Apology and Forgiveness as an Expression of Love in a Charismatic Congregation
Issue: Vol 11 No. 1 (2012)
Subject Areas: Religious Studies
Catch the Fire Montreal is a French-speaking Charismatic congregation that has recently become one of several church plants associated with the Toronto Blessing. The congregation is committed to spreading the values of Catch the Fire, especially its vision of knowing the Father’s love and sharing it with the world. During two separate site visits we heard about the congregation’s mission work in Africa, where the pastor shared the message of the Father’s love and ultimately felt led to apologize publicly to the Africans for racism and colonial practices perpetuated against them. He also apologized to the African and Haitian members in his own congregation, asking for their forgiveness. Drawing upon the sociology and theology of love, this article explores the relationship between experiences of love and forgiveness, and benevolent acts as expressions of love. We employ the “Godly love” model as a lens through which to understand Charismatic experiences of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation where love is potentially a transformative social and religious act.
Author: Michael Wilkinson, Peter Althouse