead (or at least mainly)? Many more questions should be asked!

Different sets of questions apply to the current problem of migrants. For example, why should foreign migrants come to the UK when they have no jobs and probably no prospects of ever getting jobs? These reasons alone do not qualify for true help. Why are they given money and help provided by tax-paying citizens, when the same citizens receive even less than migrants? Why give much needed housing to migrants who do not contribute? Why stretch education beyond actual provision? And health care? Why pay for the children of migrants who live in another country? Why allow them to come to the country, to be yet another drain on resources? Why stupidly allow children into the country, knowing that they can then bring in their adult relatives and other children?

It is my view that simply being poorer in their own countries is not a reason for us to maintain them in our country; the real problem is not us, but their own country’s bad policies and actions. These might be based on historical poverty – but this was the position of the UK until about a century ago! Each country must keep its own people, and must design policies that reach that end. It should not be our responsibility to give millions to a country that will not design its own prosperous future.

The issue is plain – the more foreign unemployables we take in to the country, the less tax-payers can support. Thus, unemployability, etc., rises exponentially, but taxes rise very slowly. This means the point will soon be reached where there is a great deficit and taxes no longer sustain everyone. The prosperity obtained by our own citizens will dissipate with rising numbers of migrants, until no-one receives benefit of taxation, and we ourselves become another Third World country.

Already, because of migration, the UK has to tell people they cannot have their pensions at a reasonable age (65), so they must keep working despite any illnesses or conditions they might have (so that their taxes will still be given to migrants, who do not work); education places are under immense stress; we must build a ridiculous number of new houses; racial tensions are building; in locations mainly occupied by Poles, British workers are thrown out and replaced by Poles, who cost a company less in wages... the problems with migration are many and increasing. This includes Muslim enclaves where only Muslim languages are spoken and sharia is enforced, and where police are warned not to enter.

Cannot socialistic governments and voters see this? Let me repeat - The issue is NOT one’s race, but one’s unemployability, inability to even speak our language, massive growth in pregnancies amongst Muslims, money being sent abroad to people who do not even live here... the list is very long. And on top of all that economic misery, there is the awful fact that Islam promises to take over our country with sharia, turning our country into a big shrine to Allah.

But, the biggest question today is, should we help enemies of God and His people? Should we allow into the West Muslims who hate the West and hate Western people? Should we retain Muslims who actively show their hate, or who warn us Islam will take over, or who obviously and openly take to the streets with their hatred? What of Muslims who commit heinous acts because of what the Koran says? Should compassion be shown towards these people?

We must look at homosexuality in the same way. Homosexuality has no good in it, only worldwide sickness, death, moral corruption and godlessness. I do not have compassion for those who indulge in these things, because what they say and do means hatred towards God, scripture and God’s people.

I see a variety of responses and believe that Christians who simply say we must ‘show compassion’ to every migrant, or anyone else who harms us, are being blinkered, if not unbiblical. Are my questions or views proof of lack of compassion? Then please show me relevant scripture!

New Testament

What of the actions of Jesus in Matthew 9:36, when He “was moved with compassion on them”? Why? He was preaching to Jewish men and women, those to whom He came in the first place; He did not come to preach to the Gentiles. His compassion was not for their sins, but for the fact that they were hungry for truth and were willing to go hungry to gain it, having been deceived by the Pharisees. Many, recognising His authority and power, turned to Him during His short stay on this earth. In other words, He showed compassion because these were the very people He wished to reach. He did NOT show compassion on those of other lands who were idolaters and those who practised gross wickedness. And His opposition to the false religionists is famed.

In Matthew 18:33, compassion is eleeō. Jesus used this word to highlight the incongruence of one man who was shown pity not displaying the same pity for another, whose problem was exactly the same. We may look at this as an internal matter of discipline within the Jewish family. It has nothing to do with compassion for enemies of God, who are shown no mercy or pity. In this text the emphasis is on mercy one for another amongst God’s own people. It is also a reference to never judging another when we are guilty of the same things.

To judge is God’s prerogative, but it is also a Christian duty (see relevant articles). Thus, we must judge those whom God judges to be idolaters and wrongdoers. And, particularly, we MUST judge ourselves “before the world does”... because when the world catches sight of sin in us, they are like howling wolves ready to rip us apart. Their own sins are usually far more heinous, but when it comes to hating Christians, they push this fact aside!

In Romans 9:15 we find that God’s compassion is NOT universal, but specific and selective. As He said to Moses, He showed compassion (oiktirō) because He wished to, to those He wanted to receive it. From this we can see that His compassion is selective and not automatic. Indeed, do you think God’s will or judgment is stayed or watered-down because of human tears or excuses, or bad conditions caused by sin? No, He can see straight through these ploys and, where sin is the cause of tears, His judgment remains the same, unless there is repentance. Even then, judgment at times MUST follow.

An example is the death penalty for deliberate murder. For such, God shows no mercy or compassion, even if repentance and salvation precedes the penalty. In such a case, we can see a difference between an action and its penalty. Where God says something is to be punished, we have no right to substitute with compassion as a reason to stop the penalty. In this way, God separates an action from its consequence in a very specific sense; thus, though God cannot and will not show compassion for first-degree murder, He WILL show compassion for the murderer who is repentant. Even so, the penalty must still be applied.

We may give this as a model in the case of idolatry. If a false religion is the cause of the deception of followers, do you think God shows compassion on those who are deluded? No, He does not. This is because their beliefs and actions are a direct insult to the only true God. The circumstances of their beliefs (whether forced or not, or ‘cultural’) is not an issue with the Lord. What He looks at is the outcome – idolatry and heathenism. These must be punished by Him, and this will usually occur on Judgment Day.

However, where this idolatry spills over into murder (as with Islamic terrorists) there MUST be an earthly judgment upon them, which is the death penalty. As most terrorists are not caught, or are simply placed in prison, thus breaking God’s command, such penalty may be applied by soldiers or those who are forced to fight the terrorists. That is, they may be shot dead, and so the penalty complies with God’s command. The supposed ‘reasons’ for Muslims to arise in hate and murder do not change this. Hatred for the West because of supposed oil interests, etc., do not allow them to hate and kill. The judgment of God remains upon them, even if supposed ‘reasons’ have an historic basis.

You might argue that Islamists act out of ignorance. But, this is essentially the same argument as saying surely God must have compassion for isolated tribes who have never heard of Jesus. God does not look at the circumstances, but at the consequences. That such tribes have never heard is not the issue. The issue is that they do not worship the true God, and for this the penalty must ensue – hell. (I have no time to go into it further in this paper).

Where God has uttered a definitive statement, there can be no exceptions. So, if one has to be born-again before he can enter Heaven, there can be no excuses or rationalisations, such as ignorance. Nor is fear or cultural immersion an excuse. If people follow an idol they are as culpable as terrorists. God never gives excuses for anyone – they are either repentant and saved, or they are unbelievers bound for hell. I cannot alter this and nor can you, even if those involved are our own family.

In Hebrews 5:2, compassion is shown to the ‘ignorant’. This form of compassion is not the same as others, for it is ‘measured’ and closely chosen. In the text it refers to someone (Jew) who sins by mistake or ignorance, or even by design. Even so, it speaks of an ‘in-house’ problem – sin within the body of Christ. It has no application to unbelievers and enemies of God who worship idols and commit barbaric acts, or to sexually perverted acts that defy God’s plan for mankind.

When we read Hebrews 10:34, however, we have a very different word – sympatheō. By definition, this word CANNOT apply itself to unbelievers or idolaters. It speaks of one believer having empathy for another believer who suffers. We know it only applies to believers because of the words “that ye have in heaven”. As only those who are saved can enter Heaven, this defines the meaning precisely.

In this text, then, compassion is shown by one believer to another believer who is suffering, even if he suffers as a result of his own sin (in such a case we may have compassion for him as a brother, but not for his sin). When a believer sees the suffering of an unbeliever, then, the response cannot be the same, but must be moderated. So, we have no mandate to show compassion on a general group of people, but only for an individual to whom we are guided by the Holy Spirit. Anything else is false, including those annoyingly false public prayers for ‘world peace’ etc., uttered in unbiblical prayer meetings.

This same closed compassion for believers-only is found in 1 Peter 3:8. It is also a sign of God’s love in a believer (1 John 3:17). Such claimed love can be questioned if it is not shown towards a fellow believer who needs help. We may also show compassion (pity) and love for an individual unsaved person IF the Spirit shows us his or her need AND prompts us to give help. But, even this is limited in type and length of time.

Then we come to those who are ‘mentally ill’. Government has pledged to pour money into this field, even though it will be a money-pit. Mental illness has never been proved to exist. Mental imbalance certainly does exist, but this does not mean it is an ‘illness’ that requires compassion. In almost all cases the ‘illness’ is merely an avoidance of self-control and responsibility. And, because the majority of people think depression, fear, anxiety, etc., can be removed or settled by drugs or the intervention of unsaved therapists, they show sympathy. (Only psychiatry tending to trauma and brain damage is valid).

In this field, in the majority of cases, sympathy is the worst possible response! It allows ‘sufferers’ to maintain their course of action, rather than see it as sin. In all cases, those who ‘suffer’ might use ‘God’ as a crutch, but never respond to Him or His warnings and help. And, those who ‘treat’ them do so from a false perspective: the occultic, cultic, mystical, or godless ‘philosophies of men’. Such sufferers need no compassion for their suffering; they need direct and strong biblical counsel, which must include warnings against their behaviour.

I think the evidence is clear, and if we search Old Testament texts for verses referring to enemies of God and His people, we see that no compassion is shown towards them as a group. Rather, it was usual for God to totally obliterate such enemies. Sadly, modern Christians have no stomach for God’s wrath and punishments, nor do they understand the concept of an ‘enemy’ of God. This is to their shame, for they act like redactors, changing the word for their own selfish emotional ideas or poorly-interpreted ideas.

Do I show a lack of compassion? (The answer from critics will always be ‘yes’!). Can we show pity towards unbelievers? Yes, of course we can, for we were once unbelievers. However, we cannot show pity for them if their suffering is caused by gross sin, or if they continue in such sin with no remorse.

Discuss these matters fully amongst yourselves. Cast out socialist and other unbelieving ideas, and check what God actually says in His word. Stop quoting third-person ideas and look deeply into truth. THEN show compassion where it is due. There are many moot points in this paper, which deserve far more than prejudiced reactions! It is vital in these darkening days to deconstruct our worldly ideas and to reconstruct them according to God’s word. I urge you to do this. 

© March 2016

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Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom