Charleston Has Some Amazing Theology

Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church appears to my mind to have their theology amazingly right, at the very least, where it most counts. Knowing how much they have been forgiven by God enabled the nine families of those shot by Dylann Roof to offer forgiveness to the perpetrator. Folks, Christianity doesn’t get any more glorious than this. What other religion would direct people to react in this way? What other god can offer the grace our God can offer to enable people to do something that shut the mouths of the mainstream media? My heart bleeds for the families of those who were lost, but I also rejoice in the glory of God that is being broadcast all over the world.

There is only one point at which I would disagree with what at least one person said down in Charleston. “You took something very precious away from me,” a family representative for Ethel Lance, the 70-year-old grandmother who died in Wednesday’s massacre, told Roof on behalf of Lance’s loved ones. “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people, but I forgive you.” Ah, this person is gloriously wrong! For what about the resurrection?

Satan is trying very hard to blunt the effectiveness of the witness of these godly people in Charleston. I do not think it is an accident that Tullian Tchividjian’s case broke at the time that it did. We need to pray that we can show the world that Charleston is what the gospel looks like in action, whereas Tullian’s case demonstrates what happens when the whole gospel is not taught.



  1. Jay Ryder said,

    June 22, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for pointing out the way that these lovely people have glorified Christ in their actions.

    But I do have a qualm with the second part. The resurrection doesn’t remove the painful fact that a human life was taken, plucked out of their family. Buddhists act like pain, suffering, death, and evil don’t matter-they are dukka. Christians though know and understand that death, suffering, and evil does matter.

    “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people, but I forgive you.” Ah, this person is gloriously wrong!

    No, this person is 100% correct, and therein lies the glorious reality of the forgiveness that they’ve offered — despite their pain and suffering. It’s not because they will see their loved one again in glory at the resurrection, so much as the fact that they know how much they have been rescued from the divine judgment and life of darkness in this world.

  2. seareaders said,

    June 22, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Please pray for us in Charleston. Gossips and those hungry for a fight keep bringing up old wounds as a way to incite anger and wedge enmity between those seeking peace. Please pray for us.

  3. Ron said,

    June 22, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    “I do not think it is an accident that Tullian Tchividjian’s case broke at the time that it did.”


    I can take that in a couple of plausible ways. Would you elaborate for me? It’s probably obvious, so I open up the question to the field, not that people don’t feel free to answer for others…

  4. greenbaggins said,

    June 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Jay, all I meant was that the person WILL see their loved one again at the resurrection. While it is true that they won’t see that person again in this life, it is not true that they will never see them again. I should make clear that the person is obviously correct in affirming that a grievous hurt was committed. And, for all I know, they may agree with me. The person may be speaking in a limited way of this life, so there is a distinct possibility that the person was correct. I was just pointing out that if the reference is “for all time,” then it is incorrect.

    seareader, I pray for you, as I am sure millions are.

    Ron, I mean that I believe Satan is at work trying to tarnish God’s glory. Of course, God will overcome Satan’s whiles, as He always does. But I believe Satan was using Dylann Roof in order to try to take away the punch of what is happening in Charleston.

  5. Ron said,

    June 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Thx Lane

  6. Truth2Freedom said,

    June 23, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I might add – knowing how much we believers and the church have been forgiven so much debt by God should enable us to offer forgiveness, grace and mercy to those brothers and sisters in Christ who’ve fallen or stumbled into sin. May the church and believers not shoot their wounded but may those who are strong in faith help the fallen. May there be no shunning, ridiculing, mocking, gossiping, slandering, judgement or condemnation. May there be heroic love, grace, mercy and forgiveness offered to our own family of God in the same manner as it has been offered to a non believing killer.

  7. Truth2Freedom said,

    June 23, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.

  8. B said,

    June 23, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Hi Lane,

    I appreciate your comments. Were the Charleston families offering forgiveness or were they saying, “I forgive you?” The few excerpts I read suggested the latter. I always have a question with these statements…what does it mean to forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness?

    I realize this is a long theological discussion, but it always seems strange to say, I forgive you (a response) when no statement of sorrow or repentance has been made for the response.

    The offer of forgiveness is a wonderful Christian attribute indeed and if that was what was done, Praise the Lord! The granting of forgiveness to those who have not confessed is quite popular…especially in many gospel presentations (God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, etc…) but does not seem to me to be grounded in Scripture.

    I have in mind here, I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Also, the call of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles to “Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Also in mind is the servant who is granted mercy of his master when he asks but does not grant it to his fellow servant when asked. Christians must always be quick to forgive and show mercy as God teaches us in the 5th petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

    Lets keep the free offer of forgiveness and salvation always in our minds and in our witnessing but lets also be careful that we don’t mislead those who are far from the Lord into thinking they are close.

    I am praying that the Lord effectually calls this sinner, giving him the free gifts of repentance and faith, so that he may believe in the name of the Jesus Christ, repent of his sins, and be saved!


  9. Don said,

    June 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    It’s one thing to wrestle with the idea of unrequested forgiveness, i.e., how and when to give it, but I think Luke 23:34 provides a pretty good grounding in Scripture for the principle.

  10. B said,

    June 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm


    What a beautiful picture of our intercessor who pleads for us – even demonstrating this in his pleading for those who would put him to death.

    Of course we notice in this verse, like when Stephen prays the same prayer at his death, some are brought to repentance unto life and forgiven and others are not.

    Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, does not declare forgiveness for those putting him to death, instead he prays to the Lord to forgive them. It is as it were, Christ praying that the Lord might grant repentance unto life to these men who were putting him to death. But of course we notice…Jesus does not say…”I forgive them”. He makes a petition which is for our benefit as we pray for the world, we ought to pray for the salvation of the lost and doing so in such a manner is wholly appropriate.

    We hear the good confession of the centurion at the cross…Matt 27:54 “Truly this was the Son of God.”

    Sometime after Stephen was stoned, offering the same prayer, the man who lead it all, Saul the persecutor, comes to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Christ and Stephen did not say, “I forgive you” as no repentance had been offered – instead they ask God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, to give repentance unto life and faith in Jesus Christ alone to these men and therefore to forgive them of their sins. And we see God answering by doing just that through the working of His Holy Spirit in them which at the time…knew not what they did.

    Praise God for sending the Holy Spirit to work the gifts of faith and repentance in His elect!

  11. B said,

    June 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I should added the below words in brackets below into the 2nd to last paragraph above:

    “…to give repentance unto life and faith in Jesus Christ alone to these men and therefore [on the basis of Christ Himself, on the basis of Christ’s work by which we are saved] to forgive them their sins.”

  12. SLIMJIM said,

    June 25, 2015 at 2:57 am

    The forgiveness by the Charleston AME victims’ family shows what grace can do. In contrast cheap antinomian grace leads to sin. Good post!

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