Writings on Christianity

FORGIVENESS and Worldview

How does your worldview (your overall understanding of reality) shape how you approach the notion of forgiveness? As I grapple with the concept, I would argue that how we approach FORGIVENESS shows that we assume some kind of objective morality (moral standards that are real, not arbitrarily invented by evolved apes or merely the preferences of individuals or those in power).

Consider it with me: if we say that we forgive another person, what must we assume? We have to assume a number of things: that the other person has broken or transgressed some moral law or code they OUGHT not to have broken; that it is morally right for that person to act or feel or behave in one way and they OUGHT to known better; that the other person can be called to account for their moral transgression; that the act of forgiveness is some kind of overlooking or making amends of a wrong made. Yet all of these can only be possible if an objective morality exists, for if morals are purely subjective, then it would be impossible to call anyone to account for any moral behavior because the boundaries and lines of what is right or wrong. We all live as though there are objective moral standards are that true regardless of human opinion, and that because this is so the concept of forgiveness is possible.

I would say this then makes us revisit our worldview: does my worldview rationally account for the presence of an objective morality, one that allows for the concept of forgiveness? If not, perhaps this incoherence should alert us to fact that such a worldview is not true to reality.The Christian worldview provides a rational explanation for objective moral standards (they are a reflection of God’s pure holy character and legitimate and binding on all humans).

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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