February 02, 2009

"An Evangelical's Apology"

It's one thing to make a mistake and hurt people, either intentionally or unintentionally, but it's quite another to apologize (repent)...in writing, in public. Writer Rachel Held Evans did just that, as posted on a site I just added to my blogroll, Existential Punk. Here's an excerpt:

I'm sorry that we treat your sexuality as a disease and that we offer dangerous "cures," like encouraging you to marry someone of the opposite sex. I'm sorry that these tactics often result in nothing but shame and secrets and more broken families.

I'm sorry that we have used the Bible as a weapon.

I'm sorry that we have used religion to shame.

I'm sorry that we have assumed we speak for God.

Most of all, I am sorry that we haven't been Jesus to you. Jesus, who associated with the marginalized of his society—women, Samaritans, tax collectors, and prostitutes—Jesus, who forgave when others wanted to stone, who gave freely when others wanted to charge, who welcomed when others wanted to shun. I'm sorry that we call ourselves Christians, or "little Christs," when we look nothing like our Lord.

I know that this letter does not excuse me from the mistakes of my past, and I know it does not represent the position of many in my community. But I hope you see it as at least one hand reaching out. I am hopeful that there will be more, and that one day we will worship together in spirit and in truth without hate or shame.

Being one of those hands reaching out myself, I encourage others to show the courage of conviction that Ms. Evans demonstrate here. If enough voices call out against this kind of behavior, they will become a chorus of love and acceptance, showing Jesus' love for all to see.

Click here to read the rest of the post at Existential Punk.


  1. How beautiful this is. Thanks for posting it.