HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Should you forgive a person who hurts you gravely and repents?

Should you forgive a person who hurts you gravely and does not repent?

Does it matter?

If forgiveness is about you not the other person then it is not really forgiveness.  It is self-interest.

The Bible says that God never forgives unless the person repents.  2 Corinthians 7:10 says repentance leads to forgiveness and salvation from God.  1 John 1:9 says that if we repent and admit our sins God will forgive.  Jesus said you should not forgive your brother unconditionally.  Rebuke him and forgive him if he repents.  Read Luke 17:3-4. 

The Bible at Colossians 3:13 tells us to forgive in the same way as God does it.  This forbids forgiving the unrepentant.  Jesus, if you look at Luke 23:34 does not have Jesus forgiving his killers but asking God to forgive them.   Asking that people may be forgiven implies they have to repent.  If they are forgiven anyway then why ask?  And the Bible is clear that there is an eternal sin that will not be forgiven in this world or the next. This is taken to refer to people making a final decision against God.  Whatever this sin that Jesus calls the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is it it clear that there is such a thing as being in a state of sin for all eternity.

Today's liberal thinkers regard anybody who does not forgive everything and everybody as a hate-monger.  If they are right then Christianity does incite hate and risk violence against those who are not forgiven or forgiveable.

Forgiveness is often seen as being hurt by a person and responding with only good things and good wishes.  You view the other person through the lens of empathy and compassion.  Some say they do this because of the evil the other person has done.  Most people say they do it in spite of the evil done.  You may be good to a person who has stolen from you and thus forgive them without trusting them with your bank account say if they have stolen from you.

Forgiving because of the evil done is just rewarding.  It is not forgiving for real forgiving means judging the act as evil and filthy.

Forgiving in spite of the evil done implies forgiveness is a struggle and prone to failing.  The failing is often blamed on the person who hurt you rather than on you.

Reconciliation is when two friends or acquaintances resume their relationship after one has hurt the other and been forgiven.  It needs you to tell the other what they did and they ask for your forgiveness and you forgive.  A relationship of trust is reestablished.  The past is virtually forgotten.

Forgiveness can be without reconciliation but reconciliation cannot be without forgiveness.  Reconciliation cannot make sense without the guilty party being repentant.

Christianity insists upon reconciliation more than forgiveness but as that teaching is not popular it is not mentioned much.  Jesus said you have a duty to forgive others for God forgives you no matter what you do.  God reconciles to you so  you must reconcile with others not just forgive. 

Christianity leads to people being pressured to forgive and they think they have forgiven when they have not.  You feel that not forgiving is the root of all discord and war and that puts pressure on you.

People who know that love the sinner and hate the sin is rubbish and hypocrisy will find it hard to forgive.  Those who believe the doctrine of love sinner and hate their sin will not understand why they find it hard to forgive and can forgive and then just change their mind.  The reason is the teaching is a feel good teaching but is morally useless.   Love the sinner and hate the sin promotes false reconciliation.  If a person is so angry at the moral outrages of others that he attacks them and leaves them in hospital the love the sinner and hate the sin brigade will view the person as one who does love the sinner and hate the sin but who did it in the wrong way.  Thus the attack will be seen as a well-meaning mistake.  Love the sinner demands the most charitable view possible and that is it.  So the teaching is full of loopholes so that it sounds good but is useless.  It has stolen the praise and esteem it gets.

Christianity says you must forgive the person who wronged you both for hurting you and for hurting your friend God - to hurt God is to hurt you.  So with this nonsense it makes forgiveness harder.  It makes the unforgiveable even more unforgiveable.  Plus if it is unforgiveable to thump a baby for fun how much more is it to offend the lovely being who out of love made the baby in the first place?  How can you forgive the girl who lures your son into sex outside marriage and thus risks him dying unrepentant and suffering for all eternity?

If a sin is unforgiveable then Christians telling you to forgive and you telling yourself you have forgiven it would have no effect.  Forgiveness would be a delusion.  A delusion is no way to facilitate peace.  The delusion is worse the more you believe in Christianity and in a loving God.

Forgiveness for everybody is about ceasing to let what happened hurt you any more or to be precise it is about annulling the offender’s power to hurt you.  It is about not being her or his victim any more.  If that is all forgiveness is for or what it is mainly about then no true reconciliation with the enemy is possible.  A counterfeit and cosmetic one is possible but that is it.

Forgiving Christians always show their own true colours when they get powerful enough - nonsense about forgiveness only degrades forgiveness. They will prove then how much they forgive you.  They will prove then that peace and the absence of war can be very different things.