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Hans Fiene @HansFiene
, 13 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
A few thoughts:
My maternal grandfather died of a heart attack at 71. To make a long story short, he was put into an early grave because of the baseless cruelty he received from a fellow member of his church body. Let's call him Rev. X.
As far as I know, Rev. X never repented. Despite this hardness of heart, I am certain that my grandfather still forgave Rev. X. My grandfather was, after all, a Christian.
When my grandfather died, Rev. X didn't come to the funeral. No one had to tell him not to show up, but if he'd planned on attending, I'd imagine someone would have said "please don't." And that would have been fine.
We still needed to forgive Rev. X, of course. But here's the thing--anger is a very difficult temptation to avoid when you're overwhelmed with grief. And funerals are Grief City.
So when it comes to those who have hurt your loved ones and never asked for forgiveness, you might not want them at the funeral for the same reason a recovering addict doesn't want to go to Burning Man.
Rather, you want to be able to go to the funeral, hear the comfort of the Gospel and the promise of the resurrection, and not get pulled into the tar pits of anger temptation by seeing the person responsible for the cruelty.
So even though Rev. X and my grandfather were ostensibly on the same religious team, everyone would have been much preferred to see a Catholic priest or a Jewish rabbi at the funeral over Rev. X because those other guys didn't cause the funeral we were attending.
And this brings us to Sen. McCain. Of course President Trump is not Rev. X here. Of course he's not the reason Sen. McCain is thinking about his own funeral.
But "I like people who weren't captured" is what it is--a godless, indefensible thing to say. And, by all accounts, President Trump has never truly repented for this.
Sen. McCain and his family should still forgive President Trump, if they haven't already. But that doesn't mean they need to traverse the tar pits of anger temptation AT HIS FUNERAL.
Sen. McCain's family has the right to focus on the promise of the resurrection on that day. And Sen. McCain himself has the right to preserve that focus for his family in his preparations.
And while President Obama may have been a political opponent, he's not a Gospel distractor to the family. So if he's welcome and President Trump isn't, that doesn't reveal the political deficiency of Sen. McCain. It reveals the moral deficiency in President Trump.
And if President Trump would like to attend that funeral (may it not be soon), he's still got time to make things right with Sen. McCain and his family. I would certainly urge him to do so.
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