toerrishumantoforgive This past weekend, I drove past a construction site for a condo complex. Now, this is about as common in Atlanta as pine trees and kudzu, but this one had a bit of meaning to me. Fourteen months ago, I was into collecting rocks from jobsites. This site had a lot of stone that had been split up by dynamite, and I got several loads from it.
This was at the same time as my first exchange with Frank "Centurion" Turk. He had posted an essay about Santa Claus, and, truth be known, I never did figure out whether he was for or against Saint Nick. What I do know was that the dialog in the comments was mean, personal, and nasty. I made the comment
" Good Grief. Is this what being a Jesus Worshipper is all about?" Before long, I was being called an atheist, and inducted into to the mudslinging.
So, I went up to the jobsite New Years Day 2006, and when I got home (with the stone) there was another Comment about me on Mr. Turk's blog.
At some point, Mr. Turk apologized to those he had offended in this dialog. But my insight last Saturday was:
Yes, he may have apologized. But did he Forgive?
You hear a lot about apologies, and sometimes you have to wonder what it means. But Jesus Worship is supposed to be about forgiveness. Apology is me oriented, and is designed to make the offending party feel better. But, according to what I have heard, Jesus did not apologize while he was on the cross. (Maybe he should have. A little P.R. with the Romans and he could have continued his teaching)
As some of you may know, I am not a Jesus Worshipper. IMO, Jesus was murdered by the Romans (not the Jews) because he was a trouble maker. It has nothing to do with forgiveness of sin, or life after death.
Nonetheless, the concept of forgiveness is a valid one. To put wrongs in the past and work together in the future has many great practical applications. It also can make you feel a lot better.
Unfortunately, while Jesus Worshippers talk a lot about the forgiveness of Jesus, they don't seem to practice it themselves. (There are some exceptions to this. Some Jesus Worshippers do forgive. The overall observation is based on my experience of living in a culture dominated by Jesus Worship)
februarysurprise On February 5, 2007, Centurion posted another apology. Apparently he didn't think he had been very kind to some of his correspondents, and had the following to say:
And in that spirit, I'd like to do something I think I have learned a lot about over the years: I'd like to apologize to anyone who, in the past, I have not treated in this way. That doesn't include anyone I have banned from this blog's comments as I have been (as the record will underscore) exceedingly patient with those I have dealt with anathemaciously, but it does include some with whom I should have taken a day off before responding to them.
Now, as one who has been banned, I am not covered by this apology.
But then, neither have I been forgiven.
And the condo complex is almost finished. They even had the gate up.