Forgiveness is the heart of Christianity. During these dark, tragic days since the Charleston massacre, yesterday this murderer was faced by the victim’s families during the bond hearing. They followed Christ’s example from the cross to give forgiveness to the shooter for the murders of their loved ones. Followers of Christ are to forgive the sin of others and ask God to forgive them as they forgive others. ( Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.) ( From the Lord’s prayer.)
From the depths of their pain and grief, these dear people found the strength to forgive as their loved ones would have wanted them to do. What a powerful image and example for the world to witness, a call for God’s mercy and grace, lived out in our evil world.
This Is Forgiveness and Love in Action!
Forgiveness surely requires first an emotional journey for which there was not time in this case. Forgiveness by rote is meaningless and might encourage the commission of more such atrocities by those so disposed. Do we forgive ISIL for their butchery? Is it not necessary for, at least, true contrition to be shown by the perpetrator?
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Oh my dear friend Oyia, Thank you for your response. I agree that forgiveness by rote is meaningless. . . hollow words. I am not a theologian just a spiritual pilgrim like you . But I use Christ as my example as he hung on the cross asking his Father to forgive the people who crucified him, and there seems no repentance from the Romans or the Jewish religious leaders, only one thief on the next cross. To me there is a difference in the slaughter of ISIL and the need for justice and protection of the innocent and we are called to protection of the weak against evil. All these questions are very complicated and I appreciate your thoughts and response, my friend! We, everyone, are on a spiritual journey in this world. Peace!
I see your logic, and of course Christ, himself, was the victim (and fast running out of time) – he also perhaps knew this fate was his mission, I expect you feel the Charleston victims would be equally magnanimous – given the chance – though this was not their intended fate (more of a fluke). Of course the ISIL victims require justice and protection, yet automatic forgiveness of these executioners makes those terms redundant. True forgiveness is an emotional response which it is impossible, for a mortal to give whilst his heart remains so hardened by the events..
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For me, there is no doubt that Christ was fully aware of his fate as His mission. He gave up his life as the perfect sacrifice for all sinners , everywhere and forever. But as also truly human , he asked for the Father to take this cup from him, if possible. I understand what you are saying, I do. I agree that true forgiveness can not be given from a hard heart. This was the immense power to me hearing those words of prayer, mercy, forgiveness from those precious relatives . It was so transparent and unexpected that I think all if not some of the hearers had to be moved by it. Oh Oyia, I loved that you used the word “logic” hardly ever does anyone call me logical ! Thank you !