Forgiveness is such a simple word
But it’s so hard to do when you’ve been hurt
The above lyrics from Kellie Pickler’s “I Wonder” provide a fitting introduction to this post.
On this week’s Crossroads podcast, host Todd Wilken and I discuss forgiveness and media coverage of it. We focus on two recent GetReligion posts touching on that subject.
STOVER, Mo. — Last Sunday, the Rev. Travis Smith paced First Baptist Church’s sanctuary, decorated for the holidays with poinsettias and a Christmas tree. He addressed his congregation, speaking to them about forgiveness.
Smith read verses from the Gospel of Matthew that follow the Lord’s Prayer:
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,” he said.
Since Smith’s arrest in October on sexual abuse and statutory rape charges, which follow similar allegations from 2010, forgiveness from his congregation has become critical to his survival as its pastor. It is this group of about 100 souls — not a bishop, nor a disciplinary committee nor national church leaders at a faraway headquarters — who will decide Smith’s future in the Southern Baptist Convention.
As my original post noted, that report contained a major ghost.
We recorded the podcast before the tragedy in Connecticut, so I was thinking more clearly than I am now. However, I did forget the question about three or four sentences into one long-winded reply — but please don’t tell Wilken!
Anyway, check out the podcast and hug your children.