Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment.
Was he evil? I would say no. He was a man of faith acting on what he believed to be true. Most importantly, he changed.
The sad truth is that if we look at the attitude of our culture, you would think that he was the last person to change. We Christians talk about conversion and forgiveness. And yet, listen to the conversations around us. The attitude seems to be that people are who the are. People don't change. And in the age of 24 news and the internet we never forgive anyone for anything. Even our basic American principle of "innocent until proven guilty" has vanished.
The minute someone is claimed to have done something, it is presumed to be true. And when it is true, even if they admit their error, they are beaten with it forever.
Paul tried to destroy the church and ended up being one of her greatest leaders. St. Augustine lead a truly debaucherous life, and ended a great theologian and saint. And the simple truth is, we all sin.
The only limit Jesus places on forgiveness is the that in order to be forgiven we must forgive. This is not just the occasional personal forgiveness when someone hurts me, it must be a way of life, a way of looking at the world. When we watch the news, read a newspaper, hear a story about another person, we should do it with faith hope and love. Our starting point should be one this sees every person as a child of God. And in those situations where it is established that a person has done something wrong, we should pray for their conversion and celebrate it when they change.
judgement, forgiveness, conversion
How Christian are we really?