On behalf of the church, I’m sorry.
This is what I wrote to a friend last night. I never thought I would need to apologize on behalf of the body of Christ but yesterday it was necessary. One of my old friends, (we’ll call him Steven), has walked away from Christianity. Steven looks at it as anti-intellectual and shared that he grew up in a church where he was never allowed to pose seriously questions and search for answers outside of the constructs of the church. The interesting part is that we grew up in the SAME CHURCH. Yes, it was flawed and yes, it didn’t get everything right. I shared with Steven that I had to come to a point where I threw a lot of what I believed out and started to rebuild my faith from the ground up. I had to question everything. Why do I believe this? Is God real? Do I believe this just because my parents do? Although scary, these questions and doubts only drew my closer to God and ended up strengthening my relationship with Him.
Sometimes God’s people get in the way of God’s purpose. We do. We get afraid to ask questions so we don’t encourage it. I wanted to apologize to Steven for this.
Our intentions are great, but churches are filled with sinful, flawed people so of course they are going to be a mess!
I knew that Steven was getting a beating from plenty of our Christian friends who don’t agree with his new anti-God life and I wanted to be different. I wanted to be the one person to say, “I’m sorry.”
The church isn’t going to apologize, but I wanted to. I’m sorry for what we got wrong. I’m sorry that sometimes we don’t get or convey what God is really about. But most of all I’m sorry that these mistakes have pushed Steven further from God. My goal is to continue to love him and be there for him on this journey and hope that God brings his heart around again.