Sunday, May 18, 2014

Forgiveness

There was this religious leader in the Middle East.
He persecuted Christians.
He chained them, took their possessions and his attention put fear in their hearts.
In the name of his Middle Eastern religion, he and a group of his comrades entered Syria with the express purpose of quashing the Christian faith there.
It seems that a lot of his antipathy to the Christian faith was fueled by his exposure to Christianity as he persecuted it.
He heard testimony of a risen from the dead Savior.
He saw love and self sacrifice in the name of that Jesus.
A refusal to bend or cave to his will, but a devotion to the will of Jesus.
One day he came to the realization that the people he was torturing and killing were right.
And he converted.
And the people who had lost friends and relatives to his  attacks ended up accepting him and loving him.
How?
The power of God working in men.
Saul became Paul.
He wrote most of the New Testament.

Edit:

If that a Muslim leader who ordered the death of those Christians accepted the free gift of God's forgiveness and salvation, could you accept him as your brother?

If that a political enemy of yours (a democrat) accepted the free gift of God's forgiveness and salvation, could you accept him as your brother?
Even if he stayed in that other political camp (a democrat)?


25 comments:

  1. Tough questions Ed, I would hope I have that in my character, but who knows?

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    1. If you have Christ in you, and I think you do, he can love THROUGH you. If He's asked to.

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    2. I know you're right Ed, I just seem to be running low on cheeks :)

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    3. Some people turn their other cheeks...with a few choice words.

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  2. Accept him as my brother? Yes
    Trust him? Never

    Forgiveness would be the tough one. That could take more time than I have on this earth.

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  3. You say he accepted the salvation offered to him. Isn't there a requirement that he cease sinning in the manner he had previously done? (Making new sins requiring new repentance is something else.) Remaining steadfast with those who seek to persecute as he had done before seems beyond the pale because it means by accepting him you are non-interventionist in his making a mockery of his repentance. In other words, it appears he was trying to fool you.

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    1. If we are referring to Saul/Paul, then it's clear he ceased the persecution.
      If the Muslim, let's assume he repented and stopped like Paul.

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    2. My point was about how to ponder your "Even if he stayed in that other political camp?" question.

      Of course Paul ceased persecution. He changed his camp. Which differs from your second antecedent question, as follows:

      In the case of the Muslim, his political camp is tied in with the persecutions. Will he risk charges of apostasy to aid you as you would him? Can't he or won't he are two different questions you might find yourself asking in your moment of need. Will you have put your camp at risk by accepting his claimed repentance wherein he could be engaging in passive aggression? In reality, won't you remain wary as part of your duty?

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    3. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
      And I think the Muslim, like Paul, if truly converted, would stand up.
      Ananias in Damascus was in that predicament (whether to risk it) with Paul, but he had a word from God to alleviate his concerns.
      Otherwise, a false flag might be hard to detect. I see your point.

      As to the Political Camp, I assume we are then talking about a "progressive". I'm thinking Kirsten Powers here, or a number of "changers" who took a while to find their new camp.

      What I'm really asking is would you offer forgiveness, however warily?

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    4. Yes. "But I say unto you that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
      It seems to me that behooves us to understood that we have but two cheeks, thus suggesting a limit to how much rope to allow. Else He would have suggested fingers or something else of interest to us where there were more than two.

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    1. No, but he was of a middle eastern religion that was killing Christians.

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    2. Ah, but only one of those middle Eastern religions endorse taqiyya and kitman, giving the Muslim doctrinal and theological justification for lying to infidels to help them bypass your defenses. http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/25320

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    3. I obviously havd not thought this through enough before posting :)

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    4. What of it? Had you not posted I might never have written about it. These thoughts were already loosely tied in my head, but in the interests of helping a friend think them out I hoped I helped both of us by finally writing.

      There is the saying that it is better to silent and thought a fool rather than open ones mouth and prove it. But OTOH, it is surely a sign of humility and courage to risk lighting a candle so that others may pierce the darkness even if in doing so it may reveal our own flaws. I think the latter maxim applies here.

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  5. "Even if he stayed in that other political camp?" I also see the two as mutually exclusive. Their platform insists you boo God and kill the innocent. It cannot be reconciled.

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  6. hi ED..I agree with daBlade...in any event..
    God bless you my friend:)...Angel

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  7. This is a bit confusing to me, too. "if he stayed in the same political camp"...continuing to kill?
    No. And, really, how can one accept God's salvation and forgiveness and keep killing?

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    1. Z: "if he stayed in the same political camp" translates "Stays a Democrat."
      I'm thinking Kirsten Powers here, for instance.
      I wasn't clear enough there. I was not continuing to refer to a Muslim as that political camp.

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  8. thanks. Then of course I'd accept her, and DO, as a 'sister'.
    But I think she's stupid when it comes to politics :-)

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    1. Some people come to Christ and we have to give them a while to re-evaluate the sins they accept as normal life. Like being a democrat.
      Like Pascal, I see the democrat part as the party of death (abortion in particular). But some people weigh that against their other values (?!?).

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  9. I don't know, Ed....I agree about a Christian, for example, voting for someone who's not pro choice, like Powers voting for Obama, that is a sin, but I think we're called to separate politics from faith and I'd always look upon her as a 'sister' in that way.
    I wish you could have heard the amazing woman who's just retired from 48 years of Bible Study Teaching here in Santa Monica....she's a staunch Conservative and NEVER gave political views in her lectures every week but she certainly reminded all of our ladies to vote per God's word. Never failed to mention that, and didn't tick anybody off by being truly political. She was excellent! (but I KNOW for a fact that many still were liberals and voted against God's word...no doubt about that, particularly a very dear Black girlfriend in the class with me :-) Recently, however, she said, about having voted for Obama, which someone surmised to her, "you'd be surprised." I think she might have actually NOT voted for him the second time! Miracles CAN happen! :-)

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  10. I will decide to accept them by their "Light", if they continue on the same path they were on before publicly espousing their faith at me then I will not accept them as Christian brothers but I will recognize them as the frauds they must surely be. A Christian who is an abortion proponent is not a Christian and it would better for him to have a millstone tide around his neck and thrown into the sea. If the Muslim "convert" still continues to persecute Christians or supports those who do he has shown the truth through his actions.

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