In The News: To Forgive Is Divine

University of Oklahoma President David Boren expelled two students, in early March, for their racist chants at a fraternity activity.  Levi Pettit was one of those students.

Anastasia Pittman, a state senator, Oklahoma’s only black state senator, saw the leaked video which contained the chants.  She issued a statement condemning the fraternity’s chants and praising Boren’s swift response.

Later in the month, Pettit contacted Pittman, saying that he wanted to apologize.  Pittman arranged a meeting with Pettit, his parents, her, and minister Arnelious Crenshaw, Jr. (who preaches where Pittman attends).  She accepted his apology, but urged him to make a public apology.  He did make a public apology.  She stood by his side while he did this.

Pittman and Crenshaw both made statements.  Pittman said, “I can’t promote Christianity or Christ – like values in policy, and then when I have opportunity to forgive, I don’t.”  Crenshaw said, “Young people who mess up need to know that God is a God of second chances.”

It is worth noting that both Pittman and Pettit are members of the church of Christ. Pittman attends the Northeast church of Christ in Oklahoma City. Pettit has been baptized into Christ  (The source of the above information is Bobby Ross Jr., Forgiving a Racist Chant, The Christian Chronicle, April 2015).

Consider the following passages:

1.  Matthew 6:12 – “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

2.  Matthew 6:14-15 – “IF you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

3.  Luke 17:3-4 – “Take heed to yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

4.  Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘ Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?’  Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'”

5.  Matthew 18:33 – “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?”

6.  Mark 11:25-26 – “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

7.  Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

8.  Colossians 3:13 – “Forgiving one another… even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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