Monday, August 27, 2012

Forgiveness With Punishement?

Most of us are aware of the punk rock group Pussy Riot who was arrested in Russia for disrupting a Russian Orthodox Church worship service to demonstrate against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The protesters were sentenced to two years in a labor camp. Church leaders tried to clear up what they consider to be misconceptions about whether or not they forgave the group for their riot.
‘The church has been accused of not forgiving them,’ the cleric said. ‘We did forgive them from the very start. But such actions should be cut short by society and authorities.’ His view was shared by Archpriest Maxim Kozlov: ‘We are praying and hoping these young women and all the people shouting in front of the court building realise their acts are awful. And despite this the church is asking for mercy within the limits of law.’ ...Read More
There are two issues--the first, which we will consider later this week is the relationship between church and state that made the church an appropriate place to stage a protest against state leadership. However my question today is:
Is it possible to truly forgive someone and still desire their punishment?
Archpriest Kozlov's statement, "despite this, the church is asking for mercy within the limits of law. I think the apostle Paul would reject limiting grace to the confines of the law. The confines of the law are precisely what grace circumvents. Christian forgiveness is radical. It no longer seeks restitution because it believes restitution has been paid. It no longer seeks punishment because it believes punishment has been applied. We either believed Christ's sacrifice was sufficient or we do not. We can't believe Christ's sacrifice was sufficient enough that we can forgive so long as the one we've forgiven still has to suffer for their misdeed.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that with your statement. The earthly side of humans have a very hard time remembering this. If we are truly desiring to be Christ like then we must offer Grace without restitution or punishment being required. As you said this a very radical way of acting for earthly beings and why we must call upon the Holy Spirit to lead us! Praise God that he sent Jesus Christ to pay for our sins!