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Author Topic: The Long Road to Forgivness  (Read 3782 times)
Vandyyke
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« on: July 04, 2008, 04:39:57 am »

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91964687

The Long Road To Forgiveness

by Kim Phuc

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Kim Phuc is best known as the girl in the famous photo of a Vietnam War napalm-bombing attack near Saigon. She now lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Her organization, Kim Foundation International, aids children who are war victims. Photo courtesy of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

 
“Forgiveness made me free from hatred. I still have many scars on my body and severe pain most days but my heart is cleansed.”
 

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AP Photo/Nick Ut
In one of the most famous images of the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese forces follow terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc (center) as they run down Road No. 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places, June 8, 1972. President Richard Nixon once doubted the authenticity of the photo, which earned a Pulitzer Prize for photographer Nick Ut.

 
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All Things Considered, June 30, 2008 · On June 8, 1972, I ran out from Cao Dai temple in my village, Trang Bang, South Vietnam; I saw an airplane getting lower and then four bombs falling down. I saw fire everywhere around me. Then I saw the fire over my body, especially on my left arm. My clothes had been burned off by fire.

I was 9 years old but I still remember my thoughts at that moment: I would be ugly and people would treat me in a different way. My picture was taken in that moment on Road No. 1 from Saigon to Phnom Penh. After a soldier gave me some drink and poured water over my body, I lost my consciousness.

Several days after, I realized that I was in the hospital, where I spent 14 months and had 17 operations.

It was a very difficult time for me when I went home from the hospital. Our house was destroyed; we lost everything and we just survived day by day.

Although I suffered from pain, itching and headaches all the time, the long hospital stay made me dream to become a doctor. But my studies were cut short by the local government. They wanted me as a symbol of the state. I could not go to school anymore.

The anger inside me was like a hatred as high as a mountain. I hated my life. I hated all people who were normal because I was not normal. I really wanted to die many times.

I spent my daytime in the library to read a lot of religious books to find a purpose for my life. One of the books that I read was the Holy Bible.

In Christmas 1982, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It was an amazing turning point in my life. God helped me to learn to forgive — the most difficult of all lessons. It didn't happen in a day and it wasn't easy. But I finally got it.

Forgiveness made me free from hatred. I still have many scars on my body and severe pain most days but my heart is cleansed.

Napalm is very powerful but faith, forgiveness and love are much more powerful. We would not have war at all if everyone could learn how to live with true love, hope and forgiveness.

If that little girl in the picture can do it, ask yourself: Can you?
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Mark C.
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 09:51:35 pm »

Hi Dave,

   Yes, I do have a comment re. "forgiveness":  I think it is a wonderful truth that Jesus Christ can transform a terrible victimization of an individual into a redemptive opportunity.

 I know that you posted this consideration as a means of convincing former members of the Assm. to forgive those who treated them poorly while they were members.  We have discussed the different theories re. what the bible teaches on this topic many times, but I don't think individual "forgiveness" of past abuse is the real issue with most.

  In the Assm. we were not random unintentional victims caught in a war action.  We were members of a "Christian" group, and victims of those who sought to meet their own perverted needs to control lives.  This manipulative control took advantage of those whose only desire was to sincerely follow God.

  Can God redemptively transform former members hurt in such a group?  Absolutely!  Is it good for victims to forgive those that abused them?  This is where I think some Christians are muddled in their understanding of what the bible teaches.  If we also care about redemption of the abuser, and not just getting free of the bad memories of our abusive relationship, we must consider the effect on the conscience of the unrepentant former abuser.

  Some confuse those that have an attitude that is locked in bitterness and revenge with those seeking recovery and restoration of those in denial of their former bad behavior---- all calls to justice are not "judgmentalism" nor are they necessarily destructive in nature.  A Christianity that says, "morality does not matter because God is forgiving" creates a view of people that destroys their chances for recovery of their humanity through the restoration of a good conscience.

  If you can't become outraged, for an example, (vs. having a passive attitude of "love" toward unjust acts) at the abuse of innocent children, you have a hardened heart, and therefore are not reflecting God's desire for your life.

 An attitude that says: "we're all sinners, and therefore are capable of the same kinds of evil; this means I need to only see to it that I take care of my own personal issues and ignore making moral judgements re. others"----- is an attitude that removes us from the real world and places us in a fantasy world where only "I" exist. 

  God provides very clear standards of behavior in the bible for us to follow.  He does so knowing that we are far from perfect and are dependent on His mercy and grace.  He expects us (as professed believers) to keep one another accountable, also in the knowledge that I as the one correcting my fellow believer am very imperfect.

  This relationship works well as long as we are willing to be humble and honest with one another, but when there is an unwillingness to accept entreaty the bible teaches us to press (MT. 18:15-17) them. If they refuse the steps in these verses then we are to treat them as those that have rejected God, because that is in fact what they have done.

  I have all kinds of sins I struggle against in my personal life, as do all Christians.  Where do I get off telling GG he should acknowledge his sins and repent of them?  Doesn't the fact that I'm a sinner redeemed only by grace mean I should "unconditionally forgive him?"  No, the bible tells me to treat him as a "pagan and a tax collector" (an unbeliever and a thief).

 It is a somewhat complicated process for different former members in how they work through their negative feelings as victims of abuse.  Trying to force these to accept the notion that they "forgive" their former captors, though these victimizers refuse to admit their wrongs, is not a biblical idea.  Jesus says in that same Mt. 18 chapt., vs's 5-6, that those that victimize his little ones are to be judged very severely.  Jesus tells his disciples this to make an impression on their conscience, and this is what we also should do with those who are guilty of abusive behavior in the church.

                                                                  God Bless,  Mark C. 

   
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Vandyyke
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 06:56:27 am »

 I know that you posted this consideration as a means of convincing former members of the Assm. to forgive those who treated them poorly while they were members.  We have discussed the different theories re. what the bible teaches on this topic many times, but I don't think individual "forgiveness" of past abuse is the real issue with most.


       Marc, I posted this because I feel a connection to this woman. I've seen her picture on an of for years.  Well, she just spoke at a church not more than a 1/2 block from where I am sitting right now. I then heard her on the radio, so I thought she must have something worthwhile to teach me/us. Truthfully I feel I owe her something. I've posted info on her before. She was napalmed by U.S. soldiers. I used her as an example of how our military harms innocent people. Now here she is! Living in the U.S.A. and telling people about forgiveness. So I guess I owe it to her.

         But I appreciate your response anyway.


btw I don't think I've forgiven some people yet. I think I would like to beat the crap out of George and then while he is laying on his ass I would say, "Oh, I just want you to know that from this point on I forgive you!"
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 07:26:28 am by Vandyyke » Logged
moonflower2
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 10:28:55 pm »

         
btw I don't think I've forgiven some people yet. I think I would like to beat the crap out of George and then while he is laying on his ass I would say, "Oh, I just want you to know that from this point on I forgive you!"

I like this, VanDyke.  Grin It would "help" me to forgive him, too.  Grin

Maybe this frame of mind is rooted in the lowlands of Northern European blonds.  Wink
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