The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Forgiving someone who murdered a loved one

I know we’re supposed to forgive anyone who repents. But honestly, I don’t know if I could forgive someone who murdered a loved until after that person was dead. In theory I oppose the death penalty, but I’ve never lost a loved one to murder. I probably would want the desth penalty for the killer even if he repented with tears.

Your feelings are characteristic of fallen humanity.

However, the apostle Paul had many Christians put to death prior to his conversion. Yet, after he came to a personal relationship to Jesus, he repented (had a change of heart and mind) and became the greatest apostle of Jesus that ever existed. He then loved and served his fellow Christians. Also he wrote much of the New Testament. 13 books of it have been ascribed to him.

What a great loss it would have been if his fellow Christians had not forgiven him.

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Hi @paidion. One thing I recently realized is that in Matthew 18 (and Luke 17, recalling the same event, I think) Jesus says if someone sins against you and repents you must forgive him. Now, get this: a muder is a sin “against” the murder victim, not his loved ones. Sure it causes terrible pain to the victim’s loved ones, but if we’re being technical, then I don’t think the sin is against them. So I’m not sure they’d be obligated to oppose the murderer’s execution even if the murderer told them he was sorry.

“Repentance” is much more than being sorry. It’s having a change of heart and mind.

This is a quibble.

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Well, if you are really being “technical” then what you’ve stated is incorrect, i.e., if you touched the one you touched the whole — consider the Dinah incident of the OT.

No. It’s an important reality.

Well…certainly they are under no “obligation” to do so. But wouldn’t it be the loving thing to do?

Please quote the relevant verses.

You can google it qaz

Mk 10:8-9 …and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

If you murdered my wife you have separated us — therefore your offense is against us.

If you claim the Bible supports some ethical position, the onus is on you to quote the relevant verses.

Using Jesus’ poetic language about marriage to argue that murder is a sin against the deceased person’s spouse (and therefore the survivor must forgive the murderer who repents) is strained. Paul of course said that in Christ Jesus there’s no male and female, yet gave separate rules for males and females.

But lets assume you’re right about the ethical implications of the “one flesh” verse you cited. That would only apply to people whose spouses were murdered. If an unmarried person was murdered, his/her mother, father, children, siblings wouldn’t have to forgive the murderer.

Nah qaz… sometimes you are just too lazy expecting everyone to spoon feed you; it’s not rocket science. Do you think you could murder a member of ‘the mob’ and not have the greater whole offended at you — seriously!?

My only contention is against your stupid notion that the only offended is the murdered victim… well the murdered one has no opportunity to forgive do they? If I shot up all your loved ones in front of you and you weren’t on some level grievously offended I’d say that would only reflect your ODD personality.

So you’re going to claim the Bible supports something, but you refuse to quote the relevant verses to back up your position. That’s either laziness or the texts you claim support your position do not exist. In the time it took you to write out this reply could you not have copy and pasted the verses?

You’re making a straw man. I didn’t say the only “offended” person is the murder victim.

But, according to the Bible, Jesus does not say that one must forgive only those who sinned against one. He also says in more general terms that one must forgive others for their transgressions or if you have anything against anyone. Certainly murder is a transgression or something one has against another, so it would qualify as something one should forgive, whether the victim is related to one or not.

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)

“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." (Matthew 6:15)

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” (Mark 11:25)

This is ridiculous qaz… you’re using semantics to claim I’m using “a straw man” but even an alleged straw-man blows over your argument. You claim ONLY the murdered party is offended against, and thus in such a case no connected family can be offended against, whereas I maintain such is possible.

Jesus appeals to the Father… “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” — WHAT!? According to your argument — the murder of God’s son wasn’t an offense against the Father because ONLY Jesus was killed. IF such were true then WHY on earth did Jesus so pray as he did, i.e., what’s the Father got to be all knotted up and offended about, He wasn’t the one sinned against; apparently?? IMO your rationale is suspect and doesn’t stack up.

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You’re changing my argument to suit yours. The issue is who the sin of murder is against, not who it “offends”. If someone blasphemes I find it offends i.e. it offends me. That doesn’t mean it’s a sin against me.

At least according to trinitarianism (and I am a trinitarian), Jesus is God, so you’re making a bad comparison. The man whose daughter is murdered is not a member of the same being as his daughter.