Paul's Passing Thoughts

Blank Check Forgiveness Equals Zero Sum Life

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on June 13, 2018

Originally published May 2, 2016

Completely absent from forgiveness mania among dumbed-down Christians is any kind of understanding in regard to how justice figures into the forgiveness equation. While insisting that “we forgive others the way God forgave us,” the formula presented for doing so is in no way, shape or form indicative of how God in fact forgives us. This is just one more example in the midst of myriad in considering how confused and illogical evangelicals are. While clamoring about with much indignation in regard to abortion’s devaluing of life, Christians witlessly ply blank check forgiveness and its default zero sum life equation.

Again, the contradiction is justice—justice only exists for the sake of life value. Invariably, injustice and zero sum life walk together hand in hand. It is no surprise that blank check forgiveness comes from the Protestant tradition as the Reformers believed that injustice only occurs between man and God. They considered horizontal injustice (injustice between people) a metaphysical anomaly. Hence, one never gets what he/she deserves in this life as everybody deserves eternal hell. And, to not forgive automatically makes you better than the person you are not forgiving. This is also where moral equivalency, blank check forgiveness, injustice, and zero sum life are all members of the same motley crew.

Blank check forgiveness devalues life by not holding people accountable for sinning against you or others. We don’t hold dogs accountable because they don’t know any better as animals of mostly instinct. And in essence, the same reasons are given for blank check forgiveness among people; they are “totally depraved” and enslaved to sinful instincts. In fact, John Calvin deemed humanity as nothing more than “worms crawling on the ground” while Martin Luther thought that description too charitable in regard to human nature.

Withholding forgiveness keeps the sin of the offender ever before them, and upholds life. Remember, sin is framed as a life/death paradigm in Scripture. This does not mean we do not leave revenge to the Lord, it means we uphold life by demanding repentance from each other. The opposite of revenge is loving our enemies, but in many instances, blank check forgiveness is the opposite of love.

It often reflects our view of others and the value of life in general.

paul

21 Responses

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  1. Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on June 13, 2018 at 9:05 AM

    The greatest meme of all time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lydia said, on June 13, 2018 at 3:30 PM

    Excellent!

    Like

  3. John said, on June 13, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    God said to Moses, “Come forth.” But the lazy old man came fifth and got a rubber duck.

    Seriously, here in Darkland, we’ve just had a guy in his twenties found guilty (triple murder and attempted murder) after he had axed his mom, dad, and older brother to death. He had also attacked his younger sister, rupturing her interior carotid artery and cutting into her face with the same ax. After that, he sat down in the living room, smoked cigarettes, listened to music, and only about three hours later called the police without any panic in his voice.

    This happened in 2016. The sister still does not speak; has amnesia (I wonder; I think it might be fear). My little point is that there are myriads of people who bemoan his three life-sentences, saying it’s too harsh; that “one day” God will deal with him, it’s not for those involved to pass any judgment . . . because “there but for the grace of God go [insert your own name].”

    Rubbish.

    Like

  4. Argo said, on June 14, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    The old epigram is among my favorites:

    It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    Like

    • John said, on June 14, 2018 at 7:51 PM

      Argo, great epigram. Yes, “granting” permission would bestow some sort of super fake/elevated position of importance on the one granting permission, whereas the one who forgives will do so because she/he has compassion, love, and other Godly qualities in her/his heart. The one granting permission would go orgasmic in denying “permission,’ while the one denying forgiveness will have sorrow, which, in time, will turn to forgiveness when the time is right.

      I bet you a ripe fig I am right.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Martin said, on June 18, 2018 at 12:59 PM

    Andy, it is not easy for forgive another for a personal injury. “Blank check forgiveness” implies that it is easy to forgive. We are commanded to forgive from the very cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. If the Innocent One was able to forgive then we follow Him. Those who wrongs us know not what they do.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on June 18, 2018 at 1:06 PM

      Are you suggesting that without their repentance that God would forgive those who crucified Jesus simply because Jesus asked Him to?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Argo said, on June 18, 2018 at 3:41 PM

        Forgiveness cannot be given if it cannot be accepted. Like a letter that is returned to sender, forgiveness, without a willing recipient, either because of rejection or ignorance, might as well never have been sent. I find it interesting and disturbing how forgiveness has been redefined as some kind of self-soothing psychological coping mechanism; or just as bad, Christianity’s version of leftist virtue signaling.

        Of course, the root of this bastardization of the concept is Total Depravity…the idea that the existentially evil (man) has any right to justice is what needs to be forgiven. You don’t forgive sin done TO you, because there is no such thing—as if!! You filthy worm. The concept of blank-check forgiveness is nothing more than a demand that you accept that you suck because you were born and thus should put up with whatever horrible things God determines others do to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on June 18, 2018 at 3:47 PM

        “Forgiveness cannot be given if it cannot be accepted.”

        Excellent!
        …or said another way, forgiveness cannot be given prior to repentance, which is the whole point of the post. If people want some sort of coping mechanism for dealing with bitterness or resentment, call it something else whatever you like, but please don’t call it “forgiveness”.

        And in reality, withholding forgiveness from one who has offended you is actually an expression of love (we are instructed to LOVE our enemies, not necessarily forgive them) because it can motivate the offender to repentance and ultimately restoration of the relationship. Offering “forgiveness” without repentance will actually circumvent the whole process and prevent restoration of true fellowship.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Martin said, on June 19, 2018 at 11:47 AM

    There are many who die a physical death and enter God’s Kingdom without having repented. Do you think that when Jesus told one of the criminals hanging on the cross that “today you will be with Me in paradise” that he automatically abandoned the other one? That’s Good News??? Simple logic dictates that if He forgave those who were directly responsible for his crucifixion then He forgave ALL. Can you think of anything worse than crucifying the Innocent One?

    Stop being afraid of the bigger picture.

    LOVE YOUR ENEMIES = FORGIVE ALL (even the ignorant).

    “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ― Plato

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on June 19, 2018 at 12:23 PM
      • What I find interesting is that you actually quote Plato to support your argument.
      • Love does not equal forgiveness. “Love your enemies” is not to be conflated with “forgive your enemies”. It is not the same thing.
      • “There are many who die a physical death and enter God’s Kingdom without having repented.” Are you referring to saved or unsaved people? How does someone enter the Kingdom without repentance? How does someone enter the Kingdom without being born again?

      Like

      • Argo said, on June 19, 2018 at 3:13 PM

        I think Martin is a universalist. God forgives all; repentance isn’t necessary. So the obvious question is what’s the point of Jesus, then? If repentance isnt necessary, then guilt is irrelevant. Soooo…why was Jesus sacrificed for a pointless ministry?

        Like

      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on June 19, 2018 at 3:48 PM

        Argo,

        You know, that was my first thought as well, and I had started to remark about that when I first began my reply, but I thought it might make for a better “teaching moment” to allow Martin the courtesy to clarify himself before I jumped to any conclusions. Glad to see I’m not the only one who caught that one.

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      • Argo said, on June 19, 2018 at 4:12 PM

        Yeah. I realize I’m pointing out the relatively obvious. Perhaps there’s a deeper explanation that will prove reasonable and sensible.

        Of course, in my not insignificant experience with the church, it’s not happened yet. But there’re a first time for everything, as they say.

        Like

      • Argo said, on June 19, 2018 at 5:31 PM

        Exactly. And I’ve noticed that once you see this pattern, it’s impossible to unsee. I think it’s worthwhile to note that all “mystery” ideals, like Christianity from Augustine on, don’t actually terminate at mystery at all, but rank nonsense, because “mystery” in this context really means something that man cannot possibly understand, ever, due to the very absolute nature of himself. This of course precludes man from even calling the Grand Ideal a mystery at all, since you cannot define what you cannot know by dint of pure existential exclusivity.

        On a completely different note, I just opened a new FB account, Andy. It takes about two weeks for FB to completely delete your old one, so that’s where I’ve been. I’m trying to reset my social media profile, for what it’s worth. I tried to re-friend you but wasn’t able. If you want to reconnect please friend me. Thanks:-)

        Like

      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on June 19, 2018 at 6:08 PM

        Hmm, I didn’t see a friend request, so I’ll take a look and see if I can find you.

        Like

    • Argo said, on June 19, 2018 at 4:23 PM

      The other thing that’s interesting in the comment is the assertion that God would be “abandoning” the other man on the cross. Its divine abandonment, you see, not the consequence of the choice of the unrepentant to reject the truth.

      Forms of this notion—that choice and moral consequence are at root mutually exclusive—are found all over the place…cultural marxism perhaps most notably in the secular realm, all manner of determinist ideals (determinism making choice and will an illusion at best) and is rooted in the lie of Total Depravity. Because man is helpless in his moral and intellectual insufficiency, God either condemns or embraces all of humanity; or, if God somehow makes a distinction between those he saves and those he damns, the reasons are complete divine mystery. And since those reasons are unknowable, any distinctions, as far as man is concerned, are irrelevant. So we should just err on the side of “love” and treat all men with compassion and forgiveness, no matter how empirically vile they are.

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      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on June 19, 2018 at 4:58 PM

        All excellent points.

        And whether “divine abandonment” or “divine forgiveness”, either one completely removes man from the equation and makes the whole thing irrelevant. We are all just living in the matrix.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Martin said, on June 20, 2018 at 12:01 PM

    Argo,

    “divine abandonment”? Is there any other kind that would have compelled Jesus to cry “Daddy, Daddy why have you forsaken me?”???

    You expose yourself and your fears when you begin to label someone. I’m NOT a universalist. I AM.

    We are a New Creation that is not weighed down by anyone’s labels.

    Today I’m reminding ALL of you that in Christ there are NO labels ~ Galatians 3:28

    Like

    • Argo said, on June 20, 2018 at 4:43 PM

      Martin,

      A. God doesn’t answer the question, so we can’t draw any solid conclusions from it, I don’t think. Further, I’m not entirely sure the question “Why have you forsaken me?” can be considered particularly meaningful at all, given that it was uttered in the midst of capital punishment. In fact, once Jesus has been crucified, I take everything he says with a grain of salt. I imagine it might be hard to think straight when you’re nailed to a cross. I can’t think straight when I’m wearing an itchy sweater.

      B. “Universalist” was merely a description of what I suggest are your implicit theological assumptions. I wasn’t attempting to apply a metaphysical identity. Forgive me—and this is my opinion only, I’m not speaking for Paul, of course—but on this site, not knowing the difference, you may want to read a little more, think a little more, and post your objections a little less. You’ve quite a bit of academic catching up to do…respectfully.

      Like

  8. Martin said, on June 22, 2018 at 1:09 PM

    Argo,

    I too can’t stand itchy sweaters.

    Every word that Jesus uttered on the cross truly reflected His state of mind. So when He who knew no sin became sin for us on the cross, crying out to His Father “why have you forsaken me?” reflected something horrifying about humanity’s experience. Many people go through their whole life feeling abandoned by God, hopeless. They find a million different ways of coping with that.

    Jesus, on the cross, momentarily experienced that state of separation from God.

    The Good News is that no one ever needs to feel separated from God. He is with us. Always.

    Like


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