Complicity and saying sorry

In my article about the EHCR report on anti-Semitism I started to raise the issue of complicity. There is a level at which we all as a society (perhaps with one or two exceptions) have to recognise a level of complicity in the way that this toxic evil was allowed to get to the heartContinue reading “Complicity and saying sorry”

On wishing politicians dead

On wishing someone else dead “We should rejoice that this dictator is dead” said the preacher, to audible gasps from the congregation.  “My daughter prayed that he would die at our family prayer time yesterday, and it has happened.”  He then went on to explain his reasoning. The dictator could either die to himself andContinue reading “On wishing politicians dead”

When you want to prevent others from receiving forgiveness

It only really struck me with force when I was actually preaching on Sunday. I guess it was because I was preaching specifically on this incident for the first time from Matthew’s Gospel, I’ve spoken on it many times from Luke’s Gospel but not from here. Matthew really brings out the hard hearted merciless waysContinue reading “When you want to prevent others from receiving forgiveness”

Forgiven (Matthew 9:1-13)

It’s one of the most wonderful words you can hear isn’t it? You’ve well and truly messed up this time.  You’ve allowed something to catch fire in the microwave and whilst attending to that, you’ve allowed the sink upstairs to overflow so that water has rained through the ceiling into your front room. Then inContinue reading “Forgiven (Matthew 9:1-13)”

Does forgiveness need to be expressed to the other person?

RT Kendall’s book used to be considered the classic textbook for Christians on forgiveness.  One of his main arguments was that forgiveness was primarily about the heart attitude of the offended.  One of his key bits of advice was that if someone had offended you and you had truly forgiven them then you would notContinue reading “Does forgiveness need to be expressed to the other person?”

Forgiveness and reconciliation may not always mean a return to normal

A boyfriend completely forgets his girlfriend’s birthday and goes out with his mates for a drink instead. It’s not the first time he has let her down.  She decides to break off with him.  At the time he expresses sorrow, buys her flowers, chocolates and concert tickets but she sees through the remorse, this isn’tContinue reading “Forgiveness and reconciliation may not always mean a return to normal”

Does forgiveness remove the need for church discipline?

In my ten years at Bearwood Chapel, we’ve only felt the need to pursue full church discipline in line with 1 Corinthians 5 on one occasion. However the need to remove membership due to persistent, unrepentant and serious sin will sadly arise from time to time in church life. We’ve been talking about the importanceContinue reading “Does forgiveness remove the need for church discipline?”

Exploring Forgiveness and Repentance

I’ve been writing a little recently about forgiveness. It arises out of our recent studies from the Sermon on the Mount. It also relates to some other things I have written recently about our pastoral responsibilities to victims of abuse and to those accused. So, I was interested to see the other day that myContinue reading “Exploring Forgiveness and Repentance”