It’s my prayer to see the local church be a place where people are given a taste of the new heavens and the new earth. The church is meant to be a harbinger of heaven to come. If the church is going to do that well, it must possess compassion. Without compassion, a church will become judgmental, critical, and ultimately cold-hearted.
There is a key doctrine that needs to be embraced heartily if a church is going to be characterized by compassion: sin. A deficient doctrine of sin erodes compassion. Why?
A deficient doctrine of sin creates the conditions needed for superiority complexes to germinate in churches. Without a healthy, robust doctrine of sin, people will begin to balloon with pride. Pride is the fuel for the fire of judgmentalism and criticism. When I minimize my sin, I will be prone to looking down my nose at others. This destroys compassion.
Appeals to the will, “just be kind and compassionate,” will ultimately fail. Compassion is a byproduct of humility. And without a healthy doctrine of sin, humility will suffocate.