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kerrick

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PostSubject: Forgiveness   Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:51 pm

So at church this past Sunday the sermon was on forgiveness.  The speaker spent most of the time talking about how for our own good, we need to forgive others - even when they don't repent to us.  In preparation for our Bible study group last night, my girlfriend Veronika started doing some research on biblical forgiveness and found some interesting points.  We brought these up to our group and received very mixed reactions and thoughts.  I'd love to hear what y'all have to say on this.

First, what is forgiveness?  Prior to meeting, I think everyone thought we had a pretty good idea of what it means to forgive.  But nowhere (to my knowledge) in the Bible does it actually define forgiveness.

Second, should we forgive everyone who wrongs us?  The expected answer is 'yes.'  But from our research, that is NOT what the Bible says!

Luke 17:3-4 wrote:
So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

Honestly, I was quite shocked - even though I've read through Luke numerous times throughout my life.  I've always been taught to forgive everyone.  Now this is specifically with regards to a fellow believer.  Does the same rule apply for non-Christians?

Much of this topic has been sparked by a blog that Veronika found online.  (It's not too long and very well thought-out; I highly recommend reading it!)  A point it makes that I found particularly interesting is that,

Justin Taylor wrote:
In our English Bibles, there are approximately 130 references to some form of the word “forgive.” The vast majority of occurrences reference God forgiving his people or an individual. Only about 12 passages deal with horizontal forgiveness (Matt. 6:12, 14, 15; 18:21; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37; 11:4; 17:3; John 20:23; 2 Cor. 2:7, 10; 2 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13.

So much of our modern church culture (at least that I've experienced growing up in the church) seems to focus on "horizontal forgiveness."

One thing that our group couldn't agree upon last night was just what forgiveness is - and more specifically, whether forgiveness and "letting go" of wrongs done against you are the same or different things.  I would argue that they are two different things and that Paul is not talking about forgiveness here:

Romans 12:17-21 wrote:

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We're called to love everyone and as for as much as we have control over, to live at peace with everyone.  I would argue that living at peace with everyone WOULD include "letting go" of the wrongs done against you - even if they don't ask for forgiveness from you.  BUT it would seem that the Bible does NOT teach us to forgive them.  Is there a difference between forgiving and letting go/living at peace with others???  Should we forgive people when they do wrong?

Alright, let's hear what you've got to say!


Last edited by kerrick on Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:01 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : took out some links that were messed up)
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:34 pm

Wow, that is some weighty stuff there.

I have always tried to teach my children (and practice in my own life) that you forgive everyone (regardless of if they seek your forgiveness or not) HOWEVER (that's a big however) you do not continue to allow people to abuse you (even those who have asked for your forgiveness). I could probably go into that in more detail, but sadly I don't have the time right now.

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messiaen77

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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:43 pm

Hmm, I'll have to process this a little more.
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Guilty/Forgiven

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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:05 am

Good points to ponder... indeed.  I have never done an extensive study on "Forgiveness".  I too have always believed that since we've been forgiven much, that we need to forgive others much as well, even if they remain jerks.  Not sure how accurate that is, but I always interpreted our need to forgive others as more for OURSELVES, rather than just something we're obeying God on. Reason being is, when we hold unforgiveness in our hearts, it only hurts ourselves.
Course I'm "parroting" from the pulpit a bit here since, as I said, I've never done a personal study on this myself.

Here are some random passages on Forgiveness that we can perhaps glean some good stuff from, but as is obvious, these are ripped from their context, so if any are of particular interest for this thread, be sure to read the entire context:


Matthew 5:44–47 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?                      
6:14-15 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

18:21-22 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.                 
Ephesians 4:32 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.                                                                                                                                                                               
Luke 17:4 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”                                                                                                                                                                

Mark 11:25-26 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.                                                                                               

Luke  7:47 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:31 am

To be honest, I think a lot of us KNOW that we are to forgive those who wrong us and also to love our enemies.  However, it ain't easy!

I think that we will find that sometimes we break off relationships due to unforgiveness because it is easier than trying to live at peace with someone.  However, I think that sometimes it becomes necessary to do so if peace is unattainable.  Knowing when this is the right course is difficult and gets me into trouble quite frequently.  It is just pure laziness and not wanting to embarrass myself further that it is easier to just walk away.

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Guilty/Forgiven

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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:06 pm

Quote :
I think that we will find that sometimes we break off relationships due to unforgiveness because it is easier than trying to live at peace with someone. 

I am SO guilty of this... more than I care to admit. I've said that I forgive them, but don't EVER want to see them again. Embarassed
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:20 pm

Guilty/Forgiven wrote:
Quote :
I think that we will find that sometimes we break off relationships due to unforgiveness because it is easier than trying to live at peace with someone. 

I am SO guilty of this... more than I care to admit. I've said that I forgive them, but don't EVER want to see them again. Embarassed

I think you can forgive someone and also avoid them.  Especially if they cause you to "anger".  I have a neighbor that I have forgiven but I completely avoid her in an effort to keep from becoming angered by her words and actions.

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Guilty/Forgiven

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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:00 pm

Staybrite wrote:
Guilty/Forgiven wrote:
Quote :
I think that we will find that sometimes we break off relationships due to unforgiveness because it is easier than trying to live at peace with someone. 

I am SO guilty of this... more than I care to admit. I've said that I forgive them, but don't EVER want to see them again. Embarassed

I think you can forgive someone and also avoid them.  Especially if they cause you to "anger".  I have a neighbor that I have forgiven but I completely avoid her in an effort to keep from becoming angered by her words and actions.


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Through The Dark Radio

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PostSubject: Re: Forgiveness   Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:00 am

Here's the sermon "Love Your Enemies" by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_loving_your_enemies/index.html
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