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I love this thread. It seems that Citizens here have come a long way since that last brouhaha on Forgiveness that was started by Nathan Friedly a long time back. This thread is full of wisdom and the love of God. So cool...

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There are some people I will never forgive - I guess I'll never be very God-like in that regard.

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I'd hope everyone has come a long way, Clay. Although, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe that thread you are referencing started off with a slightly different tone and approach. I think we can all agree that perhaps here more than most places, tone and approach are key in getting a conversation friendly response. I'm sure you know this well ; )

I do wonder how many people's views of forgiveness have changed since that thread. I know mine have not.

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I love this thread. It seems that Citizens here have come a long way since that last brouhaha on Forgiveness that was started by Nathan Friedly a long time back. This thread is full of wisdom and the love of God. So cool...

I share your appreciation and your view here.

I'd hope everyone has come a long way, Clay. Although, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe that thread you are referencing started off with a slightly different tone and approach. I think we can all agree that perhaps here more than most places, tone and approach are key in getting a conversation friendly response. I'm sure you know this well ; )

I do wonder how many people's views of forgiveness have changed since that thread. I know mine have not.

My views on forgiveness have changed. I used to think I didn't need to forgive until the person who had wronged me apologized to me. Now I think that's silly.

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It's silly because it allows the "forgivee" to still have power over you if you're waiting for them to make the first move.

"Forgive your enemies - it'll drive them crazy!"

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. . . Of course the only way to rid the world of the need for forgiveness, is to remove free choice. That way, no one can do something which will injure someone else, they'll always do good and the entire concept of forgiveness will be meaningless to us any longer.

. . .

Ah, the beauty of eternity's already-renewed mind. We will all be forced one day to forgive . . . and then have no need to do it anymore.

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Ditto!

And not being 'forced' (ie., coerced, religiously browbeaten, 'reproved', etc.) to forgive, ... but deciding when, if, and by what conditions you might forgive someone offers _you_ a lot more control and freedom over your life than any 'renew your mind and forgive' wannabe dogma could _ever_ give you, even if said wannabe dogma (supposedly) comes with a 'but you'll set yourself free!' "gaurantee".

And I say that IMNSHO. :B)

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Think kindly when you think of me

And please try to understand

You know, life is just a mystery

And nothin' ever goes like you planned

I would tell you I would never leave

If I didn't have to go

Think kindly when you think of me

And you should never feel alone

'Cause when it's rainin'

Ain't nothin' but love rainin' down

And when the sun shines

Ain't nothin' but love shinin' all around

And when the wind blows

I'll be talkin' to you

Sayin' that I loved you always

And I know that you loved me too

"Remember Me"------Paul Delay

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Ditto!

And not being 'forced' (ie., coerced, religiously browbeaten, 'reproved', etc.) to forgive, ... but deciding when, if, and by what conditions you might forgive someone offers _you_ a lot more control and freedom over your life than any 'renew your mind and forgive' wannabe dogma could _ever_ give you, even if said wannabe dogma (supposedly) comes with a 'but you'll set yourself free!' "gaurantee".

And I say that IMNSHO. :B)

Ya know Garth, I answered your question respectfully and thoughtfully. I didn't poke fun of your choice to not believe in God or the Bible or anything, for that matter. I'm confused as to why you would have so much interest in this thread on forgiveness - as it applies to the Lord's prayer, which as I recall is what the point of this thread was in the beginning when I first started it.

Nowhere does it say nor did I say that you or anyone else HAS to forgive or any "wannabe dogma, blah, blah, blah as you so described it...

The forgiveness that this thread is about is the forgiveness that we Christians ask for when we pray the Lord's prayer. Remember this part? "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"?

Your insistence that you know better about Christianity than Christians who are trying to study and learn better is really wearing on my patience, for one.

I have never come into a thread of yours about your atheism and tried to poke fun at you although, believe me, I really could if I were so inclined.

This was a really good thread, very refreshing and now you've dumped big stinky piles of crap all over it.

Knock it off, will you please?

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Ya know Garth, I answered your question respectfully and thoughtfully.

That you did.

I'm confused as to why you would have so much interest in this thread on forgiveness - as it applies to the Lord's prayer, which as I recall is what the point of this thread was in the beginning when I first started it.

First off, this is an open thread, not blocked off to anyone, or for that matter, to any exclusive topic. (You know how this happens all the time on boards like this.) Ie., anyone can chime in in regards to the forgiveness topic. Thank you. Two, I was chiming in with my thoughts as to forgiveness, in particular to how some people use and even misuse forgiveness as a tool to control and manipulate people, and (for bonus points) TWI was a classic example of how to do just that in so many ways. (Oh by the way, I wasn't the only one who broke the staying-on-topic rule in this thread.)

Nowhere does it say nor did I say that you or anyone else HAS to forgive or any "wannabe dogma, blah, blah, blah as you so described it...

And nowhere did I say that _you_ did. I think it has to do with something called 'if the shoes fits ...' or something like that. Again, me addressing the forgiveness issue, and how some people, like ((cough))TWI((cough)) can, and _have_ communicated the 'HAS to' characteristic. As a matter of fact, TWI wasn't the only group doing this form of manipulation. (Again, notice that I didn't mention you specifically.)

Your insistence that you know better about Christianity than Christians who are trying to study and learn better is really wearing on my patience, for one.

And I clearly mentioned this ..... where? :nono5: Next time you're gonna claim that someone said something, at _least_ show some decency to back up what you say with evidence, ... ok?

And hell yeah, I'll express what I know about Christianity based upon what I've learned and experienced. And I'd wager to say that if my statements were more supportive and positive of Christianity, you'd have no problem with it. ... Typical! ((snort))

(sarcastic mode on) Oh, I'm sorry. Did I poop all over your thread again? Bringing up points that I thought bared upon the topic, even if it wasn't compatible with 'the Truth'© as you saw it. Never mind I was basing a lot of what I said upon how I saw people manipulating this very item of forgiveness. It's not too pretty now, is it? ... Yes Virginia, that s**t actually happens. (sarcastic mode off)

So, if this is _still_ regarded as poop that I'm supposedly dumping on you, ..... well, you're a Christian. ...

... Forgive me. ;) ... :evilshades: (See my point?)

Oh, by the way,

I have never come into a thread of yours about your atheism and tried to poke fun at you although, believe me, I really could if I were so inclined.

Oh _please_, ... do so at your earliest convenience! Yes, please do! You can even start the thread. ... Yes, this is gonna be *fun* *fun* *fun*! :spy: Oh sure, you could 'poke fun' at us and all, ... but I'd be willing to bet $$$ that by the end of that 'fun poking' (in which I WILL have some responses of my own :evildenk: ), _you_ would wind up being the one upset at having the 'fun poked' at them. ... What, you don't think we vile unbelievers can handle it? ... Trust me, we've undergone FAR worse over the years. <_<

((snickers)) :biglaugh: ... You haven't been in a real debate/argument/fun poking with an atheist. _That_ I can tell. ((guffaws))

But seriously, ... thanks for the hearty laugh!

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((after I've calmed down a bit))

You might not like my form of delivery, and there are times that I do wear on people, ... but you got to admit that many of the points that I raised were some of the things how TWI have screwed up on the topic of forgiveness, both in practice, and (I'd be willing to wager) in the biblical context.

So mainly, I've been 'pooping' on them, and those who behave similarly when it comes to using forgiveness in a demanding, controlling, and abusive manner.

Peace? ... and if you don't want to 'forgive' me, that's ok too. Maybe even better, as I'm one who believes in being responsible for what I post anyway. ... No excuses.

((after I've calmed down a bit))

You might not like my form of delivery, and there are times that I do wear on people, ... but you got to admit that many of the points that I raised were some of the things how TWI have screwed up on the topic of forgiveness, both in practice, and (I'd be willing to wager) in the biblical context.

So mainly, I've been 'pooping' on them, and those who behave similarly when it comes to using forgiveness in a demanding, controlling, and abusive manner.

Peace? ... and if you don't want to 'forgive' me, that's ok too. Maybe even better, as I'm one who believes in being responsible for what I post anyway. ... No excuses.

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I'm glad you got that out of your system - that can't be healthy for anyone to carry around, even for an atheist in a thread on a Christian principle.

I do choose to forgive you for a few reasons. One because I do believe that God will forgive me as I forgive... Two because you did no damage

to me and you did come back and admit what you did and three because I enjoy you in my world. I don't expect you or anyone else to think all

things the same as I do. I've got a ways to go, but I've come a lon-n-n-g-g-g-g-g way, baby from my twi days when I would have considered you

a challenge to win over.

Please hear me when I say that the things I believe, I believe for ME - I share them for others to consider, but I would never insist that YOU

even agree with me. I just ask for a friendly discussion. I'm over heated debates and yes, I do avoid them whenever possible.

You have no idea what I deal with regularly from my own precious son who was falsely accused of vile and horrific things by lcm on a SNS.

He was 13 years old and his entire social structure fell in around him - to this day he's never heard from one of his former way friends

to find out if they ever did believe or believe now that he was guilty. No doubt they all believed he was, at least at the time.

You think I haven't had to fight like hell to even be able to maintain a talking relationship with my most precious very own son who has

gone from believing that God was intimately interested in every thought he had to asking "wtf, God?" and why didn't twi leadership "just ask God"

what did and didn't happen? I'm now in a pastor position and my son made your above post look like a welcoming party. You have NO IDEA

the fight I've had from my nearest and dearest about whether there even IS A GOD and then sometimes he's sure of God.

And frankly, the point of this thread to me IS moving on, learning better ways to live and deal with life's challenges.

Whaddaya say we catch our breath and have a beer - first one's on me (and no, I haven't deleted you as a fb friend, nyuk, nyuk) :beer:

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I'm glad you've all made up.

I'm glad you got that out of your system - that can't be healthy for anyone to carry around, even for an atheist in a thread on a Christian principle.

Is forgiveness a Christian principle? I think historical documents have shown that "the golden rule" is hardly a Christian principle and from what I can tell that is the most basic way I see you presenting this.

I do choose to forgive you for a few reasons. One because I do believe that God will forgive me as I forgive...

I'm still trying to make this one fit into the greater context of the Bible. First God is supposed to be love, and the Bible says to be followers as dear Children. It says to forgive, requires you to forgive, if you are to be forgiven... but that doesn't fit with the Christ story. Plus, under this construct, God only forgives conditionally... as we forgive others. It gets a little circular at this point, but we're supposed to forgive no matter what, where as God only forgives upon this condition, yet we're supposed to follow his loving example. Is this yet another conundrum that is only in my understanding?

My views on forgiveness have changed. I used to think I didn't need to forgive until the person who had wronged me apologized to me. Now I think that's silly.
It's silly because it allows the "forgivee" to still have power over you if you're waiting for them to make the first move.

Seems to me we are allowing these people to have way more power over us than they actually have and perhaps that is part of the root problem. I think we are giving forgiveness more power than it actually has as well. I'll agree that is can be a tool to get over mental barriers that are keeping some people from moving on. Still it is a tool that, as many have admitted here, takes a long time to work through, as most abusive incidents do regardless of whether people forgive the abuser or not. It also seems that since other people can clearly move on with happy, satisfied lives without forgiving everyone, then we need to have the nebulous immeasurable - "grow spiritually" as well as this watering down of what forgiveness means.

I'm not picking on anyone here or trying to be mean. I'm just challenging some of these assertions and giving a few reasons why some of us see the requirement of forgiveness as more a tool of control than simply a tool to help people move on. Which would be one of numerous reasons why some of us atheists might want to put our two sense in here, since all of us, even though we're no longer Christians, still care about people.

Edited by lindyhopper

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thinking of 'the Lord's prayer'

there were not any 'Christians' at the time

whatever christian means

i think a lot of it just goes hand in hand

forgive others and being forgiven by God or something

goes the other way too i think

forgiving others cause we have been forgiven

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Two, I was chiming in with my thoughts as to forgiveness, in particular to how some people use and even misuse forgiveness as a tool to control and manipulate people, and (for bonus points) TWI was a classic example of how to do just that in so many ways. (Oh by the way, I wasn't the only one who broke the staying-on-topic rule in this thread.)

Oh absolutely I have seen this, and so have most on this thread. And TWI ABSOLUTELY is a prime example of this type of misuse / abuse. Like a guy with a stick beating a dog, then expecting the dog to forgive and love him.

One of the problems IMO with Christian dogma (and I say this being a Christian myself) is that the words of the Bible, of Christ, are taken and magnified to the point of people abandoning all reasonable logic in conjunction with dealing with them. In that people use them as a club to beat on others with them. Which, in and of itself, pretty much negates the whole original intent of scriptures in the first place. And yes, I am aware of all the OT prophets prophecying against Israel.

TWI did some good in this respect by teaching some keys to Bible interpretation, where you could do things like actually look at to whom a scripture is addressed, look at some context for meaning, etc.

However, TWI did evil in this respect by teaching that God magnified His Word above His name. In other words, extreme Fundamentalist behavior. Whenever you have extreme Fundamentalist behavior it produces IMO a narrow-minded view, and it produces extremeties of other behavior like the people carrying "God Hates America" signs. But that's a scripture you say. Well, take logic and apply. Where is it? In Psalms 138:2. A song, establishing a worshipping and praiseful mindset. And people never wax poetic and exaggerate things in songs, right? Well - look at two verses later in v4. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee when they hear the words of thy mouth. Is that literal? Exaggerated? Oh, maybe you say prophecy for the future. But you're already making a judgement call. Is not magnifying His Word above His name future prophecy too then?

My views on Christianity have changed since TWI. I view the Bible as a means to "get to know my Father" and "get to know my Savior", as opposed to some rigid hierarchical scientific formula for life, or all the mathmatical exactness BS. By the way, math isn't always all that exact either - depends on the accuracy of the model you're applying to the real world. Right Ham? It's a pure science, not an applied science. So if I relax a bit, and not be such a mouth breather and so rigid in my viewpoints, then I can actually enjoy the intent like I can getting to know a friend by discussion.

IMO getting off my soapbox and back to this discussion, there have been a lot of great points to ponder both scripturally and practically on this thread as it pertains to forgiveness. And many great gems of insights being given by both professed Christians and professed atheists. So whatever your viewpoint, Christian trying to better yourself by following Christ's example, atheist trying to sort out the practicality of human relations with respect to forgiveness, I think the true intent of scriptures when you remove mankind's stupidity from their interpretation is to help all involved live a better life.

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Lindyhopper,

I'm not picking on anyone here or trying to be mean. I'm just challenging some of these assertions and giving a few reasons why some of us see the requirement of forgiveness as more a tool of control than simply a tool to help people move on. Which would be one of numerous reasons why some of us atheists might want to put our two sense in here, since all of us, even though we're no longer Christians, still care about people.

:eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: Hit right on the nail! ... Thank you.

You too Chockfull. :B)

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I find what someone said about the power of the one who can forgive over anotherinteresting, but it's absolutely true.

Now most of you don't know this (shhhhhhh!!!) ......but I can be quite a pest at times IRL. when My father was alive I used to drop in at his house unannounced and tease the hell out of him (hey,... he gave me a key, yanno? - obviously HIS mistake), but let me tell you,... if I went too far not that I ever, ever would do that and he decided I had, ...well then things were a bit touch and go between us...

.....and I would do anything I had to, to get back in his good graces.

Fortunately, he didn't USE that situation against me, and always made it easy, by forgiving me.

Makes me think. Did any of you guys feel that indebted to any of the Way people. MeGawds, the power that would have given them over you.

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Guideposts Magazine ("True stories of hope and inspiration") is giving a 12-part series on forgiveness, beginning with January 2011.

Guideposts publications, including stuff by Norman and Ruth Peale who were alive at the time, did provide hope and inspiration for me especially during those pre-Waydale days and years when I was adrift on the seas of doubt and despair and were a great blessing in my recovery.

Below is an excerpt from the January 2011 issue of Guideposts Magazine which gives the story of WW II Veteran Louie Zamperini, who is 93 and alive and kicking. His story is recently written by the author of "Seabiscuit." Louis' story is published as "Unbroken: A World War II Stor of Survival, Resiliance, and Redemption."

His redemption came with his forgiveness.

"His self-respect and sense of power reborn, he finally had the strength to let go of his hatred." And the author concludes the story with her opinion as she goes on to say, "Forgiveness is a complex, elusive mystery, and one man's story can only begin to unravel its secrets. But I take from Louie's life one beautiful, undeniable truth. Even when a man suffers the most soul-shattering of abuses, even when he seems hopelessly bound by resentment, forgiveness can still find him and set him free."

Louie Zamperini's self-resepect and dignity was restored when he was in a Billy Graham tent meeting and the covering of the Holy Spirit made him able to see God's protection over his life through the troubles he endured.

I think the Greasespot Cafe is one of those places where people have been able to be restored their self-resepect and dignity. When self-respect and dignity is restored, the "moving on" that comes with forgiveness is truly a going forward and not the running up against the bondages of bitterness and revenge which can hold people captive long after the barbed wire fences have been removed.

In hope and prayers for continued forgiveness.

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This was in a devotional I received today from a man who has been in ministry for many years. I generally love what he has to say, and today was no exception.

As we've already seen, we get when we give (please see Feb. 11). That doesn't

just apply in a practical or financial sense. It's also true spiritually because

God's Word clearly teaches us that if we give mercy then we will get mercy.

Just so we're clear, mercy is "the kindness or forbearance shown toward an

offender." Let's put it in modern terms: You're driving on the freeway, and the

car next to you suddenly swerves over into your lane, cutting you off in

dramatic fashion. The sense of injustice and anger begins to swell inside you.

You reach for the horn . . . but you stop. You decide to treat that driver

differently than the way he treated you, and you let it go. That's mercy.

When we're merciful to those who have wronged and offended us, it opens and

releases something in the spiritual realm for us. In a way that only God can

fully comprehend, it makes us all the more eligible to receive His kindness and

forbearance in our lives. As James writes, if there's a history of mercy in the

way we treat others, then the Lord's mercy will always triumph, or have the last

word, when it comes to the way He treats us.

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quote: "father forgive them for they know not what they do". this prayer by jesus is the "gold standard" of forgiveness.

So....if they KNEW what they were doing (like the devil did) they could not be forgiven. Cain was not forgiven. Gehazi was not forgiven. Blasphemers against the holy ghost have not forgiveness in this world or that which is to come. Harsh but true.

The verse that rings true to me is Gal6:1. It takes forgiveness to do that. Puts you on the offensive.

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quote: "father forgive them for they know not what they do". this prayer by jesus is the "gold standard" of forgiveness.

So....if they KNEW what they were doing (like the devil did) they could not be forgiven. Cain was not forgiven. Gehazi was not forgiven. Blasphemers against the holy ghost have not forgiveness in this world or that which is to come. Harsh but true.

The verse that rings true to me is Gal6:1. It takes forgiveness to do that. Puts you on the offensive.

Wierwille KNEW what he was doing. Was he forgiven?

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