Posted by: Ken Brown | July 18, 2008

On Forgiveness, Sorta

From Lark News:

On forgiving spree, man alienates friends, family
LUBBOCK, Texas — Dan Bentley, 38, used to have trouble admitting he was wrong, until a sermon series convinced him that asking forgiveness was the path to personal freedom. Now he is asking forgiveness so much that he’s on the verge of losing every friend he’s ever made. “I’m cleaning the slate with everybody, no matter how difficult that proves to be,” he says. Bentley recently asked a woman at work to forgive him for spending years ogling her, especially when she wore particular outfits. He was promptly hit with a sexual harassment claim and a demotion.

Go here for the whole thing.

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Responses

  1. It’s really interesting.

    I’ve often thought what would happen if I really ‘went clean’ like this guy.

    I think his story although it sounds quite sad just goes to show 1) how God truly sees us and 2) How really terrible and sinful we really are (ie. how much we do need forgiveness).

    He wasn’t a murderer, or thief or rapist- and yet these hidden thoughts and actions repulse people- why?

    Perhaps this is why murderers et al who convert find it easier to receive forgiveness since they’re crimes are on the surface whereas the rest of us are all trying to find a balance between living right/successful/peacefully and not getting caught out by some of the more creepy stuff.

    I don’t recommend anyone do this- I think there are some things that are really for you God and perhaps an accountable friend. For example: the girl at work has not been personally offended or harmed in any way- it’s only the guys spirit that is suffering under this particular burden of sin.

    I admire the guy for doing all this, but he’s now fallen into the trap of setting himself a standard to live by. If there’s one thing we know about humans is we tend to fall back into the same traps once we take our eye off the ball.

    Well done for finding that article. I think every Christian should read this and meditate.

  2. Just to add an extra aside- that would make a great movie concept – a bit like ‘Liar Liar’.

  3. Given that it’s from Lark News, I’m pretty sure the story is a farce, but you make a great point. We all hide our sins partly because we know how harmful it would be to reveal them, but that’s precisely because we know, deep down, that however we may rationalize our sin, it is and always will be deeply shameful.

    This is one area that I think Catholics understand better than we Protestants. Even if it is too often abused, regular confession to a neutral third party can redress that balance without additional harm. Where admitting lust to one’s spouse is likely to do more harm than good, admitting it to a concerned pastor is not. While I think Protestants are right to stress that the Priest is, technically, unnecessary, few of us (myself included) maintain any consistent alternative. “Accountability partners,” though a great idea, are not widely practiced, and probably never will be.

  4. Heh, didn’t realise it was parody!


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