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Perspectives Weekly: Could you forgive a sex-offender?

Jenna Murphy

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are there times when forgiveness doesn’t come easy to you? Is there a particular offense that would take your entire will to pardon?
Last week, we posed this question on Facebook and not surprisingly, sex offenses were among the most common answers.
With that said, we are reminded of the radical nature of forgiveness. If it were easy there would be little merit and we would not get a glimpse of the transformative power of grace. We are asked to imitate Jesus and imitating Him means forgiving your oppressors, your killers.
Chris Pietraszko wrote to us with a reflection on forgiveness:
I wonder if we understand with it means to "forgive." Often times we say, "It is okay...don't worry about it." But that isn't forgiveness that is giving permission. Sin is not okay, and we should worry about it. Forgiveness is saying, "...What you did is not okay, but I will and desire what is good for you." Forgiveness does not ever mean we justify what another person has done, it means that we are able to love our enemies, even when it is most difficult. This would be impossible if it were not Christ's own example - where the worst sin possible (killing the Son of God) was committed, and yet He forgave it right on the spot. If this is the forgiveness that God commands us to share, it certainly is asking a lot of us, isn't it?
This week join host Pedro Guevara Mann and Harry Nigh, a Correctional Services Chaplain and a Mennonite Pastor as well as Deacon Mike Walsh of Friends of Dismas, a ministry of outreach to ex-offenders. St. Dismas was the name of the good thief on the Cross next to Christ whose story will forever remind us of the freeing power of forgiveness. Christ spoke only a few simple words to Him from the Cross and His agony melted into glory. “This day, you will be with me in Paradise”.
Also, in this episode of Perspectives Weekly we have featured a short clip from the documentary A Hard Name. The doc, directed by Alan Zweig, won a Genie award in 2010 and was voted as a top ten audience favourite in the HotDocs film festival. (Be advised that if you want to watch the entire film at some point, it contains language and subject matter that is not suitable for young viewers.)
Certainly, this episode will open your eyes and your heart to the unique plight of those who wound out of woundedness. Join us for Perspectives Weekly Friday, February 24th at 7pm and 11pm ET, 8pm PT.

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