So let's work through the differences between religion and relationship - doctrine and reality. The differences do pertain to SUBSTANCE, to some extent. But the biggest difference is the IMPACT.
Religion emphasizes the legal aspect of salvation - and whether you have your "ticket to heaven" or not. Now even though the only thing more precious to us than the totally undeserved forgiveness that cost Jesus EVERYTHING is the Lord HIMSELF, we have less of an emphasis on the legality of our status and a huge emphasis on our RELATIONSHIP with Him.
So we tend to use the much more expressive word "reconciled" - in comparison to the word "forgiven". Reconciliation implies forgiveness - but adds a huge dose of reality and relationship. Sometimes we want to emphasis the fact that we were "bought with a price" - His precious blood - and that HE was treated as a CRIMINAL so that we could receive an undeserved ACQUITAL. So there's nothing wrong with the word "forgiven" - of course.
But I'm sure you see why we always want to get personal with this. So let's exercize our role as "ambassadors" (greek "apostolos", hebrew "shaliach") - in which he has given us PLENARY (full or complete) authority to FORGIVE SINS and be sure we are RECONCILING people back to their God. The laying on of hands is often an integral part of exercizing this "plenary" authority. If this doesn't humble you, go take a bath in ice water, look hard in the mirror, and try again!
You'll note that this ministry is often to the Church - not just to the unsaved. And that's BECAUSE . . . you know this . . . SALVATION IS MUCH MORE than that ticket to heaven. We are SAVED . . how??? . . . BY HIS LIFE. (see previous posts). This is about mending very broken relationships with OUR LORD - whatever that may look like.
No, there is nothing wrong with the word "forgiven" but I think reconciliation is often overlooked or perhaps... not even believed. Oh, we may use the word but do we believe it? Reconciliation means that a relationship has been restored. We have to understand that God does not merely want to forgive us, He wants to restore the relationship that was broken by man. Why does He desire to do this? Because He loves us. If we do not understand this, our relationship with God is like a loveless marriage. We are going through the motions but deep in our heart we are doing it because we think that is what we must do, we are afraid of what the consequences will be if we don't, we are hoping to earn love, etc.
Truthfully, the very thought of that sends chills up and down my spine. How horrible it would be to be in that sort of relationship with a spouse let alone God! I am so thankful that God really does want us to be reconciled with Him and be in relationship with Him.