Should we forgive those who do not repent?

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by Romans922, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Yes

    46 vote(s)
    64.8%
  2. No

    18 vote(s)
    25.4%
  3. Other

    7 vote(s)
    9.9%
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  1. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    You know, all of this forgiving people without their repentance has no real Scriptural warrant. It seems as though most who hold this view are somewhat seeker-sensitive, not wanting to offend anyone, not wanting to call people to repentance, and not wanting to invoke church discipline. Forgiving without repentance is only showing them through our actions that they need not repent for they have forgiveness already. Everything is already ok, so why even repent. There is no need. O that we would be able to forgive sins of all who sin against us and others, but there is no where in Scripture where there is a clear example of forgiving someone who has not repented. Nor is it commanded. It is the other way around, repent and then forgiveness comes. And we should desire with all of our being to forgive just as Our Father in heaven has forgiven us.
     
  2. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    Again – when offended go to the person – if no repentance, make an agreement with GOD as per Mark 11 – for one’s own mental and emotional and spiritual health – and perhaps make a smoother path for the one who has offended to come to his or her senses.
     
  3. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    No sin in a person's life is the fault of Scripture -- Scripture only convicts us of it -- and dealing with offenses – unforgiveness – is often at the root. See the vignette of the brothers, shortly after the Fall. Genesis 4:7.

    That’s why a two step approach that Peacemakers recommends is helpful
     
  4. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    I don't see where an agreement with God is in Mark 11; verse 25 says, "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Verse 26 does not exist (it was added probably by copyists and so not in my bible or in any good bible).

    Why are we forgiving? Because as context shows, so that we can have faith that God will forgive us. But is this a mere forgiving with no repenting? Or making a promise with God? No. Scripture interprets Scripture. We see many places that when people repent we are to forgive. So when it says here we are to merely forgive, does it mean there is no repenting; certainly not. Is this verse here so we can feel great about ourselves and not feel angst over our brother/sister? No, it is here to show that when someone repents, you better forgive them, and when you do then you will know that I (God) will forgive you too (just as the Lord's Prayer states).
     
  5. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    I don't see how Genesis 4:7 helps the conversation, it only states that Cain shouldn't let HIS sin overtake him (Which it did). That is God's warning to us. If you hold bitterness towards someone because they sinned against you, then you better repent of your sin (and not worry so much about their sin against you). When you come and have repented before God and the other person of your bitterness towards them, then you can hope that they come to you and repent, so that you may forgive them (as Scripture teaches). Peacemakers seems to skip the step of acknowledging your own sin first; not having a plank of wood in your own eye when your brother/sister has a speck.

    Interesting Parallel and off topic -

    Genesis 4:7 - "And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

    Genesis 3:16 - "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
     
  6. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman


    Again – forgiveness is a choice – one which we may freely extend to our debtors, particularly those whose debt we have addressed, and been rebuffed. (Matthew 6:12, 14-15; Matthew 18:23-35; Luke 6:37; Ephesians 4:32 ; Colossians 3:13; James 2:13) We may or may not tell them – but we do tell God, and agree that the ball is in His court, to work repentance in the heart of the offending party. Maintaining a forgiving spirit to our debtors also restores our eyesight (Matthew 7:3-5)

    Restoration may be possible only when the debtor pays up.
     
  7. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor


    And so you are saying that we don't actually forgive, but we just have a forgiving spirit?
     
  8. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman


    Yet requiring repentance is the theme of this thread for many posters.

    Where do find Peacemakers as skipping the step of acknowledging one’s own sin – I haven’t seen that in any of their material.
     
  9. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    It is a logical deduction of what you have said Peacemakers is about.

    Saying that we should forgive people their sins even if they don't repent, so that we won't harbor bitterness or some other emotion toward them is saying exactly that. It is saying, let us not deal with our sin before dealing with the other persons. You need to seek repentance for your bitterness from God and the person you harbor the bitterness towards. Your bitterness doesn't go away from you forgiving them, it goes away when you repent and turn from your sin.
     
  10. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you! this is perfect! Well, practically. ;)nt
     
  11. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    I apologize for even suggesting that about Peacemakers teaches that – they came into being and exist because of the tragic record much of the church has in dealing with conflict.
    Again – I am sorry I am not making myself clear – the first stage of forgiveness is between me and God – the second is granting restoration should the person repent. In either case, forgiving another's debts as Christ forgave mine is the principle.
     
  12. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    No -- I mean I tell God I forgive and will not keep an account of the wrong, waiting for an "I'm sorry," after I have gone to the person and explained my grievance -- and gotten no response -
     
  13. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    How can you "wait for an 'I'm sorry'" if you will not keep an account of the wrong? Waiting for an apology seems like you are in fact still keeping an account.
     
  14. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    Indeed it is. That is why I forgive from the heart as God enables -- if going to the person yields no repentance.
     
  15. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    Citing another poster's better written views

    You are right – Scripture does not say that the men confessed their sins to Christ, yet He forgave them –

    The two issues of which I speak are one the profound and amazing truth that God saved (some of) and He expects us to forgive as He forgave us in Christ. Another poster BobVigneault, summed up my modest thoughts on what to do when a person offends – so I have simply repeated his comments:

     
  16. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    Two steps are not going in a circle

    “Circular” may not describe this discussion – and while I believe passionately that in personal relationships forgiving from the heart – I don’t think preaching from the gut is quite accurate – I am writing from the position of having seen way too many broken relationships in the church -- and heard the comments of those who watch.

    Unforgiveness is the root of much bitterness in the church, as well as the cause of much depression, and other forms of unhealthy habits. Relinquishing to God, forgiving, – an unresolved offense, though having addressed the grievance personally– is one step; restoring a relationship because the offended repents hopefully is the second – it often never happens –

    BobVigneault has better expressed what I was unable to:
    God grants repentance, he doesn't reward it. God demonstrates his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    From the cross Christ prayed, 'forgive them, they know not what they are doing'.

    We are not God. If someone slaps us on the cheek, we offer the other. If someone demands our jacket, we give them our shirt. We are to pray for our enemies. These things all go against the norm. We love because he first loved us, we forgive because he first forgave us. These are the marks of a Christian.

    I will go along with the sentiment that we are to forgive only those who repent if you can show me the scripture. I already know what the popular teaching is. I'm not being argumentative, I just want to see the scripture that validates the easy way.​

    I do not speak of exonerating a heinous crime – although some are able to do that by God’s grace, alone. If a person breaks man’s law they should suffer the consequences –
     
  17. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Some more verses illustrating the principle for the necessity of repentance for forgiveness.

    Lev. 5:17
    "If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the LORD's commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity. 18He shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent for a guilt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him for the mistake that he made unintentionally, and he shall be forgiven. 19It is a guilt offering; he has indeed incurred guilt before[g] the LORD."

    Lev 6:1
    1[a] The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2"If anyone sins and commits a breach of faith against the LORD by deceiving his neighbor in a matter of deposit or security, or through robbery, or if he has oppressed his neighbor 3or has found something lost and lied about it, swearing falsely--in any of all the things that people do and sin thereby-- 4 if he has sinned and has realized his guilt and will restore what he took by robbery or what he got by oppression or the deposit that was committed to him or the lost thing that he found 5or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt. 6And he shall bring to the priest as his compensation to the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent for a guilt offering. 7And the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and thereby become guilty."

    1 Kings 8
    33 "When your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and if they turn again to you and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, 34then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to their fathers. 35 "When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them, 36then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

    46"If they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near, 47yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, 'We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,' 48if they repent with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to you toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 49then hear in heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause 50and forgive your people who have sinned against you, and all their transgressions that they have committed against you,

    Col 3
    12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
    * Note the controlling assumption of Paul here, those who forgive each other are those seeking to do verse 12. Paul has other words for those who do not repent, like handing them over to Satan....
    The Lord doesn't forgive without repentence. So if we forgive without repentence we are not forgiving as the Lord has forgiven us.
    :2cents:
     
  18. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    How have you found this approach works of a day-today basis? Nt
     
  19. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Love and forgiveness are not the same thing. Jesus out of love for us died on the cross. BUT Jesus does not forgive us until we turn to Him in faith and repentance. This is what the gospel is all about. Forgiveness is offered to those who will come.

    Luke 17:3-4
    3Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
  20. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    I will go along with the sentiment that we are to forgive only those who repent if you can show me the scripture. I already know what the popular teaching is. I'm not being argumentative, I just want to see the scripture that validates the easy way.
    Again, I was citing Mr. Vigneault – and I believe that Christ forgave me – dying for me – while I was still a sinner – and He alone enables repentance. Luke 17:3-4 is one verse that teaches us how to relate to those who sin, repent, sin, and repent – that is not the only thing the Lord said about relating to those who offend us.
     
  21. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    What God did/does/ and will do, and what He requires of me, whom He saved while I was lost in sin, unrepentant, and hopeless – it is the model and method by which I can live at peace with all men, trusting God to work repentance in the hearts of those who have offended me.

    With respect, the Lord did not say, "be ready to forgive," He said, “forgive.” (As a part of going to the person, and showing them their fault –

    Matt 6:14-15 -- "For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
     
  22. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    If you are still keeping an account then you have not forgiven them.
     
  23. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, that's right -- whoever "you" is -- and those who resist giving up their offense to God until the offender repents are unwise.
     
  24. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Ok. Let's try this again. You said that you will not keep an account of the wrong. But you also said yo uwill wait for an "I'm sorry." So which is it? You can't have both. If you are in fact waiting for an "I'm sorry" then you are still keeping an account and therefore you have not forgiven them. To forgive means you no longer keep an account of that sin.
     
  25. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman


    I am content to rest on what I have posted. nt
     
  26. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Or you are content to not deal with the problem of your argument.
     
  27. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    I am distressed at my inability to convey that forgiving is commanded -- even if repentance is not yet a reality:
    Again:

    The two issues of which I speak are one the profound and amazing truth that God saved (some of) us and He expects us to forgive as He forgave us in Christ.

    Another poster BobVigneault, summed up my modest thoughts on what to do when a person offends – so I have simply repeated his comments:

     
  28. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    Something Peacemakers wrote that might clarify
    Living out Matthew 18

    When Christians think about talking to someone else about a conflict, one of the first verses that comes to mind is Matthew 18:15: "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you." If this verse is read in isolation, it seems to teach that we must always use direct confrontation to force others to admit they have sinned. If the verse is read in context, however, we see that Jesus had something much more flexible and beneficial in mind than simply standing toe to toe with others and describing their sins.

    Just before this passage, we find Jesus' wonderful metaphor of a loving shepherd who goes to look for a wandering sheep and then rejoices when it is found (Matt. 18:12-14). Thus, Matthew 18:15 is introduced with a theme of restoration, not condemnation. Jesus repeats this theme just after telling us to "go and show him his fault" by adding, "If he listens to you, you have won your brother over." And then he hits the restoration theme a third time in verses 21-35, where he uses the parable of the unmerciful servant to remind us to be as merciful and forgiving to others as God is to us (Matt. 18:21-35).

    Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
    by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 144​
     
  29. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    You have laid down principles -- how do they work in relationships you have restored.
     
  30. bwsmith

    bwsmith Puritan Board Freshman

    No -- I am not ignoring any of the posts :)

    I am again suggesting that maintaining peace is often a two-step process -- after addressing the grievance. Your position assumes that the offended party is right. That is often not the case in basic living situations - the ones I have consistently referenced.

    Faith and repentance may well be two sides of the coin – as some suggested earlier – but that is not always the same case even among Christians – and non-Christians, for sure.
     
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