Thursday, September 25, 2008

The real challenge: keeping forgiveness central

Recently I have been involved in a discussion that how difficult our challenge is in being church and ministering to others.
Here are some of my comments from that discussion.

The fringes and others will always struggle with the church and Christianity whilst they believe life and the church is all about looking good, being better and having good morals. And at times the church and Christianity haven't helped in this area because it has been unwilling to stand up to society about how important forgiveness is.
When we focus on forgiveness some people get disturbed, (recently I had a mother ask my why the church emphasises forgiveness rather than morals surely morals are more important?).
Sure people are happy to receive forgiveness themselves but feel short changed when others receive it.

For most of the fringes and others, forgiveness is a nice but not an essential thing for life. As a consequence they can't see how a person can really be a Christian and sin. (Remember the whohar about Kevin Rudd and the strippers.)

Surely our challenge is to help people see how helpful, how beneficial, how important, how essential and how central forgiveness is for life.
Forgiveness is not some accessory to our relationships with God and others but the necessity.
Also helping people see it also not about covering up a person's sin but about dealing with it.
Maybe as Christians, churches and pastors we need to be more forthright and clear in how forgiveness works, what it means to be forgiven and what it means to forgive!!!

What are your thoughts?

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