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Archive for the ‘forgiveness’ Category

In the Presence of my Enemies Gracia Burnham

 

As we see the increase of Islamic terrorism worldwide, this story needs to be heard more than ever. It is a powerful story of forgiveness and of God’s grace and mercy. The book is an account of Martin and Gracia Burnham, who were missionaries in the Philippines that were captured by Muslim radicals in 2001 and held as hostages in the jungle for over a year. The story is told by Gracia, who survived the ordeal. Her husband was killed during the raid by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that finally freed (and for some, killed) the hostages. Between the time of her capture and the final liberation by the military, the Burnham has gone through seventeen firefights and countless other artillery shelling and terrible ordeals with the jungle. I was drawn by Gracia’s honesty of her shortcomings and struggle during her journey. She was honest in the book of how she felt, including her feeling that God has betrayed her and how she finally coped with the kidnapping. She was also honest about how she felt about the terrorist, and quite understandably. But perhaps most disturbing was her honest portrayal of what drove Abu Sayyaf, the terrorist group that kidnapped her and her husband. It is a frightening ideology of hate and readers but this will come at no surprise for those familiar with the ideology of Al Qaeda and jihad. Although the topic is sobering, the book is by no means hopeless, for as the book progresses you will see the faith of Martin and Gracia grow and being lived out of what it means to bless your enemies. The book also manages to have some funny moments with Gracia’s sense of humor coming out in the book and at times her sarcasm towards the irony around her. You will laugh—and you will cry. Readers will likely be tearful of the moment in the book when her husband is killed—and her final rescue. The book also has a lengthy account of her time after the hostage situation, and how the Lord has worked through this event. An excellent book that I totally recommend, a beautiful testimony of the Gospel applied and a moving account of what it means to be a Christian—even in the presence of one’s enemy.

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Crescent Lake China

 

Read: Colossians 3:12-17
Reflection

 

Q: What are the qualities that the Lord is convicting you to work on in verses 12-13?

 

Q: What is the relationship between the characteristics in verses 12-13 and love that is mentioned in verses 14?

 

Q: Does Christ and His Word have its work in you to love those around you more (cf. John 17:17)?

 

Reminder: Christ’s Word is the source and fuel for us to be able to love and forgive others.

 

Real Talk with God:

- Adoration of God’s Promises that His Word dwells in us and changes us.

- Confession of anything we are not doing in verses 12-13.

- Thanksgiving for His forgiveness of our sins.

- Supplication that God’s Word would richly dwell within us to have the right motive in how we behave in our relationship.

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INTRODUCTION

To begin with, it is this author’s perspective that when wronged by others, Christian must forgive the other person in light of Christ work on the cross.  That is, when presented with a situation where a believer has been violated, the individual in this case must no longer hold PERSONALLY the wrong against the wrong doer.  It must be clarified that holding this position does NOT mean the wrong doer has gotten off “scotch free” so to speak.  God in the end is the ultimate Judge (cf. Revelation 20:11-12).

CONDITIONAL VERSE PROOF TEXT

A verse that is used for conditions not to forgive is Luke 17:3:

“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3)

The main hinge being the portion “If he repents, forgive him”. The form of this claim being:

IF A, THEN B.

A: HE REPENTS

B: FORGIVE HIM

And the argument goes on with if he does not repent, do not forgive him. The logical form being:

IF A, THEN B.

NOT A.

THEREFORE, NOT B.

A: HE REPENTS

B: FORGIVE HIM

The question this author wants to note is: what form of argument is being built from Luke 17:3 for conditional forgiveness?  And more importantly, is this form of argument valid?

The above logic form of argument of course commits a logical fallacy of denying the antecedent.  It is invalid.

The only two valid form would be as follows (the INDIRECT AND DIRECT FORM) but it would not support conditional forgiveness:

IF A, THEN B.

NOT B.

THEREFORE, NOT A.

And

IF A, THEN B.

A.

THEREFORE, B.

A: HE REPENTS

B: FORGIVE HIM

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