The Need To Forgive God ........... UM!
The Need To Forgive God ........... UM!
Several years ago a young man in the church approached me and ask me to meet with a young lady twenty-one years of age. We will call the lady Helen. I was told that the the lady was a Christian and that she was having emotional and spiritual difficulty. He stated that he thought anger was the issue but he did not know what the person was angry about. He wisely stated that he did not think he could properly disciple her. I accepted the discipleship responsibility with the stipulation that this young man do team discipleship with me so he could learn to disciple people in spiritual need. He accepted and today is excellent in discipling and helping his Christian brethern.
During the first meeting I had the young lady fill out proper paperwork and then I ask the person to tell me what was happening. After hearing the young lady and asking many fact finding questions I learned that several things: 1) She madea credible profession of faith and actually worked with young people in the church; 2) She was an only child; 3) Her parents had both been killed in an automobile accident 14 months earlier; 4) She was a college student; 5) She was angry that she was left alone in the world without parents; 6) She was attending, as directed by her pastor, counseling sessions with a "Christian counselor"; however, 6) She was frustrated and did not see any progress with the counselor she had been seeing after fifteen long weeks.
Needless to say it was obvious that she had a great sense of loss and that she had been through much grief over the death of her parents. Her grief process had been rather orderly. Shortly after the funeral she had reorganized her life rather quickly after her parents death. Her life consisted of her continued working with the youth of the church as well as having started college on time, and working woth the family lawyer in settling her parents estate.
Well I began to question what Helen was angry about. She said she was angry with God because he took her parents. After inquiring with her about this as well as when she started feeling and noticing her anger I was startled! Helen stated that five months ago she had attended lunch with a friend that suggested that she may have anger " penned up inside somewhere" and that she may need to see someone to help her handle the anger "just in case it started showing itself in the future". Helen, at the suggestion of her friend, set an appointment, met with her pastor who gave her a business card to call a "Christian counselor" which the church used.
Errors and wrongs were beginning to stack up against Helen. What is sad is that she did not even know it. Can you list the wrongs and errors happening here. Well here are at least three:
1. Power of suggestion of one person upon another persons mind
2. A Pastor failing to lead the sheep
3. Seeking outside help that does not practice biblical discipleship and counseling
But that is not the worst of it. Hold on to your chair , or grab a seat and set down because the the "Christian counselor" assessed her situation and as part of her therapy she "comfirmed" to Helen that indeed she was angry. The counselor then went on to give her horrible and sinful direction and instruction. The counselor stated to Helen that in order to overcome any bitterness and anger she should pray and let God know that she was forgiving Him for taking her parents and leaving her alone in this world without family. In this prayer she was to let God know that she would no longer hold what He did to her against Him.
Now you may be shaking your head, or may have fallen on the floor. But folks that is what you get when pastors do not fulfill their responsibility. This dear lady received instruction directing her to profane the Lord of glory! The idea that she was to "forgive God" is not found in scripture by way of proof text, implication nor inference. It is simple a "strange fire" and a profaning the character of God being contrary to the scripture. God is holy, God cannot sin, He is "of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong" (Hab. 1:13). WE can rest assure that God is of such character as this. We can rest assured that He always does what is right and that he doeth all things well (Mk7:37; 1 Sam 15:29; Rev 15:3). Therefore God NEVER needs to be forgiven, not even in times such as Helen has faced.
It is not any wonder that Helen did not see her counseling helping her. Her counsel was leading her to see God as less than holy. Her worship was being hindered for she could not give him thanks in all things as she was directed to do in the scriptures. She could not thank God in one breath and then say God I forgive you in the next. It was and is illogical. No wonder she was confused and upset. You and I would be too, don't you think?
The counsel given to this lovely young lady was most absurd and led her to the point of blasphemy. The instruction given her was no more than a move to manipulate the mind in order to accomplish a sense of peace that is really no peace at all. "Christian counselors" that use such manipulation need to stop counseling until they are trained properly in the sufficienicy of scripture. To be properly instructed in biblical counseling and theology will be such that they will know who God is, His character and how His character connects with his word for the Christians instruction and correction in righteousness!
In concluding I am pleased to let you know that Helen quickly saw the error in what she was being instructed to do. She has since understood that all things are in the providence of God and come by His fatherly hand. I was blessed to be in a service with her where she gave testimony to the goodness of God even in the death of both parents. She holds no anger or hatred towards God. Her college training is over and she continues to be useful in the kingdom of Christ.
Helen has learned to think through things for herself and not to let the power of suggestion of another person affect her. She has understood that a true pastor leads the sheep and protects them from such blasphemy as she recieved from the hands of this approved "Christian counselor". She is aware that God is holy and that He never rneeds to be forgiven.Note: The story in this writing is true, However it has been flattened out so that the people involved cannot be identified.
Examples showing forgiving God is a common counseling practice.
By David Sielaff, Director, October 2003
Forgive God? How absurd! The very idea may seem ridiculous, even offensive to some people. However, Jeremiah and other prophets can be cited as examples of powerful spiritual personalities who have held a temporary resentment toward God for the judgments He brought down because of the sins and evils committed by His chosen people, Israel and Judah. The punishments often seemed worse than the crime, in their eyes.
Truly, forgiving God is never necessary, and yet ... have you had some residue, deep inside, of a secret resentment, even a hatred against God for the situations you find yourself in throughout your life? Or perhaps a loved one or an innocent stranger, perhaps a child, has suffered horribly, all because God did not rescue them or prevent evil from happening. Even after we understand God’s message that Christ has saved us from the foundation of the world, there is often some lingering resentment about evil in the world, evil we have suffered, evil our loved ones have suffered, evil our neighbors have suffered, evil from nature (that we label as "acts of God") and the evils that the innocent in the world suffer. There are billions of such people who endure lives of constant suffering without cause. They suffer — every hour — of every day — without relief — for their entire lives.
Wounds Not Healed By Time: The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness
Abstract: Wounds Not Healed By Time: The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness examines the meanings of revenge, justice, forgiveness, repentance, and reconciliation. In doing so, it draws on religious traditions, psychology, psychotherapy, moral philosophy, and the personal experiences of both perpetrators and of victims.Christianity, Judaism, and Islam call for forgiveness and repentance in our relations with others. Yet, there are significant differences between them as to when and whom to forgive. Is forgiving always more moral than refusing to forgive? Is it ever immoral to forgive? When is repentance a precondition for forgiveness, and what does repentance entail? Wounds Not Healed by Time explores these questions in diverse contexts, ranging from conflicts in a marriage and personal slights we experience every day to enormous crimes such as the Holocaust. The author also applies insights on forgiveness and repentance to the Middle East, postapartheid South Africa, interreligious relationships, the criminal justice system, forgiving God, and self-forgiveness.Wounds Not Healed By Time also provides practical strategies to help us forgive and repent, preparing the way for healing and reconciliation between individuals and groups. "It is my belief," Schimmel concludes, "that the best balm for the resentment, rage, guilt, and shame engendered by human evil lies in finding the proper balance between justice, repentance, and forgiveness."
From profanus, "before (i.e. outside) the temple," therefore unholy, polluted, secular, is of frequent occurrence (verb and adjective) in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It occurs as the translation of ḥōl in the King James Version only in Ezek (22:26, the Revised Version (British and American) "common"; 42:20; 44:23; 48:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "for common use"); as the translation of ḥālāl in Lev_21:7, Lev_21:14, the Revised Version margin "polluted"; and Eze_21:25, where, for the King James Version "thou profane wicked prince of Israel," the Revised Version (British and American) has "thou, O deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel." "To profane" (ḥālal) is seen in Lev_18:21; Lev_19:8; Neh_13:17, Neh_13:18; Psa_89:39; Isa_43:28; Eze_22:8, Eze_22:26, etc. "Profaneness" in Jer_23:15 (ḥănuppāh) is in the American Standard Revised Version "ungodliness." In the New Testament "profane" occurs in the sense of unholy, godless, regardless of God and divine things (1Ti_1:9; 1Ti_4:7; 1Ti_6:20; 2Ti_2:16; Heb_12:16), and "to profane," or violate, in Mat_12:5; Act_24:6. The verb is frequent in Apocrypha in 1 Macc (1:43, 45, 63; 2:34, etc.; also in 2 Macc 8:2; 10:5; compare 2 Esdras 15:8; Judith 4:3, 12; 1 Macc 1:48; 2 Macc 4:13). In numerous cases the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "profane" for other words and phrases in the King James Version, as for "to prostitute" (Lev_19:29), "an hypocrite" (Isa_9:17), "pollute" (Num_18:32; Eze_7:21), etc.