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Wednesday, January 05, 2005 

the art of forgiveness

"to err is human, to forgive divine"

something a good pal of mine, christina, once told me stuck in my head. she told me one night, she asked God what is means to be christian. and she got her answer (God works in His own mysterious ways) from her recently converted brother after she bitched about how his friend backstabbed him.

to be christian is to have the heart to forgive whatever wrongs done to you, just like how God forgave us for the sins we committed. while it might be an inadequate definition of what a christian truly is (and pardon me if it really is), i found truth in that statement.

after reading about the attack of the christian zealots (yes, i do read xiaxue just for the heck of it. and i am starting to see why she's popular.) i simply felt compelled to comment about this issue once again.

i previously blogged about this topic, a product of my outrage at the way city harvest (no offence, raymond) drastically changed my best friend of 8 years into one of those zealots. i was initially happy when she told me that she's converted to be a christian. but my happiness proved short lived when she pulled that "if you do not go to church, God is gonna damn you to hell" shit on me and a few mutual friends. after several phone calls, smses and letters, i finally decided i have had enough and wrote this long letter to her explaining myself. i also informed her that if she does not stop i'll have to stop talking to her because i will kill her if she continues this crap thank you very much.

firstly, if God is going to damn every non-believer to hell, then one should go read fr057m0urn3's post on religion. oh the horror, at least half the world is going to hell.

secondly, isn't it ironic that those extremists who call themselves christians are the exact people who could not find it in their hearts to forgive and respect the religions of others? if they want, i can check my bible. i'm sure God said something about forgiveness, respect and tolerance.

the lack of tolerance and respect for supposedly deviant thoughts is illustrated in an incident that happened during my mass civics period, which happened to be one of the most interesting and unique session for the year.

my school invited brother michael from sji to talk to us about religion. he is different from other priests. he told us that nobody except for God is allowed to tell us if we go to heaven or hell. because at the end of the day, only God is allowed to judge us. in doing so, he stepped on several devout christians' toes to the extent that one member of the audience (a teacher, no less) walked out in the middle of the forum after indicating that she thought brother michael will be going to hell.

ouch. and these people call themselves christians?

forgiveness. it is a virtue that is easy to pronounce but hard to achieve.
it is always so much easier to hate. come to think of it, isn't that what started many a conflict?

this post might be flawed in several ways since i have yet to go for a bible study class. i admit i do not completely comprehend what it means to be christian. maybe my lash out at these well meaning zealots is unreasonable and ungrateful since they sincerely have my well-being in mind.

all i can say is that i'm still learning and trying to develop my relationship with God. despite all the anger and hatred i have inside of me, i shall take a first step and try to forgive.

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