To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

Why can’t we have discussions with others about politics and religion when disagreeing? There are differences in the political and religious arena, but politicians and religious folks have similarities when disagreeing. I will discuss religion disagreements more in my next post.

Could the problem be about power and control? 

There may be an elephant in the room. Not all but many seek to impose their beliefs on others without debate. I can’t read the hearts of individuals. I do know control and power are intoxicating and a part of human nature. These internal forces flourish when others are not allowed to discuss alternative opinions in the public arena. When only one side is presented, control and power grow intentionally or unintentionally. A free, democratic society requires debate.

Recognize your opinion may not be the more moral view 

Politicians and religious folks often hide behind either science or a book such as the Bible. Opposing political views are often said to disagree with science or be immoral. But science is not black and white and demands challenge. Most admit science can change, revealing claims should always be open to debate. Refusing challenges can suggest some underlying fear or dysfunction.

Your view of climate control or immigration, whatever side you stand on, must be open to challenge. You may be right; you may be wrong. Yes, expert opinions exist on both sides of the aisle. Different opinions must be allowed to stand side by side as we attempt to come to an agreement which actions may be the most caring for the greater good. Can you imagine how different our nation would be if all politicians were open to such discussions?

Accept disagreeing about most issues is normal

My wife and I didn’t argue much when dating, which didn’t exactly prepare me for the first years of marriage. Love doesn’t make go away having to share bathrooms, finances, closets, in-laws, etc. Love requires learning to disagree well so to live happily incompatible. Partners begin falling out of love when each assumes their way is right. You don’t have such intense conflicts with others friends because you don’t live with them.

We must stop hiding behind science or a Book. I bet I can get all politicians to agree that murder or sexual abuse is wrong. We make decisions how to punish such offenses, not whether such actions deserve punishment. Science or the Bible don’t make such actions immoral. Murder is immoral due to our inborn sense of good and evil. It is a dictatorship not a democracy when we impose our will on non-moral issues such as health care, taxes, climate change, immigration, etc.

We must have rules for war – I mean conflict 

We must learn to respond not react over our differences. Begin conversations by looking for areas you agree. Both parties must seek to understand before being understood. Stop demonizing by moralizing. Handle differences with physical and verbal civility. It does take two to tango in politics. When the other side doesn’t act cooperatively, one behaving doesn’t always win the other side over in politics. Different actions may be required. Cancelation of different opinions is disastrous and unacceptable in politics or any relationship.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

If you are a butt according to your friends, I highly recommend going all in with God. God is anxious to help you be less self-centered. But we know people who claim to be Christians or God-followers and it’s easy to doubt their depth of spirituality. Just don’t always expect saints. Moving forward is better than backwards. We know those who don’t consider God a part of their life and they treat others as well or better than us God followers. Are there good reasons to follow God anyway?

Following God has never been about avoiding Hell and getting into Heaven

Many of us who grew up and attended the institutional church were taught that God main mission was to save us from hell so we could go to heaven after death here on earth. All we had to do was say a prayer: “Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me. I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Help me to live for you.” I can find no place in the Bible where Jesus advised such a prayer or demanding certain confessions to follow Him. The Good News couldn’t be about escaping a fiery, torturous God if such a hell isn’t biblical. See here.

What was the Good News claimed by Jesus?

Mark 1:14,15 says “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come, he said. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent, and believe the good news.” Repent refers to a changing of your mind, not dropping to your knees and never sinning again. The kingdom of God “has come upon you” (Mt 12:28) and “is in your midst” (Lk 17:21).  God seeks to empower one to live a life worth living. When Scriptures talks about being saved from sin, it is not referring to escaping hell and going to heaven when we die, but God helping to avoid the devastating and destructive consequences of sin in this life.”  See here.  

Whether you want to follow God may depend on your view of God 

Atheists and believers agree. The only God worth believing in and following is a perfect, loving God. Such a statement is nonsensical if we are clueless what perfect love it. Can a loving God really condemn gays for a choice they don’t feel they can control any more than straights can control being attracted to the opposite sex; can a loving God really create a literal Hell to burn non-followers after death for their decisions while living a short time on earth; can a loving God really encourage women to be more submissive to men than men should be to women when the dangers are obvious? God may be the God you think worth following. Beliefs About God

What do you have to lose taking the leap of faith?

I dare you to challenge God. If God claims to love us and guide us, God should be able to convince you over time They are worth following. I suppose if you aren’t interested in being the person you want to be deep down, bag it. You may be able to love others perfectly, but I need all the help I can get. The only God worth believing in surely seeks to influence to do all the good we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. God through their influence has made me a better man, husband, father, and friend or at least better than if on my own. I have experienced God’s encouragement to continually strive to be better. I got nothing to lose except selfishness and a lousy legacy. A godly life lived is not in vain!

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

I have never been a great prayer. But early in my relationship with God at least I would sometimes get on my knees or get in a quiet place to avoid distractions. I knew people that kept a list of people and things to pray more. I guess to check them off when answered. I even had a list but over time I found another way.

Prayer is talking to God and not always requesting stuff 

We can replace the word “praying” in the Bible with “talking.” God won’t punish you for not shutting your eyes. Silent or out loud conversations can include asking to be more like God, for self-examination, for sharing concerns. We tell our children associating with the right people leads to making wiser choices. God’s influence is a powerful positive encouragement. It may be easier to not be distracted if have a private place to go, but I prefer talking to God on my walks, sometimes while driving, sometimes when lying in bed. Humans are the ones with hang-ups not God.

Prayer isn’t rubbing a genie lamp

More prayers are unanswered than answered. God can’t wave a magic wand without accounting for freedom. It’s not that we didn’t pray enough with the right words and behaviors so God will answer. God can’t make one’s partner willing to stop drinking. A lot of prayers ask for healing. I doubt God is stingy. Conditions in our body may not always be right. Various biological and environmental factors are involved such as cells, organs, etc. If God respects human freedom, it may not be a stretch to say God has to account for natural freedom as well. God surely intervenes by all means when circumstances will allow. 

Prayer is more acting than talking 

Relax! God is an omnipresent Spirit. God already knows needs before spoken. Prayer shouldn’t be a substitute for acting. It is easier sometimes to pray for someone than take cooperative actions with God. This is the most common way that God answers prayers – with others. Rather than praying your friend’s partner stop drinking, which is harming their family, see if your friend would rather you say something to their partner. When you know two friends are in conflict, speak to the one wrongly denying any wrongdoing. God longs to help us help others.

What does the Bible say?

You won’t find some ritual in the Bible God demands you follow. Mathew 7:7 is used to support the false prosperity gospel: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Isn’t this passage in context simply saying that if we parents give good gifts despite our imperfections, will not God as our perfect Parent always want to give good gifts. First-century readers didn’t assume this was a blank check for requests. The Apostle Paul expected persecution for beliefs (2 Tim. 3:12). 

Rethinking Prayer 

It isn’t that God had the power to do something about it but chose not to. Divine love limits divine power. True love, thus God’s love, is uncontrolling. God is already doing all they can in a free world. It isn’t that you didn’t beg enough or behave enough. God is tireless in working through individual lives to change the world. Pray for wisdom, pray for healing and the ability to accept whatever happens, pray for the courage to cooperate with God for positive change.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

Let’s be honest. The Bible is a difficult read and a bit strange. It claims God often ordered Israel to commit atrocities (“Now go, attack the Amalekites… put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (I Sam 15:3). I doubt God inspired that writer’s thoughts about God. The biblical truth is the writers may have gotten God wrong at times. 

It’s not true we can’t know God unless we read the Bible 

The majority of the people born into this world didn’t have a Bible or know of Jesus. The Bible can’t be the authoritative guide about God, because we disagree what it says for major moral issues. It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. Every reasonable human being respects the golden rule in relationships. God’s love and perfect human love are surely one and the same. Views of God that don’t seemingly lead to loving your neighbor more may be amiss, because they are contrary to our moral intuitions of perfection.

It’s not true the Bible claims only Scriptures is used by God to teach

II Tim 3:16 is often cited to suggest God only inspired Scriptures: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” The word Scripture isn’t in the original. The Greek word translated as Scripture is “graphis” or writings. This passage could be declaring: God can use all writings including Scripture, whether having right or wrong views of God, to equip us for good works. God may speak to use through other writings, even possibly mediums such as music, so we can be equipped for good works. 

My personal journey with the Bible 

Confession – I don’t read the Bible as much anymore but God and I still rock. Okay, I have a long way to go in my moral perfection journey, but I am inspired by God daily to pursue a legacy worth having. For years I would study the Bible hours at a time. Commentaries line my shelves and I even attended Seminary for a year. Unfortunately, I assumed I could only know God through Scriptures, and I failed to have enough respect for interpretations different than mine. Each has their own journey. Currently, I draw close to God by writing, reading books that discuss God, and listening to podcasts.

Why bother to read the Bible 

The Bible does seem to be chocked full of wisdom. You can read the Bible over and over and come away with fresh insights for relationships. I am convinced God is delighted a recording of God’s beginnings with Israel culminating in the life of Jesus was written to encourage questioning and contemplating what a loving God is really like. 

How should we read the Bible?

If reading the Bible, it is important to read the Bible with a questioning and open spirit. Not questioning the writers’ views of God or our interpretations that don’t make human moral sense can led to carrying out immoral acts in the name of God. Don’t read the Bible if it discourages you from loving others like you want to be loved. We may be better off without the Bible if a Book replaces our relationship with God and common moral sense. But God has drawn billions to do good and shun evil when reading and reflecting about God.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

The majority of people believe there is a God, but I don’t sense God is a major focus with that majority. I’m not making a moral judgment. Many not keen on God treat others as well or better than us God followers. It’s just that many God followers believe their relationship with God has made them a better person. We are convinced if more had a closer relationship with God, this could make for a better world. Do God followers create obstacles that push others away from God?

God-followers make faith in God too complicated 

Many Christians insist on certain beliefs or saying a magic prayer to be a true follower. It’s said you can’t just believe there is a God; the Devil believes in a God! But the Devil was committed to opposing God. I’m not convinced the majority have such a commitment. Even the Bible in one passage doesn’t declare faith a set of beliefs but hope in what you can’t see. (Heb 11:1) Why can’t a God follower be one who hopes/believes in a good God and seeks help being the person they deep down desire to be? If you are a butt according to friends, I still suggest going in with God.

God-followers make dogmatic claims about God according to the Bible 

The Bible is used to condemn gays and oppose women priests or preachers. But biblical scholars who have a deep respect for Scriptures don’t agree what the Bible says about these and other moral issues.  See here. See hereBiblical scholars don’t even agree a literal Hell is a reality in the Bible. See here.  Even if our interpretations were infallible, we can’t be sure the biblical writers always knew or portrayed God accurately. God gave us a brain. Our moral intuitions are not the enemy.

The Bible is used to claim non-Christians can’t go to heaven. The majority of people born into the world didn’t have a Bible or knew of Jesus. Most people accept or rebel against a certain religion based on the family born into whether it is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. A child sexually abuse by their father may struggle to accept a God who is most often betrayed as our Father in Heaven. No human or spiritual parent brings children into the world requiring their eternal destination be based on circumstances out of one’s control. A loving God can’t be a God of chance! 

God-followers make the Bible an idol for worship 

You don’t have to believe the biblical writers always got God right. Many insist on a literal interpretation of Genesis, to deny that God could have used evolution in the creative process. Don’t reject God because you believe in evolution. No one was there in the beginning. As mentioned, you don’t have to believe in Hell or that God condemns gays or is bias against women. Don’t disregard your moral intuitions in discerning what God is like. See RETHINKING THE BIBLE

God-followers rationalize away why God doesn’t intervene more in evil and suffering 

We say “everything that happens is part of God’s plan” to supposedly protect God’s all-powerful character. We claim God is a mystery to justify God’s evil is sometimes good. Crazy talk! Love cannot insist on its own way. (I Cor 13:5) A good God’s love must be uncontrolling, not manipulative, etc. A God who supposedly can prevent evil but doesn’t is no different than a parent who stands by and watches their child suffer. Evil and suffering in the world may be because God can only intervene when there is human cooperation. See God Can’t by Thomas Oord.

God-followers insist you must believe in miracles or Jesus’ resurrection to be a follower

I don’t know if all the miracles recorded in the Bible really happened or not. I wasn’t there. I don’t doubt the historical accounts of events in NT times, but you may. Jesus didn’t ask the disciples for certain commitments or unshakable belief to follow Him. Some of the disciple didn’t believe Jesus’ resurrection talk until having physical proof. If you saw someone die on a Cross and alive days later, you may believe too. I doubt Jesus rejected those who didn’t instantly go all-in. If wanting to live for the Devil, then don’t follow Jesus.

God-followers insist you have to go to church to be a follower 

Many are done with religion or church but not God. The Church can be a great place of encouragement for like-minded people, but Church can be like politics in today’s world. There is lack of open and meaningful dialogue. I am tired of the cancel culture in church or the public arena. I’m not anti-science or heretical because I disagree. I got tired of being preached at where I couldn’t ask questions directly to leadership when disagreeing with opinions taught. Being so damn certain all the time is hardly relational and fails to recognize reality – biblical scholars don’t disagree what the Bible says about issues that impacts millions of lives. 

God-followers as a group are poor role models

We are all hypocrites, but God followers should at least admit and do something about their failings. Clearly Christians don’t get along as more and more churches and denominations keep forming that creates division not unity. Christian opinions should be able to stand side by side as we continually evaluate the most loving way. It’s hard to make a big impact in the world alone. A Movement succeeding at loving others like they want to be loved maybe can change the World!

God-followers often have hidden agendas in their relationships 

Who blames others for avoiding spiritual conversations with God followers? I hate to admit I use to have a hidden agenda with those outside the church. I was taught God’s good news was saving people from Hell so they could get into Heaven. I was wrong according to Jesus. See here.  I am afraid the ship may have sailed for those on the fence about God, trusting us to have open conversations. I will never stop hoping though. My focus is trying to lead a life where actions speak louder than words.

Maybe taking a leap of faith is worth it

If God claims to love and guide us, God should be up to your challenging God to prove they are worth following.  Don’t believe everything others claim about God. If interested in being the person you want to be deep down, you may be able to do it on your own but I need all the help I can get. Through God’s influence I have experienced God’s encouragement to continually strive to be a better man, husband, father, and friend or at least better than if on my own. I am convinced believing in a good God and pursuing a godly life is not in vain!

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

The Good News couldn’t be about escaping a fiery, torturous God if such a hell isn’t biblical. What do the Gospels claim the Good News about God is?

What Really Is The Good News About God According To The Bible?

Well-meaning people passionate about God say things like “it’s all part of God’s plan” or “everything happens for a reason.” Is evil and suffering really some grand scheme by God?

Can We Stop Saying “Everything Happens For A Reason”!

We can’t prove God inspired the Bible or God didn’t. Are there good reasons to error on the side that God didn’t inspire all of the Bible?

Why We Must Argue The Bible Is Not Inspired By God!

Many are rightly disheartened about God when more prayers are unanswered than answered. How does prayer work and why bother?

Why Bother To Pray If It Doesn’t Work!

A loving God wouldn’t only let Christians into heaven when the majority of people born into this world died without knowledge of Jesus the Christ. One’s religion or rebellion against a certain religion is often based on the family born into whether it is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. Is God really a God of chance?

What Does God Think Of Non-Christian Religions?

A loving God couldn’t possibly condemn gays when they can no more choose who they are attracted to than straights can? Who chooses to be gay when one has to hide their sexuality because of bigotry and hostility?

What Does God Believe About Gays?

Jesus-followers in the first century had a radical impact in their world and centuries to come. Why aren’t such followers having more of an impact today?

What Reforms Are Necessary In Christianity?

A threatening God, or threatening parents, hardly helps break away from bad habits or behaviors we long to change. What kind of God is more likely to encourage positive change?

It Matters If Your God Is Nurturing Or Authoritative!

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

Reliable God followers speak of God guiding us. I am not talking about “God guarantees you prosperity” types who are living off your funds. The Bible does say that we are guided by God’s Spirit (Jn 14:16-17; 16:13) rather than by a Book or Scriptures. Many suggest God’s voice obviously isn’t audible but like a silent whisper, clear mental impression, or “we just know.”  Color me a skeptic. I don’t just know! How do we go about discerning God’s guidance?

God can’t make future decisions for you

It is natural to think an all-knowing, powerful God has special insights into future outcomes. But to say God knows the future suggests a predetermined future which makes freedom nonsensical. God’s plan can’t be a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love. God can’t tell you if your partner won’t end up betraying you or your new job won’t end up being phased out. God joins us in an unknown future. God surely desires we choose the wisest path known at the time based on past experiences, current circumstances, and future aspirations.

God doesn’t really have to speak to us about moral decisions 

It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. What rational being doesn’t know we ought to love others like we want to be loved? Many decisions are obvious – murder, stealing, adultery, etc. is wrong. Even if God was with us in person, God doesn’t have to speak if a decision is clearly moral. Many decisions though aren’t clearly moral.  God joins us in an unknown future in taking risks to change the world.

Uncertainty can be a good thing

We all want God to communicate in certain terms. God supposedly came in person but Jesus’ miracles didn’t obtain the results some may suggest if God would stop hiding. God’s awing or overpowering presence may only lead to fearful obligations to obey. Isn’t our love in human relationships greater when we have to trust than know for certain what the future holds together? The road traveled of learning, reflecting, and not being coerced may best lead to lasting convictions and more meaningful relationships. God may not speak to us demonstratively out of love. 

Personally speaking – how do I know it is God’s voice?

I don’t know if it’s God’s voice! Am I a spiritual loser? I don’t meet my own expectations morally much less God’s, but God is still working on me. But I hang more with God than most. Writing is the same for me as conversing with God. For the past 40 years I often write up to four hours a day. I attended church at least weekly for over forty years. I talk to God a ton while exercising walking almost daily. I have learned I don’t need to be certain what God is telling me. God has given me freedom to make decisions, and I understand the consequences of immoral decisions.

Doesn’t God guide us through unspoken influence?

Influences in our life don’t have to be audible or certain. My parents aren’t alive, but I am still influenced by them in my decisions. God can’t tell us that our decisions will work out. God deals with a free world also. God is hoping with us that our decisions will make for a better world. Don’t we sense God’s influence when we have thoughts to be the perfect partner, parent, or friend we desire to be deep down. I sense God’s encouragement to continually strive to make the best decisions I know at the time. Our pursuit of a godly life is never in vain!

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

Lies About God!

“Lies” is a strong word because I readily admit no one can prove what an invisible, inaudibly God is truly like. I am reacting to those who claim they know the “Truth” and don’t readily admit their interpretations and understandings of the Bible aren’t necessarily infallible. Most agree the only God worth believing in must be loving and perfect. Let’s have open-minded discussions what perfect love looks like. We can disagree but please don’t claim certainty according to a Book subject to interpretation. See link at the bottom of this Post for further elaboration in a brief Book I wrote.

God can’t create a place such as Hell!

God can’t condemn gays for being gay!

God can’t favor men over women for certain roles in church or in marriage!

God can’t only let Christians into heaven!

God can’t be for terrorists who deny freedom of belief!

God can’t control evil and suffering!

God can’t arbitrarily answer your prayer and not others’!

God can’t be a moral hypocrite who says “do as I say not what I do”!

God can’t be mysterious if wanting to be known!

God can’t be an angry, egomaniac!

God can’t be a hidden agenda proselytizer!

God can’t know the future while creating freedom!

God can’t be a Jesus killer!

God can’t be a Bible-worshipper!

Lies About God – Don’t Believe Everything You Hear!

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

Decades ago, I was taught things about God that I couldn’t imagine would be true of a loving God. See here.  I can imagine some had no reason to doubt what authorities were teaching them, which eventually lead to leaving God or making God less a part of their life. Why follow a God you couldn’t respect. Question if what you hear doesn’t seem to be right what a loving God would truly be like. You may be right! These are the main beliefs that nagged at me that I became convinced couldn’t be true of a loving God:

That God created a place such as Hell for those who didn’t accept God in their life here on earth. We human wouldn’t even create such a place and consequences for our worst enemies.

What Does God Believe About Hell?

That God actually believes women were not as gifted as men leading in at worship setting or at home. What Does God Think About Women?

That God condemns gays for a choice they have no control over – being gay. Gays no more than straights choose control being attracted to the same or opposite gender. What Does God Believe About Gays?

That God only lets into heaven those who believe in and accept Jesus into their hearts. Half the world born never had a Bible or knew of Jesus. What Does God Think Of Non-Christian Religions?

That God controlled the minds and pens of the writers of the Bible. A loving God who created freedom can never act controlling. Don’t believe everything the Bible claims God did. What Does God Think About An Inspired Bible?

That God foreknows the future. If God already knows what choices we make, this denies the reality of freedom. God actually joins with us with all the joys and pain of an unknown future. What Does God Know About The Future?

That God is a mystery sometimes, because the Bible contributes immoral behaviors to God. This makes assumptions about the Bible and implies God can be a moral hypocrite – “do as I say not what I do.” What Does God Think About Being Labeled Mysterious Or Hypocritical?

I am grateful for the relationship I have with my Creator, but the emphasis on we are obligated to constantly tell God how great they are doesn’t seem natural or relational. I am convinced God doesn’t like to appear egotistical. What Does God Think About Being Told How Great They Are?

Most would agree the Bible says to forgive. To one’s surprise the Bible can also be interpreted to suggest forgiveness requires regret. It matters what we tell others, especially victims. What Does God Think About Forgiving The Guilty Who Deny Wrongdoing?

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

I am not going to attempt to answer this question with Bible verses. Most would agree the Bible says to forgive. To one’s surprise the Bible can also be interpreted to suggest forgiveness requires regret. It isn’t too presumptuous to imagine what a loving God is like though our moral intuitions, our consciences. We aren’t always certain how to best love, but most sense that we or a Creator ought to love others as we want to be loved.

Why it matters whether to tell others to forgive or not

Victims can feel more victimized, and feel God must not understand their pain, when told to forgive their abuser no matter what. What is there to forgive when one denies wrongdoing? Easy forgiveness can allow a husband’s abusive behavior to continue. When a sexual abuser doesn’t acknowledge their actions, secret behaviors continue. Isn’t the whole point to do whatever helps control bitterness and stop more victimization, though forgiveness doesn’t wash away memories.

The Bible surprisingly says to not forgive sometimes

One may be surprised to see the Bible can also be read to suggest forgiveness requires regret thus admission. The implication is we don’t necessarily have to forgive those who lie about their actions. God is said to forgive if we forgive others (Mt. 6:14-15). Forgive if they repent (Lk. 17:3). God in the OT is often said to not forgive the rebellious (i.e. Josh. 24:19). It’s hard to defend a loving Creator would ask us to do something God doesn’t – forgive the unrepentant.

The Bible isn’t a question-and-answer Book

My point is not to insist one should or shouldn’t forgive in their circumstances. Usually, there are different opinions on meaning and application of the same passage. The Bible was never meant to be a rules book but for reflection in one’s circumstances. “Turning the other cheek” doesn’t mean a women should accept abuse at the hands of her husband. The Bible is valuable because it suggests not always handling certain circumstances naturally, humanly-speaking. Bitterness or revenge can worsen a victim’s circumstances.

But Jesus said to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39)

Some scholars suggest Jesus advising to “turn the other cheek” (Mt 5:39) was illustrating how to respond to insults, not that we can never respond to violence against us or others. Other scholars have suggested a possible literal translation of Mt. 5:39 is “do not resist by evil means.” This doesn’t mean nations can’t defend against evil dictators. Jesus often used hyperbole for emphasis without stating exceptions. It seems best to neither seek vengeance nor to ignore possible justice. If one is truly sorry, shouldn’t they readily admit their guilt?

When do we forgive?

For some forgiving can cause feelings of further victimization and bitterness; for others forgiving can control bitterness and possible acts of revenge. Many may be haunted with thoughts whether they must forgive their violator at the urging of others. We are free to make the wisest choice we know without being guilted by others about God. God may not be as non-empathetic as thought. Consider forgiveness if one admits guilt and seeks to make amends. Whether a future relationship is possible depends. Seek the mind of God what actions in relationship difficulties lead to your best interest in the long-run in a world full of disappointments.

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