Evil and evangelism: T. Payne

Tony Payne re-thinks his response to the classic atheist argument in Disproving God (The Sola Panel):
1. An all-powerful God could eliminate all evil and suffering.
2. An all-good, all-loving God would want to eliminate all evil and suffering.
1 + 2 = 3. Given that evil and suffering are everywhere in our world, the all-powerful, all-good, all-loving God does not exist.

Forgiving everyone

Forgiveness is not about forgetting. Nor is it about excusing. Forgiveness is also not a feeling.

It's a decision modeled after God's own forgiveness of us.

Even though it was wrong, and even while we remember, we decide to forgive. The feelings may or may not follow later, and we may never forget what was done, especially if it was traumatic for us.

But do we need to forgive everybody, especially someone who hasn't repented of their wrongdoing to us?

To be clear, there is a big difference between reconciliation and forgiveness.

We should forgive all unilaterally, regardless of their repentance, because Christ died for us, and everyone, even while we were his enemies. Christ brought forgiveness for everybody on the cross even though many do not repent and so remain in a broken relationship with God.

But reconciliation does require repentance.

This means the incident may stand in the way of your relationship even though you have forgiven them, because restoring the broken relationship requires them to turn away from what they did and apologize properly.

Bruce Burgess, National Director of PeaceWise,

Restoring relationships

Re: '...if you stand praying and there remember you have something against your brother, first go and be restored to your brother, then come and offer your prayer'

How to 'go':

- go praying
- aim for face to face, sooner or later
- plan your words and anticipate reactions
- choose the right time for them
- believe the best about the other person unless facts prove otherwise
- use gracious tone and body language
- be quick to listen
- own what's yours to own
- be assertive without attacking - use "I" messages
- bring hope through the gospel
- breathe grace

Bruce Burgess, National Director of PeaceWise,

Seven elements of a proper apology

(7 A's of confession)
- Address everyone involved
- Avoid if, but, and maybe
- Admit specifically
- Acknowledge the hurt
- Accept the consequence
- Alter your behaviour
- Ask for forgiveness (and Allow time)

Bruce Burgess, National Director of PeaceWise,