Compassionate Christian

Progressive 26

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:3-9

I know what you’re thinking, and that’s not what I’m talking about. People spend far too much time and energy on one issue: one that effects a fraction of our population. If you want your opinion heard on that issue (and who hasn’t?), go find some other forum.

Meanwhile, I’ll explain why I can’t be a fundamentalist Christian.

I seem to have been born extremely empathetic. I cry easily, I care deeply, and I can’t stand seeing people (or animals) in pain. My impression is that Jesus is the same. When he walked on earth, he wasn’t doing tricks for people’s entertainment. He cried at Lazarus’ death, not just for Lazarus, but for His friends. He made water to wine because His mother asked him to. He sat down and talked to people. Wherever he went, he saw hurting people and He healed them.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 Compassion. Not judgment.

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14. Compassion. Not judgment.

He tells us all to have compassion for the poor, the sick, the homeless, the outcast, and widows. Over a hundred verses in the Old and New Testaments exhort us to care for these people:

Exodus 23:11 … Leviticus 23:22 … Deuteronomy 10:18 … Deuteronomy 15:7 … Matthew 25:35 … Luke 18:22 … Romans 12:20 … James 1:27 … and many more.

No matter what I personally believe, any form of religion that tells us to bully, belittle, malign, or judge people is not Biblical, and it’s not for me. (And I do include gay people–in our society, they are outcast.)

I like to think that everyone is born with a capacity for compassion, and most people suppress it. But I can’t suppress my compassion for people; even poor people; even non-Christian people; even gay people. It’s just the way I am, and how I choose to remain.

It’s time for me to come out of the closet. Yes, I’m a Compassionate Christian.


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