Challenging Church Compassion – 17: Christian Cruelty
Christian cruelty is most often witnessed or perceived when it involves the way the Church and their parishioners relate to animals. Almost every day we hear from people who has been deeply troubled and often emotionally scarred by the hardness of heart they’ve encountered within the church.
For the most part, the Church has continued to be silent on these issues, particularly from the hierarchy, even though the founders of the Church and its various denominations have promoted compassion and kindness to animals. What is even worse, is that the Church actually promotes much of this cruelty:
Some pastors consider the “sport of hunting” to be a ministry and promote it, when in reality it is nothing but an enjoyment of killing.
We have heard a few pastors say that fishing should be a sacrament of the Church, when in reality what they are saying is that they enjoy torturing and suffocating fish to death.
Churches promote suppers that feature dining on the flesh and by-products of animals, when in reality they are very much aware of the horrible atrocities that are inflicted on animals on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, from which 95% of these animal parts come.
Christian cruelty, whether intentional or perceived must end. It’s chasing people away.
It’s time the Christian Church wakes up to the harm it is doing to both their members and God’s creation, and begins to promote the Biblical teachings of love and compassion for the whole of creation, instead of trying to justify their hardness of heart and cruelty. It’s time we all learn to live as peacemaking children of God (Matthew 5:9), and help free the rest of creation from the corruption to which it has been subjected (Romans 8:18-25).