When Mary Magdalene was caught in the act of adultry and brought to Jesus, he forgave her sins. When Jesus rose from the dead, no person saw the risen Jesus before she did. She was then commanded to tell the other followers of Jesus that he is risen. Jesus, chose the former adulterer to be his first messanger to spread the gospel of his death and resurection.
Folks who cannot forgive a person who committed adultry and later sought forgiveness can not really and honestly call themselves true followers of Christ. Because that is what Christ did.
Some claim that this forgiveness only can take place once. Let us look at what Jesus taught. He was asked how many times to forgive someone who sinned, and said 70 times 7 times…far more than 1 or 3. Some claim that multiple adultries is a different case. That, again is not what Jesus taught.
Jesus meet the Samaritan woman at the well. She had 5 husbands, meaning that she was divorced 4 times; and the man she was with at the time was not her husband. Meaning she was far more of an adulterer and divorced far more people than Gingrich. And yet, because of her many of the people in the town began to believe in jesus.
The truth of the matter is that all the folks who say that they cannot forgive or cannot support Gingrich based on his personal failings of 25 years ago, are not Christian conservatives. In fact, they take a possition akin to that of the Pharisees.
Newt Gingrich is not a perfect man. He is not a perfect candidate. It is fair to attack or critisize him. What is not fair is for someone to not forgive and then call themself a Christian. Christianity teaches forgiveness. It teaches that leaders are people too, they are imperfect, and yet they too deserve forgiveness and mercy. Especially when they turn from their sin, repent, seek forgiveness from God, and change their life to no longer continue the sin. When a man goes to Christ and confesses his sins, and Christ says to go and sin no more; and he does that….should Christians not follow the lead of Christ and forgive the man?
The religious point of view that objects to this is that of the Pharisees. The Pharisees do good deeds in public and seek the praise of men for those deeds. When other candidates claim that they should be president because they are faithful to their wives, but not Gingrich, they are sharing the viewpoint of Pharisees; not of Christ.
Many religious leaders in Iowa and elsewhere believe in Christ Jesus. They live their lives trying to follow him. Many of them are considering Gingrich as potentially their pick for the nomination. Those people who question why, need to only look at his record as a leader and his message and agenda. Gingrich is pro-life and pro-family; he has been for his entire career. He is a loyal husband now, a father, and a grandfather. He is a person who made mistakes, but Christians forgive mistakes.
Those candidates who claim forgiveness is not Christian, will find it impossible to get endorcements or support from real Christian leaders; those Christian leaders believe in and trust in the saving blood of Jesus Christ, and believe in the forgiveness of sins. So much so, that many says the Apostles Creed, the centeral definition of the Christian Faith, which says:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven,and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit,the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Respectfully, I submit that attacks on Gingrich’s personal mistakes of 25 years ago are not reflective of who he is today. He has sought forgiveness from God, and admits to his faults. Christians, like me, believe in the forgiveness of sins. Apparently, some running for the GOP nomination do not forgive Gingrich. They use his mistakes of 25 years ago to attack him. Jesus teaches not to judge and says we will be judged if we judge others. Who is following Jesus? Gingrich who sinned and asked for forgiveness, and changed, or those who refuse to forgive his sins of 25 years ago, and seek to become president by attacking him on those faults he long ago recieved forgiveness on from God. Some, like myself, pray the Our Father, which goes:
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name. They kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliever us from evil. [For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.] Amen.
I end with this final remark: I do think it is fair to ask is this man currently living in sin. Is he currently an adulterer. Is he currently a man of faith. But mistakes of 25 years ago are not a fair basis to judge a man today. If a man asked for forgiveness, and went and sinned no more, he has my forgiveness also. Who am I to hold against a man what which Jesus has forgiven? I object to claiming to be Christian, and yet attacking a man who has clearly changed, based on his personal sins of the past. Sins he sought forgiveness from God for. I believe in forgiveness, and I forgive. I expect any man running for the GOP nomination for president to do the same. I have real questions about the faith of a man who does not believe that Jesus saves, and that as Christians we have the duty to forgive.
Respectfully, I submit that the attacks on Gingrich’s mistakes in the past are unChristian. I believe they are intended by politicians to help them win election, and by others to help their candidate win. They are selfish attacks. The men who never cheated on their wives did the right thing in being faithful. They have their happy marriage as a reward. Gingrich has to live for the rest of his life with the effects of his sins in his personal and public life. That said, in so much as I am a follower of Christ, I follow him in forgiving the man who seeks Christ’s forgiveness. Gingrich has rebuilt his life and eliminated this sin from his life. I applaud that, and forgive his past misteps, just as I forgive other people who have made the same mistakes and changed their lives.
I respectfully understand that some do not agree. Many in this country are not Christian. Some others are culturally Christian, but do not believe in the saving message of Jesus Christ. They think that once a man has sinned, he can never recieve forgiveness. Others think a man can only be forgiven after he is dead. I am a Christian, and as such believe that Jesus died for our sins. Mine, as well and Newts. I accept Jesus’s death on the cross and payment for sin. That he has repented and changed is enough for me. It is a non-issue. It will be a non-issue for other Christians.
Many are not Christian, and there will be some political price for him. That is part of life, and something Gingrich will need to life with. That said, I will not throw stones where Jesus does not throw them.