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Could you forgive someone who murdered your family?

Posted by truthtalklive on October 8, 2008

Today Stu interviews our guest Laura Waters Hinson. Laura Waters Hinson is a filmmaker and photographer based in Washington, DC. She is the founder of Image Bearer Pictures and recently launched the Living Bricks Campaign, a multi-media viewer project to support reconciliation efforts in Rwanda. We also raise the question, Could you forgive a person who murdered your family? More information on “As We Forgive Movie”  As always thanks for listening and we look foward to your comments!!!

 

AFTER THE SHOW CHECK OUT THE PODCAST!

 For our North Carolina Listeners: The movie ” As We Forgive” can be seen tonight at Forsyth Country Day School at 7pm and Tomorrow night Thursday 10/9 at High point University

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73 Responses to “Could you forgive someone who murdered your family?”

  1. Brad said

    Yes. Why? Because Christ lives in me. Of my own will and desire, I could not. But with Christ’s help and grace, I can’t help but do so.

    Christ forgave me, a wretched sinner. How can I not forgive others, no matter the sin?

  2. Maz said

    I would have to, hard as it may be at the time. Christ forgave me my sin, I can do no less for others whatever they did. Unforgiveness can consume people inside.

  3. cds said

    “Murder by Family” by Kent Whitaker

  4. abc's said

    No

  5. A said

    If not, we could justify not forgiving other people for committing other sins. I dare suggest that many poeple do that today by justifying their condemnation of others. We all need a much better understanding of grace and forgiveness. When we truly understand that we were wretched and alienated from Him (Colossians 1), we cannot withhold forgiveness from anyone.

    I like this topic much better than some of the others.

  6. A said

    p-e-o-p-l-e…forgive me

  7. John said

    Congratulations Stu and Mr.Moderator.
    Whether it involves the death of babies or not, the topic of murder in some form is always a satisfying topic of debate. You guys are on a roll[smile].
    One murder makes a villain.
    Millions, a hero.

    WHY would said hypothetical murderer have murdered my family?
    The motivation does indeed make somewhat of a difference, as does the attitude of the murderer in regards to this particular act of murder.
    After all, perhaps my family would have deserved it.
    If not, then how did it happen? Was is premeditated murder, or an awful accident of some kind? A case of mistaken identity, like the way our government bombs civilians in the Middle Eastern lands while trying to hit a hard to reach target?
    Would the murderer even CARE about whether or not they received forgiveness from me?
    From anyone?
    Kindness, understanding, and mercy are wasted on the ungrateful.

  8. F. L. A. said

    I COULD, just like I COULD decide to bite off my own feet, but then, why would I want to?
    “VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY” saith the Lord.-Romans 12:19

  9. Maz said

    John: Hitler wasn’t a hero.

    And whatever the reason the family was murdered we must still forgive whether they want it or not.

  10. John said

    I never said that I thought Hitler was a hero Maz[although there are some rotten people who would disagree with me on that.].
    Being a “hero” often depends on who is doing the judging, doesn’t it?
    The reason, despite not changing the end result, is important.
    Forgiveness in this matter is a delicate, personal decision, not an obligation. Not for me.
    And I am not well known for my sense of forgiveness.
    I can forgive dogs and little children, but rarely anyone else, ever. It depends on many factors.

  11. John said

    And real old people who are loosing their minds.
    I could forgive them too, maybe, depending on what they did.

  12. Stanley said

    Absolutely not. I’d make sure they die painfully.

  13. Mike S said

    Stanley
    You’re showing your true colors now. Spoken like a true survival of the fittest evolutionist. Perfectly fitting to your worldview.

    See you at the game tomorrow? I’ll be there! Go Deacs!

  14. Stanley said

    I’ll forgive whats forgivable. I do unto others as they do unto me. All you gotta do is play nice, and I love playing nice with you. I actually give the benefit of the doubt, and assume you’re a good person, which I think is right. I don’t start things, but I’m not afraid to finish them.

  15. Stanley said

    P.s. GO DEACS!

  16. Tripp said

    I would have to forgive them. But I also expect to be forgiven if I was forced to kill someone who broke into my home with the intent of murdering, kidnapping or raping someone in my family. Because I’m dadgum armed and ready and I’ll shoot to kill.

  17. Whoa….easy there, Tripp. Did you even listen to the show?

    Stanley’s gonna have a field day with that one.

  18. Stanley said

    I couldn’t kill an innocent person even if I was forced. I’d gladly take my life before killing someone who hasn’t wronged me.

  19. I think as long as I never had to see the person again i could forgive them, however I am not sure i could face such a person and bear a christian attitude of forgivness. In retrospect maybe this is not true forgiveness. I do know i could not face such a person and not feel anxious. This subject definitly leaves one to ponder his true Christian spirit. I have some thinking to do.

  20. Stanley said

    I make sure that if my life were a movie, I’d be the good guy, even if my methods are a little “questionable.” See: Captain Malcom Reynolds from Firefly.

  21. Stanley said

    This is probably the best question TTL has asked in a while.

  22. Maz said

    John #10: ”One murder makes a villain.
    Millions, a hero.”
    I mentioned Hitler because of your quote in #7.

  23. Maz said

    Mike Cardinal: It would certainly be a test of ones faith. I know of people who have had a family member killed and have faced that preson in prison and been able to forgive them to their face. There is actually healing power in forgiveness, and it could affect that other person aswell in a way you don’t expect.

  24. Maz said

    One of the best stories of forgiveness is found in the book ”The End of the Spear”, also written in the original book ”Through gates of Splendour” about 5 missionaries that were killed by Indians in the Equadorian jungle.
    He not only forgave the man that speared his father, but Steve lived among the Indians who came to know Christ as their Savior, and adopted the man as his god father!

    Another good story is of Corrie Ten Boon (may be wrong spelling), she met one of the German guards who was in the camp where she and her sister (who died in the camp) were imprisoned, in a Church service one day after the war. She hesitated when she saw him, but the love of Christ overcame her feelings and she was able to forgive him there and then. I believe he was effected greatly by this and was able to ask her forgiveness for what happened. They were both healed of the past.

  25. Kasha said

    Moderator,
    Great show. I agree that most of the comments here don’t seem to be related to the amazing changes in Rwanda, as opposed to some other places like SOmalia, because they are trying to forgive each other and work together to reclaim their country.

    On a related topic, there is a great movie about how the Amish community forgave that crazy guy who killed all those Amish girls at school. True Christian forgiveness in action. It humbles and encourages me.

  26. Maz said

    Kasha: The world saw true forgiveness in action there.

  27. Duncan said

    We’ve all been called by the Lord to turn the other cheek and forgive, as he has forgiven us; however, the reality is that most of us would not in this extreme case, and I (Heaven forbid) most likely wouldn’t either.

    P.S. Stanley and Mike S., you both must be local boys too. See you at the game; I’ll be one of several wearing orange and purple. GOOOOO TIGERS!!!

  28. Stanley said

    The show was about Rwanda? I missed the show, but this fact changes things. I thought we were talking about a common criminal, not a bloodthirsty “government.” That makes the question much more difficult.

  29. Kash said

    Stanley: The issue in Rwanda was that neighbors killed neighbors based on ethnicity. Its a long and sad story of how that situation developed (for which the Dutch colonials share some blame), but the amazing thing is that now they are trying to move past it. It is a model for how age-old ethnic hatreds can be overcome through forgiveness to move to a peaceful future once thought impossible. A lesson for all of us!

  30. Maz said

    I didn’t listen to the show either and came to the same conclusion.
    But still, we have to forgive if we want forgiveness for our own sins from God.
    If we don’t offer forgiveness for someone killing our loved ones, how can God forgive us for killing His Loved One?

  31. Mike S. said

    Duncan
    I’ll look for you. I be one in the sea of black. I guess I’ll forgive you for wearing orange. You’ll have to forgive us for whipping your tails!! 😮

  32. F. L. A. said

    Maz, would you please elaborate on what you you meant at the end of your last sentence within post#30?

  33. Maz said

    F.L.A: Don’t you know? If we don’t forgive someone for killing our loved ones how can God forgive us for killing His Son Jesus Christ. You see, it was our sin that killed Him. So we were rresponsible for His death. And Jesus asked His Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him and He and the Father gives us forgiveness for our sin and what it caused.
    The Bible tells us that if we do not forgive then neither can God forgive us our sins.

  34. F. L. A. said

    Yes, I believed that I knew what you meant, but I did not wish to take it for granted that I knew EXACTLY what you meant.
    This does not apply to all of “us” for “we” do not all apply to the history and dogma of your chosen faith.
    I believe that some do not deserve forgiveness, that they have waived their right at forgiveness. I would kill the hypothetical murderer and leave the business of forgiveness to the Gods.
    I do not ask for forgiveness. I accept responsibility of my negative actions and get on with life. And death.

  35. Maz said

    F.L.A: Ofcourse the truth is that the ‘dogma’ of my ‘chosen faith’ (and I didn’t choose the ‘faith’ I chose Jesus) is The Truth and it applies to everybody on the face of this earth whatever they may believe.

  36. John said

    Only if they allow it to apply, Maz[smile].
    Just imagine if I tried to claim to you that the rules of my theological belief system applies to everybody on the face of this Earth, whatever they may believe, even if they knew that there were theologies far older than my own.Rather arrogant and silly of me, eh?

  37. Stanley said

    Also. GO DEACS! WOO BEAT CLEMSON!

  38. Maz said

    John: Is God arrogant to say He is the Only One? That is the God I believe in.

  39. F. L. A. said

    As I understand things Maz, your God never claimed to be the Only One, just the only one that was to be worshiped by his people.

  40. Maz said

    F.L.A: Is not Jesus God? ”I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father BUT BY ME.” Jesus is the Only Way. He is the Only Savior. So His Father is the Only God.
    And there are many scriptures throughout the Bible to uphold the fact that God claims He is the Only God. Isaiah is full of it. ”I AM THE LORD, THERE IS NO GOD BESIDE ME.”

  41. Mike S. said

    That’s right. He (God) often refers to other god’s however. Note there is a huge difference between God and god’s. There may be many god’s but only one God! god’s are simply man made. God simply makes man.

  42. Mike S. said

    Duncan… Are we forgiven? 🙂

  43. Maz said

    God says, ”All the gods of the nations are idols”. Man has to find something to worship….even if it is football!! Or their car. Or a pop star. But still they find it difficult to worship the One True and Loving God.

  44. Stanley said

    The difference is that football is real.

  45. Barney said

    “Man has to find something to worship….even if it is football!! Or their car. Or a pop star.” – Maz

    Or their Bible, perhaps?

  46. Maz said

    Stanley: So is God. And He saves more than goals!

  47. Maz said

    Barney: I don’t worship the Bible, but the ONe Who inspired it.

  48. Stanley said

    Barney has a good point.

  49. Stanley said

    How do you know god inspired it?

  50. Maz said

    Stanley: You obviously wrote your post before I answered Barneys.

  51. Maz said

    Stanley: Because it has been proved to be true in my life personally. Also history, archeology, prophecy, a mathematical design, and many other proofs can be found for it’s authenticity.

  52. Stanley said

    Complete literal fact?

  53. Maz said

    Stanley: The Bible contains literal history, prophetic proclamations, symbolism and poetry.
    But it is the inspired Word of God from Genesis to Revelation.

  54. Maz said

    Maybe this link will help, I havn’t got the time or inclination to go into the truth of the Bible myself. And I don’t suppose it will make any difference….but..

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t003.html

  55. abc's said

    likewise

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

  56. Maz said

    Abc’s: I will not be suffering any consequences for saying how true the Bible is, but woe to all those who scoff and deride Gods Word.

  57. Maz said

    ”…Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts….” That was prophecied 2000 years ago, seems to be pretty accurate to me.

  58. abc's said

    Scoffing and deriding are one thing, but using intelligent criticism and factual evidence to discredit the Bible is something totally different.

  59. abc's said

    Maz ref 57

    That quote has been accurate every day for the last 2000 years.

  60. Maz said

    Abc’s: I think it is being specific about ‘the last days’ being the last days of this age. Yes, the ‘last days’ actually began after Pentecost, but this is more relevant now than ever before don’t you think?

  61. F. L. A. said

    [Huge sharp-toothed grin]
    Maz, the top half of post#58 “Understanding the World of Wicca and More.”

  62. abc's said

    Maz

    Sure, that quote is pretty accurate, but I don’t think that it lends any credence to the Bible being an error free text.
    I could make up prophecy that would be just as true.

  63. Maz said

    F.L.A: I agree that there were other religions in existence in the times of the OT…e.g: Egyptian, Chaldeans etc. but the Creator God was there in the beginning and created a nation from Abraham and his seed….the Hebrews….(Jewish)…then when Christ came, Christianity was the fulfilment of prophecy through Jesus Christ in the NT.

  64. John said

    I think that you missed the point of that part of that post Maz.
    Did you understand the part about the one older deity deciding to become the newer deity?
    If theological history began with Jehovah, then how can the other theologies that arose before the very worship and known knowledge of Jehovah be explained?
    You can pretend that they were inspired by your deity in some manner, but this would only lead to a whole new host of strange conclusions and ideas that I an certain you would not wish to take seriously or accept.

  65. Maz said

    John: It is not a matter of me understanding, it is a matter of my not beliving in it, just as you do not believe that Jehovah, Yahweh, the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth was there right at the beginning and had a plan for this earth beginning with the children of Israel.
    And God did not ‘inspire’ other religions, they adopted the bits they wanted or twisted them to suit their own lusts and desires. God was against any idolatrous worship of other ‘deities’ which were ‘no gods’ according to Him. They neither hear, not speak etc.

  66. A said

    I just read this thread. I marvel at the conversations. I pray that all come to knoe the One who was, is, and is to come. In most cases, it will not happen through debate.

  67. Maz said

    A: That is the tragedy. I would hope something we say may help those who don’t know our God and Jesus Christ His Beloved Son our Savior, but as long as I have been on here, I don’t think anything I have said has done that. I still hope and pray. Nothing is impossible with God.
    If we say nothing, it just prolongs their ignorance.

  68. Barney said

    The oldest Bible? The inerrant, unchanged word of God? Here’s an interesting discussion of a recent BBC report:

    http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=253898

    “”…For those who believe the Bible is the inerrant, unaltered word of God, there will be some very uncomfortable questions to answer. It shows there have been thousands of alterations to today’s bible…. (it) also has books which are missing from the Authorised Version that most Christians are familiar with today – and it does not have crucial verses relating to the Resurrection.”

    Maz will straighten them out.

  69. Maz said

    Barney: Funnily enough I was reading something about the’inerrant’ Word of God. A Minister once said in the pulpit, as he held up a copy of the KJV, ”This is not the Word of God.” There was a gasp from the congregation. Blaspheme! So what is the Word of God?
    I would say that the originals, written by the original writers would be the inerrant Word of God. But are ALL the translations……hundreds of them, some differing in words and even meanings……the Word of God? I’d have to say ‘No’. How can they be if they have these differences?
    YET, I believe that the KJV is the best translation written by an inspired man of God to present the Word of God as close to the original as possible. What I would ask is, Why do we need so many updates and modernised translations? Can we not read the Thee’s and Thou’s and ‘th’ on the end of a word and not understand what it is saying? Archaic words have been changed to their modern counterpart as far as is possible. But as we know in the Greek there are several words which in the English may only have one.
    But when I read my KJV, I believe that I hear quite well from God when He wants to speak to me. It certainly feeds my spirit.
    The BBC will always try and find an opportunity to pull to pieces anything to do with Christianity, and they have received a lot of mail from me in the past about it too.

  70. Maz said

    Barney: I was reading something on one of your sites you gave me. Completely incorrect.
    They bring up a supposed contradiction about timing in two of the gospels.
    Mark 15 v 25 reads, ”And it was the THIRD hour; and they crucified Him.”
    This was nine a.m. in the morning.
    John 19 v 14: When Jesus was brought before Pilate and it says, ”And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the SIXTH hour;” If you see this as Hebrew time you have a problem, Jesus is before Pilate after He was crucified. But ofcourse anyone should know if they study the Bible atall is that John wrote in Roman time, the sixth hour was 6 a.m. in the morning.

    People will grasp at any straw to try and prove the Bible can’t be trusted.

  71. F. L. A. said

    And some people will try to grasp at any straw to prove that good sense and historical and scientific facts cannot be trusted.

  72. Barney said

    Who is “they”, and why don’t you address them about their mistakes?

    I don’t have any problem questioning the Bible. The Internet Infidels forum is for others who question the Bible to discuss this and other topics. Why don’t you go over there and set them straight?

  73. Maz said

    F.L.A: Touche!

    Barney: I’m too busy setting people straight on here! Except they tend to remain crooked! 🙂

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