What does the Bible say about...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by moscott, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. moscott

    moscott
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    forgiving those who haven't asked for your forgiveness? I'm having a really difficult time forgiving right now. My marriage of 15 years with 2 young sons is ending in a few days and there's nothing I can do about it I know except to keep praying. Come to find out that the Pastor from our church was having an affair with my wife. So now I have lost my wife, family and Pastor who I also considered a friend. Yet he to this day has yet to ask for forgiveness despite admitting to the affair. What does the Bible say about me forgiving him?
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    First of all, I am so sorry for this. I am sorry for your pain and the ending of your marriage. I am sorry for and ashamed of the pastor in this circumstance.

    Unfortunately, the Bible commands us to forgive unilaterally. Ephesians 5 states that we are to forgive as God for Christ's sake has forgiven us. On the cross, Jesus asked the Father to forgive the people around Him even though they did not ask for forgiveness.

    I know this is not easy, nor will it be a one shot deal. You will have to go through the same stages a person goes through when a loved one dies. But you can get through it. I know trust for any pastor will be in short supply, but find a pastor or a believing friend who will walk through this with you.

    But please know we will be praying for you.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    Unfortunately, many of us here have been through divorces due to the unfaithfulness of spouses and their unwillingness to be reconciled. You are not alone in that regard, although you probably feel very alone at this time.

    What a horrible betrayal!

    I am so sorry.

    I could throw Bible verses at you, but that is not what you need. I think you know that you will eventually need to forgive him. But I doubt that is possible right now until you work through this enormous betrayal and grief. You need to work through the grief, pain and loss, and then start working on healing and recovery.

    There will come a time when you can begin to work toward forgiveness of the unrepentant person(s). It is for your spiritual, emotional and health that you will eventually need to forgive. This forgiveness must be legitimate. Don’t let people tell you that you just need to say the words, try really hard to do it, and then move forward without working through all of the wrongs that have been done to you. Persons who think they are super-spiritual will glibly inform you that “everyone is a sinner” and then lay a heavy guilt trip on you to just pretend that you are okay and be “normal” again. Unfortunately, much of that motivation comes from the way most people are uncomfortable spending time with people who are grieving, so they want to “fix” your situation so they won’t be uncomfortable anymore.

    As someone who has had to deal with enormous loss coupled with enormous anger (divorce caused by cheating spouse, as well as the suicide of a close teenage family member which was directly tied to the long-term emotional mistreatment of an authority figure in his life), I know what it is like to be in profound grief mixed with anger to the core. You are going to need help working through it. Ask God to help you with this and then seek a good wise friend, a credible Christian counselor, and/or a professional therapist – depending upon what you are comfortable with. Don’t worry about forgiving immediately, but let it become part of the healing process, forgiving in degrees and you heal in degrees.

    At this time of loss, it is normal to think that the world – and the life you had planned for yourself - has ended. If has not ended, but it will be changed. I am a much better person than I was before I went through my divorce. It was an opportunity for enormous growth in my life because so much of what I took for granted was torn down. As I rebuilt my life, fully in the gracious power of God, I became very intentional in how I decided to live. I set aside the concerns about what others thought of me, which was a necessity, since many of my so-called Christian acquaintances indulged in wild speculation and gossip. I also realized that life is much more complicated – and God’s grace is much more abundant – than I had been raised to believe in church.

    You have been victimized, but you don’t have to be a victim. Keep going each day. Take care of yourself spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. God knows exactly what is happening and you have not been abandoned. In fact, you will eventually find God in that darkness if you continue seeking. Even if you give up on seeking, He may well find him with you anyway. That’s what happened to me.

    May God redeem you and your situation for your healing and His glory.
     
  4. moscott

    moscott
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    1. Wasn't Jesus asking on his behalf to forgive them because the"know not what they do"? This man knew exactly what he was doing.
    2. Isn't the grace of God and his forgiveness freely given to us as a gift for us to accept or reject? If they reject it then aren't they eternally damned?
     
  5. Salty

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    Moscott,
    My sincere prayers are with you. It must be a very trying time.
    As far as your basic question "forgiving those who haven't asked for your forgiveness?"

    My belief is that you are not able to forgive someone UNTIL they ask forgiveness, however according to Scripture - we must always be ready for reconciliation.
    (The verse is on the tip of my tongue, and I must leave for work in a couple of minutes - will find it tomorrow)

    Currently, it is important that you stay close to the Lord.
     
  6. moscott

    moscott
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    Thank you all for the encouraging words. My faith in the Lord stays strong. I know he is in control and he has a plan for me. My faith in Pastors is another story. Being molested by my Pastor as a teenager, it took a long time to regain trust. Now this...it's hard to keep forgiving and move on. At least with the 1st incident it only affected me. This has torn apart my whole family. I know there are good Pastors but at least at this point, I can't see how I can trust somebody again.
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    whoremongers an adulterers God will judge .
    unrepentant adulterers are going to hell so there's nothing to forgive unless they repent.

    this man shows he's no pastor at all hopefully he has already been removed from that position
     
  8. moscott

    moscott
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    ^^^

    Yes he has been removed but not before having(what we later found out) dozens of affairs in the church. Come to find out he had done the same at a previous church as well. Nobody would have ever guessed. Married for almost 30 years(still) with 3 wonderful kids. No telling how many lives, marriages and families he has torn apart.
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    Sorry to hear about this situation. Unless God moves to bring about repentance[in your spouse] I would fear for the alternative.

    This reprobate will be rewarded according to his works.
     
  10. The American Dream

    The American Dream
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    I cannot think of a more horrible betrayal. My prayers are with you, for God's strength, love, and in this case the other seven fruits of the Holy Spirit. I have been through some tough situations, but nothing like this.

    No doubt you have already done this, but the first order of business would be to seek reconciliation with your wife. I assume that failed. I have seen marriages saved from divorce by one spouse forgiving another. The hard issue is restoration of trust by the offended party towards the offending party.

    I am in slight disagreement with some of the above posts in relation to the pastor. I believe you should forgive him whether he asks or not, because it is not so much for his benefit, but yours, to remove any hatred in your heart for him. After that it is time to move on.

    If it were me, I would without a doubt seek custody of the kids, because they need a Christian parent. This type of situation is where the rubber meets the road. You have shown the highest of Christian behavior in the most difficult of circumstances. IMO, that pastor is very lucky you are a true Christian, because without the Holy Spirit residing in me, especially given his position, I know exactly what I would have done had I not been close to the Lord, and will leave it at that.

    Only the Lord could have given you the strength to even start this thread. My prayers are with you brother.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    I am so very sorry this happened to you. Just know that because there is a loss involved here what you are going through is in fact mourning. It is ok to mourn this loss. We were made by God to mourn when we have such losses in our lives. What exacerbates this type of loss is the sense of betrayal and hurt that comes along with it. Mourn the loss but do not stew in the hurt.

    Forgiveness is often used wrongly as it is being used here. You are under no obligation to forgive unless they repent. See forgiveness mean you see them and treat them as if it never happened. Unless they repent such forgiveness is impossible.

    However, you can carry on without the hurt and anger even if you never forgive them. Carrying those around with you is poison and will make it difficult to have relationships in the future.
     
  12. The American Dream

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    Since when is forgiveness on our part conditional on repentance of the offending party? No where in Scripture is that concept found. In fact, going day to day without forgiveness sometimes harbors hate in ones heart, which is equivalent to murder as described in Matthew 6. In addition from Matthew 18 Christ says "21Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23"For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.…"

    Does Christ say after he has repented forgive him 7 times seventy? No He says unconditionally. Forgiveness might lead the offending party to repentance.
     
  13. annsni

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    My pastor likes to say that forgiving someone isn't absolving them of their sin - and that's what we often feel like forgiveness is and that is why it is so hard to do it. It's not absolving them of their sin but it is taking away our right to seek restitution and payment and leaving it in God's hands. Since we know that God is just, it makes it a little bit easier, IMO.

    You have been greatly wronged and I do pray that God can heal your heart and that you will find a good church, a great pastor and that you can find a new purpose in your life. I can't imagine the betrayal you must feel.
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    Rather than derail this thread I will respond to this by starting one.
     
  15. The American Dream

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    The thread was not derailed except by your straw man argument.
     

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