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#34097 Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:10 PM
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Most of you have probably heard about the shootings at an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster Co., Penn. It's a tragic story. There has been news, however, that the Amish have forgiven the murderer and have resigned to the girls' deaths as being God's will.

My question is, can the Amish properly forgive the murderer? He never repented and in fact he killed himself. Is it possible to forgive someone who does not repent and who is dead and for that reason can no longer be held accountable before men?


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
CovenantInBlood #34098 Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:28 AM
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So Kyle when Jesus said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luk 23:34 ESV) There were undoubtedly those people in the crowd who would never repent. So was Jesus' request for forgiveness a blanket statement or only directed toward those who would repent? And does this mean that we are not suppose to forgive those that do not repent? Even those who have died after doing the deed?


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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Kyle,

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If your brother sins, rebuke him, if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3

IMO, the short answer to your question is "no" for three reasons.

(1) If he had repented and asked forgiveness, the Amish could only have forgiven him for their own personal grief over the loss of their children.

(2) The fact is that he has murdered or stopped the mouths of the only people (the girls) that could forgive him for the crime itself. (This is what makes murder the heinous crime that it is in the first place)

(3) Since he has committed suicide,(another murder) he is not even able to repent and ask his offended God for forgiveness.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Peter #34100 Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:20 AM
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Boanerges said:
So Kyle when Jesus said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luk 23:34 ESV) There were undoubtedly those people in the crowd who would never repent. So was Jesus' request for forgiveness a blanket statement or only directed toward those who would repent?
See here: Forgiveness re: Lk 23:34. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


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Pilgrim #34101 Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:17 PM
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Oh sure post Pink! Fine who can answer to that? What's next going to take out the bazooka to kill that fly on the wall?

And on a personal note that background was a lovely color no doubt inspired by the author's name? Hmmm?


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Peter #34102 Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:47 PM
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Boanerges said:
Oh sure post Pink! Fine who can answer to that? What's next going to take out the bazooka to kill that fly on the wall?

And on a personal note that background was a lovely color no doubt inspired by the author's name? Hmmm?
The last shall be first: Methinks you need to think about either replacing your monitor or your video card. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> The background color is a very light beige..... not pink.

Sorry for supplying nothing more than the link to Pink's article. I should perhaps simply provided the most relevant section from it, e.g.:

Quote
5. HERE WE SEE A LOVELY EXEMPLIFICATION OF HIS OWN TEACHING.

In the Sermon on the Mount our Lord taught His disciples “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Above all others Christ practised what He preached. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. He not only taught the truth but was Himself the truth incarnate. Said He, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). So here on the Cross He perfectly exemplified His teaching of the mount. In all things He has left us an example.

Notice Christ did not personally forgive His enemies. So in Matt. 5:44 He did not exhort His disciples to forgive their enemies, but He does exhort them to “pray” for them. But are we not to forgive those who wrong us? This leads us to a point concerning which there is much need for instruction today. Does Scripture teach that under all circumstances we must always forgive? I answer emphatically, it does not. The Word of God says, “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him” (Luke 17:3,4). Here we are plainly taught that a condition must be met by the offender before we may pronounce forgiveness. The one who has wronged us must first “repent,” that is, judge himself for his wrong and give evidence of his sorrow over it. But suppose the offender does not repent? Then I am not to forgive him. But let there be no misunderstanding of our meaning here. Even though the one who has wronged me does not repent, nevertheless, I must not harbor ill-feelings against him. There must be no hatred or malice cherished in the heart. Yet, on the other hand, I must not treat the offender as if he had done no wrong. That would be to condone the offence, and therefore I should fail to uphold the requirements of righteousness, and this the believer is ever to do. Does God ever forgive where there is no repentance? No, for Scripture declares, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). One thing more. If one has injured me and repented not, while I cannot forgive him and treat him as though he had not offended, nevertheless, not only must I hold no malice in my heart against him, but I must also pray for him. Here is the value of Christ’s perfect example. If we cannot forgive, we can pray for God to forgive him.

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
However, I have always appreciated everything Pink wrote in that article as it addresses many different facets of "forgiveness". I'm sure you can also appreciate that. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Re: taking out a bazooka to kill a fly on the wall..... you betcha!

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Pilgrim #34103 Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:15 AM
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My "monitor" is a LCD flatscreen and is working just fine I wonder about yours?

But on to the relevant portion (you have to admit that it was a sizeable article until you honed it down to that on bit). So you are saying, or rather Pink has written, that we don't forgive those who do not repent. I ask the same question I asked of Kyle then. To whom was Jesus asking the Father to forgive then at the cross? Only those that responded to Peter's sermon in Acts 2?


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Peter #34104 Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:43 AM
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I suspect that your video card or the gamma settings are in need of attention. I've viewed that background image on several different systems and they all display it as light beige. [Linked Image]

As to the matter of forgiveness, IMHO, R.C.H. Lenski gives one of the best interpretations and explanations of the text in Lk 23:34 (emphasis mine):

Quote
Nor was this prayer absolute, i. e., that ignorance removed all guilt or made it so slight that the Father could dismiss it without further ado. No; the very first word “dismiss it” states that these are terrible sins, something grave and serious to dismiss. This is not a case of brushing away a few feathers. This is also true with regard to the ignorance. The sinning that is connected with the Passion of Jesus is so open, flagrant, deliberate, and so multiplied that everybody who was involved knew it. It is unwarranted to claim ignorance for these outrageous sins, or to think that Jesus supposed that ignorance was back of them. “What they are doing” is defined in I Cor. 2:8, namely this that they were crucifying the Lord of glory, or Acts 13:27, that they were fulfilling the prophets, or Acts 3:15-17, that they were killing the Prince of Life. It was this ignorance that Jesus referred to. All these men who did Jesus to death were an ungodly, unregenerate lot who were living in all kinds of sins besides those they perpetrated on Jesus. What good would it do them to have only the latter canceled? This prayer of Jesus involves the thought that these men may and will yet learn just what they have done, that it was God’s own Son, the Prince of Life, the Lord of Glory, and not just a man, whom their ungodliness killed.

This shows us the fulfillment of this prayer which Jesus had in mind. By no means a pardon without repentance — <span style="background-color:yellow">that would run counter to all Scripture and to the very redemption Jesus was now effecting</span>. But a pardon through repentance when the truth would be brought home to them as the Acts passages brought it home. The knowledge that was thus wrought, which consisted of the light that would operate upon them as law and as gospel, as revealing their horrible sin and also the redemption that Jesus effected when they killed him, that knowledge was the means Jesus had in mind for causing their repentance and thus their remission, and not of one sin only but of all their sins. In other words, Jesus prays that the Father may give these murderers of his time, grace, and the knowledge that may bring them the Father’s pardon.

It is remarked that Jesus does not say: “I myself dismiss it for them; for,” etc. Why not? Because he is the Intercessor with the Father. He is acting as our High Priest. But did he not pardon others, even the malefactor (v. 43)? Ah, but all these repented. His intercession cannot take the place of absolution. Intercession is made for those who are still impenitent, absolution is intended only for the repentant.
In His grace,


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Peter #34105 Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:24 PM
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Boanerges said:
So Kyle when Jesus said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luk 23:34 ESV) There were undoubtedly those people in the crowd who would never repent. So was Jesus' request for forgiveness a blanket statement or only directed toward those who would repent? And does this mean that we are not suppose to forgive those that do not repent? Even those who have died after doing the deed?

Scripture never lets on that God forgives those of unrepentant heart, so my first thought is that Jesus is beseeching the Father to forgive "them" by giving them repentant hearts. Now, as to whether He meant this prayer to apply only to those who would repent, or to all who were in the crowd round about Him, I would say He meant it only for those who would repent, i.e., His elect. For if Christ intercedes for any man, could God refuse His intercession? And we know that God does not forgive the unrepentant, especially not after death--unless you hold to Billy Grahamianity. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bash.gif" alt="" />


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Adopted #34106 Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:27 PM
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Adopted said:
Kyle,

Quote
If your brother sins, rebuke him, if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3

IMO, the short answer to your question is "no" for three reasons.

(1) If he had repented and asked forgiveness, the Amish could only have forgiven him for their own personal grief over the loss of their children.

(2) The fact is that he has murdered or stopped the mouths of the only people (the girls) that could forgive him for the crime itself. (This is what makes murder the heinous crime that it is in the first place)

(3) Since he has committed suicide,(another murder) he is not even able to repent and ask his offended God for forgiveness.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

I think I'm in agreement with you, Denny. I would ask, however, whether you believe suicide can be forgiven by God under any circumstance? Is it possible that a child of God could fall into such depths of despair because of the devil's lies that he commits suicide?


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
CovenantInBlood #34107 Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:10 AM
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Kyle,

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Is it possible that a child of God could fall into such depths of despair because of the devil's lies that he commits suicide?

I can't answer this question. After all, our God is the judge of all. I can only say that I think generally speaking, a person commits suicide only after falling into the dispair of rampant unbelief.

Quote
"Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9)


This is especially true when the person is attempting to protect himself from judgment after committing a heinous crime.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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CovenantInBlood said:

I would ask, however, whether you believe suicide can be forgiven by God under any circumstance? Is it possible that a child of God could fall into such depths of despair because of the devil's lies that he commits suicide?

I find that an interesting question and one that is not so easy to answer. I remember some years ago when I was a young deacon in the church I made a visit to an elderly member who was in the hospital. He had just finished reading from his bible when I entered the room and he asked me if I thought someone could commit suicide and still go to heaven.

His question caught me off guard. My first thought was "no" because like you I believed that God would not allow one of His children to fall that deep into despair without providing a way of escape.

Then he asked me "What about Samson who is listed with the patriarchs of faith in Hebrews 11?"

Then he opened his bible and read portions of the book of Judges to me...

"Then Samson prayed to the LORD, 'O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes' (Judges 16:28)."

"Samson said, 'Let me die with the Philistines!' And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more as he died than while he lived." (Judges 16:30).

It made me think. There may be circumstances that would bring someone to the point of committing suicide. In Samson's case it wasn't because of a lack of faith. It was in fact because of his faith in God to restore his strength one more time so that he could have revenge on the Philistines for taking out his eyes. You may chose to excuse him because he was punishing the wicked Philistines but none the less he did commit suicide.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts

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