Sunday, May 19, 2013

Someone else put it better

Someone else put it better than I did/could:
A forgiving person is ready to forgive and desires that the scenario for forgiveness to take place will develop in time.

One who has been wronged can learn to still be considerate and compassionate ( that is the fruit of love) when true repentance has not taken place .

However, we need to affirm to the one wronged that they were wronged and seek to help them communicate to the wrongdoer that repentance is the only acceptable response when it comes to the specifics of what took place.

Repentance and forgiveness takes place before God and openly between the human parties.

Without such a process we demean the righteousness of Christ and undermine the redemption He has effected and open the gates wide open for narcissism to prevail within the company of saints.
 Well put.

Parable on Forgiveness

Mat 18:23-35
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses
People read the last sentence but don't often take the time to read the context of the parable.

Each of those examples of forgiveness involved an exchange between two persons. The one who was owed the debt gave up the debt because the other person repented. When it turned out that the repentant really wasn’t the first one withdrew the forgiveness of the debt.

Nothing about secret forgiveness in the heart without any external interaction. That’s pure imagination and foreign to the Scriptural idea of forgiveness.

Someone asked me to put forth my position. See Matt 18 above.
  • Master was owed a debt
  • Master demanded payment of the debt.
  • Man could not pay and begged patience.
  • Master had compassion and forgave the debt.
 That’s the basic paradigm. The Master is God. The man is us. If we don’t forgive as we have been forgiven we are in trouble. But what about the actions of the Master? He demanded payment and forced the man to beg for forgiveness.

Forgiveness = Good News/Bad News

I think it will be a relief to many people to understand that God doesn’t ask them to forgive those who have abused them. It’s good news.

Of course it’s bad news to the dispensers of religious tradition who think they can control people by keeping them under a guilt trip telling them that about ”forgiveness as an act of Christlike obedience.

Biblical teaching on forgiveness

Someone asked me to summarize my theology of forgiveness.
  • We need to forgive people who are truly ignorant of their sins.
  • If someone repents we are obligated to forgive them.
  • Repentance includes sorrow, restoration, recompense.
  • If someone does not repent, we are obliged to confront and rebuke them.
  • If someone refuses to repent after confrontation, there is a process that needs to be followed through until the end.
  • If someone does not repent at the end of the process, they are handed over to God. for vengeance, we are forbidden to take vengeance ourselves on the unrepentant.
  • God stands with the victim, not the perpetrator of the offense.
  • God’s goal is reconciliation of persons but this reconciliation can not happen without repentance.

The Church chooses to not forgive?

If you are to always to forgive then why does the Scripture say:
John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 
That doesn’t fit at all with the unilateral forgiveness paradigm. Why doesn’t the church just always forgive if that’s really the right thing?

Doctrine Saves?

Someone wrote:
Some people really think that Jesus said, By their doctrine you shall know them. That always baffles me.
Look these passages up:
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Turns out doctrine really does matter...

So, why stay away from Chuck Smith and his disciples?
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

  

Forgive as Christ has forgiven you

Someone quotes (as they always do when discussing the subject of forgiveness)  this passage:
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Yes, I agree 100% with what Eph. ch 4:32 says. But, do you see what it says?

If we refused to repent would we be saved? Nope. God forgave us because we repented, ie, we changed our mind about who Jesus is. We are to forgive others who repent as well.
 

Unilateral forgiveness is imaginary forgiveness

"I was forgiven BEFORE I repented.”

Not exactly. If you were, then you would not need to receive it.

“The penalty/debt was paid and justice was met at the Cross.”

True.

“I simply need to receive that forgiveness.”

If I offer you a dollar and you refuse to take the dollar, who has the dollar? Same with forgiveness. We can offer the gift of forgiveness but it the other person hasn’t taken it there’s been no forgiveness – at least not as used/defined in the Bible. Forgiveness has to be received as exemplified here:
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Unilateral forgiveness is imaginary forgiveness.