Explain Christian beliefs about Justice, forgiveness and reconciliation. In order to explain the Christian viewpoint in relation to Justice, forgiveness and reconciliation it is necessary to define these terms in their broader, and more secular perspective. This will then help to clarify the particular Christian position in this respect. Therefore, in order to properly consider what is meant by the term “Justice,” a logical, if not basic, first step is to look up the term in a dictionary.
Here, it is defined as the quality of being Just; rightness; fairness; to treat someone in a fair way’. It is often thought of as the foundation of the Judicial system and that it can be achieved by recourse to law. Similarly the term “forgiveness” is defined in the dictionary as ‘ceasing to blame or hold resentment against; remit or pardon’. It is the willingness to abandon one’s right to resentment and negative Judgment towards a person who has unjustly injured us, whilst fostering the undeserved qualities of compassion, generosity, and even love towards him or her.
Finally “reconciliation” is defined as ‘to re-establish friendship between; to settle or resolve as in a dispute; to make insistent or compatible’. Simply, it refers to the process of changing something thoroughly and adjusting it to something else that is a standard. With this in mind we are now able to look at each term, in turn, with reference to the basis of Christian teaching, as found in scripture. Referring to the term of “Justice” we are encouraged to be Just and righteous through the Prophet Amos saying, “… Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness” (Amos 5: 24).
However, Christians are not only encouraged to be Just through implementing what they themselves determine to be ” Justice”, but are helped to understand its full implication elsewhere in scripture. This is beautifully summarized in Matthew 7: 12, which is known as the ‘Golden Rule’. Here it is stated that as Christians ‘In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. ‘ This concept of “Justice” is also evident two chapters earlier in Matthew 5: 38-42 in which Jesus extends the old Jewish law of ‘An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. Here, an element of the Christian belief about “Justice” is portrayed through Jesus telling us hat it is not Just to retaliate, but instead we should ‘if anyone strikes [us] on the right cheek, turn the other also’. Similarly, referring to the key Christian concept of “Justice” in its Judicial sense, this is illustrated in this same scriptural reference found in Matthew 5: 38-42. Here, Jesus is leading us to understand that as Christians it is not Just to extract a punishment simply because it seems equal to the crime being tried.
In fact God will dispense punishment on Judgment day when ‘he will separate people one from another as a Explain Christian beliefs about justice, originates and reconciliation. By sharpness’s to say that as Christians we cannot administer a punishment ourselves. In contrast to this false assumption the point is emphasized in SST. Pall’s epistle to the Ephesians, that a punishment can be Justly applied under a legitimate government. Finally in relation to the Christian perspective of “Justice” in Matthew 7:1-3 we are told ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be Judged.
For with the Judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. ‘ Christians believe his again refers to the Judgment day, and we are taught not to be hypocrites in judging others. Also many scriptural references enable us to develop our Christian beliefs concerning “forgiveness”. These manly occur in the New Testament, the healing of the paralyses man (Matthew 9: 31-38) and the woman caught in adultery Cohn 8: 1-11) being two such examples.
In both these stories we are shown that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins and does so for all, no matter what the person’s position or sin. Therefore the Christian belief is that forgiveness should be fundamental and longingly given. Also, referring to the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus portrays to us today the notion that although we know others have done wrong we should be prepared to forgive and be reconciled with them, as is the case of Jesus forgiving the sins of the woman. If forgiveness is truly offered and received then reconciliation can take place.
Indeed my Christian belief on the matter is that there can never be reconciliation without forgiveness, which is always an expression of free grace. I feel this should be the verbal Christian belief and teaching on the matter as I consider this to be the lesson taught and the one illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32). However, I realize that this personal view is not the only one as the Church allows you to interpret scripture in your own way within the overall Christian framework.
Indeed within this Christian framework the Church provides the sacrament of reconciliation so that we can confess our sins to God in the presence of a priest. In this sacrament we aim to confront our apprehension of not wanting to ask for originates due to our fear of rejection, humiliation and accepting ourselves. In the sacrament which Christians should regularly seek we are reconciled to God through showing contrition, a genuine sorrow for the past, and a firm purpose of amendment.
This is supported in scripture through the letter written by SST. Paul to Philomena. Here, Philomena who was a slave owner in Ephesus, had lost one of his slaves in Nominees who had run away (a capital offence at the time). However, Paul had won him to the faith and now sends him back to Philomena with the plea of forgiveness that leads to reconciliation. He hopes that Nominees will now be embraced not as a slave but as a ‘dear brother in the Lord’ as by Baptism he has become equal to all other members of the Church.
In Pall’s letter which grasps the liberating power of the Gospel, he seeks to overcome Aphelion’s unjust attitude towards slavery. However, not only this but he also hopes that Philomena will forgive Nominees for the problems he has Therefore, it is through scripture that Christian beliefs on a Justice, forgiveness and reconciliation can be formed as they are all fundamental to Chrism’s teaching and thus to the Christian way of life.