Fans gather at the centennial flame to sing "Give Peace a Chance" on the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's assassination on Dec 8, 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Fans gather at the Centennial Flame to sing “Give Peace a Chance” on the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination on Dec. 8, 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Paul McKinnon via Shutterstock

(RNS) The man who murdered John Lennon wants only one thing now — to tell others about Jesus.

Mark David Chapman, 59, told parole examiners he was no longer the man who sought notoriety through killing the Beatles rock star in 1980.

Now, he said, he’s sorry, “forgiven by God” and eager to spend his days — in prison or out — ministering to others.

Examiners denied Chapman the possibility of parole for the eighth time on Aug. 20. According to the 25-page transcript of the hearing, Chapman expected that finding. He will continue serving 20 years to life at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, near Buffalo, N.Y.

In his last parole hearing in 2012, the transcript shows, he was just as interested in testifying about his religious faith.

The transcript details how he spent years plotting the shooting of Lennon, acquiring a gun and bullets, lying to his wife about his whereabouts and plans. No more, he said. Now, his wife of 35 years, who visits him at least annually, is his partner in faith.

He told the board: “We’re closer to the Lord now than we were on the street so I am going to credit him with keeping our marriage together and our sanity.”

Chapman’s anniversary gift to her was a gold cross with a ruby heart in the center. It was not “just to say. ‘Thank you, honey.’ It’s to tell God thank you for his love for us, for sticking with us,” Chapman said.

Parole examiners asked whether Chapman might harm others if released and whether he was concerned that he might be a target himself for someone seeking the notoriety of murdering him. Chapman pledged that his crime days were over and as for risk to himself: “I leave it in God’s hands.”

His main interest now lies in ministering to prisoners. “Me and my wife have a ministry. We distribute brochures that tell people about Christ. … That is where my heart is.”

Chapman apologized for the pain he caused Lennon, his family and his millions of fans: “I am sorry for being such an idiot and choosing the wrong way for glory. I found my peace in Jesus. I know him. He loves me. He has forgiven me.”

The upshot: He plans to spend his days “telling people, ‘Hey, you have another option. You have Christ. … Either crime or Christ, which way do you want to go here?’”

And he predicted correctly during the hearing (“We all know how this will turn out,” he said) that those days would be in prison. The board ruled that Chapman’s release would be incompatible with the welfare of society” and would “deprecate the serious nature of the crime,” according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

YS/AMB END GROSSMAN

61 Comments

  1. Jesus could forgive him, I don’t have to. Certainly the Lennon family has no need to.

    The whole notion of Christian forgiveness as practiced by most, is nonsense. People make empty statements and gestures to God in what is a clearly self-serving manner, to get sympathy from the outside world. One ignores and avoid any effort to seek forgiveness from the people harmed by their actions and perform actual penitent acts.

    This is just one of many examples of how Christian notions of morality enables sociopathic behavior.

    • I don’t know. Frankly, Chapman’s personal testimony sounds real.

      As long as Chapman makes it clear that he fully accepts his fully-deserved fate in prison; and as long as he’s willing to do his Christian testimony from behind bars for the rest of his life, there’s no need for you or I to begrudge him his faith.

      What do you think about the biblical possibility that a vile skunk-brain murderer like Chapman might indeed make it to heaven while a law-abiding, reasonably “moral” atheist like yourself, might NOT?

      • As I said, God can forgive him. Nobody else has to.

        If his faith involves just making such declarations and avoiding doing the real work of seeking forgiveness from those he harmed, it is worthless. I can begrudge him those belief because it lacks any meaning, even within the religion itself.

        “What do you think about the biblical possibility that a vile skunk-brain murderer like Chapman might indeed make it to heaven while a law-abiding, reasonably “moral” atheist like yourself, might NOT”

        More proof of the lack of morality inherent to Christianity and its followers I was talking about. Christianity is a great enabling tool for sociopaths. It certainly makes the case that talk of hell is malicious, hateful and lacks any kind of socially redeeming features.

      • P.S. It would be nice — real nice — if Chapman had a serious face-to-face repentence-restitution meeting with Lennon’s family, seeking their forgiveness. That would be an excellent test of his new faith-talk.

        But such a meeting could take years to arrange, and that’s IF the relatives and friends of the murdered Beatle were minimally open and willing for such arrangements.

        Very understandably, many families of murder victims are not open to such a meeting and will NEVER be. I don’t even know if I would ever be, under such circumstances.

        Therefore, in the meantime, things are what they are. If Chapman’s testimony is real, then it’s real. Nothing can change that. Jesus is real, and Jesus is the friend of sinners, and we’re all sinners.

        But Chapman will have to continue living out his faith (behind bars), knowing that many people — friends and family of Lennon, millions of Beatle fans, millions of people period — will simply never accept or trust his new claim of being a Christian. Price to be paid.

        • It wouldn’t be penance if it was easy to do. :)

          Some acts are not simply open to forgiveness from other people. Some acts do not deserve such things. If you want to forgive him, by all means. Nothing stops you. Just don’t get the impression that one HAS to do such a thing.

          IMO this is just an example of the same kind of self-aggrandizing behavior he exhibited when he first thought of fame via celebrity murder. He now has a little bit of respect and authority claiming to be acting for Jesus. Christians are expected to take it seriously. That is their problem.

          • Penance is not a biblical concept. Repentance is and repentance is an entirely different animal. It is not my job to judge whether Chapman’s repentance is genuine, but it certainly could be. The repentance of murderers, liars, adulterers and other sinners (that’s all of us, by the way) is a vital aspect of the Christian hope.

            Repentance is the turning away from one’s sins that comes as a result of seeing anew and that seeing anew comes from the acceptance of Christ’s forgiveness of us. The moral weight of murder and other sins is not denied. On the contrary, it is intensified as we see Jesus bearing the full impact of that sin on the cross. Only when one sees ones own sins as having killed Christ can one enact repentance. It’s hard for me to see how this shows the “amorality” of Christianity.

          • Penance is a societal concept of trying to make right what damages you caused to others and society in general.

            Repentance without some acts of penance is hollow. It may be satisfactory to Christians, but it is meaningless to anyone else. Anyone can claim to square things right with God, squaring things right with people is real work.

            You may claim the moral weight of murder is not denied, but suddenly the consequences on the perpetrator are removed. People are now thinking well of a murderer because he said a few self-serving phrases in public and little else.

      • You’re kidding me right? In the Christian faith, what is listed in the ten commandments, the top ten rules God really doesn’t want you to break? Thou shalt not what??? And Chapman broke, I believe it was rule number 6. If you could just break any one of God’s rules and then just say I’m sorry, than what’s the point of even having the ten commandments. But the truth is it doesn’t matter, because Chapman won’t go to heaven for the same reason you, or I won’t be going to heaven. It’s not because we’re murderers of star rock n roll singer, musicians. No, it’s because heaven is fictional, and used in story’s to help brain wash people when they are young. It’s not a real place in reality.

        • Gods point of having the ten commandments,,, that we all break is to show us why we need his Son as our savior from sin ..

          Jesus made it clear that even wrong thoughts is breaking the commandments .. when he said even lust for a women your not married to is adultery..
          Jesus also if you just break one commandment you have broken them all..

          were all guilty according to God of breaking all the commandment’s..

          • Jesus also if you just break one commandment you have broken them all..

            were all guilty according to God of breaking all the commandment’s..”

            Which makes the idea of following them for their own sake kinda counterproductive. If you are going to equate murder with not keeping the Sabbath day simply because they are on the same list, then there is some serious flaw in moral conceptual thinking there.

      • Right on, Doc. I think Chapman’s conversion sounds real. He’s not getting off for killing Lennon and he continues in the faith anyway. Chapman knows his life is not his own now. Another killer with a similar conversion is David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer from the 1970s.

    • Larry, I get what you’re saying. And that frustrates me, too. But the Bible admonishes us not to “avoid any effort to seek forgiveness from the people harmed by their actions and perform actual penitent acts.” Some Christians may act this way, but this is not in accord with Christ, and it’s important to me that you know that.

      Three quick references here: Luke 19:8,9…Zacchaeus, a corrupt tax collector repents, and as a natural consequence vows to restore what he has stolen fourfold. Jesus accepts this act and says that “today salvation has come to this house.” Restitution is shown as a component of true repentance and change.

      Matthew 5:23, 24…Jesus instructs the crowd that, prior to offering to the Lord, they need to be reconciled with their brother who has something against them. Thus Jesus says that holiness must be present in our human relationships, or else we have no part in him.

      1 John 4:20, 21…”If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

      • Well then, the Bible is a great handbook for excusing bad behavior. What is in accord with Christ’s teachings and what Christians do on a regular basis can easily be two different things. Restitution is the part people tend to forget in their jailhouse conversions to Christianity. They believe being born again wipes the slate clean of all they did to others and the damages they caused.

        Fellow Christians can feel the need to accept such declarations of religiosity as a sign of penance, but nobody else has to. It isn’t anything of the sort. To be honest I don’t think anyone in their right mind should. It gives the appearance that if one declares their forgiveness to God, they can be excused for seeking forgiveness to those you harmed. Excused from making real tangible efforts to people. You can keep that. It is of no value to anyone else.

        • Larry, I think we’re on the same page here…in some ways, at least.
          I agree with you. The Bible agrees with you. Turning to Christ necessarily involves confession, repentance (concretely turning away from evil), and reconciliation/restitution whenever possible. The fact that some do not follow these clear scriptural teachings doesn’t negate the fact that the Bible actually spells this out, or that it’s true and right. It sounds like your dispute is not with the Bible, but with the people who selectively adhere to it. Again…you’re in accord with God on this.

          I don’t mean to subject you to this conversation in which you may or may not be interested, but one last point, please, on the Bible being a “great handbook for excusing bad behavior”:

          Far from it. The Bible speaks very clearly and starkly about the reality and dangers of sin, for everyone. And retribution is coming for the wicked. But, for those who realize their bankruptcy and utter inability to meet the standard of holiness, who trust in the redemptive atonement and worth of Jesus Christ, there is no punishment. Jesus takes this punishment, that they deserve, and completely forgives them, giving us a fresh start and new life.

          This is, emphatically, not merely a “get out of jail free” card. It doesn’t mean that you’re not obligated to make things right with those you’ve hurt- quite the opposite…it is your obligation and duty. This shows the true nature of your conversion. As Martin Luther once said, “we are saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone”.

          • We both agree, asking forgiveness without restitution/tangible penance is of no value either to Christianity or anyone.

            But in practice that appears to be the standard procedure in such things. People seek the harshest, most malicious and draconian treatment of others, but suddenly beg for forgiveness when the roles are reversed. It does little to give credibility to such declarations of faith. Forgiveness and grace are things most Christians expect for themselves and usually fail to give to others.

            Doc Anthony illustrated above how enabling the Bible can be for malicious behavior towards others. Hateful destructive behavior is excused as “opposing sin”, insulting and obnoxiousness to those outside the faith are excused as “spreading the word” or “following one’s convictions”. Moral decisions are outsourced to the interpretations of Biblical passages rather than using one’s own conscience. You can say he doesn’t represent “Real Christians”. But that means nothing unless the “Real Christians” are willing to criticize such things for themselves rather than give a defensive reaction.

          • We have common ground. We agreed on the major points. That forgiveness from God in Christianity requires restitution and penance.

            We disagree on implementation and usefulness. Whereas, I almost never see that restitution and penance from self-professed Christians, he simply makes excuses for it.

        • Larry- The Bible is not a handbook for excusing bad behavior, it’s certainly a book with instructions for salvation from the beginning, and the historical accounts of Jesus who came down from heaven as fully Man and fully God in order to show what people need to do in order to have eternal life. No one needs help from an unbeliever about what a person needs to say to others if they are themselves Christians and have faith in God. Why do you wish everyone be as yourself,(except one does tend to be lonely when living without God, so I kind of understand you want others to be as you are). Christ wants each one of us to forgive from the heart, Chapman can only ask humans for pardon, he has no way of making any restitution to the Lennon family. The only way he can do something , is to pray for those who lost a loved one through his actions, pray for the soul of John Lennon, and pray for his own soul and relying of the Mercy of God which is inexhaustible. You could be doing good by finding something positive about his faith in God and stop acting with authority about things that pertain to Christians, because your ideas belong solely to yours. cheers.

          • The Great God Pan

            “The Bible is not a handbook for excusing bad behavior, it’s certainly a book with instructions for salvation”

            Tomato, tomahto.

      • the first verse you quote is not penance its the mans way of showing Jesus thanks for being his savior .. i faith’s fruit is not penance ..

        the next verse you quote is reconciliation again that’s not penance..
        .
        and the last verse where in the world would you get the idea that love is penance ..? you don’t need to explain that to me,, yet if your married and she reads it you got some Heavy explaining to do about that one.

        expect to find your self out in the dogs house for a few nights at least..

    • do you have proof that he hasn’t reached out, apologized, and tried to make amends with the family of Lennon? are you reading the letters he sends out from jail? it is ignorant on your behalf to be so judgmental when you have no clue how he has spent his time in jail and what he has said to Lennon’s family. You judge him from this article alone? That is not smart.

      • They would have been quoted in the story.

        Do you think that statements of forgiveness by Yoko and John’s sons would NOT have been reported in such a situation?

        I don’t feel the need to assume things for Mr. Chapman’s benefit. I can be judgmental because he is a convicted murderer who premeditated his act.

    • 34 years in the pen. People are always being paroled after murder. I think John Lennon would have forgiven the guy, if he killed someone else. So because he was a rock-star does this mean lennon’s life is more valuable than anybody else’s? I guess the rules of leniency do not apply if you go after someone in the cultural aristocracy.

      Psychotic libs abort babies every day.

    • Oh, I could name quite a few sociopaths whose atheism was a great enabling tool – Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro, Napoleon, Than Shwe (dictator of Burma) Kim Jong Il, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jim Jones (of Guyana kool aid fame (“I “took the church and used the church to bring people to atheism”) Mussolini,

      • Jim Jones professed to be Christian. Those other dictators took their lessons from the religion of their areas. Replacing religion of the state with cults of personality. Same irrational violence, different object of worship.

        Atheists are not told to forgive people who commit bad acts because they made some self-serving statements of belief. That is fairly unique to Christians.

        • You’re trying just a little too hard to absolve your own religion (atheism) of what you call “bad behavior”, Larry.

          Leave off all those rationalizations and simply admit that atheists are sinners just like the rest of us.

          Is that so difficult?

          • Murder is a pretty bad act no matter what your religion is. Unless it is your version of Christianity. Evidently it is not as bad as being an atheist.

            Sin is what your religion throws around when its leaders want to exert social control. Its arbitrary, capricious and has no relation to morality.

  2. Larry, I couldn’t reply to your last comment (no “reply” button), but wanted to say this, and this will be my last word.

    I don’t know if “Doc Anthony” is a real Christian, or not. All I know is one comment that he left on a website.

    We agree that it is hypocritical to hold others to a different standard. And I’m often embarrassed by what Christians do (including, maybe especially, myself).

    But it troubles me that you continue to attribute this sort of wrongdoing on the part of Christians to the Bible/God. This is an error. Any failure on the part of Christians (and believe me, we all fail) doesn’t negate the propositional truth or moral authority of God as communicated through the Scripture. You cannot logically brush aside the Bible because of those who wish to adhere to it. This is to your detriment.

    Thanks for your time this morning…I’ve enjoyed the exchange. Feel free to e-mail me at allen.jerkins@gmail.com if you like.

    • We are on the same page at least on the general concepts here.

      My issue is more with the implementation and general practice more than anything else. I attribute wrongdoing to people who call themselves practicing (and devout) Christians who claim the Bible excuses their behavior. If that gives you pause, you should take a closer look at those who profess to share the same beliefs as yourself.

  3. “You are forgiven, go in peace”
    - Bernard Law (to the pedophile priests).

    The immoral heart of Christianity is the illusion
    that granting permission for evil
    is somehow a good thing.

    “Resist not evil” – JESUS

    Profoundly immoral.

  4. The Great God Pan

    “Chapman apologized for the pain he caused Lennon…”

    This shows a lack of understanding of his crime. He didn’t “cause Lennon pain,” he took away Lennon’s ability to feel pain, or pleasure, or anything else. Apparently he doesn’t get it.

    “Forgiveness,” “restitution” and other terms being bandied about here are meaningless when it comes to murder. That Christianity does not recognize this simple fact prevents it from ever being a truly moral ideology.

    • You don’t understand that John Lennon still lives, not bodily but spiritually. He certainly can be sorry to Lennon, Lennon knows more about the murder than you or I. The souls of the dead are still living-either in the beatitude of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, One God; or awaiting purification in purgatory with the prayers and good works of those of the Church militant here on earth, -or damned in hell with satan and his demons. But the soul lives on even when the body ceases to live. Chapman can be sorry to Lennon, and to God, and to those he hurt by his actions. You for your own part can refuse to accept his sorrow and not act as God would act, who does accept a truly penitent heart. In this case we cannot know what’s in Chapman’s heart, unless of course you think you are some type of god, and from your name maybe that’s what you think. pax

      • Tanya,

        John Lennon is still sleeping in death since the time he passed away (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10).

        On a more positive note, John has a hope of a resurrection back to life on a cleansed earth, to be reunited with his family and friends (Act 24:15; John 5:28,29).

        Mark Chapman, if he is truly repentant of his past serious sins and has turned his life around, has the hope of living on that cleansed faith as well. King David committed serious sins concerning Bathsheba and her husband, but God forgave him for those sins because of his genuine repentance.

        The same can be applied to Christians today who make serious mistakes; as well as criminals who have committed serious sins by repentance and turning their lives around .

  5. The Great God Pan

    “He plans to spend his days ‘telling people, “Hey, you have another option. You have Christ. … Either crime or Christ, which way do you want to go here?”’”

    But as Chapman demonstrates, you can have both. There’s no need to choose. If Christianity truly forced people to choose between the two (i.e. no forgiveness for sins), then it would potentially have actual social utility. Unfortunately, that potential would be negated because nobody would sign up. If Christianity made “sin” matter, the pews would be practically empty.

  6. the parole board has acted unconstutitionaly. The Constitution says we have the right to practice religion (in context, that means Christianity). His religion says he is forgiven, therefore he must be set free. That is called showing respect for peoples believes.

    I declare Mark David Chapman a POLITICAL PRISONER held hostage by an athiest parole board holding a grudge over the death of the athiestic Communist dope smoker John Lenin. PHAROH, LET MY PEOPLE GO.

  7. Now, let’s examine your thinking mistakes. The Constitution allows for free exercise of religion? Check. So Mark David Chapman has the right to exercise his religion in jail? Check. So he must be set free because his sin is forgiven? Nope. Nothing, in any religion even remotely claims that. So, once again, an atheist fails to think clearly.

    • If you believe keeping good Christians in prison is the right thing to do, I think maybe YOU are the athiest! Let’s get the Christians OUT of prison and the atheists IN there where they belong!

  8. Come on, people. EVERY prisoner seeking parole claims being born again and forgiven. How many times does a parole board hear that? Every time they review someone? Well, ok, with the exception of Manson, of course. He doesn’t even show up to his hearings anymore. And why should he? He’s got the life of Riley. Plus, that thing on his forehead doesn’t help. :)

    • The Great God Pan

      Speaking of Manson, one of his acolytes actually does claim to have “found Jesus,” and with the help of pressure from evangelicals outside prison the parole board even agreed with him.

      Fortunately, Governor Brown stepped in and denied his parole.

  9. Part of Chapman’s original motive for plotting, tracking and finally murdering John Lennon was due to being incensed at Lennon’s “blasphemy” regarding the “more popular than Jesus” comment along with the songs “God” and “Imagine”.

    Claiming to be special conduit, friend and the minister for such a God in order to promote the notion that he is somehow redeemed and that this is a virtuous ideal that others need to be taught – is morally bankrupt and malicious.

    In other words, Chapman hasn’t changed a bit, he’s just found the ready made tool of religion that promotes his psychopathy.

  10. ‘The board ruled that Chapman’s release would be incompatible with the welfare of society” and would “deprecate the serious nature of the crime,” according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.’

    Now I realise this is according to 2 papers, but if that is the reason his parole was denied, what was the point of a parole hearing? Regardless of whether he is reformed, his parole was going to be denied. Is that even the job of a parole board? Once a person is eligible for parole, surely the job of the parole board is only to determine if he person is a danger to society.

    • “Now I realise this is according to 2 papers, but if that is the reason his parole was denied, what was the point of a parole hearing?”

      Because the parole board needs a good laugh once in a while? :)

  11. its common for Atheists to get all freaked out when this world does not go exactly as they want ..once a Christian really understands there mind set do you blame them? being they honestly believe this life is all they get to live..
    and its all your fault Christian for messing it up ..

    think of it like this if you had a car and it was the only car you think you will ever have and that awful neighbor run into it and blew the whole thing into smithereens .. And then he says he does not care that much for the car he owns be cause he knows for sure and certain he is getting a brand new spanking top of the line roles Royce and is going to be glad to get rid of that ugly Edsel he owns any way .Yet he is sure sorry he blew the smithereens out of the ugly car that you think, is the one and only one
    you will ever have.. would you be so quick to forgive? or would you be like A max and Larry?

    What a difference KNOWING Jesus makes!!!

    www.,whataboutJesus.com

    The more you click on the more you discover how much more of life is awaiting you than just this ugly Edsel we all have made out of life now ..

    • Right on, Brother Rob!

      The athiests lead such miserable lives because they worry about the lives they know they are living now instead of the promised life that comes after death! If they would open up their hearts to the mystery of FAITH, they could put all their chips on the life of the world to come instead of stupidly betting that this is th eonly life. It just makes sense! But they foolishly beleive in what they know instead of what Christ promised.

      I do not mind living in my basement, where I am confined due to social anxiety caused by knowing the gays and athiests are out there. I don’t mind it because I know that I will inherit the kingdom of Heaven after I die, and the gays and athiests won’t be there! Until then, I will keep collecting my SSDI and spreading the Gospel here.

  12. One LAST THING ..I THINK the bullet and gallow’s proves neither I or you or john Lennon or Oklahoma bomber Tim Micvey is much of a captian of our destiny at all.. your either a slave to Satan or free in Christ..
    EATHER YOUR SINS ARE LYNG ON YOUR OWN SOLDERS AND ONLY DEATH AND HELL AWAITS OR THEY ARE LYING ON JESUS Christ , HIS SOLDERS AND ETERNAL LIFE AND HEAVEN AWAITS .. NOW MAKE UP YOUR MIND WHICH YOU WANT IT TO BE..

    • @rob,

      “Either you are a slave to Satan…or free in Christ.”

      No.
      If you can’t demonstrate that these options is real, then neither one exists. You cannot demonstrate how the slavery would manifest itself, nor the freedom.

      Paul Newman was an Atheist
      yet his life was a manifestations of beauty and charity. And he raised
      $370 Million for sick children through his company “Newman’s Own” donating 100% of the profits.
      Was he a slave to Satan? or free in Christ?
      Neither. He was Atheist.

      There must be a third choice; The dichotomy you present is false.

      • A max ..

        every Christian can easly see
        your demonstrating the reality of the first part so very well .. I do not think we could improve on it that much.. no matter what we did..

  13. The theologian of glory observes the world, the works of creation. With his intellect he perceives behind these the visible things of God, His power, wisdom, and generosity. But God remains invisible to him. The theologian of the cross looks to the Crucified One. Here there is nothing great or beautiful or exalted as in the splendid works of creation. Here there is humiliation, shame, weakness, suffering, and agonizing death… [That] “God can be found only in suffering and the cross”… is a bedrock statement of Luther’s theology and that of the Lutheran Church. Theology is theology of the cross, nothing else. A theology that would be something else is a false theology… Measured by everything the world calls wisdom, as Paul already saw, the word of the cross is the greatest foolishness, the most ridiculous doctrine that can confront a philosopher. That the death of one man should be the salvation of all, that this death on Golgotha should be this atoning sacrifice for all the sins of the world, that the suffering of an innocent one should turn away the wrath of God—these are assertions that fly in the face of every ethical and religious notion of man as he is by nature… God Himself has sent us into the hard school of the cross. There, on the battlefields, in the prison camps, under the hail of bombs, and among the shattered sick and wounded, there the theology of the cross may be learned “by dying”… To those whose illusions about the world and about man, and the happiness built on these, have been shattered, the message of the cross may come as profoundly good news.

    —Hermann Sasse, “The Theology of the Cross: Theologia Crucis,” in We Confess Jesus Christ, Concordia Publishing House, pp. 47-48, 50, 52, emphasis added

  14. Hi Ronald ..nice hearing from you . yet im sorry to hear about your social anxiety.
    st paul also had a good attitude like you do , To what bothered him .every thing that bothers us here just make heaven that more wonderful…. doesn’t it

    .sure is nice to meet other Christians .. Especially you Ronald

  15. This came from a Christian poster (John McDaniel) in the article about Pastor Eugene Cho trashing Millennials.

    “Christians have become a faith story of creeds over deeds. But Jesus grew up in a faith story that taught deeds over creeds….

    The theology of creeds-over-deeds is one that contributes to the current toxicity rampant in churches today. Pastors, church leaders and Christians live a lifestyle where their actions do not represent the very things they proclaim as transformative to their own personal faith story. Christians proclaim how a gift of grace has changed their life and yet fail to gift that grace to others. They proclaim how a love compels them to reconciliation and yet fail to reconcile with those with whom they have caused harm.

    It isn’t surprising at all that our culture as Christians has become one where our creeds about justice are greater than our deeds about justice. It is indicative of our current faith story. ..

    “If we are not known by the goodness of our deeds any greatness of our creeds is little more than hollow words.”

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