Faith Explorers Recent Topics

13 March 2017: Article “‘…as we forgive them…’ or not: when forgiveness is inappropriate” a précis of and by Trish McBride 2010; led by Heidrun

This challenges the traditional view that forgiveness is the embodiment of the Christian message; in some situations, it is not appropriate eg abuse of children, rape, lack of guilt.  Acknowledged that forgiveness is a laudable and a real Christian characteristic.  Forgiveness allows those who have been injured/wronged to move on, but need time and opportunity to release feelings.  Whether forgiveness is accepted or not by the other party is not important, forgiveness is for the individual wronged.  Consequently giving an apology is not necessary but depends on level/perception of contrition can help. Forgiveness is a journey; being able to move on, no longer angry; relationship will always be different than before.

Forgiveness by you should not prevent reporting to the police; removing the wrong doer from society prevents further ill/wrong being done.  Christian repentance needs to be genuine so there should be no further wrong doing.  The Christian emphasis is on the perpetrator (repentance) not the victim.  Jesus on the cross asked God to forgive – but by implication he didn’t forgive!!

In the end forgiveness is about the power one has (imbalance).  Men have more power, ego, less forgiving; women tend to be opposite. This is reflected in the typical/historical church attitude that the wife is in the wrong in a family situation – ‘go home and try harder’!