Forgiveness Is Overrated

Probably nothing illustrates the moral, theological and reading-comprehension bankruptcy of Churchianity more than forgiveness. Memo to the slow class: forgiveness comes ONLY AFTER REPENTANCE! IT IS NOT FREE!

‘Christ Has Forgiven Me For So Much More’: Man Forgives Attacker After Brutal Stabbing

htt ps://www.faithpot.com/mechanic-forgives-attacker-brett-lynn/

By FaithPot, 16 September 2020

Forgiveness is key to the Christian faith because we have been forgiven much by God and are called to forgive others and show them the love of God.

Grace is the key to Christianity: the dual idea that 1. we cannot negotiate with God as an equal and 2. we don’t have to. Every other theistic religion is based on quid pro quo with the gods.

That is not to say, however, that our mortal behavior and decisions do not matter. If we do not hate the evil we do then we’ll never be forgiven.

Consequently, we have every entitlement to hate the evil that OTHER people do, because we have set ourselves right and they have not.

This is exactly what Philadelphia mechanic, Brett Lynn chose to do by forgiving his attacker of a brutal stabbing inflicted on him in his family-owned shop.

In keeping with Grace, this robber must have accepted that he did evil and truly deserves his punishment at the hands of the State. He plead guilty then asked forgiveness, yes?

The incident happened 7 years ago when Lynn had arrived home after dropping off his kids at gymnastics, and he saw someone trying to break into some of the cars parked in the lot of his family-owned shop located near his house. He told the man to leave, but the situation got out of control and resulted in Lynn was stabbed in the gut by the intruder and was later hospitalized in critical condition.

This passive-voice narration does not bode well for Grace. “The owner told the prowler to leave and things got out of hand and the situation resulted in Lynn being stabbed in the gut.”

He was in tremendous pain, but he thought over the matter and realized that as a Christian, he must forgive the attacker. “If I couldn’t forgive when it really mattered, then I think my witness as a Christian would be hurt,” he argued. Lynn was feeling the leading of the Holy Spirit to “resolve the conflict”…

That isn’t even Stockholm Syndrome. That’s a broken man who was taught by his “elders” that there’s no moral difference between, say, peeking at porn and attempted murder in the context of grand theft auto.

This is a major, major problem with the modern Church: anarcho-tyranny. The people who recognize they’re naturally evil are never allowed to forget it while the conscienceless sociopath is declared equal in righteousness without even the bother of pretending sorry-ness.

…and also added that the attacker had actually attended the same high school as he did.

Irrelevant, pathetic attempt at justifying the perp’s crime.

His attacker had graduated 10 years before him…

SOOOO irrelevant!

…held a job for 25 years, and later became homeless after the company went out of business. “My heart went out to him,” Lynn said. During the time when Lynn was called to express a victim statement in court, the judge permitted him to address the attacker personally.

“I essentially told him, I don’t want him to be in prison any longer than the state deems necessary. It ought not be on account of me, because he doesn’t owe me anything anymore. I told the court, the reason I’m forgiving this guy is because Christ has forgiven me for so much more than he had done to me.” Lynn said.

What has Lynn done that’s worse than a robbery-fueled blood-spilling? He didn’t take the opportunity to say.

The perp’s name was withheld to protect the guilty.

Lynn added, “None of us are righteous, none of us are perfect, none of us are holy. But God is holy. God is infinite. He’s holy, he’s righteous and he’s perfect. My sins are against God, and so my debt is much greater,” he added.

Lynn ends with an important message for all of us Christians when he said, “If we’re Christians and we’ve been forgiven for everything we’ve done then how can we withhold forgiveness?”

The same way that God withholds forgiveness: if you don’t repent then you will burn in Hell.

Cheap grace is by definition, not valued.

13 thoughts on “Forgiveness Is Overrated

  1. The problem is not with forgiveness nor mercy, the problem is that liberals are communists who love criminals and criminality and are under a demonic compulsion to aid and abet wickedness. Liberals don’t want forgiveness, they want license, because, they are licentious. Liberals call good evil and evil they call good, so, at least they are consistent after their fashion.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a major, major problem with the modern Church: anarcho-tyranny. The people who recognize they’re naturally evil are never allowed to forget it while the conscienceless sociopath is declared equal in righteousness without even the bother of pretending sorry-ness.

    Exactly, and in this way the churchians show themselves to be no different from the World by holding up the World’s value system. Churchians who constantly rub a truly repentant sinner’s nose in his past transgressions while giving a free pass to an unrepentant rake serves the same purpose as the school administrators who punish the scrawny kid who defends himself against the school bully while at the same time they let let the bully off scot free. It’s an affirmation of the idea that power is what truly matters, no matter what evil ends it’s being used for. This also explains the churchians’ slavish devotion to Caesar and his temporal authoriteh.

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  3. I’m going to disagree with you (and feeriker, Lexet, and Wintery Knight): see the comment section here. I don’t expect you to agree with me, but I hope the alternative presentation will be of value. I’m not defending Lynn specifically, but rather disagreeing with your presentation.

    Contra feeriker, forgiveness absent repentance is not a new churchianity thing. Anabaptists have been doing this since their founding five centuries ago. Christians in all times and places have been doing so because of Jesus asked for forgiveness for those who were crucifying him.

    Sin is bondage, a debt, a thing owed. In God’s eyes, sin is literally a blood debt: it requires a life, which is why the penalty for sin is death. It is why God required a blood sacrifice was required to ‘cover’ sin. Every sin requires at least one holder of the bond, the one to whom the payment of debt is owed. The victims may be another person, oneself (1 Cor. 6:18), and/or God. It might even include whole groups.

    All sins are violations of God’s law and create a blood debt to God that must be satisfied. Whether the sin is against another person, against oneself, or against God solely, the perpetrator unconditionally owes a debt to God, and thus repentance is always required. But a sin debt may also owed to one or more persons. Here is what I said at WK:

    “The aggrieved party may (or may not) consider repentance in determining whether to forgive, but repentance alone is insufficient. Christianity is not a works-based salvation.

    This is vitally important! If someone sins against you, you have the meaningful right to hold onto that debt even if they repent. Acknowledging this, Matthew 7:2 says “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Just as one can willfully refuse to forgive in the face of repentance, every bond-holder has the right to cancel that debt for any (or not) reason at all.

    Furthermore…

    “…real forgiveness is the release of a debt owed (sin) by the aggrieved party. It is a pardon. This necessarily includes the release of anger and hatred because you no longer have a right to those things. If you hold something… anything… against someone, you have not forgiven them (released them from their debt), but merely reduced their debt.”

    Repentance is a requirement from the sinner to God, just as punishment is God’s responsibility. If a believer sins against another believer, the Bible gives a very specific set of procedures to resolve that debt in Matthew 18. If a non-believer sins against a believer, the God says to “turn the other cheek” because “vengeance is mine.” God has appointed governments to enact punishments in some cases, but even absent that, he will resolve it on the Day of Judgment.

    “The choice is yours to forgive or not, but the Bible warns that God will hold you to the same standard that you hold others to. This is the sobering thought that frames my thoughts on the issue.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually agree with the gist in the other’s guy’s comment: I have the right to forgive whom I will. Nonetheless, somehow I doubt that the subject of this blog post was telling the truth – he got a lot of press for his “forgiveness”. Furthermore, requesting that his sentence be as light as possible is wrong. The attacker is being sentenced not for wronging My Lynn but for breaking the law; he’s not even being judged morally.

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  5. Derek, I see your point, and I don’t disagree with assertion that it is the individual’s choice to forgive the unrepentant who has wronged him. However, I think we’re treading a slippery slope to assert that we are required to forgive unconditionally at all times.

    We also need to be careful when we use Jesus’s own examples of unconditional forgiveness. It goes without saying that Jesus’s mission and purpose on Earth was unique, and in the case where forgave His murderers unconditionally, it was because He knew that they were doing what they HAD TO DO in order for Him to fulfill the mission for which God the Father had sent Him to Earth. Had these unrepentant sinners NOT crucified Jesus, He would not have atoned for mankind’s sins and thus His mission would have been unfulfilled. Yes, we are certainly to do our best to emulate Him in all things, but in this case forgiveness towards the unrepentant was all but absolutely obligatory in order to fulfill God’s will.

    In more practical terms, unconditional forgiveness cheapens the act of forgiveness itself. Indeed, the unrepentant who come to expect that their sins are going to be unconditionally forgiven every time they sin are highly unlikely to ever see the need to repent of anything (medieval indulgences, anyone?), effectively ensuring their damnation.

    So yes, it’s certainly the individual’s right to forgive those who have wronged him and are unrepentant about it. But each case is different with each individual, and only the individual can weigh his own conscience to determine the appropriateness or timing of the act.

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  6. My own self styled interpretation and application of the “forgiveness” principle is to just try to always remember that I am not the ultimate Judge Judy & Executioner of the miscreants of this world. I know what the Lord doth require of me, according to Micah 6:8 – to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.
    I do not interpret it as my duty to forgive and show mercy when to do so will cause harm to innocent people. Sometimes I employ a saying I made up, “I’m willing to bend over backwards, but not to bend over forwards, if you know what I mean.”
    Ultimately I think what matters in our hearts is, how would we feel if the horrible rotten terrible person we didn’t want to forgive for whatever reason was somehow miraculously redeemed by God? Would we be angry at God the way Jonah was annoyed about the Ninevites being forgiven?
    In order to function in this world, we have to maintain a certain level of order and discipline. But if our citizenship is in heaven and our treasure is spiritual, we will not lose sight of what is really important in the big eternal scheme of things.

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  7. @Derek Ramsey,

    I too am descended from devout and pacifist Mennonites, but they didn’t get everything right. Nor did they think that the prior church had gotten everything right before they split off from it. They didn’t believe in papal infallibility, nor even their own infallibility.

    I find that in Matthew 5 Jesus is stretching people’s minds to make a point. The Pharisees claimed to be performing the whole law, and to be righteous, and Jesus point in the latter portion of Matthew chapter 5 was, you can never do enough to earn your way into heaven, you are going to need a redeemer. “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” If you call a man a fool you deserve to burn in hell. One lustful thought and you already have the root of adultery in your heart, one hateful thought and you’re like a murderer, cut off your hands, pluck out your eyes, you still can’t rid yourself of all your sin! If a man is beating your head in and you don’t get the final deathblow forgiven, off to hell with you! If you want to earn heaven, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
    Mathew 5 is not explaining how to get to heaven on your own merit, it is making light of how far fetched the scribes and Pharisees plan is, in ignoring their own very real and unavoidable need for a redeemer and God’s forgiveness.
    The Bible often says seemingly contradictory things, sometimes even within the same verse:
    “forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty”
    Contrary to pacifism, Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is also a time to kill, a time to hate, a time for war, Etc. One shouldn’t take one part of a (seemingly facetious) illustration in Matthew 5 (asking you to be cutting your right hand off and ripping your right eye out, Etc., which none of the disciples were recorded as attempting to follow in any literal sense) and then use that section of scripture to negate the rest of the counsel of God. Jesus point was that even all of that, still wouldn’t be good enough. You might do well to reconcile your belief with where the scripture also says:
    Ecclesiastes 7:16 Do not be overly righteous nor overly wise— why confound yourself?
    In attempting to be overly righteous you try to outdo God, by even forgiving the unrepentant and clearing all the guilty, which even God Himself does not do. Will an Anabaptist set God straight? While their was much in our history that was virtuous, and pious, the non-resistance may not all have been the requirement of God.
    Pacifists can not multiply amongst pirates, bandits, marauders, and cannibals. For Pacifists to flourish, they must necessarily be where other righteous men don’t let the guilty go unpunished and lawlessness to reign. For pacifists to look down their noses at those who make their foolish overwrought righteousness possible, is the error of their way. And it stems from misunderstanding passages like Matthew 5, in an over-literal sense, as though Jesus were actually encouraging people to try to outdo the Pharisees in earning their own legalistic salvation via following all the laws and even all the spirit of the law until they surpass the required matchless holiness of God. IMHO, our forefathers didn’t get Jesus good humor, in asking that the impossible be made even harder, as it was perhaps lost in translation. They took it as a literal expectation, that they should attempt to achieve all the holiness of God.

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  8. @feeriker

    “I think we’re treading a slippery slope to assert that we are required to forgive unconditionally at all times. [..] the unrepentant who come to expect that their sins are going to be unconditionally forgiven every time they sin are highly unlikely to ever see the need to repent of anything”

    I don’t see how it is a slippery slope. Even if I would unconditionally forgive another automatically, their obligation to God remains unchanged. God’s requirement to repent far exceeds any debt owed to a fellow human.

    Matthew 18:18, properly translated for the Greek tense, says:

    “Truly I say to you, whatever you forbid on earth must be already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth must be already permitted in heaven.”

    Ultimately, forgiveness is not up to us. In making Jesus our master, we give up our natural rights to give or withhold forgiveness. In its place is the will of God, which we must do. If God wants us to forgive those who sin against us, we must. If he wants us to withhold forgiveness, we must do that instead.

    The choice, strictly speaking, is no longer our own. For this reason, I take Matthew 7:2 and Romans 12:19 so seriously. When someone sins against me, I release my natural right to the debt they owe me and place that debt solely in the hands of God.

    Note what Lynn said:

    “I don’t want him to be in prison any longer than the state deems necessary. It ought not be on account of me, because he doesn’t owe me anything anymore.”

    And so it is. The state, on behalf of God, determines the appropriate punishment, and the victim yields his right to vengeance by forgiving the personal debt owed. In doing so, Lynn satisfies Matthew 18:18.

    “…the reason I’m forgiving this guy is because Christ has forgiven me for so much more than he had done to me.”

    And so it is. That is the standard by which Lynn wishes to be judged, and so it is the standard by which he judges others. In doing so, he satisfies Matthew 7:2.

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  9. @Sharkly

    Jesus often used culturally typical Hebrew hyperbole, and not just in the Sermon on the Mount. He used it in Matthew 7:1-5. If you think Jesus was being facetious there, we’ll have to agree to disagree. Jesus was never flippant regarding righteousness.

    “…as though Jesus were actually encouraging people to try to outdo the Pharisees in earning their own legalistic salvation via following all the laws and even all the spirit of the law until they surpass the required matchless holiness of God.”

    Because of salvation, we strive to obey to precepts of God. We do not strive to obey in order to be saved. The latter is legalistic merit, the former is doing right. We must not sin so that grace increases, but rather continually strive to do what is right.

    “In attempting to be overly righteous you try to outdo God, by even forgiving the unrepentant and clearing all the guilty, which even God Himself does not do. Will an Anabaptist set God straight? “

    As per Exodus 34, God requires repentance and reserves judgment. When I forgive my brother, it does not clear the debt that may be owed to God.

    “Pacifists can not multiply amongst pirates, bandits, marauders, and cannibals.”

    Do we not take up our cross daily and follow Christ?

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  10. Galatians 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
    “Do we not take up our cross daily and follow Christ?”
    Of course, but amongst the lawless and bloodthirsty pacifists all die upon their crosses, rather needlessly.

    God’s coming kingdom is to be established “with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
    1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath ordained some in the Church: as first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly teachers, then them that do miracles: after that, the gifts of healing, helpers, governors, diversity of tongues.

    We can’t leave all worldly government to unchurched men. Christ, our example, certainly won’t, He will return to rule with a rod of iron. God’s folk are never to be lawless or to allow lawlessness by shirking their duty to exercise their judgment with justice like Christ, the last Adam, to govern the dominion God gave over to Adam and the sons of man.
    Forgiveness does not necessitate license.
    Pacifists abrogate their divine duty to uphold God’s Noahide law, which is required of all the descendants of Noah, and reaffirmed for the Gentile church in Acts 15, based upon misunderstanding that Jesus was telling them, in Matthew 5, that even if they would turn the other cheek to be unjustly beaten, they would not achieve God’s righteousness, nor would ripping out their eye or cutting off their hand free them from sin even though they so mortified their bodies by such crazy abuse of their own flesh. Jesus turned the other cheek for us, fulfilling even the spirit of the law, even though he also zealously beat the money changers with a whip, to exemplify Spirit filled living and a bit of governing for those inclined to pacifistic error. God’s Mosaic Laws for Jews taught reciprocal justice, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth as Jesus also mentioned in Matthew 5. Christ did not come to destroy His Father’s law but to fulfill it. Turning the other cheek, is not part of the seven Noahide Laws given again to the Gentile churches, but was only an illustration by Jesus of how far a Jewish Pharisee would be asked to go to try to be holy, like Christ Himself would be, and yet that Pharisee would still be found short of God’s holiness and need Jesus as their sacrificial redeemer, their own imperfect sacrifices never being enough to achieve God’s holiness.
    Quit abrogating your adamic responsibility to rule your own dominion well, based upon a rhetorical illustration of the insufficiency of even human pacifism to fully achieve holy rectitude, given by Jesus, the last Adam, our example who also disciplined people with a whip, and yet stayed sinless. Why would Jesus have done that if being pacifist was always required? It would have been both a sin and a hypocrisy, if Jesus actually intended to require constant pacifism from any of us. And then his death truly would have been the insufficient momentary sacrifice of a sinful man, just like your flawed claim to pacifism is certainly vain at such times as God expects you to be ruling through disciplining others, as Christ demonstrated in the temple.

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  11. Sure you can forgive. But the murderer and attempted murderers must still be on death row. If they are repentant and made peace with Jesus. Then it’s good but they will still have to die.

    Therefore even their repentance is false it would be irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person


  12. I thought Derek might enjoy this AD1306 Proto Renaissance style artwork by Giotto: “Expulsion of the Money-Changers from the Temple”. In this artwork, which has been restored, likely more than once. You can see that somebody tried to add the whip of cords, to the Jesus figure who otherwise appears to be using his fists to clear out the den of thieves.

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  13. @Sharkly: That is a great painting. Thank you for posting it.
    Fat chance seeing that painting, or any similar one, in a North American church. Maybe in an Orthodox church…

    Jesus showed the example of self-sacrifice, even to the point of planning and allowing his own torture and crucifixion. Thank you Jesus!
    And Jesus also showed unyielding stubbornness on matters of righteousness. He called the religious leaders white-washed tombs, he used force/violence to enact God’s laws for the temple, he refused to be made king when the people wanted that, he called Peter “Satan” when Peter tried to change Jesus’s decision/plan and he refused to accept the rich young ruler who chose to keep his money instead of choosing to whole-heartedly follow Jesus.
    Being “nice”, or a pushover who does not offend others, or being too “nice” to maintain your own authority over your life, or being too “nice” to physically impose God’s will, is not what Jesus modeled for us.

    Be nice, or be a good Christian. You cannot have both.
    You can be nice and a bad/weak Christian; I suppose that option is available. I unfortunately have chosen it many times. It is a life-long process to train in righteousness and godliness.

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