Let me start off my first post for Spokane Faith & Values by apologizing.
I’m a Christian. Unfortunately in this day and age, most times this name is spoken it leaves a foul taste in the mouth. I’m certainly not ignorant of the connotations being a follower of Jesus brings whether it be the image of the conservative homophobe or the condescending fatalist that judges your lifestyle from afar, amongst a plethora of other misleading (but justified) labels. So instead of trying to get you to like me by trying to be deep and intellectual, I would like to receive your forgiveness.
I am sorry if you have ever been hurt by another Christian in any way, shape, or form. If you’re a homosexual, I am sorry that we have made you out to be pariahs and made you feel like you are excluded from being loved by God. The truth is you deserve God’s love more than I do. I feel like the LGBT crowd merits the first apology because from my perspective, those are whom the church has hurt the most in recent times. But I’m not finished by a longshot.
If you have ever been shunned or ostracized by another Christian for your ideologies, be it another religion such as Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, or anything else, I am sorry. This one goes out especially to you folk who consider yourselves irreligious. For what it’s worth, some of my best friends past and current are atheists or agnostics. If I’m being honest then I need to confess that I prefer your company over my own brethren many times. Even I get frustrated with Christians from time to time (OK…a lot).
If a Christian has chosen to withhold love or even common courtesy from you because of life choices you have made in the past or are currently making, I apologize for their behavior. Jesus himself chose to pal around and invest in sinners and often condemned those who perceived themselves as saints. After all, it’s not the healthy who need a physician.
If you have been caught in the crossfire of Christians working out their faith and determining what it is that they actually believe, I am sorry. We of all people are very broken individuals who have at least several, if not many more wrong beliefs and we love to try and put those into practice. Unfortunately sometimes our zeal is misinterpreted or is just flat-out misplaced.
This last one goes out to all the ladies out there. There is more male chauvinism within Christian circles than I care to admit, and for this I deeply and sincerely apologize. Every guy that does not understand that you are our backbone and does not appreciate you fully is themself an inaccurate representative of Jesus Christ. If you’ve ever glanced at a passage in the Bible involving Jesus and women, you will plainly see that he had the utmost regard for his sisters. Not only that but he also loved women so deeply that he empathized with them to the point of tears. Remember, Jesus didn’t weep when he was notified of Lazarus’ death, he wept when he saw Mary and the Jews crying.
Please don’t misunderstand this lengthy concession as an apology for God, Jesus, the Bible, or otherwise. They need not offer an apology and they certainly do not need me to defend them. Jesus atoned for all sins; I am attempting to atone for all Christians. I am a first-hand witness (and victim) of the damage that we seem so eager to distribute and I am grieved beyond words because of it. There are not enough lifetimes to fully make amends for our actions and I am sorry for this as well. I can only hope to start fresh with you all and tell you about my savior. I hope we can still be friends. If not, I’m going to love you regardless. And for that, I don’t apologize.