World Cup, South Africa and God

The World Cup has uncovered many different stories of not only the players but of the host nation: South Africa.

There is a movement in South Africa called that “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”. This group works to help the nation and the people of South Africa to move to uncover the stories of apartheid as well as well as begin the reconciliation process.

This is a very powerful and lengthy process that will take more than my lifetime to uncover and reconcile that nation with their past. As I listened to an interview by Krista Tippet with Desmond Tutu, she spoke that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes a distinction between pardon and forgiveness.

I used the dictionary to help me define pardon and forgiveness.

Pardon – (verb) remission of the legal consequence of an offence or conviction, note: absolve (concede, remit, from Latin perdonare – “per” completely + “donare “give”).

Forgiveness – (verb) Stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw or mistake.

I have never thought much about it before, but if there is a difference in these two words and actions, I have heard two conflicting messages in Christianity. One would say that God through Jesus pardons humanity. One message would say that God through Jesus forgives humanity.

Is there a difference? Does God forgive? Does God pardon?