Wednesday, 05 August 2015 13:23

Life Without Forgiveness

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When the young Texas cardiologist urged in Facebook that Ndiigbo in Lagos should be dealt with the way Nigerians were slaughtered during South Africa's xenophobic outbursts, it was easy to rise up as Hercules to avenge or get even. Someone mentioned forgiveness.  "Forgive one who wanted to destroy me?" One could ask with bloodshot eyes, ready to punch a hole through the brick wall.  Trembling and quivering with emotions so strong as to cause a tsunami, another might be indecisive on what to do with the Holy Bible collecting dust on the dresser, whether to open or kick it into the bathroom.

The Voice of Jesus tugs at your heart as the Imperial Majesty that He is to pontificate that forgiveness is a Christian duty: "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors...For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  (Matthew 6: 12, 14-16).

Without forgiveness, the world would be one big messed-up place. Without forgiveness, Jews and Arabs are sure to endorse World War III.  The earth needs to rewrite religion to make sense to the senseless earthlings. Without an addendum, the Christian Holy Bible would be a compilation of cruel laws urging worshippers to eliminate persons who don't believe in Jehovah and Jesus.

What 's an addendum? An addendum is an addition, supplement, appendix, postscript, codicil , rider, or add-on. It doesn't mean replacement.  Fortunately, the Bible has an addendum called the New Testament. The Holy Quaran consists of a system of religious laws as barbaric as the Christian Old Testament and stipulates how to destroy nonbelievers in Islam.

Unfortunately, the Quaran's writer Mohammed died before he could write a supplement to fine-tune his crude doctrines and organization of society. Because the Quaran has no supplement for its followers to follow, there is confusion among various Islamic sects; some want Sharia laws, jihads, and interest-free banking, and others prefer civil courts and Barclay's bank. While the Quaran tells me as Muslim to behead a man who takes an acre of his land, the Bible tells me to forgive him and give him one more acre.

If Christians were left with just the Old Testament, we would be behaving like boko haram jihadists. But thank God our Bible has a supplement in the New Testament which is a humane treatise on the practical application of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Where the Old Testament asked us to stone an adulterous woman, the New Testament urges "he without sins  should cast the first stone." Where the Old Testament stipulated "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth," the New Testament teaches tolerance, and turning the other cheek.

Where Mosaic laws asked a man to divorce his wife for any reason or no reason at all, Jesus asks that man to do so on the grounds of adultery after giving her the "bill of divorcement". In fact, Jesus outlawed divorce completely by saying that Moses gave the bill of divorcement due to men's hardness of heart but that it was not the case from the beginning. The New Testament teaches me to treat others in a humane manner suitable for an ordered society.  Isn't that a better way to live my life than to kidnap a man so as to take his cow or to enslave his daughter in order to convert him to my religion?

It is very important that Muslim scholars and religious teachers get together to write an addendum to the Quaran to prevent unnecessary bloodshed among worshipers who do not fully understand the mind of Allah and his prophet Mohammed. When Jesus was no longer on earth, the holy men, including His disciples  and those inspired by the Holy Spirit, got together and penned the New Testament as a guide for Jesus' followers. Why can't Islamic men inspired by Allah do the same thing? The BIBLE stands for Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. What does the Quaran stand for?

Jews do not believe in the New Testament and, like the Muslims, bear grudges over centuries of squabbles over land. They both enjoy bombing themselves to blithering in a bid to demonstrate naked power.  Jews and Arabs are NOT THE ONLY people of God. They don't believe in Jesus as the Son of God as much as the redeemed people of God, the Christians.   I resent Jews and Arabs who monopolize religion and use the name of God to test nuclear weapons, to steal and confiscate other people's land. Theft of property cannot be construed to mean knowing God. To know God is to comport yourself in such a peaceful way as to reflect the image of God in you, not to be a threat to others. Might is not right and absolute might which corrupts absolutely, is not supreme righteousness. Therefore, forgiveness is a much stronger weapon to fight injustice than what the world is used to.

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.