I can’t apologize for all Christians but I can apologize for the way many of us Christians have a tendency to misrepresent Christ. I’m sorry for the bumper-stickers that tell you “I’m not perfect, just forgiven,” and then we drive like a bat out of hell. I’m sorry for a pamphlet left on the table that tells you how to get to heaven instead of leaving an appropriate tip. I’m sorry for being so involved in “church” that I make no positive difference in the community. I’m sorry for preaching that God created the earth and then not really taking good care of what He created. I’m sorry for signs that are held at rallies that say “God hates fags.”
I’m sorry for the crusades—holy wars that were decreed in the name of Christ—that were simply excuses to accumulate wealth.
I’m sorry for horrible inquisitions, using every imaginable form of torture, to help the church maintain its political power.
I’m sorry that the church condemned scientists as heretics because they presented differing views from what the church taught.
I’m sorry, that for centuries, the church not only condoned slavery but was heavily involved in the slave trade.
I’m sorry that a large portion of the church turned a blind eye to Hitler’s attempted genocide of the Jewish race.
I am painfully aware that many people view Christians as arrogant and unconcerned about their opinions. And for that, I am sorry. I’m sorry that, in so many ways, we have failed to live like Jesus . . . but maybe it all begins with an apology.
Wow! Spectacular post! Thanks for that!
I wish there was something I could do about the *family* that protests every imaginable event with their “God hates fags” signs. I guess all I can do is pray.
This is a really great blog posting!
I, too, have apologized to people for The Crusades and other bad behavior of Christians past and present. I read a book a while back that deals with this subject called “There’s Blood on Our Hands”. It really touched me. It’s about the bloody history of the Church – obtaining conversions by force, sword, and war. The author is a Messianic Jew, and in this book, he does a lot to explain why traditional Jewish people reject Jesus as the Messiah and view the NT as anti-semitic. There was one concept that stayed with me that applies to all people, ‘The Church has come with war, sword, torture, murder, hate, and death…who, in their right mind, would want to be a part of a Jesus that tells His people to do this?” That really hit home for me. It’s true what the old adage says, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it”, because we’re still doing today what the Church did back then, only not so violently. It’s still wrong.
“Jesus is not a battering ram.” 8^)
Wow! I was thinking this morning about writing almost the exact same thing on my blog. I just finished reading god is not Great – How religion poisons everything, by Christopher Hitchens and I’m almost done with The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins. Both books are very challenging and thought provoking. I came to different conclusions than the authors did, but I agree with many of their complaints about Christianity. They see belief in God as the problem. I would say it’s what people do with that belief that is the true problem.
Another wonderful post, Greg. Thanks!
You don’t have to post this comment in your blog. Just thought I’d let you hear some encouraging news…
Your blog postings are being passed around on MySpace’s bulletin board! I just went through my bb and saw that someone on my friends list (someone from N. Carolina) really liked your Apology blog. The bulletin does credit the text to you, and it also includes the URL for your blog.
I would love to hear comments from anyone discussing this on myspace. I think this needs to be an open dialogue.
Any way we can get the word out.
It is a difficult thing for believers sometimes to have to deal with this history. My nephew is considering joining a religion(currently Buddhism) and he seems to get stuck on these facts. It seems that sometimes christians really are the biggest thing keeping people from Christ. Anybody up for changing that trend?