Challenging Church Compassion – 01: It’s Limited
In this series, we are challenging church compassion, because for the most part it doesn’t go far enough. It’s limited!
An example of the churches limiting their compassion is when it comes to animal issues and the people who care about them. Almost every day we receive letters and comments by people who love and have compassion for animals, and who have been made to feel very uncomfortable by pastors and church members.
The Church needs to comfort those who mourn the death of companion animals, for their bond of love can be as great as it is for their own children.
The Church needs to pray for the companion animals of parishioners, as they would for any other member of their family.
The Church needs to recognize that animals, like humans, were created as living souls, and that they are in heaven, too.
The Church needs to recognize the horrible suffering inflicted upon animals in the fur trade, and stop the wearing of fur in the churches.
The Church needs to recognize the horrible suffering inflicted upon farmed animals in factory farming operations and slaughterhouses, and stop serving the flesh and bodily secretions of these tortured animals at church functions.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 8, Paul concludes his discussion about the arguments that were causing a split in the church between the Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians over the eating of meat that wasn’t kosher or that was sacrificed to idols. Note how he concludes this in verse 13.
13. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
When it comes to people who deeply care about animals and the way they are made to feel in the churches, many of them have left the church, because of the way they were treated, and some of them have even turned against Christianity and God and blamed Him for the evil that people do.
This is the kind of stumbling that the church needs to address, as Paul did, particularly when it concerns their callous attitude toward the suffering of animals and the people who care about them.