The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Grace — Forgiveness — Faith — Repentance

Grace is forgiveness… where we are forgiven of things we don’t deserve forgiveness of. Religiosity is where we first have to do certain things to attain the forgiveness of things we don’t deserve forgiveness of.

True faith is to believe that God accepts all. Misguided faith is the faith that says… my personal faith as a requirement I’ve met grants me grace, forgiveness and acceptance — it’s the mindset that turns faith into a requirement… that’s religianity — that’s death.

Gracious forgiveness is in no way controlled by nor dependent upon a personal relationship for such to be true, effective and unilaterally dispensable. True forgiveness in the heart of an aggrieved party can by one’s own choice be given… regardless of the offender’s position on the matter.

Have you never seen a TV report where an aggrieved party of a murdered loved one somewhere in their heartbrokenness finds the graciousness to release forgiveness towards the assailant? I for one can in nowise sit in self-righteous judgement and declare the aggrieved party has not truly forgiven the offender — who would I be to do such a thing?

Now consider…

Mk 11:25-26 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

For such forceful words above Jesus makes NO mention of repentance — Jesus forgave at every opportunity… we can do no less.

Now as to repentance… where Jesus DOES demand such it is in relation to forgiveness of one’s brother, i.e., between brethren, aka believers — because they should know better.


Seems I really struck a nerve Dave… which is great as it prompts thought, even though I might not so much go with some of your attached conclusions, but that’s ok — that’s what dialogue is all about. I also think it’s great that despite your reservations, or even protestations, you at least check these things out even if not getting the full thrust of it, so good for you.

It’s not a case of better but evolving. If one comes to terms with having certain of one’s core doctrines challenged and then in honest reflection rebuffed so as to start working through certain cognitive dissonance or even denials that inevitably arise to where you realise God actually accepts all with NO if, but’s or maybe’s, well then you’ll feel less threatened by views outside the box involving the box.

THAT certainly is an errant rendering of the reality of all things ‘AD70’ AND knowing you know what I’ve said about those things on this board for sooo long is a little disappointing, but to be honest Dave not totally unexpected.

Unfortunately futurism in its many flavours pretty much postpones the promises until the end — the ONLY difference being what’s being determined as the end… for you it’s OUR time-space universe, whereas for me it was THEIR old covenant world. The beauty of my position is that the fulfilled view sees God’s grace as active throughout all time… both backwards and forwards, period.

Now with regards to the actual OP… are you inclined to hold onto an offence and NOT forgive where you judge there is no discernible repentance? Is that somewhere close your position? If not, can you elaborate.

Hi Davo and Dave
I’m interested where this discussion will lead but I can’t help emphasising the following quote which I have read, and re-read, and read again:

I wish you a long and happy life Davo, but when the time comes, you could do worse than have the above quote engraved on your tombstone.

As for:

If Dave will forgive my interjection (even though I do not repent of my interjection), I believe that I share Davo’s position that God calls us to forgive even if there is no discernible repentance, just as Christ did whilst being tortured to death on the cross. I look forward to Dave’s reply.

John, I hope any quote put on my future tombstone will be a more concise one! :wink:

I readily admit to not being the brightest lamp on the porch nor even the sharpest tool in the shed. I’ve read and re-read the OP and Dave’s post and have no idea what the debate is about.

Dave, could you put your position in simpler terms so that this poor Scotsman can understand where you are going with it?


There may be other names for the movement? I’l let those that are involved in it state the position, as I don’t want to caricaturize it in any way.
There is a vid at the beginning of this thread (see link) as well as a discussion.

Davo - no, you haven’t struck a nerve - on the contrary, I’d say I struck one. I’m not at all threatened by your position - I do find it interesting, thoughtful. I’m very happy with my take on Christianity, and am encouraged greatly by others who through history have held to Christianity as the hope of the world. The foundations I have cannot be shaken by what you are presenting; my problem is that I cannot see how undoing those foundations could lead to anything better. It would take much much more than a new ‘movement’ to make me think otherwise.

What words are you referring to, Qaz? What image did I post? In this thread?

Oh. Those are my words.

I love your emphasis on God’s willingness to forgive, and believe I should always be willing to forgive.

But most may question what it means to hold that the Bible describes a God who “accepts all.” You know it often portrays God as not “accepting” everything, in the sense of pouring out judgment, e.g. the Flood or AD70. Indeed, in that sense, doesn’t it also portray Jesus as not always pronouncing forgiveness, but e.g. declaring judgment upon the unrepentant leaders in God’s family? Is your meaning that this was not the expression of God’s character during the Bible’s story, but now is his stance?

You are right, Bob, but wasn’t the judgment executed in AD 70? And do you not also believe that the unrepentant will all eventually repent post mortem?

1 Like

For those interested - we had a long, detailed and pretty much civil discussion of this that will bring you up to speed on this thread. Here 'tis:

I agree 100%, however… do you require repentance BEFORE you can forgive :question:

So, relative to the OP and your happy take on Christianity… are you inclined to hold onto an offence and NOT forgive where you judge there is no discernible repentance :question:

No, when I am healthiest, I realize unforgiveness only punishes me.
I only doubt that the Bible always portrays God as pouring sunshine on the unrepentant.

I don’t understand the question.

Luke 17:3,4 Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him."

These are the words of Jesus. It appears that He gave repentance (a change of heart and mind) as a condition for forgiveness of wrongdoing.

People seem to confuse “forgiveness” with “pardoning”.
To pardon a person who had done you wrong, you dismiss any ill feelings you may have had against him, and you make no requirements of him such as demanding restitution. You do not require any repentance from him (a change of heart and mind concerning what he had done to you). But the friendship you once had with him will probably not be restored.

Not so with forgiveness. If you have truly forgiven the offender, your relationship with him will have been restored. And this requires repentance on his part in order for that to occur. And if he repents, he will be of the mindset to try to make up for the wrong he had done.

God does not accept everyone just as He is. He wants people to become good and loving. He has provided the sacrifice of His beloved Son in order to make His enabling grace available for sinners, having repented, to overcome their sinful inclinations (inclinations that tend to harm other people or themselves).

If people will not accept God’s enabling grace and change their ways, God will not accept them.
They will have to undergo God’s correction, and that may be very severe in some cases. But eventually all will repent, no matter how long it takes. For more stubborn ones, this could be a very long time!

1 Like

Didn’t Jesus speak highly of John the Baptist “greater then any OT prophet” (paraphrase) & didn’t John encourage people to first “repent” before he baptized them?

Of course God wants people to turn away from their sins, and then be grafted into the body of Christ by baptism.
Those are things Jesus did not and cannot do for us. To simply say ‘Jesus did it all’ says nothing - until you describe WHAT he did for us, and the NT, as believed by Christians, tells us all about. And it is glorious.
We don’t need a new revelation imho

Any time we think we know how God wants us to Judge, We Are Wrong.

1 Like