Unconditional or (Gasp!) Conditional Forgiveness? Which is Right?

Forgiveness is a subject that has come up on this blog more than one time.  Some believe that the creators of the blog (abuse survivors of Donn Ketcham) are bitter and unforgiving and therefore, in sin.  Others (myself included) believe that forgiveness cannot be applied unless certain qualifications have been met.  It can be a heated debate, one that flies in the face of all that we have been taught our whole lives.  We grew up in an environment that said, “Forgive.” And then, “Now, never talk about it again to demonstrate your forgiveness.”  There was a fear placed deep into our hearts that if we don’t forgive, neither will our own sins be forgiven.

Recently, a friend sent me a link to an article on conditional forgiveness.  This article beautifully articulated things my husband and I have worked through in Scripture together and have shared before on the blog.  I contacted the author and asked if we could feature some of his writing here.  He graciously granted permission and I will begin linking them here on a regular basis.

I am thankful for Pastor and author Chris Brauns who has written extensively on this tricky topic of forgiveness (Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds).  I hope and pray that his words and the authority of Scripture are as much of an encouragement to you as they have been to me.

“Christians ought always to have an attitude of forgiveness.  But, forgiveness is about the restoration of a relationship and if the offending party is unrepentant, then forgiveness cannot fully take place any more than you can shake hands by yourself.  The offended Christian wraps the package and offers it freely.  Yet, the gift needs to be received.”

Read 5 Problems with Unconditional Forgiveness now.

– Diana Durrill


About Bangladesh MKs Speak

We are a group of American former missionary kids (MKs) who lived in Bangladesh while Donn Ketcham worked as a missionary doctor there with the mission agency Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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One Response to Unconditional or (Gasp!) Conditional Forgiveness? Which is Right?

  1. ashamed says:

    As an outsider I can certainly understand the need for conditional forgiveness. In fact, let’s take the spotlight off the forgiveness and put it on the repentance–genuine repentance–of ABWE. I believe true repentance is what will open the door for true forgiveness. Vague apologies that hold no individuals (past or present at ABWE) accountable won’t seem very genuine. Raising money for a missionary hospital with Dr. Kempton’s name on it doesn’t give the appearance of genuine repentance or sensitivity for that matter. As long as ABWE holds on to any form of protecting those who protected DK can there be an expectation of full forgiveness?

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