Compassion Requires Anger – If You Aren’t Angry then You Aren’t Compassionate
Ok, it is time to shut down these wrong-headed and damaging notions:
1. A Christian must never be angry at another person
2. Compassion is calm, huggy, weepy, kind – milktoast.
Bleh! Compassion. Let’s look at the word-
com + passion = feeling the feelings (passions) of another person WITH (com) that person
Yes, compassion is sympathy (sym (with) + pathos (feelings)) when it is extended toward a victim. But when compassion, that is to say, when we enter into the victim’s passions in regard to the abuser, compassion is not calm, huggy, weepy, or even kind. It rages. It burns with wrath at the wickedness done and at the wicked person who did it. Does that sound UN-Christian or UN-godly? Then re-examine your idea of the character and nature of God.
When we claim to show compassion to someone who has been abused, then our compassion is a lie if we do not also feel anger toward the abuser. And you all know how this false compassion plays itself out. Listen as Mary talks to Linda after Linda’s husband Jack hit her in a rage the night before:
“Oh, Linda. I am so sorry for you. Look at that black, swollen eye. What’s that you say? Leave him? Divorce him? You say you…you…hate him? Linda, Jack is a victim of his own sin. We are all sinners. It is wrong for a Christian to hate someone or to be so angry at someone like you are now. Linda, you need to ask God’s forgiveness and pray for Jack.”
Mary, I gotta just say – shut up. Mary is not compassionate. Her compassion is fake. Mary is not joining into the passions of Linda. If she were, then Mary would be hot with anger against Jack too. Anger at wickedness is not a sin. In fact, an absence of anger against wickedness IS a sin!
If you aren’t angry about evil, then please don’t claim to be compassionate toward its victims.
Because you aren’t. Compassion demands anger.