Tag Archives: Justice

Forgiveness and Justice: A Christian Approach

Forgiveness and Justice: A Christian Approach by Dr. Bryan Maier

Forgiveness and Justice: A Christian Approach by Dr. Bryan Maier

In the Christian healing arena, forgiveness has become a staple. Whether you are doing Sozo, Thoephostic, Immanuel, or HeartSync, a standard question is, “Have you forgiven….?” It’s a great question and often releases healing into deep places that have remained stuck for years. The standard thinking is that the offended or abused person can forgive, regardless of the actions of the offender and even if the offender hasn’t repented. In fact, even if he’s dead. Many people find healing through this process. In this model, forgiveness is usually defined as releasing a legal obligation or transferring the debt to God. Once the debt is released, the offended person can move on, whether the offender asks for or receives the forgiveness or not.

A Different Approach

Dr. Bryan Maier offers a different take and an interesting perspective in Forgiveness and Justice: A Christian Approach . Maier says that forgiveness must be rooted in the forgiveness of God, and that since God requires repentance, so must we. He puts the onus on the offender to repent and outlines a lengthy process of verifying the validity of the repentance and this puts all the cards in the hands of the offended. She is not required to accept the apology, but the offender is required to bide his time and continue reaching out. And by extension, if the offender is dead and can’t repent, it seems to leave the offended in a rotten position of never being able to forgive. Maier doesn’t spend much time on this, but it does beg the question. He also suggests that forgiveness is essentially unrelated to healing.

I was intrigued with the parallel to God’s forgiveness. True, he does require repentance. And if we don’t repent, we aren’t forgiven. That makes sense. But as a person who had to forgive a dead offender, I found real problems with Maier’s model. How would I release him since I wasn’t even aware of the abuse until years after he was gone?

This is dense and thoughtful book. Maier makes and documents his points well. I would recommend it to those working in healing and ministry. You may not agree with him, but he will make you think.





777 Call to Prayer for Our Nation

Urgent Call to Prayer

Urgent Call to Prayer
Photo Credit: AnneGrahamLotz.com

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, has invited American Christians to join in seven days of prayer and repentance for the nation, starting today. You can see her invitation here and sign up to receive prayer alerts every day. On the 7th day, we will fast and pray for breakthrough. I invite you to join the chorus as we humble ourselves before our Lord.

The first prayer alert is posted here. Be sure to sign up to receive the next six in your inbox. And will you pray? Despite all the good things happening in the world, and we rejoice for those, our nation is at a crossroads. It’s time for the Church to be the Church, to humble ourselves, turn from our own wicked ways, and seek God’s mercy. (2 Chron. 7:14).

When I was with my family last month, including my newest granddaughter, I found myself in constant intercession for them and the world they are inheriting. I prayed that they would enjoy the freedoms we have enjoyed, especially the freedom of belief and thought. I prayed that they would not face national poverty and persecution, that their nation would not become a third world has-been. I prayed that they would be able to live well for Jesus, advancing His kingdom here on earth. And frankly, in the midst of the joy, my heart was breaking for them. And I repented for how my generation has squandered that which we inherited. It’s not too late, friends. Our God is a God of mercy as well as justice. I’m crying out for His mercy and examining my life. Will you join me?