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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:34 pm 
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down and out wrote:
The old Testament and the New are divergent...In the New, Jesus never advocated revenge and I haven't quite caught any recommendations for it in any of it's writers books. The very concept conjures up images of Hatfield and McCoy feuds enduring for decades and accomplishing bloodshed and the need for more revenge...I advocate jail for mollesters because studies have indicated the average pedophile abuses from 50 to 80 kids in the course of their lifespan...hence, jail keeps them safe from adding further guilt and keeps kids safe from them...


Revenge, as used in the Bible, is certainly a New Testament concept, even a New Testament precept. It differs from the Avenger of Blood in the Old Testament in that believers are forbidden from extracting revenge for themselves - taking the law into their own hands. "Avenge not yourselves."

This does not mean that revenge/ vengeance is wrong. It is right. But, God has placed it in the hands of the civil authorities. Our responsibility is to cooperate with them, not cover up crimes.

Tambo Graduate made the following distinctions elsewhere on the forum, and I am taking the liberty to repost them here, slightly edited:

Are we in this to make ourselves feel better? Are we in it to inflict as much pain on everybody involved as possible hoping that it will ease our own hurt?
-In this case revenge would not be a good thing.

Or are we in it to see that God is glorified in our lives and by the outcome?
-In this case, the revenge that we seek ultimately will be of great help to those who were abused and a huge step in seeing that kids are protected in NTM in the future.


The first example is what many (most?) people think of when they see the words revenge/ vengeance/ avenge. It is almost synonymous with "torture." The very concept of it conjures up images of the Hatfield / McCoy feud! But, you probably already know that.

The second example is the way the words are used in the Bible. This is what I have been advocating for on my last few posts here on this thread. I believe that your desire to see molesters imprisoned is very much in harmony with this.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:19 pm 
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down and out: Loved your question------If every one of NTMs leaders would crawl to us on their knees through broken glass and hand us each a million dollars...would we be healed?

The answer is YES, YES, YES! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:25 pm 
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??? I'm pretty sure the answer is NO.

No amount of money or bleeding knees will give you back what was taken.

No.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:34 pm 
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But a certain pedophile behind bars would make a very good start...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:58 pm 
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I can't speak to why other "former ntmers" come to this board, we all have our own reasons I guess. For most, there is more than one reason, I would imagine, as there is for me. First and foremost, we are in the dark and want some light. We want to be able to talk about things, work through things in a forum that will allow us to express ourselves, yet have what we say held to the light. I think in a way, that may be Kari's goal, too. Enough with the darkness. Too much is said in private among people who agree, without being held accountable in the open.

Hopefully healing is taking place here. I pray so!

Other good things are happening: an open discussion about modern missions, including boarding schools; what scripture really says about leadership; a sharing among the first ntmers, those who were around from the 70's to the early 90's, the current ntmers; a connection between former dorm mates and shared experiences, good and bad; exposure of abuse in missions, yes, and also the church.

This board is not the be-all and end all, but I think can be a place to help those in pain and those of us just wondering what those years we spent in NTM were all about.

The reason I come to this particular thread is there aren't many places I know of that I can have a thoughtful discussion about scripture and be able to take the time to think about it before responding. I don't necessarily agree with everything I read, which is why I like it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:19 pm 
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down and out wrote:
Is praying for our enemies asking for God to punish them? If Jesus said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do?" Are we to part company with Him and say, "Lord..please waste these bastards? Is forgiveness truly "dangerous ground?" How do we pray for leadership? Do we suggest a scripted set of plays or do we trust God to handle things? Is fanning the flames of outrage fitting? What do we say to a God who does not delight in the death of even an evil man? Is it true we must have the faith of a child? Was Jesus innocent? Was our own sin laid upon Him? Is it ever right to ask, "Did God really say?"...ain't that how this all got started in the Garden. Is it right to project images of cigar chomping politicians huddling in a closed room plotting their little little responses? If every one of NTMs leaders would crawl to us on their knees through broken glass and hand us each a million dollars...would we be healed?


I called the topic of forgiveness "dangerous ground" only because I was afraid that no matter what you say about it, people are going to take offense and respond in emotional, harsh and even profane ways. That's only my opinion, of course, and maybe it's not true. In any case, it was kind of you to provide the bridge between revenge and forgiveness that I was looking for, and not clever enough to find on my own.

This particular thread was started because a long-time follower and supporter of the Fanda Eagles was convinced that too little attention has been given to scriptural principles, that good Bible words have been misapplied and distorted and that slip shod, childish theology has resulted in a great deal of harm to individuals associated with NTM. It is not really "pedantic" to attempt to be true to God's Word; nor is it questioning whether or not God has actually spoken. Rather, it is the very first step in obedience: knowing what He has said, and what He meant when He said it.

Jesus asked the Father's forgiveness for those who "knew not what they did." This same standard was applied again later, in the book of Acts. Who was involved in these incidents, and what did they not know? If we advocate applying this principle to the general topic of abuse, are we saying that the perpetrators did not know what they were doing when they violated little kids' innocence, broke their spirits, undermined their faith? Did the past leadership of NTM not know what they were doing when they covered up these crimes? Does the present leadership of NTM not know what they are doing by their deafening silence, their callous disregard for the victims and their inattention to justice? It is counterproductive to randomly pick passages as they strike our fancy and use them to justify whatever we want. In fact, it is that sort of use of the Bible that has given us countless cults and heresies.

So, my first question about forgiveness, as it is presented in the Bible, is: How is forgiveness related to healing? (All are feel free to answer, and all should please feel obligated to show from scripture what "healing" means.)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Here is what the Merriam Webster dictionary says about the origin of our English word vengeance:

Middle English, from Anglo French, from venger to avenge, from Latin vindicare to lay claim to, avenge more at Vindicate

Vindicate: definitions: Obsolete: to set free: deliver; Avenge; To free from allegation or blame

I think we have a desire for justice that is sometimes a natural desire for vengeance, but there is also a desire for justice in the vindication sense of the word of being set free.

Many in this forum are wrestling with the practical application of justice, vengeance, vindication, and forgiveness. It's a tough subject, but worth discussing.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:53 am 
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down and out wrote:
I was only asking the questions..only God knows the answers. I can think of nothing to say that would take away the recurring pain and all that goes with it that so many of us have had to endure...there are so many days I've lost to simply fight with all my might the voice that comes and says "Just end it all...you and your miserable life are worthless!" The feeling that accompanies this is absolutely brutal. So instead of being productive, I can only hang on...The betrayal and hurt we suffered is indescribable. I've learned to say, Thanks foul evil spirit because the more you make yourself evident, the more I am convinced My Saviour is alive and only waiting to finally dispose of you once and for all. When I forgive...over and over again..and I bite back on my bile and pray for my enemies the way the Bible says to do...I once again find peace. I've made some decent money and I've been appallingly poor...It makes no difference. I will rely only on God to deliver me. Guys like Jim Fenimore spreading his tripe about how we were a sin away from losing our salvation and how we were sinning to wear less than our best clothes! Guys like Mr Pitt who took it upon himself to tell us we were not saved because he could see no fruit! How do you pray for them? That they will live long enough to learn of grace? Or do I follow their example and pray for their faillure? As you can see...I'm not too great at this forgiveness thing...but I know I have to do it! Maybe it was hard to see much fruit in some of us because we were HURTING!!! I'm not giving up. The only peace I have is in a total commitment to follow Jesus..even if it kills every bit of my pride. So be it...thanks for listening and I just want to say, disagreements and all..this is the first real sense of community I've had since I left Bolivia all those years ago..May God bless all of you...every one!


My dear brother! You are certainly among people who understand and care. Not all us have suffered in the exact same ways, but we have all had to learn to rely on the Lord and trust in him to deliver us.

I read your posts and hear your anguish and it saddens me beyond words. You are worth a great deal, and as awful as your own suffering has been, you are able to speak to the needs of victims in ways that they can hear - and in ways that others of us are not able to do. Thank you for joining the forums and making your contributions to our understanding.

Shalom.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:06 am 
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down and out: That is what I find most mystifying. How people who knew the Word and Jesus could allow someone who preached you could lose your salvation to be in any position of authority at all and especially over children is beyond my comprehension.

Remember that Jesus has complete authority over the powers of darkness and that they were begging Jesus to not cast them out. He is far more powerful than our own minds and the PoD would have us believe.

For you, down and out, with prayers:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:23 am 
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A lot of good, positive things are happening among victims, their friends and their families. This thread is not meant to detract from that. In fact, it is intended to encourage it, and give some definition to it. I am not posting just to be argumentative. If it is helpful to anyone, I will be gratified. If others want to add to the discussion, I will be indebted to them.

Many victims will read (or just remember) a passage from Scriptures that seems to teach that "revenge" is bad: "Avenge not yourselves." Taken together with a popular definition of "vengeance" (inflicting maximum pain on another in mindless retaliation for wrongs), good, decent people are conflicted in their own hearts: Is it even good to want the criminal to be punished? Isn't this a form of taking revenge? Did you or did you not forgive the miscreant?

This is a perversion of forgiveness and justice alike. Such reasoning serves to protect corporate reputations, but at the expense of an unfair burden on the victims.

The dangers of poor, incomplete or false understanding of forgiveness are many. It can range from infrequent bouts of self doubt and wasted emotional energy to a perverted and perverse conception of what is right, normal and/ or desirable – as in the case of abused who become abusers.

So, here is where I am going with this: I believe the Scriptures teach that forgiveness is always and only for the benefit of the one forgiven. I base this on the analogy to God's forgiveness of us. God is not better off because we are forgiven, although we certainly are! Moreover, there is no Scripture where we are told to forgive for our own good, irrespective of others.

I also believe that forgiveness is always and only valid when it is based on justice – the payment of a penalty, the righting of a wrong.

Forgiveness seems to lead to the healing of the forgiven one as well. I'd like to look at some passages that have convinced me of this.

Yet, a lot of very good things are happening, many of them in full view of others here on this forum. If it isn't forgiveness, if it isn't healing, what is it? Which scriptural terms match the situation? Or, is God's word silent on the subject?


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