True Faith Requires Compassion

“We ought to feel compassion when we think of the wretched state of unconverted souls, and the misery of all men and women who live and die without Christ. No poverty like this poverty! No disease like this disease! No slavery like this slavery! No death like this: death in idolatry, false religion, and sin!

Ask ourselves this: Where is the mind of Christ, if we do not feel for the lost? I lay it down boldly, as a great principle, that the Christianity which does not make a person feel for the state of unconverted people is not the Christianity which came down from heaven hundreds of years ago, and is embalmed in the New Testament. It is a mere empty name.”

-J.C. Ryle, Tract: Athens; http://jcrylequotes.com/2012/03/05/possessing-compassion-for-the-unconverted/ Read the full tract here: http://www.reformedsermonarchives.com/ryle39.htm

Biblical and Compassionate Response to Gay Pride

“Perhaps worst of all is the knowledge that a rigorous critique of same-sex intercourse can have the unintended effect of bringing personal pain to homosexuals, some of whom are already prone to self-loathing. This is why it needs to be emphatically stated that to feel homosexual impulses does not make one a bad person.

I deplore attempts to demean the humanity of homosexuals. Whatever one thinks about the immorality of homosexual behavior, or about the obnoxiousness of elements within the homosexual lobby, homosexual impulses share with all other sinful impulses the feature of being an attack on the “I” or inner self experiencing the impulses (Romans 7:14-25). The person beset with homosexual temptation should evoke our concern, sympathy, help, and understanding, not our scorn or enmity.

Even more, such a person should kindle a feeling of solidarity in the hearts of all Christians, since we all struggle to properly manage our erotic passions. A homosexual impulse, while sinful, cannot take shape as accountable sin in a person’s life unless one acquiesces to it.

Thus a reasoned denunciation of homosexual behavior and all other attempts at nurturing and justifying homosexual passions is not, and should not be construed as, a denunciation of those victimized by homosexual urges, since the aim is to rescue the true self created in God’s image for a full life.”

Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 31