“Compassion is not the same as empathy or altruism, though the concepts are related. While empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another person, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help.” (Link)
With that quote in mind, Church Watch Central takes a look at the recent update from “A Current Affair” on C3 and Phil Pringle. This latest update, now being broadcast around the world via social media, reveals among other things, a ‘Christian leader’ who refuses to ‘pastor and counsel’ his followers as he proudly declares, “I have no empathy bone in my body!”
The ‘pastor’ who made that public confession is none other than Phil Pringle, a well-known false prophet and false teacher within the Charismatic Movement.
It’s important for Christians to remember that having ’empathy’ can be likened to Christ’s command to love one another, that being ‘loved’ by a pastor comes with the pastoral role, that by having ’empathy’ a pastor understands the feelings and experiences of others in their pastoral care:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14
With Phil Pringle’s proud declaration in mind, we remind our readers of Christ’s ’empathy’:
“And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.” Mark 1: 40-42
“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.“ James 5:11
“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:13-14
“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
‘Empathy is like a compass, it directs the pastor into the unknown world of the Christian’.(Link)
This latest “A Current Affair” update on C3 Church Global points out the serious flaws in Phil Pringle’s ‘pastoral’ character, C3’s serious neglect by failing in their duty of care to those on medication, and Pringle’s cruel lack of pastoral support for a grieving family.
In closing we remind our readers that the most serious problem not being reported is the false teaching that runs rampant through this movement and others like it. Of course nobody expects a secular program to pick up on false theology but it’s interesting to note that the Lord is using secular media to begin to expose these wolves.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:13-15
“It’s the church that sells miracles for money, and now the Prime Minister has been dragged into a scandal.”
Source: Dan Nolan, ‘A Current Affair’, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2534259840144658 Premiered December 5, 2019. (Accessed December 5, 2019.)
“You gotta know what your sweet spot is and what your sweet spot is not. I have found that my life is more about the “to-not-to-do” list than the “to-do” list.
When I became a Pastor there were all kinds of expectations on me. In my own head mostly I felt what a Pastor is meant to be. He’s meant to visit people in a hospital. He’s meant to counsel people. He’s meant to bring a sermon. He’s meant to sit in committee meetings. He’s meant to do this and that. And all of these things were in my head.
But the first time a person came to me for council, I felt, the whole anointing that I had go. Everything left me.
My shoulder’s slumped, all the energy went out on me. When this woman started talking to me I felt like I had no answers I didn’t know what to do, I was so tired. She’d be speaking for two minutes and I was worn out. So, I put my hands in my head as though I was deeply concerned, but I went to asleep.
The weird thing was when I woke up she was still talking. It kills me. I am not a councilor, do not come to me for council, you will be worse at the end of the session.
I have no empathy bone in my body. I feel for some things, but I don’t ever make decisions. And I can’t be worried about all the little feelings of people all the time. I’m sending people into war, I’m sending couples like this to cities I’ve never been to, San Diego. They come up and say, “Oh what’s going to happen, oh… GO!”
CWC includes the following from C3 (where they once again deemed it important to include their ‘good works’ at the bottom of their response):
“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:22-23
Response to A Current Affair Program 5 December 2019
While we spent considerable time responding in detail to ACA’s allegations, tonight’s program is not a fair representation of our responses, nor of the care we provide for people in these situations.
The cases presented by A Current Affair tonight are extremely isolated examples of people whose experience of C3 did not match their expectations.
C3 Church Australia is a healthy, vibrant Christian Community where more than 61,000 Australians attend services each month. Over more than 39 years in operation, many of our founding families remain actively involved in the Church, evidencing the deep meaning and significance the vast majority of members find in their association with C3 Church.
As a faith-based organisation we aspire to live all the values and build the type of community that the gospel inspires. While the overwhelming majority of our members have a deep and rich experience through their association with C3, we are of course aware that for some people their expectations of being part of this community, are not realised.
As a community deeply committed to caring for individuals, we regret any situation where anyone has felt wounded or offended as a result of their experience.
Mental Health and C3
C3 has a robust approach to managing mental health issues which encompasses a four-pronged, consultative approach which is that the individual must have a: GP; a Psychologist; a regular C3 support person; and then a C3 Pastor in an oversight capacity. All members of this team work together in consultation and agreement on all steps.
We also have clear policies around medication prescribed by medical professionals, which is never to advise people to change any medication without clearance from their doctor.
C3 is constantly aware of the importance of keeping people safe and not trying to operate beyond our team’s level of expertise in managing issues of this nature and is committed to ongoing training of leaders and volunteers across the Church.
Same sex attraction and C3
With respect to C3 members who experience same sex attraction our approach is to embrace everyone and care for them on the basis of our overriding belief that our God is full of love and compassion for everybody, regardless of their personal circumstance or sexual orientation.
C3 was aware of the serious issues impacting the Allan family and provided extensive pastoral support in response, including up until the time of Mr Allan’s tragic death. The C3 pastors involved in the comprehensive care provided to the family over more than a decade have a markedly different recollection of the events from the account provided on the program.
C3 has an extensive track record of providing support to families in need and is a supporter of a wide range of charities, C3 has a regular program of giving to important causes, which over the past 7 years has seen approximately $4 million donated to external causes.
C3 Cares, a mission to the community in Sydney, has over the past 7 years:
- Cooked and served over 125,000 meals to people in need
- Distributed 55,000 food hampers
- Distributed 30,000 items of clothing
- Facilitated 250 work placements
- Given over $1million of goods, furniture, clothing and assistance
Email all comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16