Regarding forgiveness

Just finished watching a great movie: Mystic River.

In the movie, the stories of 3 “normal” people and their families are unfolding and pretty much no one is 100% innocent (especially Sean Penn’s wife in the movie– what a bitch, towards the end of the movie). At the end, the ‘wrong person’ is murdered. He wasn’t 100% innocent, but he was punished for the wrong thing.

All this pain, unfolding in the movie, it all boils down to the same thing: people who can’t forgive. They escalate their sins, they try to make it right, but they end up making more harm, due to their inability to forgive.

In our lives, this is also true. The whole point of Christianity is this: love and forgiveness. Would you stop from getting revenge from the killer of your child if you had a good chance to harm him? Would you forgive your wife/husband for sleeping with someone else?

This whole forgiveness thing reminded me something that happened in 1998. Back then, I was living and working in UK as a web master on NT servers. I was alone. I had no one in UK, my family was in Greece. So, naturally, I tried to step up and make some friends. I was approached by a person who worked with me, to join their church. She was belonging in the “International Church of Christ” movement. I thought, “what the hell, I’ll give it a try and meet some people, they seem like good people”. And they indeed were really good people, studying the Bible every night, blah, blah, blah…

When I met their minister(s), I realized immediately that this whole thing is another well organized crap organization where the followers have to give up 10% of their earnings to their Church. Give me a f*cking break…

Anyways, the point is though, that the actual followers ARE good people, and even could say “good Christians”. Their organization might suck and they don’t realize it, but the followers are top rated people.

So, their point is that they are going “by the book”. They take the Old Testament a bit too much under consideration, more than other Christians would. The God of Old Testament is more “revengeous” than the God Christ portrays in the New Testament. But you see, the “International Church of Christ” organization is RELYING their influense on these followers by trying to convey most of the Old Testament stuff to the followers. In the Old Testament, who ever did something wrong, he would be punished by either the Church or God Himself.

Me, on the other hand, I have been well-educated by the Orthodox Church that Christianity and the New Testament is all about forgiveness.

Obviously, like the very big-mouth person that I am, I brought the matter to discussion. I wanted to test the minister. I told the minister –and others– a legend that we had in my place, about St Cosmas, who lived in 1760s in Greece, at a time when Greece was under the Turkish governement and control.

So, as the story says, St Cosmas was living in his monastery, at the top of a mountain, alone. One night, someone knocked the door. St Cosmas opened the door. The person said “Father, please hide me. The Turks are looking for me.”. St Cosmas asked him what he did. The stranger replied reluctantly that he killed someone and he mentioned the name of the victim. St Cosmas replied: “don’t worry, I will hide you”. Sure enough, the Turks came to look for him in the monastery. They simply asked St Cosmas — who was respected even by the Turkish authorities — and he said that no one passed through his yard. The Turks left, and the man was saved.

The victim was St Cosmas *brother*.

When I finished my story, I asked the minister: did St Cosmas did right? And he replied “of course not. He should have reported him to the authorities”.

And that was the point that I know that this “church of Christ” it wasn’t so. Christianity is ALL about forgiveness, and if this Christian people can’t see that, then they aren’t Christians in my eyes (and btw, they say the same for the rest of us, they ask you to re-baptise to become a ‘real’ Christian by their book — I never re-baptised with them btw).

Anyways, after a month trying to fit in with them, I stopped doing so. Forgiveness and Love is all what Christianity is. People who can’t forgive, these are the people who create pain after pain in this world.

After this incident, I tried more traditional churches. I’ve been to the Church of England sessions, to Catholic sessions or whichever well-established Christian Church was close to my home. I can easily go to any established Christian church, even if I am an Orthodox, I don’t mind it, because God is wherever God is really loved. To me, if I was in a Buddhist temple, it would be the same as being in a Christian Church. God is where people put their love in. No matter if it’s in a Christian church or a candy store. God is love, and love can be in many places. The “church” being the “house” of God, it’s all wrong. It’s more like the office of the wannabes, rather than God’s. But hey, people express their love more over there, and so it makes it a good candidate of a place to visit every now and then, to try and feel closer to God.

In general, I don’t trust “new” religions and I certainly don’t like the occult crap. But I praise God everywhere there is some GENUINE love going on. Be it in an Orthodox Church, a Catholic one, or even an islamic temple. It’s all the same.

BTW, don’t get any ideas about me. I am not particularly religious. I am just trying to live by the New Testament rules because I believe they are fair and logical. If that makes me a good Christian, cool beans. If not (e.g. if the church requires me to visit them every Sunday — I am not), I don’t really give a monkey of what they think of me.

Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.