SOURCE: The Reason for God - Belief in an Age of Scepticism by Timothy Keller.

Keller says when somebody hurts you there is a debt - they earn and take the duty to suffer for what they did. But forgiveness is you facing and taking the suffering yourself instead to set them free. To forgive is to carry the burden of evil incurred by another so that they may go free.
His book says that forgiving means you bear the sins of another in order to love them and reconcile which was why God had to go on the cross to forgive us by it. None of that is in the Bible. The idea is just sentimental tripe. The Bible teaches that rather than Jesus suffering to forgive us that way he suffered to forgive us as in having to being punished for our sins.
Keller argues that when somebody hurts you and you say you just want to hold them accountable for it for your sake and perhaps for societies sake "your real motivation may be simply to see them hurt". He says the wrongdoer will sense this and thus they will get more stubborn and refuse to repent or apologise. The use of "may" is telling. He is clearly suggesting that some who say they use vengeance to make others accountable are telling the truth.
Christianity commands you to forgive. Christians say forgiveness requires the refusal to make a person pay for the wrong they have done (page 188, The Reason for God). They say forgiving hurts because it involves refusing to satisfy the need you have to lash out at them and the refusal to have the consolation of making them suffer. To forgive is to love the person who has hurt you (page 189, The Reason for God). But you need to hate them first. To command a person to forgive is to order them to hate the sinner first. Or it judges you as having hated the person if you forgive. So much for the non-judgemental Christian! If you never hate the sinner, you are condoning what they do - not forgiving. If hate is right at all, then how can you be doing wrong if you hurt a sinner or hate her or him?
On the same page we read that it can be agonising to refuse to get revenge on a person for what they did to you. Forgiving is very painful and difficult and hard work. But forgiving is necessary for if you take revenge you empower evil and it spreads and the situation ends up being indescribably worse. Clearly what we have here is the victim being tormented by being forgiving while the offender moves on in life. This is interesting for it suggests that those who forgive quickly and who say it sets them free are not forgiving at all but simulating or even condoning. Condoning means you do not take the evil seriously or really care. We know that most Christians do not really forgive, and now we know that those who say they do are probably lying.
Christians trick people to make them think that they command that they must forgive and they command this so that they will not suffer due to the pain and hatred in their hearts. But you can intend a person to suffer terribly for some evil they did to you without feeling any hatred or anger towards them. Forgiving is one thing. Forgetting the hatred and anger is a totally separate thing.

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