Rob Asghar of Catching the America Bug posts an insightful piece on The Politics of Forgiveness at RedBlueChristian today.
In arguing the state cannot use forgiveness as a component of its foreign policy, Asghar suggests the evangelical (his word, not mine) alternative of "if the 'evil' nations of the world will still not be peaceful, let us simply bomb them earlier and longer and harder" is worse. He says ...It is obvious that the Church cannot promote forgiveness as a foreign policy weapon. But its leaders and members have been too timid or too feckless to tell others that divinely inspired forgiveness is necessary precisely because conventional approaches to war and peace and love and hate are so utterly inadequate.I disagree with his blanket assignment of the "bomb them" foreign policy to evangelicals; there are plenty of non-evangelicals who hold the same view.
In my humble opinion, Asghar and many others on the Christian-left make two mistakes when bifurcating the evangelical: first, they seem to presuppose peace is an achievable end (see Matthew 10:34) and, second, they presuppose much more about who and what evangelicals are than their knowledge base allows.
The real solution, as far as this preacher is concerned, is to get our hearts off the things of this world and focus on the things above, which are in heaven where the Lord is, seated at the right hand of glory and honor and power. Then the joy and the peace which passes understanding will be seen by all as we proclaim His excellent mercies in His marvelous light.
All in all, though, Rob's post is thought provoking and that was his purpose, I believe; read it for yourself ...
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POST NOTE: Russell Moore defines forgiveness in this way ...In other words, authentic believers have a hope that the world does not have.In Scripture, forgiveness is never sentimental. It is not "that's okay, don't worry about it." Forgiveness doesn't point us to how civilized we are, or how sweet-tempered we should be. Forgiveness is a declaration that we have an eschatology.