Friday, September 11, 2009

Should Christians "Forgive" Everyone?

I don't frequently just re-post someone else's article, but this one really has me thinking... Are we to "forgive everyone" unconditionally? When wronged, are we merely to "forgive and forget"? Is that the Biblical mandate?

The author makes a convincing argument that we are NOT to do that. In part:
"Christians are not called to automatically forgive every offense. Rather, we should offer forgiveness to all. Said another way, we should maintain an attitude of forgiveness. But biblical forgiveness is more than a feeling. It is something that happens between two parties, and it takes place in the fullest sense only when the offending party repents and the relationship is restored..."
It is, I think, very helpful to adopt a Biblical approach to forgiveness... especially these days.  All too often, breaches happen in relationships - from families to churches - and it is very uncommon to find people willing to do the hard work of actually addressing the breach.  How many marriages, families, friendships or church memberships are shattered - with potentially years of wasted time - because the parties involved don't want to address the problem? 

So here"s my question:  In the case of a relational breach, are we Biblical when we ignore the breach and "let time heal all wounds" or should we offer forgiveness freely, but withhold it's delivery until repentence and restoration is achieved?

If you missed the link above, you can find the entire article at


Suppresst said...

Probably you are aware that some of the earliest and most reliable manuscripts from which our current Bibles were copied, did not have Jesus asking Father to forgive the persons executing Jesus. That quote attributed to Jesus rings down throught the ages and guides the theological reasoning of a lot of persons.

I personally do not think we are bound to forgive persons who have not sought our forgiveness and/or are not repentent. However, when asked by a fellow believer to forgive, we must forgive.

We must not forget that Jesus prophesied the destruction of cities that did not accept Him as Christ, and he prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem to come in the wake of his death. Indeed, Jerusalem was destroyed in direct punishment for rejecting Christ.

These truth do not square well with Jesus alleged words about forgiving his executioners.

Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.