Paul's Passing Thoughts

Carte Blanche Forgiveness is NOT the Goodness of God that Leads Others to Repentance

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 12, 2014

Easy“With all of the talk about living in a way that ‘looks like the gospel,’ why is the order of the day forgiveness that really isn’t forgiveness in the same way we were forgiven?”

I suppose I should be patient because we have all lived in this Protestant Dark Age that began in circa 350 AD and became Dark Age Light in the 16th century. To name just a few; no, the church is not the bride of Christ. No, Christians are not sinners saved by grace. No, Christ did not die for the church. No, Christ did not die for the sins we commit as Christians. No, there is no such thing as “church discipline.” No, “legalism” is not a biblical concept. And no, we don’t forgive those who sin against us if they don’t repent.

We are the guests of the Bridegroom, not the bride. Christians are not sinners (a sinner sins as a lifestyle). Christ died for Israel (Acts 5:31, 13:23, 28:20)—we were grafted in to make the unrepentant Jews jealous (Rom 11:11). Christ is the end of the law, and where there is no law there is no sin; so no, His finished work on the cross does not have to be applied to the sins we commit as Christians. He may discipline us as sons, but that has nothing to do with salvation and the supposed need for a perpetual “covering.” The apostles wrote specifically about self-discipline, and the Lord’s discipline; if there is “church discipline,” why wouldn’t they have simply said so? “Legalism” is a word that is not found in the Bible, nor is the concept itself anywhere to be found in Scripture.

We could discuss many more Protestant traditions of men that skew a proper understanding of the gospel, but this post is about carte blanche forgiveness propagated early in church history for the purpose of control. The concept first appears in the Didactic Creed during the tension between bishops and lay elders circa 70 AD.ff. The Didactic posited the idea that blank check forgiveness eliminates having enemies while the Bible assures us that enemies will always be with us. The question is what to do with them? The Bible states that we are to forgive others the way God has forgiven us and that is very true to a “T.” That is exactly how we are to forgive others.

Someone sent me a link to an article that apes the worn-out Protestant truism of carte blanche forgiveness that is NOT the same way God forgave us. Or should I say, “the way God forgives us” which is in the present continuance tense. Does God presently forgive us as family members, or “sinners”? Are you saying that we should forgive others the same way God forgave us unto salvation, or as sons? And is there a difference? Are we sons or sinners, or both? Do we need our whole body washed daily, or just our feet? And how does this all relate to our forgiveness for others?

What are people saying when they say we are to “forgive others the way God forgave us”? I venture to say they don’t really know when it gets right down to it. Let’s start with the usual truisms taken from the aforementioned article:

Forgiveness is much more about YOU -than whoever hurt you.

What Christian victim hasn’t heard that one? So, when the pastor’s son dragged you into the janitors room while you were minding your own business and raped you, that’s more about you than it is the rapist? Really? Does the parrot who wrote that realize we write on the community board of the World Wide Web? I suggest that the Bible teaches that we make it more about the offender than the victim. That’s love: striving to make the individual come to grips with what he/she did. If they don’t make it right with us, neither are they right with God (Matt 5:23). We either believe in universal salvation or we don’t. Is God going to save everyone without repentance, or is repentance required?

I am very concerned about the sappy stories I hear in regard to Christians giving blank check forgiveness to those who have committed heinous crimes against them. This sends the message to the criminal that God forgives without repentance—that’s a false gospel. Is it not better to lead that person to repentance? And how do we do that? But first, let’s take another nugget from said article:

The act of forgiveness releases us from the wounding agent. I have witnessed countless people refuse to forgive. In turn, I have watched those same people repeatedly tear their own wounds open, time and again, right at the moment they begin to heal.  -Forgiveness releases us from the wounding agent and allows the healing process to begin and continue. It is the well medicated bandage that is placed on a wound that has been properly cleaned and dressed.

Forgiveness is also the antidote for the infection of bitterness. I have witnessed bitterness eat people up like a vicious emotional and spiritual infection, causing even more damage than the initial wound.

Well, let me introduce you to some saints in heaven. Because they are in heaven praying, we must assume they are in pretty good shape spiritually and emotionally, no? Let’s listen to their prayer:

Rev 6:9 – When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

Justice is very important to God, and often you will hear victims say that justice brings “closure.” Only then can many victims move on. However, when the offender is repentant for what they have done, victims testify that this makes a huge difference in the healing process. Here is what I suggest the Bible teaches:

Seek to bring the person to repentance through love rather than forgiving without repentance.

How is that done? Well, we are to forgive like God forgives, right? If there is any truism that holds water, it is this one: “You have to get people lost before you can get them saved.” Likewise, people have to be your enemy before you can RECONCILE with them. I am going to keep on saying this:

Blank check forgiveness circumvents the need for reconciliation.

Let’s now take another excerpt from Pastor Parrot’s post:

In addition, forgiveness protects relationships.

You mean pretend relationships where no real reconciliation has taken place? And how important is reconciliation to the gospel?

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God (2Cor 5:7).

Furthermore, if God’s goodness to the unrepentant leads to repentance (Rom 2:4), why would it be any different with us? Why can’t our goodness towards the unrepentant bring them to repentance? Isn’t that better than pretending while leaving them out of sorts with God? Not to mention a continuation of their unrepentant behavior that will harm others. What about them? The Bible never tells us to forgive our enemies—it tells us to love them the same way God loves them. Whenever you are commanded to forgive….

REPENTANCE IS ASSUMED.

Let’s take another excerpt from said article to make this point:

This is exactly why Jesus responded “seventy times seven,” when he was asked how often we should be willing to forgive each other.

Ok, let’s go to the context of his citation:

If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:4).

Excuse me, but what in the Samhell does “IF” mean? Really, I find the whole notion of the Holy Spirit being a poor communicator very annoying. If means, “if.” This isn’t rocket science. God so loved the world that He made a way for reconciliation—that’s how we should love. With all of the talk about living in a way that “looks like the gospel,” why is the order of the day forgiveness that really isn’t forgiveness in the same way we were forgiven? In fact, why all the fuss in regard to Matthew 18? Why not just forgive everybody and be done with it?

Because love is better. Because it prescribes a process that does not call God’s justice into question. It does not put the burden on the abused so that pathetic excuses for pastors can push the easy button.

paul

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2 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on February 12, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.

    Like

  2. lydiasellerofpurple said, on February 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Sheesh! This guy is teaching folks to enable and excuse evil! I bet the perps love him and totally agree with him. The other problem is he puts the burden of the salvation of the perp on the victim! I know he does not say this but this is the message to victims IF they withhold this imaginary forgiveness. This stuff is sick. It is calling evil good and good evil. And calling for peace peace where there is NO peace.

    The worst part is when the perp has been a professing believer. Right. The Holy Spirit was indwelling when they were molesting a child? It is really sick out there in what passes for Christendom.

    Like


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