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Forgive us our trespasses?

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by helpline2, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. helpline2

    helpline2 New commenter

    I think the perception is that we forgive those who trespass against us because then our trespasses may be forgiven. We are acknowledging that we ourselves are not perfect so in no position to throw stones at anybody else.

    However there is a more immediate reward in the here and now. Forgive those who have trespassed against you and suddenly they have no power over you. They could dominate your life with thoughts of injury and revenge and suddenly the school bully who beat you up twenty years ago and has doubtless forgotten the whole incident - suddenly he has no more power to hurt you.

    What do you think ? Or is this the wrong forum?

  2. helpline2

    helpline2 New commenter

    Thank you.

  3. 576

    576 Established commenter

    'Father forgive them, they know not what they do'
  4. so why doesn't the church publicly forgive Hitler and Harold Shipman ?
  5. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Because the Church was not the victim of either.

  6. many Christians were brutally massacred by Hitler
  7. But equally many Christians were complicit in not speakingn out when they knew things were going on.

    Why pick on those two in particular? Why the need for the Church to speak out for two individuals when its doctrine is quite clear that forgiveness is on offer to all?
    What you need to remember too is that whilst the forgiveness is on offer that does not necessarily mean that those involved wish to accept it or receive it. Which is another argument altogether!

  8. I don't agree that it is quite clear what the church teaches and this is why i joined this thread. I dislike simpistic interpretations of Christianity. As RE teachers we have a duty to hold up the complexities and the difficult bits of Christianity. Simply to say 'Christianity teaches us to forgive' is a Primary school approach. Young people are savvy and deserve better. I don't think the moral problems should be left until KS4 or 5, but should be explored in KS3 too.
    Saying 'forgiveness is on offer' is very close to (if not the same as) saying that it is conditional. It implies the person has to act to accept it. Many Christinas would say you have to accept Jesus as your saviour first. This it seems to me is conditional i.e. you will only be forgiven if you accept Jesus. This is radically different to the Jesus of the Gospels. Jesus tolod the outcasts (paedophiles and **** stars ?) 'your sins are forgiven'. Not 'your sins will be forgiven if you accept my offer' but a completely unconditional statement. People were outraged. People would be outraged if a Christian stood up today and did the same thing. How many Christian ministers go inton a prison cell and say to the criminal 'your sins are forgiven' ? My bet is that it is very few. I imagine most of them say something like 'Come to Jesus and he will forgive you'. Sign on the dotted line and you can have the contract.
    I didn't particualrly pick on Hitler for any reason, although I do think Britain is obsessed with WW2 in a very unhealthy way, something to do with the empire we long to return to and all that. Other countries have moved on. We need to too. Perhaps a slightly compassionate view of people in that time would help.
    Anyway my main point is to plea for grown up RE teaching on Christianity without trivialising the contentious bits. Am I wrong ?
  9. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I have been reading a lot on forgiveness recently as I struggle with it greatly.
    Jesus died on the cross to forgive all sins past, present and future.
    However - the reward of that forgiveness (eternal life with God the Father in heaven) is only available to those who accept it. Jesus said that himself - 'nobody comes to the Father but by me'
    How many times do we hear about the elderly not claiming all the state benefits available to them. It's like that with forgiveness - the slate has been wiped clean but some people will not accept that for what ever reason. I think that is why Leviosa describes it as being 'offered'
    Christians don't have the right to forgive criminals unless they are the victims of the crime.
    I think Christian teaching on forgiveness IS very simple and not at all contentious.
    Jesus died to forgive all your sins.
    Therefore you should forgive those who sin against you.
    What complicates the issue is human nature (call it sin if you want) and the attempt to put it into practice. It is definitely easier said than done.
    Also confusion about what forgiveness is.
    It's a declaration that I will not hold your sin against you.
    It doesn't mean it never happened, it doesn't mean I have forgotten it and it doesn't mean it didn't hurt me.
  10. Didn't realise we were discussing RE teaching - the OP wasn't talking about that and neither was I in my response.

  11. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    You are absolutely right, 576. It is just how the forum records something. When you quote from someone's post it attributes that quote to them, even though they are quoting someone else.

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