What about forgiveness?

The heinous crimes that have occurred recently in places like Bosnia, Rwanda, Tokyo, and in Oklahoma have many Christians wrestling with the concept of forgiveness. How can one "forgive" such dreadful attacks against men, women, and children. Just what does it mean to forgive? What role does forgiveness play in healing broken lives and restoring social order?

Some of the confusion on this subject comes from a misapprehension of what Jesus taught and did. After all, when Jesus was warned that Herod might kill him, he replied, "Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected" (Luke 13:32). On another occasion, speaking of the faith of children, he said, "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:6).

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