“A great deal of tension in Christian congregations would be eased if we obeyed this plain command of Jesus: ‘Go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.’ Instead of having the courage to face a person with his fault, frankly but privately, we whisper behind his back and poison other people’s minds against him. The whole atmosphere of the church becomes foul. The best way to open the windows and let in some fresh air is to do what our Lord commanded: to go and tell him his fault privately, and other wise to keep our lips sealed.” -John Stott, Confess Your Sins
“I think many of our problems with church result from running from difficult or uncomfortable situations rather than persevering when necessary. We don’t enjoy facing our fears or being placed in challenging circumstances. And the thought that we could actually escape brings great comfort.” -Trillia Newbell, United
“The Gospel is the Good News that there is a Kingdom far above and beyond the borders of this world, where death is dead and sin and sorrow cease. The gospel is about how God brings this Kingdom to us by reconciling us to Himself through Christ.” -Russell Moore, preface to The Gospel for Life series
“Tim Keller once defined forgiveness as resolving not to bring the offence up again with God, with the person who offended us, or with ourselves. Often it is the final one of these that is the most difficult.” Sam Allberry, Why Bother With Church?
“My mother once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women’s feet and asked for forgiveness. This is true all over the world, in the jungles of Mexico, in the back streets of Shanghai, in New York cocktail bars, husbands are getting drunk while the women stay home with the babes of their ever darkening future. If these men stop the machine and come home and get on their knees and ask for forgiveness and the women bless them, peace will suddenly descend on the earth with a great silence like the inherent silence of the apocalypse.” -Jack Kerouac, On The Road
Reconciliation needs to happen in the shadow of the cross. Because one subtle threat to reconciliation is that I may ‘take this person back’ into my life, but only as someone I now deem to be inferior to me. I’ll take them back on my agenda, not God’s. At the cross, I realize how problematic it is: my sins caused monstrous harm to someone too–they caused the death of the Son of God. At the cross I see my sin, but also the goal of the Gospel which is that my brother with whom I am angry would have an “equal share” in the inheritance of the kingdom (Col. 1:12-14).
“We are not merely imperfect creatures who must be improved: we are, as Newman said, rebels who must lay down our arms.” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain