Second Chances. And, Third, Fourth, Fifth….
January 3, 2011
As I watched the video clip above, I was struck by two things. First, I haven’t heard much about Michael Vick’s dog-fighting offenses from conservatives until President Obama said something nice about him and second, Tucker Carlson’s definition of Christian is much different from mine. From what he said in the video, he believes in second chances for himself but not for others. Unfortunately, he’s not alone in that. Sometimes we Christians can be so hard-hearted it’s ridiculous. Especially when you consider what our rabbi had to say about on the subject. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” and “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift“. Later in Matthew, we read “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times“. And, as I’ve said before, that’s not a literal 77 or even 7 times 70; He means that there’s no limit on how many times you forgive someone. Easier said than done, I know. But, where did you get the idea it would be?
I’ve said this before, but I am a Christian. That means I follow the way of Christ and His words as I quoted above show the fallacy of this hardness of heart. Everyone gets forgiven. Not just those like us, those we like, those we agree with and certainly not just us; Everyone. I suppose this lack of forgiveness comes from the Old Testament and Mosaic Law; eye for an eye and all that. But, wasn’t the whole point of Jesus to give us a better way to live than the old covenant represented by the law. He brought a new covenant, one built on love and forgiveness. So, to my ears, statements like Tucker’s that Michael Vick should have been executed aren’t very Christian. But, they are far too common.