Last night, my friend, a psychotherapist, presented a talk on the reasons for compassion. He explained that our wrongdoing is based on anger and anger is based on hurt:
Hurt -- Anger -- Wrongdoing
This model has significant implications. My friend concluded that if hurt is at the basis of all wrongdoing, then it means that Hitler would not have killed 6,000,000 Jews had he not been hurt, rejected, and had these hurts been addressed with love and compassion.
More seriously, if this model is correct, it means that the Hitlers of this world should be loved and not punished. It also means that ISIS is acting out because they haven’t been loved enough. Consequently, there will no longer be a need for justice, police, armies, and the courts once we have learned how to love.
In contrast to this model, the biblical model holds sin responsible for wrongdoing, as James had written:
· What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:1-4; ESV)
According to this biblical model, we are morally responsible and deserve correction when we do wrong. (Wisdom must determine our response – whether compassion or correction.) While sin is the source of wrongdoing, the Bible does not dismiss our hurts, passions, and other feelings as significant players. However, the Bible places emphasis on our responses to these temptations to entertain sin. James also insists that we take full responsibility for our sins:
· Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:13-15)
Consequently, we cannot blame our parents or society for our evil behavior. Instead, since we are free moral agents, maturity demands that we take full responsibility for our wrong.
This simple and obvious truth is being supplanted by the therapeutic model, which will lead to the destruction of society. How? Because when we are not held accountable for our behavior, we are deprived of an important rationale for self-control! After all, we are just products of our hurts. Why then bother to control our passions?
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer understood this:
· “If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point in trying to modify your behavior to keep it in acceptable ranges?” (Richard Weikart, "The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life")