Christians Need to Get “Pity” Right and Stop Pitying the Wicked While Refusing Pity to the Innocent
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
[August 17, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you. (Deuteronomy 19:13 ESV)
They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly. (Psalm 17:10 ESV)
Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children! (Psalm 109:12 ESV)
Therefore, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw. My eye will not spare, and I will have no pity. (Ezekiel 5:11 ESV)
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” (Mark 1:41 ESV)
If you have studied or experienced first hand the tactics of the abuser, you already know that one of his favorite ploys is to play the victim and seek our pity. He has a virtual endless repertoire of variations on this scheme, because it works. He pulls it off over and over again. How many times have you been sucked into this trap, resolving that you will never feel sorry for him again, then you turn right around and do it again? That has happened to me more than once.
Abusers do this in a split second without even having to sort it out first in their heads. They attack, then they transform into a pity-seeking “victim.” One time after I had become wiser about all this I confronted such a person. “You stop that!” I said. “Stop what? What do you mean?” “You just made a false accusation against Joe over here and when he confronted you, you pretended like you were the offended party. Stop it! We don’t buy that trick here anymore.” He of course continued to act clueless.
We have had to deal with people who were abusive and who regularly and actively tried to work their evil on us, and when we sat them down they looked up with those glistening “poor me” eyes like that cat in Shrek. “Oh, I just feel so nervous and threatened right now by you all.” Yeah, right. The pity play.
So what happens frequently if not normally in the church is that the wicked who play this game GET the pity while their victims get kicked around or out. Christians very often get pity wrong in other words.
You will notice in the above Scripture verses that there are times when the Lord Himself has NO pity and there are other times when His pity abounds. This is how it is to be with us if we are His people and reflect His character. We are to have NO pity on the wicked, unrepentant, deceiving worker of evil and we are to have hearts filled to overflowing with pity for the oppressed.
Don’t you think it is well past time for the church to start getting pity right?
[August 17, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to August 17, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to August 17, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to August 17, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (August 17, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]