Forgiveness Leads to Reconciliation

The following post is a response I wrote to a blog that had stirred up some discussion regarding a division that happened to a Church I went to when I was young. The division happened in 1991 and has cause many issues since. I was hoping to stir up the readers to think about reconciliation instead of division.

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One of the issues with the church in general is that it does not connect with reality. This could be in the form of plastic smiles, tribal language, or emotional debauchery. As Christians we often talk about what we should do and what others should do but when we look at our own lives there is almost no evidence that we are actually doing what Jesus did. No, we are not saved by works but the Holy Spirit does live in us (or does He?), and greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world.

Forgiveness. This should be the hallmark of every Christian and therefore of every church. When the world looks at the church do they see forgiveness or do they see division? When the world looks at politics do they see forgiveness or do they see division? Are we not just like the world? We may fool ourselves into thinking that we are great Christians, but God is not fooled. Does this mean that we all just compromise? No! But this does mean that we actually try to live out forgiveness. What does this look like? I don't think we will know what this looks like until we actual try (For me it means going to "meeting" sometimes even though I think certain things are dead wrong, what about you?), but we do know the outcome of forgiveness? "That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they may also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

There are many different excuses of why we can't be reconciled to each other but there are no reasons. If Jesus can reconcile himself to us then we sure can be reconciled to each other, unless we don't think we are sinners (2 Cor. 5:19). Matthew 18 has 35 verses not 20. "Should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?" We don't forgive because we have been wronged we forgive because we have been forgiven. In other words we realize that we are not much different then the person who we think is at fault (That is hard to imagine sometimes).

Worshiping God the right way is aggravating to Him if it is not real. "I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings or your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Daniel confessed the sins of his people as his own (Dan. 9) and we should to. The divisions may have happened because certain people did not like each other but they continue because we don't love each other. If a person is thrown in jail because of a misunderstanding should that person not be freed if the misunderstanding is cleared up? If the people who threw him in jail do not think it is a misunderstanding does that mean the prisoner should be left to rot. This illustration may seem like it is directed toward the "meeting" but its only purpose is show that we may not have been part of the problem, but it is our duty to be part of the solution.

This is getting long and it may not get read but I hope that it stirs up some of you to tear down the walls that divide us. Not for our sake, but so that the world is left in awe wondering why two groups (people) would seek to reconcile to each other after 21 years (or less). Then we could say it is because Jesus death and life brought us together and we wanted to remember Him in our lives. 

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