I disagree with Rev. Gleason’s April Witness letter (Be reconciled) that recommends ‘commune now, reconcile later.’ He stated, “They know it [reconciling] is what God wants and calls us to do. But that person cannot yet do it.”
Communing in such rebellion will not make a person stronger as Rev. Gleason suggests, but weaker. We are not to commune with “divisions” among us. (See 1 Cor. 11:17-34 and its admonitions.) When the Holy Spirit urges you to do what is right, do it. Call upon the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will empower you to forgive and to confess your sins and be forgiven and reconciled. If we do not forgive others, should we expect our Father in heaven to forgive us?
Rev. Raymond Van Buskirk
In regard to the article “Restoring Broken Relationships” in the February issue, I feel it did not address some very serious issues.
I completely agree with the idea that there must be forgiveness in all situations, no matter how difficult. However, I also am intelligent enough to realize that, in some cases, “reconciliation” is simply not possible.
Your article seems to imply that, as long as someone comes and apologizes and is forgiven, then everyone is supposed to go back to normal. I respectfully disagree.
Take, for example, a person guilty of murder. They may be profoundly sorry and ask forgiveness from their victim’s family and receive such forgiveness, but it does not mean that they do not have to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Some of the problems that are being dealt with in churches are of the same ilk. We do no one any favors when we gloss over actions by pastors and parishoners alike with the “reconciliation without consequences” concept.
I want the authors to know that I feel they have been very irresponsible in their article–it implies that as long as you confess, are sorry, and are forgiven, anything goes. I believe there needs to be some clarification made on this….or maybe they do believe that no matter what the actions, there should never be any punishment, only reconciliation.
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