By: Martin Accad
The exodus of Christians from the Middle East and North Africa region has become a well-documented tragedy. Amid all of it, Christians struggle to find the appropriate response to their suffering.
By: Gary Furr
When people look at today's church, they often see legalism and a bland pablum of politics and culture religion. They need to see the gracious, welcoming and boundary-breaching good news of Jesus.
By: Ron Rolheiser
Many churches and civic communities forge a bond within their own ranks by demonizing others, but that path is neither the way of Jesus nor the way of human maturity.
By: Larry Eubanks
You can't use violence, no matter how justified, to interrupt the cycle of violence. In the end, violence can only perpetuate the cycle of violence. So what can stop escalating violence?
By: Leroy Seat
Ten years ago, a man entered an Amish school and shot 10 girls, killing five and leaving one with a severe brain injury. The Amish community's response of grace and forgiveness is a lesson for all.
By: Chuck Summers
We sin against creation on a regular basis. We wipe out animals from their habitats, cut down acres of majestic trees and kill fish with poisoned waters. Is it time to ask for forgiveness from God's creation?
By: Danny Chisholm
The actions of Jared Fogle and Josh Duggar are inexcusable and harmful. Their actions should give us pause to examine our own lives, knowing forgiveness and restoration are available through Christ.
By: Danny Chisholm
Members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church taught us a lesson in forgiveness. The world needs to know there is an alternative to violence. And it isn't more violence.
By: Joe LaGuardia
Only peacemaking and understanding of other faiths will provide a sustainable battlefront against religious, radical fundamentalism - one of the greatest enemies of our time.
By: Terry Austin
As a nation, we've responded to violence with more violence. People, even followers of Jesus, still loudly proclaim that we need to commit even more violence. Where does it end?
By: James Gordon
Jonah hated Nineveh; he wanted its violent inhabitants to get what they deserved. When Jonah fled rather than warn the city about its destruction, it was because he knew God wasn't in the hate business.
By: Jonathan Langley
Remembering rightly the wrongs we have committed or the wrongs committed against us is essential if we are to be reconciled at all. If we forget atrocities, we invite more evil in the future.
By: Ron Rolheiser
When we perceive a threat, we instinctually attack instead of seeking dialogue. We see it in politics, our communities and our churches. Natural instinct doesn't easily honor the gospel, but that's the test.
By: Bill Wilson
When you're dismissed from a church, the wounds are like looking into a rearview mirror. They're often larger than they appear. The way forward requires you to forgive.
By: Nick Lear
While it may be easier to ask for forgiveness than seek permission, it's not a good leadership model for churches. It's worth the time to explain decisions and let people suggest alternatives.
Jacob DeShazer was captured during World War II and spent most of 40 months in solitary confinement. While imprisoned, he acquired a copy of the Bible and learned to forgive.
We frequently utter prayers seeking God's forgiveness, but Scripture reminds us – and we often forget – that God requires something of us before he forgives our sins.
Following protests for and against the George Zimmerman decision, it's time for Christians to encourage restoration. It won't happen overnight, but here's what you can do.
Will D. Campbell, who died last month at 89, was hailed as a maverick. His novel, "The Glad River," deals with the themes of grace and undeserved and unreserved forgiveness.
Simon invited Jesus into his home, but did not treat him with respect. This unnamed woman, without speaking a word, asked Jesus into her heart, and in doing so sought and found forgiveness. Where do you think Jesus would rather be, in Simon’s home or in the woman’s heart? And what does that teach you and me?
Forgiveness is not about ignoring what has happened. Rather, true forgiveness faces what has happened but refuses to allow a burden of bitterness and corrosive anger to grow.
[T]here is something more powerful than broken dreams, disappointment and bad memories, and that is love. With God’s help, and quite frankly only with His help, can we invite those who have hurt us to chart a new course in our relationship. We can build a future based upon the mutual respect and trust needed to repair and restore a ruptured relationship.
In the end, we’re just stewards of the story. “A man had two sons,” is the story of all of us in some archetypal way. We might be the one who asks for what is not quite ours so we can wander off God-knows-where or we might be the lost child who stayed home. The work of a deacon is to love the church and nurture it in its God-given task of sharing the story in kind and winsome ways. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.”
Who is thirsty and hungry? Today, we acknowledge that we are thirsty and hungry. This morning, God invites us to feast upon God’s goodness and pardon. We dare to come to this feast not because of what we have done, and certainly not because we could pay for any of this. We are invited and accepted because of what Jesus has done for us. We just tag along with other sinful pilgrims and say, “We’re with Jesus.” And that is good enough.
Lance Armstrong's confession provided a splendid but largely missed opportunity to talk about sin, confession, forgiveness, redemption and restitution. Do we have moral amnesia?
Forgiveness is about healing. It is a gift of God for his children, and for all who will practice it, it is an opportunity to be able to be free of all those hindrances based on bad relationships once and for all.
People cry out to God for a lot of reasons, don’t they?
We live in a time when the existence of our souls is anything but obvious. To speak of the human soul almost seems archaic.
During this Lenten journey we are called to forty days and nights of remembering, reflecting, and discovering more about being in a covenant relationship with a loving, relational, God.
Do you want to live a more productive, less stressful life in 2012? Whatever has happened in the last 12 months to sour your disposition and cause you pain, here's what you can do.
LANCASTER, Pa. (RNS) Terri Roberts was eating outside with a co-worker on a bright October day when an ambulance wailed nearby and a helicopter swooped overhead.
We all want to be forgiven, don’t we? Whether we’re sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, friends or colleagues. And no relationship can be mended without forgiveness, including our relationship with God.
While many have tried to live true to Jesus' straightforward call to nonviolence, many Christians have found this command unsettling, and perhaps even ridiculous.
As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, let us also remember the event over two thousand years ago, when an innocent man hung on a cross and prayed for his perpetrators, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Kim Phuc, captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo as a 9-year-old girl running naked from her South Vietnam village after being severely burned in a napalm bomb attack, is an adult with a powerful story of forgiveness.
Focusing on forgiveness and conflict resolution that occurred in the aftermath of civil war in Sierra Leone, a documentary illustrates the courage and grace of ordinary people.
A panel appointed by Congress to investigate the financial crisis only sent a handful of cases to the Justice Department. In another case of selective forgiveness, the powerful and wealthy benefit.
Jesus’ love for you doesn’t just flow like a fountain. It’s more like a gusher. So, why not take a drink—today!
When we get to the season of Lent, what we don’t expect is to hear a word of good news. So let me frontload this Lenten sermon with good news, really good news: We come to God not by our perfection but by our imperfection.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just in case Catholics are wondering if a new iPhone app might be able to forgive their sins, the Vatican has issued a clarification: No.
The next time you see somebody at an intersection with a sign that says, Will work for food, or the next time you see a parody of the sign, think of this instead: Will work for peace. Let us commit ourselves to being a part of the will of God that wants peace upon the earth.
WASHINGTON (RNS) For playwright Marcus Gardley, the theater is his pulpit and plays are his sermons.
Most Americans feel the need for more forgiveness in their lives yet many of them believe some behaviors can't be forgiven. Perhaps we can't experience forgiveness because we won't grant it to others.
(RNS) Most Americans have a desire for more forgiveness in their lives, but they are more critical when choosing who to forgive.
We cannot begin to comprehend God's awesome capacity to forgive our deep and profound sins if we do not also have some sense of our sinfulness as well as our human capacity to do good as a minimal level.
A true worshipper, saved by God’s grace, realizes he has escaped catastrophe because of God’s goodness. Such a worshipper comes as Noah did, to declare dependence upon God thorough sacrificial worship.
When we ask Jesus to come through our doors, do you think he would take us up on our invitation? And if he does, will we treat him as our favored guest? After all, he might just bring a few sinners with him.
A sure fact about Jesus is that he made people mad. That is not the first thing we think of when we think about Jesus. We think about Jesus as being nice and kind, but the truth is that Jesus made a lot of people really, really angry.
The word in Hebrew for naked is ’arummin. And the word for clever is ’arum. Clearly a play on words in the original language. We might read it something like this in English: The man and his wife were both nude, and they were not ashamed. Now the serpent was more shrewd.”
The notion of grace and forgiveness is uniquely divine, but we give a human twist to grace. We take that which is free and liberating and make it cost something.
Judas is synonymous with betrayal, yet Jesus knelt before him and washed his feet. While prayer may not change those who betrayed you, it can change you.
Grace is a kind of mercy that we in the church have had a notoriously difficult time handling. We’ve taken that which is free and we’ve made it something to earn. It’s sad in a way because we first come to God seeking forgiveness and the desire to be whole. And then, after experiencing the liberation that only God can bring, we go out and get lost all over again.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are two issues that we encounter throughout the Bible. Whether we like to admit it or not, God does not allow us to avoid or escape the notion that humans need forgiveness.
What are you going to do this week to surprise someone who mistreated you? What difference would it make in your life and theirs? Who can help you respond with compassion, restraint and generosity? What are you going to do to surprise someone whom you have mistreated? What changes will you make in your life? How will you make amends? What will you do to begin the healing process? Who can help you? Let the bread and wine you will hold in your hands in a few minutes help you answer these questions.
It's 95 years ago on Christmas Eve. Several British and German troops broke into an unofficial truce, a spontaneous outbreak of decency. Today, can we learn to set aside our differences?
We often recite The Lord's Prayer in worship but have we really paid attention to the words? Perhaps one of its most troubling portions is that we must commit ourselves to forgiving others.
You see, we really don’t have a choice. And we do it because of the cross. It always comes back to the cross, doesn’t it? If it weren’t for the cross of Christ Jesus, I would want to keep account of every wrong that I ever endured from everyone. I’d want to make them pay not once, but twice for the wrongs they inflicted upon me. In fact, I would feel duty-bound to hold everyone’s feet to the fire, to overlook no wrong and to refuse to forgive. But God didn’t treat me that way.
Today, know that God offers pardon for sin. David came to a point of brokenness for his sin and confessed it to God for what it is: A stain against God and against those who were touched by his sin. When David fell before God and confessed his sin, God forgave him. Do we believe what the Bible tells us about the healing power of reconciliation? That’s the power of the good news! God has given us a way out by offering the hand of forgiveness in Christ.
We must remember and care for our fellow travelers on this beautiful planet and treat them not as competitors, but as if they were Jesus who said that he could be found among the little ones. Proclaiming with Jesus the year of Jubilee is our only hope for restoration.
One can't justify what Lennon said. If you read the apology he issued in a later interview, you get the sense that he didn't see what all the furor was about and it may be that, in a way and in regards to some people, he was just telling the truth when he said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
It's pretty tempting, after the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001, to make the case--based on Jesus' teaching about forgiving an offender 70-multiplied-by-seven times--that serious Christians ought to figure out how to extend that forgiveness to brother bin Laden and his Al Qaeda accomplices.
A few years ago, as I was teaching on Jesus' command to love our enemies, a very perceptive young man asked me, "How far should we go to love our enemies?" Not only was this a thought-provoking question, it was one I had never seriously considered until that moment.
A story that appeared recently in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution set me to thinking about the ethics of attending church as a "seeker."