Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Confess!

To all who are angry, hurt, and confused about Jesus and His Church,

I’m a pastor, a guy, a father, a husband, a friend, a person, an American…and a jerk. I have a confession to make: I don’t love people like Jesus did, and like I should as a follower of Je
sus. I say I love Jesus, but I haven’t loved you. I’m so terribly ashamed. I don’t expect you to just be happy now, but I have to get this right, with you and with God. I repent. And seek your forgiveness.

To those of you who want to have nothing to do with Jesus, and as well, to those would like to understand more about
His life and His purpose, but have not asked, and have now lost interest because of the mess the Church has made the last 2000 years, I apologize for me and mine.

You may not choose to follow Jesus Christ or call Him Lord. You may have no official connection to a church. You may not even know why you’re reading this. You may have no interest at all in Jesus. You may even hate Him. That’s Ok. That could be partly because of “us” so please hear me: I apologize to
you for a Church that seems as if she could care less whether you meet the Savior of the world or not. I apologize for a Church that seems not to care if you go to the heaven we preach or the hell we avoid. Sometimes we act like we’d like you to go to hell. We should be ashamed. I am. And I apologize.

I apologize for our self-centeredness and wrong-focus. We’ve told you to obey the commandments of God without the God within to show you the way and to empower you. We’ve tried to make you sing our horribly outdated music, and told you that yours sucked because it was about your life. Or worse, told you it was from Hell. And then we copied some of it and made lots of money! What greed and short-sightedness! I apologize.

When you visited us we’ve told you to give money for our grand building programs, when people in our cities were starving. We’ve tried to make you listen to long and boring sermons, as if you even knew what the Hell we were talking about! We’ve tried to make you throw away your records, your CDs, your movies, and your friends – all as if in doing these things you would be pleasing to Jesus – while all the while teaching that God is not a God to be appeased by our human effort! “For by grace we our saved...” Which is true, but we have none it seems. What hypocrisy. We have sinned against God and against you. Please forgive us.

I apologize for our two-faces. When you’re addicted we call it alcoholism, drug abuse, or substance abuse. When we overindulge, we call it recovery, or a minor set-back, or worse: liberty. For this I apologize. We’ve placed more importance on our comfort than on your eternity, and on our prosperity, than on your need for love and kindness and deliverance from the things you hate, but can’t deny for some reason. We’ve excluded you from our lives and from our fellowship and from our activities because we’ve not wanted to soil ourselves. We have been wrong – dead wrong. And I apologize for me and my family, for me and my church, and for me and my ancestors in the Church. We were wrong, very wrong, and we repent.

My Jesus would have never treated you like this. He would have eaten with you, sat and talked with you, even skipped church to hang with you. He would have loved your simple attempts to be human. He would have come to your Superbowl parties and your birthday parties and your graduation ceremonies. He would have wept at your pain, touched your hurts, been patient with your habits, eaten at your tables. He would have loved you so much that you would have loved Him in return, I know you would have. But now you’re confused and mad. I understand. I’m afraid we – the Church – have painted a very poor resemblance to the real Jesus. I’m so sorry for our wrong portrayal of our Master. I repent to Him and apologize to you.

You see, I’ve forgotten that people touch the heart of Jesus. Whatever touches the heart of Jesus should get my attention and prompt me to action. His passion is to be my passion. His mission is to be my mission. And He loves people – all shapes and sizes, all colors and languages. With His help, I will clean up my act. I will love you. I hope you can see the real Jesus in me someday soon.

Very Sincerely,


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