Undeserved Forgiveness

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6 Responses

  1. Larry says:

    “As we were standing next to the body of this 13-year-old girl, the grandfather was tutoring the young boys, he was . . . saying to the family, ‘We must not think evil of this man,’ “ said the Rev. Robert Schenck. “It was one of the most touching things I have seen in 25 years of Christian ministry.”

    Rev. Schenck, who was ostensibly born Jewish, is a leader of the Christian Right and the brother of another purported apostate who operated a “Messianic Jewish” church in the Buffalo area. His admiration for those who would ignore the need for evil to be recognized, denounced and confronted demonstrates strikingly the difference between the Judaism into which he was allegedly born and the Christinaity that he has adopted.

  2. One Christian's perspective says:

    Christians do uphold the purity of G-d’s Ten Commandments. We can and do discern evil. Homicidal blood is to be avenged and it is the Lord who does this through His directives to his people and through the court system. We see G-d’s Commandments summed up as: Love G-d and Love man. Forgiveness is an act of love. It doesn’t mean we weaken the law when we forgive others who sin against us. It means we uphold the law because human beings are G-d’s image bearers. It has been said: hate the sin, do not hate the person in your heart lest you fall into temptation.

  3. Ahron says:

    ‘One Christian’,

    I know that most Christians aspire to uphold the Ten Commandments, the question obviously is how to do that–and how to uphold the rest of God’s words. You write: >“Homicidal blood is to be avenged and it is the Lord who does this through His directives to his people and through the court system.”

    Well once the court system is involved then it really is not God who is administering vengeance or justice–it is the human beings who operate the court and the wider society who sent them. Jewish law holds that the establishment of a justice system is one of the Biblical commandments that is incumbent upon every human society. Asserting that “God will take care of it” is unacceptable, and one reason (just one) is that such a statement is a means of abdicating responsibility for both justice and society. Earthly justice and punishment is primarily the domain of man. Justice beyond this earth, however, is for the Creator.

    I’m not familiar with Christian writings so I’m not clear on what “temptation” one risks if you hate a person in your heart. I will only re-cite the directive from Pslams brought above by Mr. Jacoby: “Those who love God must hate evil.” When we forgive someone who committed a limited sin against us in a personal context, and absolve that person from further punishment or consequence then forgiveness can be a great positive force for the rebuilding of a relationship and even a psyche. In a public context, however, when serious evil has been committed–an evil that demands the imposition of justice in response–then forgiveness may well indeed weaken the law, and is likely to chisel at the foundations of social order, civility, and comity.

    I have an additional question: How can anybody but the murder victim forgive a murderer anyway?

  4. Daivd says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if they would have that attitude towards the Jews who they accuse of killing their god.

  5. Tzvi says:

    At the same time that debates about the virtue of the Amish forgiving the murderer broke out, debates within the Jewish community broke out with regard to forgiving the butcher at Shevach meats. Many felt that to be Jewish/Frum is to forgive. Others felt that only God could forgive. I wonder what the readers of Cross-Currents feel and perhaps a contributor can write a post. Of course there is no reason to compare the tragedy of the two situations or the rishus of the perpetrators as they are truly incomparable.

    Thank you

  6. Ahron says:

    Given that the two situations are not similar…

    It seems to me that forgiveness might only be possible in the meat scandal if the responsible party explained his actions, and then begged forgiveness from those who were hurt. In the absence of taking such responsibility, it is very difficult for me to see how or why the responsible party should be forgiven.

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