A sitting Republican president launched a sweeping program of socialism. His Democrat successor, not to be outdone, is pushing for even more. All of these efforts to "fix" the American economy have driven the stock market down in a free-fall, with a precipitous drop coming upon the news that "help" was on the way from the U.S. Senate. I'm not sure how much more help we can stand!
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some GOOD news. And among some of the most encouraging and inspirational news of the past fortnight, in my opinion, has been the apology received from and forgiveness given to former Klansman Elwin Wilson by the man whom he beat during the Civil Rights Movement, now-Congressman John Lewis.
It's a story that shows the power of the gospel (I hope). Wilson reportedly took this action upon the realization that he was bound for Hell. Being advanced in years has apparently helped Wilson to start thinking about his eternal destiny. Published reports give very little more in the way of details. I hope that Wilson is not under the (false) impression that his reconciliation with Lewis will change his eternal destiny. What Wilson needs to realize—what every person needs to understand—is that he sinned against God by rejecting the personhood of a human being made in the image of God. He therefore needs to ask for God's forgiveness and salvation for Wilson's rebellion against God. I'm hopeful that this is precisely the message the Wilson received, that he did seek God's forgiveness and find his salvation, and that he went to Lewis in contrition because his heart has been changed.
If this is indeed the case, then it just goes to show the power of the gospel to transform the lives and hearts of those whom society has written off as beyond hope of redemption. It also reminds us of the continuing importance of the doctrine of Hell to evangelism.
It's a story that reminds us of the importance of seeking and giving forgiveness. This is the key to so many problems plaguing our world today. An amazing number of families could be saved merely by the practice of asking for forgiveness when we're wrong and granting forgiveness when we're asked. Imagine how inner cities would be transformed if this were the ethic of urban gangs. I believe that this simple principle is also the great hope for racial reconciliation in our country, and that now is a great opportunity to exercise it. Here's hoping that Wilson starts a trend of white apologies toward victimized blacks. And then, I hope that black Americans, if they have falsely accused any white Americans of racism, will also begin to seek the forgiveness of those whom they have wronged.
It is not a panacea, for substantive differences separate Republicans and Democrats, pro-life people and pro-abortion people, opponents of the family (feminists, homosexual activists, etc.) and defenders of the family, as well as conservatives and liberals in many areas beyond secular politics. Nevertheless, there is incredible power in an apology, and for those who know Christ as Savior, an incredible spiritual power in the discipline of seeking and granting forgiveness that honors our Lord greatly.