Matt 5:44

Horizon

Registrant
As Christian survivors, how do you feel about this?

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you"

Does this apply to perps? Your thoughts would be welcome and later I will give mine
 

Tom E.

Registrant
I guess I forgive them now. Maybe not "love" them, I don't know. I realize they were operating from a sick mindset.
 
Forgive them, more for your own sake then for theirs. There is a whole thread on here regarding forgiveness. I think to interact with them would allow for more victimization to occur. For safety's sake, I would not apply that part of the verse to perps.
 
Does this apply to perps?
Yes.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
God is love, we were designed to live in love. To harbor hatred, vengeance and bad feelings toward anyone hurts us.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Mark Twain

As a person of faith who has experienced being raped and molested as a young child; I am learning that God loves me and that I am worthy i.e. I have inherent value and dignity as does every human – and that to harbor negative emotions (hatred, desire for vengeance or “justice”) brings pain to me. Yes the perpetrator should be “held accountable” but truly we are not capable of holding that person accountable, I was unable to get my perpetrators to even admit to what they had done. So, I have to leave it to God, i.e. to trust that God will make it right in ways that are beyond my understanding – I need to keep myself (and others) safe, but I cannot “make it right” only God can do that. Have faith, believe, forgive (don’t “forget”) – this will bring you peace.
Micah 6:8 8He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

None of that is to say that those who perpetrate sexual crimes against children should not be brought to justice here and now in time; it is only saying that this does not happen in many (most?) cases – and indeed, it is often (usually?) the case that the survivor is not capable of making it happen and to keep trying to do so, only brings pain to the survivor. The survivor can testify to the truth for sure and should when he/she is strong enough to do so in whatever format that may be; but true justice is bestowed only from God – and we need to believe and trust in that simple truth – God is Love – He loves us – (and yes, he loves the perpetrator) – the key is do we accept that love? Yes – then trust Him believe Him and believe Matthew 5:44. Amen
 
I agree with all of the above, but it does NOT mean you need to let the perp back into your life. Or to even have any contact with him/her.
 

OnceInnocent

Registrant
forgiveness...
I can let go of the hate I have for myself. I can let go of the revulsion I have for myself because of what they did to me. I can even let go of hating the person, honestly they aren't worth it anyway. (this is appropriate forgiveness. Forgiveness that counts and that I am capable of granting.)
But lets think for a moment what Jesus was referring to.
He said enemies and those who persecute, etc.
Individual Jews and then Christians were not in the habit of forgiving (as in pardoning) criminals, however. That was a matter for courts, judges, etc.
This is not my opinion. It is a fact that abusers are perpetrators of crimes. They are criminals.
It is simply perp logic to say, "I wasn't caught so im not a criminal."
It is also perp logic to say, "it doesn't matter what I did or how or even if I even acknowledge it, I must be forgiven because I say... oh I mean god says."
God is a lover of justice as well as deserved forgiveness (forgiveness based on repentance, apology, making amends and turning from bad to doing good. God loves those who are oppressed and hates the haughty. Who am I to disagree? And who is more haughty than a serial sex abuser?
We simply do not have the authority to pardon criminals. It is a usurpation of Gods right to rule, and of governments that he lets remain, to pretend otherwise.
And what a weight that a perp puts on us when they can make us think it is our actual JOB TO FORGIVE THEM?
That kind of thinking is not only circular, and perp supporting, its also wrong and satanic.
I for one will not cut the had of God short.
It is for the creator and ruler of the universe to pardon criminals. Not for me.
I will not be fooled or drawn into a discussion that is predicated on perp lies.
 
Hello OnceInnocent and all:
Please note that "forgiveness" is not something that you do for the perp; you do it for yourself (and God, who wants us to be "happy").

Harboring anger, rage, resentment or whatever negative emotion or thought process does not hurt the perpetrator, it hurts the survivor. Don't get me wrong, anger can and does often propel one to take positive action ("righteous" anger) and that is a good thing.

Consider this true story which I probably won't tell exactly right but the essence is this: The book/movie "Dead Man Walking" is about a man who murdered a woman and was sentenced to death. The father of the woman he murdered was present for the murderer's execution. The execution of his daughter's murderer did not release the girl's father from his anger and hatred for the murderer. He said to the author of the book, who was a nun who provided counselling for the murderer as well as for the woman's family, "now what do I do with this hate"?
I.e. the murderer's death did not release the woman's father from his hatred - it did not bring him peace.

The nun responded: Come let me help you. The presumption is the nun helped him to learn forgiveness - or release.

Hatred keeps us bound to the object of our hate. I know, I have been there.
Forgiveness is something we have to do daily. If I had the power, my preference would be for the perpetrators to be put in prison for their crimes - but forgiveness is to release me from the prison of my hate.

THAT is what Jesus means when He says "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
It is a gift for the survivor, not the perpetrator. They don't "deserve" it - but, then again, neither do we (yes our sins are not as egregious but they are sins nonetheless.)
Peace to us all.
"Darkness won't drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Things like this in scripture just make me furious. It’s hard for me to get my head around.

I don’t think we can do this in our own strength... I mean I’m sure Jesus understood that He was going to lead by example during the crucifixion. It’s not necessarily FOR them. It’s for us.

Although, I hate it when people say, ‘well, look what Jesus suffered.’ So I’m suppose to just suck it up? No, but I think as we heal and get closer to God it’s His power that allows us the ability to keep this. At some point in your walk...
 
I am not religious but I do feel there is power in forgiveness and I believe in our cases the forgiveness is for ourselves. Most of those that got to me I think are dead and I think maybe they lived to long. I was told once by someone about forgiving a predator will release you from his bonds. I think it has for the most part. I have not been able to forgive for the times that I dissociated as I don't have the memory to forgive. I never forgave any of them to their face or even notified them I had forgiven them, as the forgiveness is for me not them.

Thanks for the thread Chad
 

OnceInnocent

Registrant
Hello OnceInnocent and all:
Please note that "forgiveness" is not something that you do for the perp; you do it for yourself (and God, who wants us to be "happy").

Harboring anger, rage, resentment or whatever negative emotion or thought process does not hurt the perpetrator, it hurts the survivor. Don't get me wrong, anger can and does often propel one to take positive action ("righteous" anger) and that is a good thing.

Consider this true story which I probably won't tell exactly right but the essence is this: The book/movie "Dead Man Walking" is about a man who murdered a woman and was sentenced to death. The father of the woman he murdered was present for the murderer's execution. The execution of his daughter's murderer did not release the girl's father from his anger and hatred for the murderer. He said to the author of the book, who was a nun who provided counselling for the murderer as well as for the woman's family, "now what do I do with this hate"?
I.e. the murderer's death did not release the woman's father from his hatred - it did not bring him peace.

The nun responded: Come let me help you. The presumption is the nun helped him to learn forgiveness - or release.

Hatred keeps us bound to the object of our hate. I know, I have been there.
Forgiveness is something we have to do daily. If I had the power, my preference would be for the perpetrators to be put in prison for their crimes - but forgiveness is to release me from the prison of my hate.

THAT is what Jesus means when He says "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
It is a gift for the survivor, not the perpetrator. They don't "deserve" it - but, then again, neither do we (yes our sins are not as egregious but they are sins nonetheless.)
Peace to us all.
"Darkness won't drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred; only love can do that." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As I said, and apparently you didn't read, I can and have forgiven myself and most of my abusers.
That means I don't hold on to hate. But I can't forgive them in the sense that I can remove judgement or guilt from them. And t doesn't mean I blindly forgive and I know that ultimately there is a judgement that luckily I don't have to face.
I'm not sure but it really does sounds like, perhaps, you didn't read what I wrote. Perhaps you should read it again?

And perhaps you should not presume to tell me, or any of us, that forgiveness is based on a movie and easily tossed around scripture, at least try. I know it must be hard in this new "don't judge me" culture and in this place, erring on the side of a forgiveness free-for-all is super-duper trendy right now.

Especially your reference to Matthew 6:12 is particularly vexing. Are you really saying this means "Forgive someone for raping you because you said a few nasty words today"? "Apples and oranges", my friend, "apples and oranges." Or should I say "apples and bullshit"? Whoops, there I go again with my nasty words, I guess I have to find another rapist to forgive. Oh good, lucky me, there's so many to choose from.
 

OnceInnocent

Registrant
Things like this in scripture just make me furious. It’s hard for me to get my head around.

I don’t think we can do this in our own strength... I mean I’m sure Jesus understood that He was going to lead by example during the crucifixion. It’s not necessarily FOR them. It’s for us.

Although, I hate it when people say, ‘well, look what Jesus suffered.’ So I’m suppose to just suck it up? No, but I think as we heal and get closer to God it’s His power that allows us the ability to keep this. At some point in your walk...
here here!
 

Fitz

Registrant
forgiveness...
I can let go of the hate I have for myself. I can let go of the revulsion I have for myself because of what they did to me. I can even let go of hating the person, honestly they aren't worth it anyway. (this is appropriate forgiveness. Forgiveness that counts and that I am capable of granting.)
But lets think for a moment what Jesus was referring to.
He said enemies and those who persecute, etc.
Individual Jews and then Christians were not in the habit of forgiving (as in pardoning) criminals, however. That was a matter for courts, judges, etc.
This is not my opinion. It is a fact that abusers are perpetrators of crimes. They are criminals.
It is simply perp logic to say, "I wasn't caught so im not a criminal."
It is also perp logic to say, "it doesn't matter what I did or how or even if I even acknowledge it, I must be forgiven because I say... oh I mean god says."
God is a lover of justice as well as deserved forgiveness (forgiveness based on repentance, apology, making amends and turning from bad to doing good. God loves those who are oppressed and hates the haughty. Who am I to disagree? And who is more haughty than a serial sex abuser?
We simply do not have the authority to pardon criminals. It is a usurpation of Gods right to rule, and of governments that he lets remain, to pretend otherwise.
And what a weight that a perp puts on us when they can make us think it is our actual JOB TO FORGIVE THEM?
That kind of thinking is not only circular, and perp supporting, its also wrong and satanic.
I for one will not cut the had of God short.
It is for the creator and ruler of the universe to pardon criminals. Not for me.
I will not be fooled or drawn into a discussion that is predicated on perp lies.
Well said. A lot of food for thought here. Your first paragraph made me choke up. I'm not "there" yet... but it's where I want to be.
 

Fitz

Registrant
Things like this in scripture just make me furious. It’s hard for me to get my head around.

I don’t think we can do this in our own strength... I mean I’m sure Jesus understood that He was going to lead by example during the crucifixion. It’s not necessarily FOR them. It’s for us.

Although, I hate it when people say, ‘well, look what Jesus suffered.’ So I’m suppose to just suck it up? No, but I think as we heal and get closer to God it’s His power that allows us the ability to keep this. At some point in your walk...
Well said!
 
I am a survivor of childhood rape when I was 5 years old. I was raped and mutilated and I was molested for years. I have had to struggle with all of this. My intent was/is to offer my interpretation of faith and how my faith experience has helped me in ways that may benefit others.

Jesus spoke in parables to help people understand the essence of what He was trying to teach. The book “Dead man walking” is a true story which perfectly illustrates a case where an injustice was done (murder) and the victim’s father was trapped in his hatred.
The use of this true story was to illustrate a point.

Forgiveness releases the person who is being forgiven from the judgement of the person doing the forgiving…. That judgement is left to God. I was not presuming to tell anyone anything about something I have not myself been through, again, with the thought that it may help someone.

We all will face judgement. All.

Nothing about this is easy.
 

tbkkfile

Registrant
It took me a while, but for what it's worth I've pasted a paragraph from my journal.

For some people forgiveness is part of the healing process, we give back those things that never belonged to us, things that were never ours to begin with, but were forced upon us. It does not mean that we absolve them of their crimes, nor does it mean that what they did was OK. Forgiving them releases us from our burden, they hold no power over us any more. We are free to heal ourselves.
 
It took me a while, but for what it's worth I've pasted a paragraph from my journal.

For some people forgiveness is part of the healing process, we give back those things that never belonged to us, things that were never ours to begin with, but were forced upon us. It does not mean that we absolve them of their crimes, nor does it mean that what they did was OK. Forgiving them releases us from our burden, they hold no power over us any more. We are free to heal ourselves.
This is perfect, tbkkfile, your words address this issue so succinctly. Thank you very much.
 
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