Monday, November 29, 2010

Charity


   As I was reading through the chapter titled "Charity" in J.C. Ryle's, Practical Religion, I thought of how the word CHARITY is not completely understood, and how people claim to have charity when indeed they do not.  I looked up the word charity and found that probably most people's knowledge of the meaning of charity consists of  1-6, and leaves out the true Scriptural meaning that falls last on the list at #7: Love.

   Ryle states, "Thousands delude themselves with the idea that they have 'charity,' when they have not, from  downright ignorance of Scripture.  Their charity is not the charity described in the Bible.  The charity of the Bible does not consist in giving to the poor.  It is a common delusion to suppose that it does.  Yet St. Paul tells us plainly, that a man may 'bestow all his goods to feed the poor' (1 Corinthians 8:3), and not have charity." 
   Ryle goes on to say, "The charity of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody's conduct....Thousands pride themselves on never condeming others or calling them wrong, whatever they may do....To throw a veil over sin, and to refuse to call things by their right names, --to talk of 'heart' being good, when 'lives' are flatly wrong, --to shut our eyes against wickedness, and say smooth things of immorality, --this is not Scriptural charity." 
   Ryle also states, "The charity of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody's religious opinions....There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others mistaken, whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor, forsooth, may be a...Roman Catholic, or a Mormon... But the 'charity' of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! If he is sincere, it is "uncharitable" to think unfavorably of his spiritual condition! From such charity may I ever be delivered! At this rate the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the Gentiles! At this rate there is no use in missions! At this rate we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches! Everybody is right, and nobody is wrong!  Everybody is going to heaven, and nobody is going to hell! Such charity is a monstrous caricature. To say that all are equally right in their opinions, though their opinions flatly contradict one another--to say that all are equally on their way to heaven, though their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and right--this is not Scriptural charity."

Let us be educated on the true Scriptural meaning of the word charity which is LOVE, and not be fooled by what so many claim to have.  Let us know what love really means and have that come out in our words and actions.  That being said here are a couple quotes from this chapter that I want to share:

"The charity of the Bible will never be found except in a heart prepared by the Holy Ghost"

"God has no need of faith.  He is dependent on no one.  There is none superior to Him in whom He must trust.  --God has no need of hope.  To Him all things are certain, whether past, present or to come.  --But 'God is love:'  and the more love His people have,the more like they are to their Father in heaven.

"Charity...is the greatest of the graces, because it is the one which endures the longest.  In fact, it will never die.  Faith will one day be swallowed up in sight, and hope in eternity.  Their office will be useless in the morning of the resurrection and like old almanacs, they will be laid aside.  But love will live on through the endless ages of eternity."

"The charity of the Bible will never be found except in a heart prepared by the Holy Ghost."

Practical Religion, J.C. Ryle

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Great thoughts, Andrea! Thanks for sharing! <3