Forgiving or Enabling?


How many times must a Christian be robbed, abused or cheated on before they stop turning the other cheek and start drawing a line in the sand? When does a steady stream of grace and forgiveness become an open door to sin and injustice?

A good friend of mine asked me this question last week, and I’ve been stewing over it ever since. I know what society would say—push back, sue, call the police, get a restraining order—but what would God say, and why?

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. [Matt. 18:21-22]

Does Jesus really mean that if my wife starts cheating I should wait for 490 acts of infidelity before asking for a divorce? Does he want me to get beaten up 490 times before calling the police? Is this number really God’s line in the sand?    Continue reading

Love and War

love and war

Am I the only person that sees all the worms crawling out of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s can? What do we do with a Christian pastor plotting to assassinate a world leader?

My first instinct is to stand up and applaud. Put the hammer down, Dietrich! Burn those Nazis. Free the concentration camps. Show the world that Christians can do more than smile and give really good back rubs.

Justice is a human instinct. Everything in us resonates with the need for wrongs to be set right. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. That’s God’s law, and it is good. God’s people have always resonated with a need for justice and a frustration with its delay. Just read the Psalms.

But then there’s this other thing . . .  Continue reading