God’s insistence on repentance is a punch to the proud gut of post-modern sensibilities. How dare any God, book, or people hold us accountable for behaviors that arise from the expression of our autonomous will? We decide what’s right and we’ll shout down anyone who tries to limit our appetites or freedoms.
And yet, right and wrong are written on our individual and collective hearts. The most feared humans are those who have erased that writing–sociopathic exploiters and killers who are the purist expression of human “freedom”.
Repentance before God is the non-negotiable starting point for transformation. When we admit our guilt and turn from evil we open ourselves to God’s forgiveness and reconciliation. Accordingly, Jesus began his ministry with the simple declaration: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”