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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Matt Black, Dec 21, 2004.
Good article here
Thoughts? Ever come across/ done this in your church?
Yours in Christ
I am not big on it. I read hte article very quickly and don't buy his jumps from the OT nation of Israel to the NT church. I am not sure he has really gotten to the heart of the OT passage he cites.
I think this kind of thing cheapens real repentance and justifies grudges. Perhaps the most common place we see this today is people apologizing for the racism and slavery of black people in the past. On the one hand, those apologizing are apologizing for something they didn't do and are not responsible for. How is that any kind of real repentance? I can't repent to God for you? How can I repent to others for you?
Secondly, it assumes that the black people of today who are not in slavery are justified in holding a grudge until someone repents. So in a nutshell, you have people who didn't do something apologizing to people to whom it wasn't done. It is a feel good thing that has no value.
Let's teach people true repentance and forgiveness. Let's teach people that they have no right to hold a grudge against someone, especially when that person hasn't sinned against them. Let's preach about legitimate racism today (not the made up kinds of self seeking promoters). Let's just treat people like people and leave off from this nonsense.
Thanks for your input. This kind of thing was very big over here about five years ago in evangelicalism and I felt uncomfortable about it at the time, and didn't really 'get' the rationale behind it
Yours in Christ
I found it to be a good article, especially in Green's rejection of vicarious repentance.
I think a case can be made for valid identificational repentance. For one, I was glad to see that the Southern Baptist Convention (finally) got around to repudiating slavery and racism.
Still, I think there are two difficulties: 1) that it is cheap repentance to decry something that we don't actually feel guilt for or 2) that it leads to crusades of guilt in which participants try to find everything their forbears might have done wrong and create, in effect, a climate of guilt that takes precedence over other religious values.
(I do not think Green is guilty of either of those, from his description.)
Or, as C.S. Lewis put it:
C.S. Lewis, The Grand Miracle, 1970