Misrepresenting what I say is easy when you don’t include a link to the original work. I am a writer and take care to write what I mean to write and not write what I do not mean to write. While Pastor Doug and Joe Rigney talk in absolute terms— understanding of course that most things that are spoken in absolute terms are not absolute but generalizations— in regards to the “sin of empathy,” I chose not to because I do not believe that empathy itself is sinful, but at times can make you sin in other clearly sinful ways. Permissible but not necessarily beneficial.

To directly quote my article from Saturday,

One could rightly argue that empathy is sinful as it can require you to lie or have untethered anger against someone in an ungodly way. Yet, in the modern age, we are told our only option is empathy[…]

Empathy vs. Sympathy

If one requires me to lie, otherwise I am abusing them, then they are requiring that I sin. This should be clear to any half-wit. If one requires that I feel untethered rage against someone— this being unrighteous anger—, then they are requiring that I sin. Not all empathy requires that I sin to be empathetic, so not all empathy is sin.

But just because something is not sin does not mean it is beneficial.

You can have sympathy for the person that is claiming abuse, you can reach a hand out and help them out of the water, talk with them and understand their perspective. Instead of fueling the rage, instead they need to get better. They are in fact getting bitter if they stay in the water, staying in the rage.

Empathy vs. Sympathy

I do not reject empathy as much as question it’s value compared to compassion and sympathy, two things that are never encouraging sinful actions. This is why my article was titled Empathy vs. Sympathy and addressed the differences and why we should, as Christians, err on the side of sympathy and compassion.

Further, the article was addressing Christians, as I recently wrote that I do a lot here. Why does this matter in this case? Because Christians are required— this being a commandment from Jesus Himself— to love our neighbors and to love our enemies. We are given clear documentation throughout the first letter to the Corinthians on what that looks like— through what it doesn’t look like— culminating in 1 Corinthians 13 showing us what it looks like.

This article being targeted at Christians can conclude that you need to think about the ramifications of empathy and err towards compassion and sympathy because it is grounded in a Christian ethic that we love everyone as God loved us. If this article was targeted at the heathens— those that do not know Christ— then it could not assume the same foundational ethic.

Of course, had my brother (Jason Finley, dba Mx. Sassafras, dba Sassafras Flick) linked my original article, the heckling from the peanut gallery would have had no weight to it. After all, it is easier to gaslight without providing evidence, like the 1300+ word piece you are referring to which clearly draws a different conclusion to anyone that cares to read it.


Quick note. I regularly write articles that address two audiences: me and fellow Christians. Usually you can tell that I am doing this by my specifically addressing Christians. Such as:

But justice! They must pay for their actions, pay for what they’ve done to me! God didn’t say the same for you, Christian. No, Christ said “I’ll pay the bill.” Christian, you don’t want justice done for all that you have done and you surely don’t want justice done to your foes.

When You Forgive Someone, (emphasis added)

This article would not make sense if it was addressing non-Christians, as we cannot hold those outside the Blood to the standards set for those under the Blood of Christ. This article, along with many others, addresses me and fellow Christians and commands that are made of us as brothers and sisters in Christ. Namely, you are to forgive without any reason other than Christ forgave you.

If you are not a Christian and read an article like this and conclude that it is crazy to hold you to that standard, you are correct and I am not holding you to that standard.