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Author Topic: Forgiveness and Trust  (Read 8770 times)
themissus
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« on: July 29, 2003, 08:21:01 pm »

I'm hoping by posting here to get some insight into a topic that is a point of contention in my marriage.  I'd appreciate all the help I could get!  

The issue is forgiveness and trust.  My husband is of the school of thought that once someone repents of sin (and were presuming genuinely), say for instance lying, that I should forgive and my trust should also be fully restored at the same time, because when the Lord forgives us, we are FULLY restored.

My thought is that I am to forgive (absolutely!), but part of the consequence of that sin is that I may not fully trust, it needs to be built up again.  My husband thinks I want my favour to be earned.  It's not biblical etc. etc.  He draws the parallel that however much I trust others, is a reflection of how much I trust God.

I really don't know if my heart has just hardened, or if my "gut instinct" to not fully trust someone who has violated my trust is acceptable or correct in the eyes of the Lord.

I must qualify this by saying that we're speaking of larger issues like a former leading brother, or a sin that keeps happening again and again.

I'm open to correction in my thinking.  I just find it really difficult to be as trusting as I once was regarding leading brothers, and to not be skeptical.  Drives my husband nuts.  He doesn't think there are levels to trust - it's 0% or 100%.

I really appreciate the time anyone takes to offer insight.
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editor
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2003, 08:58:33 pm »

Hello There missus

Forgive and forget is wishful thinking.  Kinda hard to do (impossible) when someone really hurts you.  Forgive and remember is more like it.  Forgiveness is not a function of stupidity!  For example, let's say a person's spouse has a tendency for adultery.  Let's assume that after the first time, the person forgave his or her spouse.  Then, a year later, the unfaithful spouse is back at it.  The forgiving spouse says,  "You said you would never do this again!  I am so hurt!"  The unfaithful spouse, who happens to be an Assembly bible student says,  "You forgave me!  That means you should trust me, and act as if it never happened the first time!"

The way George and especially Betty used this teaching was to get us to "forgive" the leadership, but continue to trust them even after repeated abuse.  The corrolary to this false teaching is that when we are abused, the problem becomes ours!  We are not forgiving, we are bitter, we do not trust God.  The person who wronged us is fine, because they came up and said, "Please forgive me."  Those magic words immediately made the problem they created OUR problem.  They are off the hook, and now it is up to us to forgive and forget.  Furthermore, if we say we are forgiving them, we must now trust them.  (I'm getting sick)

No, forgive and remember is more like it.  If a person has a tendency to get drunk and hit you, keep this information in mind when you see them drinking.  Don't pretend you trust them when you know better!

Before people freak out about what I am saying, think about it, ask yourselves,  "does God hold me to a higher standard than Himself?"

Then read this:

http://withchrist.org/forget.htm

Brent
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BeckyW
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2003, 10:10:04 pm »

I heard a worker say once, while relating the story of how his father questioned his giving money to this ministry with no accounting, that he told his father:
"Dad, I've entrusted my soul to these people.  What does my money matter?"
Warning bells went off in my head. ( In John 2, Jesus says knowing what was in man, He did not commit Himself to them.)  This was three years ago.  I was torn between admiration for this man's wholehearted committment to this ministry, and  scepticism, what do you mean you've entrusted your soul to them?  I didn't speak up, and I should have.  But I had been criticized already for "having reservations", which I now understand were perfectly healthy doubts about very legitimate concerns.
Anyway, forgiveness is a very necessary thing. I certainly want mercy from God and others.  But I think trust needs to be earned and won all over again, esp. after failures like these you give as examples.
BTW, Another reason Phill and I left the assembly was our inability to trust the leaders to tell us the truth straight out.
We hold no grudges, we are not bitter, but we did not feel we could any longer trust them as leaders because of the way they handled all the revelations about this ministry.
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brian
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2003, 10:20:07 pm »

i'm sorry - i get a bit carried away here. but i think this is an important issue. ok, you've been warned  Smiley

The issue is forgiveness and trust.  My husband is of the school of thought that once someone repents of sin (and were presuming genuinely), say for instance lying, that I should forgive and my trust should also be fully restored at the same time, because when the Lord forgives us, we are FULLY restored.

nonsense. that is not an argument for forgiveness - it is an argument for blindness. even worse - intentional willful blindness! let me argue this from inside his theology: the God i read about in the bible understands us intimately, including all of our weaknesses and strengths. are we then to blind ourselves to one another's weaknesses and strengths? do you think God wonders why His son was crucified, because He dosen't remember that we sinned? that would be the only conclusion that is consistent with his line of thinking.

his thinking is more than blindness - it is an attempt to escape the fact that what we decide to say and do has objective consequences. he is denying that an objective reality exists. he is not only offering to forget that your weaknesses exist - he is demanding that you forget his exist. i'm sorry, but that is a childish perspective (at best!). the major sign of maturity is a willingness to take responsibility for our actions. that means fully facing the consequences of our actions, not trying to deny those consequences exist. to treat someone as though the consequences of their actions do not exist is to treat them like a child. its insulting.

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My thought is that I am to forgive (absolutely!), but part of the consequence of that sin is that I may not fully trust, it needs to be built up again.  My husband thinks I want my favour to be earned.

i agree that you want your trust to be earned - and i respect you for it! i think that is a wonderfully healthy attitude to have. like brent was saying: what allowed abuse and corruption to fester unchecked for decades was sheep trusting wolves 100%. trust that is unearned is meaningless and horrible, and i don't want it. don't trust me until i earn it! please!

i'm terrible at holding a grudge. its just not worth the energy. so when someone apologizes to me, 95% of the time i have already completely forgiven them. but if someone lies to me i know that statistically speaking there is a higher probability that they will lie to me in the future. i can still be good friends with them in a truly meaningful way, but i have friendship with understanding. they may lie to me again. i know this. i like them anyway.

maybe these are just my issues, but when someone really betrays and hurts me, i don't blame them. i think its my fault for not understanding them sooner and acting with wisdom. thats why i can't stay mad at people for very long. i stayed in the assembly for 18 years (until i was 23) because of my weaknesses - i was unable to see it for what it was and act courageously enough to leave until that point. there is more to it that just that, of course, but those are undeniable facts.

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It's not biblical etc. etc.  He draws the parallel that however much I trust others, is a reflection of how much I trust God.

the bible says God is infallible. where does it say that everyone who says they are a christian is infallible? if a stranger came up to your husband and said they were a christian (and said "praise the lord! are you rejoicing brother?") and then asked to borrow his car to run an errand, would he let them? he would let God borrow his car wouldn't he? the parallel he is trying to draw between the character of God and the character of religious folks is completely faulty. and i would trust a stranger not to steal my car far more than i would trust a wolf not to eat fresh meat. at least a stranger has not (yet) demonstrated to me that they really love stealing cars.

Quote
I really don't know if my heart has just hardened, or if my "gut instinct" to not fully trust someone who has violated my trust is acceptable or correct in the eyes of the Lord.

it is acceptable. trust me  Wink
hint: God gave you a brain with a memory, and the ability to learn.

Quote
He doesn't think there are levels to trust - it's 0% or 100%.

how could anyone think that?? in other words, he trusts you after __ number of years of marriage just as much as he did the day he met you? trust and love are deeply intertwined - does the same hold true for love? i don't believe that he actually lives what he is saying here.

does he trust someone 0% until they repent? that seems a little extreme to me. so when he found out he had been duped for decades, he trusted all leading brothers 0% until one by one they repented then he trusted them 100% again? what about the ones that haven't repented yet? what about those who did not repent for a long time because they didn't see a need to, and then they did see a need to so they did? would he trust them 0% before they realized they needed to repent? in this case, he would only be not trusting them because he thinks they need to repent, or to repent more, and they don't think they need to. that is exactly where a lot of people are at right now - and he is saying they are wrong? how many people does he trust 0%? none??

his arguments can be torn apart in so many different ways. i'll finish with this. there is not a single person i trust 0%, and there is not a single person i trust 100% (except maybe my wife - she is at a good 99%  Wink). having experienced different levels of trust within myself, i know they exist. clearly, you do too.

brian
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themissus
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2003, 12:52:11 am »

Thanks so much for those detailed responses.    Smiley

Reading them helps me feel normal, and not like a hardened, rebellious woman that my husband makes me out to be sometimes!   Wink

Also, upon reading them, I can see where my husband would say "well, that's what the Lord says!" to support his stance.   Undecided  I may print some selections off for him to read.  

Brent, when you described someone saying "Please forgive me" and then leaving the rest up to the forgiver, this is exactly what my husband does!  He thinks he's done enough if he simply says he's sorry.  I'M unforgiving and have trouble letting go if I don't immediately forgive and forget.  It's my problem.  He thinks I just want him to measure up, or EARN (such a bad word) my trust again.  Perhaps he equates it with earning my love...which isn't the case...hmmm....
Anyhow, the link you gave was helpful - thanks!

Brian, you made some excellent points - thanks very much.  It was helpful as well.

I really appreciate the time the people who have responded have taken to help me.

I would still love to hear other takes or responses on this issue.   Smiley
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editor
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2003, 01:42:48 am »


Brent, when you described someone saying "Please forgive me" and then leaving the rest up to the forgiver, this is exactly what my husband does!  He thinks he's done enough if he simply says he's sorry.  I'M unforgiving and have trouble letting go if I don't immediately forgive and forget.  It's my problem.  

I was guilty of this as well.  What a fool I was!  Those of you who know my wife understand how stupid it is for a guy like me to treat a woman like Suzie with this geftakysforgiveness garbage.

When I do something wrong, the proper attitude is to go to the person I have harmed and expect nothing from them.  The burden is on me to restore what I have broken, apologize for words, ethical breaches, etc.  If they forgive me, that is just an added blessing for me, but it in no way makes my problem their problem if they can't pretend that it never happened.

Brent
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Arthur
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2003, 08:46:55 pm »

Brent, when you described someone saying "Please forgive me" and then leaving the rest up to the forgiver, this is exactly what my husband does!  He thinks he's done enough if he simply says he's sorry.  I'M unforgiving and have trouble letting go if I don't immediately forgive and forget.  It's my problem

What a crock.  Reminds me of Bill Clinton.  I think we talked about this before--has anyone ever seen George apologize?  Or show any shred of humility?
Sorry, I'm just jumping in here,  but when your husband says, "well, that's what the lord says!", well, I think we know who he is talking about in referring to "the lord".  
Like founder, like disciple.  Both the arrogance and the brainwashing of others to be the same way is down-right evil, and infuriating.   Angry

But there's help available to be free from that programming.
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kwelsh
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2003, 07:21:13 am »

I had to unlearn (I hope I've fully unlearnt) that same type of I'm sorry but...then spinning it into being my wife's fault type of thing too. I say this with a real amount of shame. I used to think "I wouldn't have a clue as to how to be a husband or a Dad if it wasn't for the assembly" and finding out how wrong I was and learning new ways has been hard to do. But I'm glad that I've been able to see this problem in myself before I lost my wife or my kids.

You know I've never read on any of these threads about how the assemblyites gave "consequences" to their wives. When I lived in Fullerton the last "training house" I was at the "brother" would give his wife the agreed to consequences for her failures. While living there I was mowing lawns for a "brother" from the Placentia Assembly who was in charge of a sisters training house. He was having trouble in his marriage because his wife had gained weight during her pregnacy's (remember to never check my spelling grammar or whatever) and would tell me how when for example they were driving down the road and he would be checking out other women and his wife would say "I may be dumb but I'm not stupid" Anyway there were things she wasn't supposed to eat like icecream or whatever and when she did she would feel guily confess to him and receive her agreed to consequences. I asked him if he got consequences for failing and you should have seen the condescending sneer he gave me! This was in the late 80's was this typical at other assemblys. It seems like it would be since it happened in Fullerton. These were guys who were long time assemblyite leaders, 20 min. givers, etc.
 
Anyway servant leadership is the word in the free world!!And it can be tough! Anyone who says differently isn't doing it.
 
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Robb
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2003, 09:55:40 am »

I had to unlearn (I hope I've fully unlearnt) that same type of I'm sorry but...then spinning it into being my wife's fault type of thing too.

Anyway servant leadership is the word in the free world!!And it can be tough! Anyone who says differently isn't doing it.
 

Kevin,

I totally agree with you here!  My relationship with my wife and kids is so much more of a learning and growing experience in the real world.  If it wern't for great examples like my parents and very few select others, I'd have never had a clue about healthy, normal male-female relationships.  I certainly didn't learn how to have a good relationship with women from the way the assembly taught.  

I agree with what's been said - the need to repair the relationship is on the one who wrecked it in the first place.  If I were to cause a rift between myself and my wife, I am responsible 100% to repair that rift and see that it never happens again, despite wheather or not my wife forgives me.  Besides, husband and wife relationships are not 50/50 - if it were, where am I putting the other 50% of my energy?!  NO - as a husband, it is MY responsibility to give 100% to making my relationship with my wife the best it can be, with God's help, of course.  

Your comment about servant leadership is a great one and one that is dear to me and helps me remember how I should respond to my wife.  There is a great book out there by Tim Hansel, entitled "Holy Sweat" that covers this topic and that of our pursuing a Christ-like life.  Check it out - it was instrumental to me in a time when I needed it.  That book, and the organization that Tim Hansel founded by the name of Summit Adventure (www.summitadventure.org) were very helpful in helping me build my confidence in knowing that I could do this journey with Christ without the "safety net" of the assembly that I had relied on.   At that time (the early 90's) just knowing that I could and can make decisions for myself regarding MY walk with Christ without the assembly breathing down my neck was such an eye opener and was a turning point in my Christian maturity!

Anyway, thanks again, Kevin, for posting!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2003, 08:26:19 am by Robb Middleton » Logged
M2
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2003, 10:57:00 pm »

I was thinking that this principle of forgiveness and trust applies to existing assemblies that claim they have repented and now are starting afresh to gather together as former(not ex)-assemblyite Christians.
If God has forgiven, and they now have a fresh start with the Spirit, then trust has to built up in order for them to be trustworthy to run anew a former assembly. (I feel like I'm speaking in tongues here Smiley)

Marcia
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2003, 06:28:43 pm »

Your apology will read a lot differently when you take the word "if" out and own your confession.  It is what the Lord requires when we confess our sins to Him and to one another.  Yes,  you have offended,  you have misspoken, and you have discouraged.  I do forgive you.

Suzie
Sondra,

     Suzie is right.  i had to learn the same lesson right here on this BB under similar circumstances:  "IF" sounds very gracious when we hear ourselves say it-- it lulls the conscience into a false sense of having rendered a confession when in reality we have only hinted at the possibility that we might have erred.
     "IF" lobs the ball back into the other parties' court, placing the onus of responsibility back upon them-- "Sure, i'll confess.  Right after you name my sins for me."  This action places those to whom we owe apology into the awkward position of having to appear to be our accusers, demanding our apology (when we should be volunteering it unconditionally), while allowing us to feel wronged, slighted, innocent.
     As you so aptly point out, "All of us are sinners and bear guilt."  Those of us who are "iffy" about the nature of our sin and guilt are often the ones in greatest need of repentance.  i was.

al

Al and Suzie and All,

You make an important point here about the need to "own" your sin when asking for forgiveness. I am trying to figure out why confession is even necessary once we are saved, if all our sins are covered and forgiven when we were saved. I know it has to do with reconciliation. My 'fog index' is high today, and I have not figured out the contradictions in the two pamphlets that GG wrote. However I do agree that GG did not practice what he preached.

Lord bless,
Marcia
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editor
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2003, 02:11:29 am »

Hi Marcia:

Confession of sin, as a believer, does not have to do with our salvation.  If it did, then salvation would be a work, and would depend on our ability to remember our sins, own them, and even more difficultly, to understand them.

Think back to a time when you got mad at your kids, and knew you had lost your temper with them, which is sin.  Did you confess this to God each and every time it happened?  Did you confess it to your children?  Did you ever hold back?

What about the times when you fight with Claude.  He says it's you, you say it's him.  Who is right?  Have you fully comprehended and confessed each and every sin you ever committed to God?

I know the verse,  If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  In other words, confess what you know and God will take care of the ones you forgot about, or didn't know.  This may shock you, but this is not what the verse is talking about.  Please read a commentary about the historical/cultural context of 1 John, and re-think this aspect of theology.  Confession of sins does not earn us any "nearness," to God.  We are brought near by His blood, when we are saved, also by His grace.  Our will, determination, faithfulness, etc. is not an adjunct to Christ's finished work.

However, as you stated, confession one to another, especially to a person we sin against, allows us to forgive and reconcile with people.  It is extremely important to realize what kind of people we are, and confession demonstrates this.  If we say we are a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a special people, but we are selling dope and committing petty theft, we lie and do not practice the truth.  We may read the Word, and agree with it, but when the book is closed we are involved in willfull sin.  This sort of thing ought not to be, and it is exactly this type of thing that characterized George Geftakys, not to mention the Pharisees.

If a person like that never admits who they are and what they have done, they are in effect saying,  "I have no sin."  However, every believer, by definition, understands that they are a lost sinner, and they don't continue in lies and darkness.   Interestingly, this is what the "P" in TULIP stands for, Perseverance of the Saints.  I agree with this point.

So, if I have wronged you, but won't admit it, due to pride, it does not mean I am not saved, or that I am less saved.  However, it does make it impossible for us to have a very good relationship, because you can't trust me.  All of us are guilty, to some degree, in this aspect.  However, very few of us have habitually done really bad things, and then denied them when faced with the facts.

I hope this helps.

Brent
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M2
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2003, 02:42:47 am »

I agree "We are brought near by His blood, when we are saved, also by His grace.  Our will, determination, faithfulness, etc. is not an adjunct to Christ's finished work."

OK so confession does not earn us nearness but it does change the quality of our relationship with the individual concerned. So all that needed to be fully re-instated into a right relationship is confession and reconciliation.

As simple as that EH??

Thanks, I believe I see it now.
Lord bless,
Marcia

P.S. GG's mixture(stew) of Scriptures was/is indeed poisoned.
MM
I never get angry at my kids, nor fight with Claude. Smiley
« Last Edit: December 11, 2003, 02:54:15 am by Marcia » Logged
H
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2003, 05:13:33 pm »

I never get angry at my kids, nor fight with Claude. Smiley

Really?Huh How do you manage that?Huh  Grin

H
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M2
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2005, 11:34:19 pm »

Anyone read Bold Love (NavPress 1992) by Dr. Dan B. Allender and Dr. Tremper Longman III   yet??

I haven't, but I found an interesting article about the book.  See: www.internetmonk.com/articles/B/boldlove.html

Marcia
« Last Edit: October 27, 2005, 11:36:43 pm by Marcia » Logged
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