I was bored Saturday night, so I flipped on the TV and started watching the lifetime movie Amish Grace.
The movie Amish Grace is based on shootings that took place at a one-room Amish schoolhouse on October 2, 2006. A man entered the schoolhouse and killed 5 young girls before committing suicide. It was tragic. All the people involved - shooter, children, and all the families - belonged to Christian communities of faith. The story in the press was highlighted by the outpouring of love, compassion, and forgiveness by the Amish people on the shooter's family - to the amazement of many.
The movie did a great job portraying the hatred that was felt by both the victims' families and the shooter's wife. What it did not do was accurately portray what forgiveness was. Forgiveness was boiled down into a "letting go" of negative emotions. It was also very law oriented. Scripture itself was lightly employed and the only verses I recall being quoted in the entire movie was Matthew 6:14 and the reading of Psalm 23. The idea of forgiveness was watered down to emotional blather. At one point one of the Amish elders said that forgiveness was, indeed, not pardon. So much for that "whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" spoken by Jesus.
I'm not sure if that idea of forgiveness is really what the Amish believe. It'd be hard to believe that, though I guess it could be true. And while emotional release isn't the purpose of forgiveness, I guess it still can begin that process to mental and emotional recovery. Though, that is only secondary.
In regard to this, let us always be mindful that we are justified by Christ by the forgiveness of our sins. We truly are pardoned of our many sins because Jesus himself took our punishment. Because of that, we know that even for the most horrible of sinners, even the shooter's sins in this tragedy, were taken to the cross by Jesus so that in Christ there is always hope for salvation.