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from a christian perspective, people unrepentant, and know they are wrong, should be forgiven

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 438 times Debate No: 58411
Debate Rounds (3)
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from a christian perspective, people who are unrepentant, and know they are wrong, should be forgiven

should this be the case?

it is common for people, including christians, to assume that it is automatic, that we must forgive everyone, automatically. but if you do a little research on it, the answer is not so clear. in my research, it seems most reputable scholars say you do not have to forgive, and some even say it's wrong to do. it is usually fluffy do good perspectives that just say forgive em all period.

still, i argue, the most meritorious choice is to forgive all evem if in no way required. the main reason is the logic of "the measure with which you use will be measured unto you" it is unfortunate that we might only measure differently to someone merely because we dont want measured against in an undesirable way. this helps us at our human level, and maybe there is something to be said about forgiving for its own sake.
also, while a person may be stubbornly unrepentant, at some level they probably do not know what they do (though this is debateable), and "forgive them father, they know not what they do" becomes an ideal we should strive for.

there are other close runner up approaches: 'if God forgives you, i do' and 'forgive them all and it's required to do by God'

here is a typical argument, and while it's a catholic arguing, it's not just a catholic who could or would argue it:

We arenA533;t obligated to forgive people who do not want us to. This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks that people have regarding the topic. People have seen "unconditional" forgiveness and love hammered so often that they feel obligated to forgive someone even before that person has repented. Sometimes they even tell the unrepentant that they have preemptively forgiven him (much to the impenitentA533;s annoyance).

This is not what is required of us.

Consider Luke 17:3A533;4, where Jesus tells us, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, A533;I repent,A533; you must forgive him."

Notice that Jesus says to forgive him if he repents, not regardless of whether he does so. Jesus also envisions the person coming back to you and admitting his wrong.

The upshot? If someone isnA533;t repentant, you donA533;t have to forgive him.

If you do forgive him anyway, that can be meritorious, provided it doesnA533;t otherwise have bad effects (e.g., encouraging future bad behavior). But it isnA533;t required of us that we forgive the person.

This may strike some people as odd. They may have heard unconditional love and forgiveness preached so often that the idea of not indiscriminately forgiving everybody sounds unspiritual to them. They might even ask, "But wouldnA533;t it be more spiritual to forgive everyone?"

I sympathize with this argument, but there is a two-word rejoinder to it: God doesnA533;t.

Not everybody is forgiven. Otherwise, weA533;d all be walking around in a state of grace all the time and have no need of repentance to attain salvation. God doesnA533;t like people being unforgiven, and he is willing to grant forgiveness to all, but he isnA533;t willing to force it on people who donA533;t want it. If people are unrepentant of what they know to be sinful, they are not forgiven.

Jesus died once and for all to pay a price sufficient to cover all the sins of our lives, but God doesnA533;t apply
his forgiveness to us in a once-and-for-all manner. He forgives us as we repent. ThatA533;s why we continue to pray "Forgive us our trespasses," because we regularly have new sins that we have repented ofA533;some venial and some mortal, but all needing forgiveness.
there are more formidable argument against automatic forgiveness:
we do say "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who tresspass against us". one might argue, it says we are to forgive here. but the implied point is that we forgive when they ask for it, or something. not automatically.

as the catholic encyclopdia says, though it's not limited to catholics, but does explain the orthodox christian approach to it. under contrition it says forgiveness implies contrition. and it wasn't until the reformation that people started to act as if that wasn't the case. 'forgive' started to have new meaning.
also, as a pope said, though ti wouldn't be only a pope who'd say it
"Properly understood, justice constitutes, so to speak, the goal of forgiveness. In no passage of the Gospel message does forgiveness, or mercy as its source, mean indulgence towards evil, towards scandals, towards injury or insult. In any case, reparation for evil and scandal, compensation for injury, and satisfaction for insult are conditions for forgiveness."


From a Christian perspective ALL should be forgiven. From God's perspective ALL are guilty. So whose forgiveness should we seek? God's or Christian's? As a Christian we are to forgive all but God is no Christian. God is Christ himself. The debt is owed to Christ and he is the only one who can truly forgive that debt. And as you pointed out one of the conditions for a christian's debt to be cleared, is for that Christian to clear all debts owed to said Christian. Threse no way of getting around that calling. Yes all should be forgiven if you are not God/Christ. Judgement is for God alone, no matter how convinced we are, we are never righteous in doing so.
Debate Round No. 1


so are you like the poster in comments, who misunderstood what side i'm on?

or do you draw issue with the fact that i said we are not required to forgive, but that we should?

cause it's almost like we agree.

if you draw issue like that, i might point you to the quoted text, how he argues we are not required to forgive. i would then note, that even he said it could be meritorious to forgive anyway. i would also point out the quotes at the end, mostly the catholic stuff, which isn't limited to just catholics. that says we don't have to forgive. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't


lefillegal1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.


lefillegal1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
cant tell what side ur on..
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had a stronger argument and Con forfeited first.