Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Duane Davis

Seattle Area SDB Church, WA

Let me tell you a story. From kindergarten through 6th grade, I went to an extremely private, extremely small, and extremely Christian elementary school. Looking back, the fact that it was isolated by about two miles of thick forest was one of its less

cult-y aspects. It was very strict about language and ideas, and seemed to think that worshipping God and having fun were two mutually exclusive activities.

Then, in 7th grade, I transitioned to a public middle school. As you can imagine, this transition was about as smooth as cutting and splicing a scene from a Tarantino movie into an episode of Veggietales. Suddenly I was thrust from an environment where saying “gosh” would get you reprimanded because it sounds too much like using God’s name in vain, into one where language that would make a trucker blush wouldn’t get a second look.

In my old school, you tended to get the same types of Christians. Sure there were differences, but never anything major. At this new school, I was surrounded by a wide variety of beliefs and religious perspectives.

While this new school probably hasn’t left me the wide-eyed pure-of-heart goody-two-shoes little boy I was before, its experiences have brought me to this conclusion: understanding the way other people believe can better strengthen your relationship with God, as well as with other believers. It’s easy to live your life in a sort of religious bubble, thinking that if you don’t love God in THIS specific way or in THIS specific mindset then you’re not a REAL Christian, and that’s simply not the case.

Our scriptures have been re-translated and reinterpreted hundreds upon thousands of times. It’s not unreasonable to expect a few differences. If you spend your whole life saying the Lord’s Prayer with “Forgive us our debts,” it’s important to understand and accept that there are some who have always said “Forgive us our trespasses.”

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