Forgiveness is a gift.  God is seen as forgiving you out of generosity and love.  The Christian's forgiveness is supposed to mirror God's approach.

Forgiveness is defined as ceasing to hold resentment towards a person who did you some real or perceived wrong or ceasing to blame them and to judge them as deserving of punishment.  It is more about declaring the wrong to be in the past so that all can move on than about feelings.  Accepting this definition let us see what follows.
Refusing to let go of the pain that somebody has caused you, is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. It may be that a person who thinks they do not believe in magic are still prone to attempting such magic. Religion and the occult and much of what passes for spirituality, focuses on magical behaviour. That is the common denominator.
Forgiveness is a necessary evil. It is not something to be celebrated for it means somebody getting away with their evil. We should forgive only for human reasons. Forgiving to please God or mainly to please him is wrong. It is not about God but about you and the other person.

If you hold that forgiving and your forgiving is all about exercising goodness as an end in and of itself, then it is and should be about goodness and not God or anybody else.  You should not care how God reacts to your forgiving actions.

Forgiveness is turned by religion into a duty because:

# God commands it

# We are all sinners and others deserve forgiveness from us for we have been forgiven by God and others ourselves

# It frees us to walk with God without being wrapped up in how others wronged us

# God died to earn forgiveness for us on the cross so we owe it to him to forgive

Suppose forgiveness is a duty.  Duties are not to be thanked and are no source of joy. It is not a gift to yourself or the person who hurt you. Atheist forgiveness which is avoiding how your bitterness against the person can be self-punishment is really therapy not forgiveness. There is joy in it.  There is warmth.  It is not the passive-aggressive forgiveness of the religionist.

As God is a forgiving God who can forgive the worst imaginable sins we are expected to forgive as well if we respect God by wanting to be like him.  We respect God by respecting his child that needs forgiveness for he is waiting to forgive that child.

God forgives and reconciles with us if we repent - it's not unconditional.  We are told to pardon our enemies when they repent.  God has the advantage over us for he knows how sincere the person seeking forgiveness is.  We do not.  And we know that sincerity is not enough for if it is fragile then we are possibly endangering ourselves by forgiving.

Christians say forgiveness of enemies is a gift God gives to you.  They say we must remember how God controls all and works through all things to bring his erring children back to his arms.  Loving our enemies is the best way to make them cease to be enemies.  That is what we are told. The doctrines about God being love and the power of love imply that no matter how much it seems our love for our dangerous enemy is not helping them deal with and reduce or get rid of their hate and viciousness it is working. That puts you in a dangerous position if in fact it is not working or the person is actually getting worse. Plus you put great value on our love and your loving ability when you think it has a magic power or works like the grace of a sacrament. You end up using them to bolster your ego and feel righteous and they will see though you and it will backfire if not today then tomorrow.

The doctrine of the power of directing love to enemies ignores the fact that they already have people to love them.  It accuses you of blocking God's communication of love to the enemy if you will not forgive.  It is very loaded and judgemental.  It is victim blaming for if you are the cause of your enemies prolonged evil then why are you holding anything against him in the first place?  You are furthering the evil in him that you are complaining about.  Thus there can be no sympathy for you.  You will sense that and the result will be that you end up being bitter and twisted even if you forgive!

The Church teaches that God is the cause of all things and nothing happens unless he consents. Our power to disobey God is not used in spite of God but because of him. The Church says that when we use free will to sin, he gives us the power to sin with. He enables us to sin but is not guilty of sin himself in doing so. Thus even when we intend to go against God we fail to do so. We sin because he empowers us to meaning that even our sins are part of his plan.

The nearest you can get to free will is saying that God controls all the outside but only you decide internally if you will be good or bad.  This amounts to fatalism in practice for the outside is the outside and you can only change within.  You cannot change it.

As free will happens because of God and not in spite of him then nothing can thwart or even damage God’s eternal decrees and plans.  Repentance is thin when you see it as this fatalistic or near-fatalistic step in God’s plan. 

The problem with free will as in having the power to create a bad deed out of nothing that is independent of God is that it makes you a God too.  You are something God cannot do anything about and thus are a real challenge.  Repentance is thin in this view too for you act like you are a God whether you do bad or good.

Real repentance is about how you hurt people no matter how much you tell yourself it is about God.

A failure to accept the repentant and acknowledge their repentance is definitely a sign that you do not forgive.  God is a block. 

If feelings of hate and resentment are there against your will God does not blame you. This shows that God belief cannot work to make everyone forgiving and even condones mercilessness up to a point.  The point is that if you can stop it then stop it. Otherwise it will have to do.  Yet Jesus pretended his teaching on forgiveness was so useful that it was worth trying to enforce!  In practice it has done more harm than good for he offered a loophole and tried to hurt those who were hurt.   He kicked those who were down by making them feel unspiritual and evil.  He led them to feel as if they could not object to what the harmful person did to them for they were made to think, "I cannot complain about what Tom did to me when I am deliberately reliving it and thus hurting myself."

Nowhere in the Bible, not even when Jesus was active in the New Testament, does God or any prophet indicate that forgiving wrong is fine or even praiseworthy when the offender does not repent.  Jesus expressly rejected that kind of forgiveness in Matthew 18.  In that story, Jesus says God will be like the man who forgave the servant.  The servant abused that forgiveness and would not forgive others so the master changed his mind.  The parable is about how one cannot be forgiven unless one admits what evil one did and wants forgiveness so help him become a better person who shows the same mercy to others as he got.  For Jesus, there is no duty to pardon that man.  And there is no wisdom in forgiving somebody who does not want to be affected positively and spiritually by being forgiven by you.

Forgiveness without the demand for repentance is not the way God does things and he does not let us do it either for it solves nothing and ignores the fact that the sinner offending you is a slave to sin and in danger of creating judgement and condemnation for herself or himself.  God would be offended if we forgive without caring if the person repents!  That is sort of siding with the sinner against God. 

Jesus did advocate that if somebody hurts you several times a day you must forgive.  He said that those who judge - ie fall out with another will be themselves judged.  He said the one who does not forgive will not be forgiven.  Yet we know nobody has the right to pressure anyone to forgive.  Or to threaten.  You cannot really forgive if you are being bullied into it.  We know nobody has even the right to ask another to forgive somebody.  What they need support for is in learning to feel less bad over what happened.  You don't need to forgive to move on.   

The Christian faith has people apologising to God for hurting others. The fact that John was hurt has nothing to do with God for God is not John. The fact is that God’s handwork was damaged but that is a separate issue. You can’t go to God and say, “I confess that I hit John and I want you to forgive me”. What you say is, “I confess and ask forgiveness not for hurting John but for not respecting your rights when I hurt him.  When you forgive me for that I must go to John to get forgiven by him for hitting”. The Christians have been conditioned to go to God for relief when their consciences condemn them but in fact they can’t do that. It doesn’t make sense. This is really about them using religion to feel better. It is evil to apologise to God for John's suffering. Go to John. The matter is not over until you forget God and do that. In so far as you prioritise saying sorry to John's mother for hurting him over saying it to John you are not sorry for hurting him. So it is with God who the Church says comes first. Only crafty people would worship a God who they say sorry to as if it were him they hurt. Who do they think they are trying to fool? For them, God is a fantasy playmate not a God. A real God cannot be fooled.
The teaching of love the sinner and hate the sin urges that you think of sin as having no connection to the sinner. An apology means expressing, "I am not that person any more", in one way or another. The teaching that your sins are not to be seen as evidence that you have become evil or partly evil as a person makes that expression impossible. It can only lead to people being sceptical about apologies. We know that hypothetically if it is possible to torture and destroy your evil side then it should be done though it means destroying you. Evil means that which is intolerable and hateful. The love for sinners that Christians display is reluctant love. Christians cannot kill the sinner because the sinner has a good side as well and the power to convert. This means that if they could prove the sinner will never change they could kill him.
Only atheists can forgive especially when they exorcise themselves of all magic notions. Religionists who forgive are turning the religious impulses off.
Moral systems and especially religious ones say that love is sacrifice. Sacrifice is meaningless if we should not forgive. If we do not sacrifice then we do not forgive either but may go through the motions of forgiving.
Religions and moral systems say that there is nobody who is not a sinner. Some say our altruism can never be proven to be genuine so we may be really selfish underneath it all. Others say we care only about ourselves and manipulate all our relatives and friends to make them think it is about them and not us. If so, it may be that we need to abandon religion if it implies we are self-centred all the time. We need to become atheists in order to forgive.
If forgiveness is not real, then religion has turned forgiveness into a scam. It is about getting us to live our lives in torment and/or self-righteous hypocrisy. Love in its authentic state would be a forbidden feeling.  
Suppose overall forgiveness is not good but bad. If we refuse to give people the consequences of their actions then we are doing our best to encourage their evil. Our forgiving people would  be an iniquity for it would be really encouraging the evil of others.
If we are sinners no matter what we do, then surely we are worse not better if we forgive for the forgiveness is really about rewarding and encouraging evil in the name of holiness and virtue. If we sin more than be virtuous then forgiveness is dangerous and encouraging people to fool you with their fake repentance. It is asking for trouble.
If forgiveness is immoral and two-faced then God did not put us here to become virtuous for then it is dead easy to be virtuous. If it is that easy, then there is no need for discipline or suffering. God is cruel for sending them if they are not just for retribution.
Belief in God or gods or spirits who can help us is madness for forgiveness is madness. We can live happily, safely and normally without forgiveness and without the notion that anybody deserves to suffer. The sinister truth about forgiveness is clear proof that God, if he exists, invents morality and morality does not really exist. It proves that theism in all its forms, monotheism, henotheism, monism, polytheism is bad. Any good it does is caused by ignorance and people not thinking but no more makes it good than taking arsenic to cure a health problem is good. It is a deep attack on human rights – and one of these rights is the right not be deceived and not to be made to think that a bad product is a good product. Ignorance does not get people off the hook for they are still doing wrong because they are not thinking and not trying to learn though they should. And we have all met people who see that forgiveness is rewarding sin so faith in forgiveness is blindness and there is no excuse. Anybody that teaches the existence of a forgiving God is furthering a bad fruit. This includes the legendary Jesus who said that you can tell fake prophets by their bad fruits. Bizarrely this young man would have known of false prophets who did not produce bad fruits and yet he said that!
Forgiveness is an egoistic act. You deny the evil person the dignity of receiving what they deserve or choose. You do it so that you will feel better. It is a clear proof to psychologists that we are indeed psychological egoists most of the time or nearly all the time at least. If we are that prone to making gods of ourselves then no God would have made us for himself and to love him.
We know that if we do wrong, that is bad. But if there is a God it is worse for we offend him and break his law that we must do good. It follows then that if it is bad to let a criminal or evil person off the hook then it is worse if there is a God. It would be an act of malice to try to believe in God when it makes the motivation when you do evil far more evil.
Jesus said that if God forgives you and you don't forgive another then this is a great sin. He said that unless you forgive all others you will not be forgiven. He said that you need forgiveness to go into Heaven otherwise you will go to burn in Hell forever. Anybody who forces you and threatens you to forgive is making you more resentful against those who have hurt you. Trying to blackmail a person to forgive only makes the situation worse. And forgiveness has to be engaged in freely and not under force. Any compulsion and it is not real forgiveness. It is not opening up your heart to those who have hurt you and trying to move on.
It is said that you can find peace and you can move on after someone has hurt you bad without forgiving them. If so, the only way to move on is to tell yourself this and try to believe it: "This is too big for me to handle right now. Maybe it will always be too big. I accept that. I have better things to do than mull over it. I am so confident about this." Such an approach is anti-Christian but if it works then who cares?

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