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Beware the New Compassion
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The new 'compassion' says that we must include and accept everyone, regardless of opinions, lifestyles, beliefs, actions or choices.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - I sense a growing weariness among Christians in the fierce cultural battles currently being waged, such as abortion and gay "marriage." Does it seem like life would be so much easier if we stopped making a big deal about things and just let people do what they wanted? Live and let live, right? Isn't that the compassionate attitude?
The accusation goes like this: if you dare to call something wrong or immoral, or if you insist that some things are inherently good and others are inherently evil and therefore should not be allowed, then you are being exclusive and insensitive, judgmental and without compassion. If you have the temerity to actually call something a sin, well, that's the new capital offense.
With regard to the most serious moral and social issues of our day, those with an anti-Christian agenda are trying to redefine compassion -- they equate compassion with tolerance and acceptance, and it just ain't so.
Beware the new "compassion."
The new "compassion" says that we must include and accept everyone, regardless of their opinions or lifestyles, actions, beliefs or choices. We should simply agree to disagree, and stop being so critical. After all, doesn't Jesus welcome everyone with open arms?
It sounds good. It sounds kind and sympathetic. It sounds loving, even. It sounds pretty convincing. But I'm not convinced.
Yes, Jesus surely did stretch His arms open wide and die for the salvation of all mankind, and absolutely no one was excluded from that sacrifice. It is for everyone who accepts it. Accepting the sacrifice means we accept the reason it was necessary in the first place: sin.
Sin is a big deal! It's deadly, serious stuff. So deadly that only God Himself could save us from it. Let's not forget, though, that we are still accountable for the part we can do - we have to turn our backs on sin. We are supposed to "go and sin no more." In a word, we have to repent. God calls us to repentance, as proof of His great compassion.
Imagine how hopeless we would all be if God had merely been sympathetic toward us instead of compassionate? We would still be lost if He had been tolerant and accepting. What if He had left us to be doomed to our eternal death without any hope? After all, the screw-up was ours. He was under no obligation to rescue us from our disobedience and pride. Yet, He is a loving Father, and His children were being devoured by the beast we shook hands with.
He could not simply look on us with a sad sigh, accepting our sinfulness with tolerance. God is unchanging; holy and perfect. Sin can never stand in His presence, and He loves us far too much to ever tolerate anything that would keep us from Him.
I am unutterably grateful that God is not tolerating and accepting! This is what makes our Father so amazing! Sin was killing us, and watering it down wasn't the answer. God dealt with sin not by making allowances for it, or making excuses for us. He didn't lower His standards or adjust His expectations one iota. In His perfect justice He showed us compassion, and He met His own demands on our behalf.
Christ died to set us all free from sin, but we will not be free if we remain slaves to it. "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." Romans 6:16-18
Our freedom comes through repentance. That's the point - we can't stay where we are, making allowances, making excuses for ourselves and others, trying to be tolerant. That's not compassion. It's a death sentence.
This new "compassion" is a cunning trick that says each of us can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, but don't be fooled. It is a lie from the pit of hell because it deceives us into tolerating sin and calling evil good. "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." Isaiah 5:20
We're not doing anyone any favors by denying or "fudging" the reality of sin. God tells us quite specifically that certain things are sinful, whether we like it or not. And that's precisely the problem - a lot of people don't like it.
The modern motto is that people should be able to live as they please without moral "imposition" from anyone else. I even hear Catholics saying the Church has no right to impose its beliefs or morality on anyone else. I strongly disagree - with the premise and the wording. The Church has every right, and more importantly, every obligation, to tell mankind of the danger of sin and the deadly consequences of indulging in it. That's not "imposing morality." It is the greatest demonstration of compassion.
God desires that not one of His children be lost for eternity, and His people are charged with the mission of telling the world that each of us has a choice to make. "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..." Deut 30: 19
We must be motivated by the same love and compassion that compelled Christ to die for us. We cannot be afraid to call sin what it is. We will be scorned and called every name in the book for insisting that some things are wrong and sinful. We'll be labeled judgmental, self-righteous and hateful. But consider this: do you leave your door unlocked and welcome the criminal who would rob your house and maybe even kill you? Satan is just such a thief. He comes to kill and destroy our souls and sin is his weapon. How, then, is it compassionate to welcome and tolerate the sin that threatens to kill?
Jennifer Hartline is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.
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