John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Apologizing

There are, of course, two kinds of people who may find themselves reading this blog. Either you identify yourself as a Christian insider, or you do not. My hope is that, regardless of which camp you come from, there will be something helpful here for you. I realize this is an explicitly Christian blog is written from a Christian perspective by a Christian. Still, you may be a non-Christian/pre-Christian/post-Christian/unchurched/overchurched person who has landed here in the interest of fair-minded exploration. I feel compelled to apologize to you. What you are about to read over the coming days and weeks is filled with inside jokes. It’ll be something like eavesdropping. You’ll have to fill in a lot of blanks on your own.

But some of you come from among the ranks of Christian people who have been mistreated, misunderstood and misinformed by Christian parents or church leaders (some of whom had good motives and bad theology and some the other way around). If you fall into that category, I feel compelled to apologize to you too.

In fact, if you’ve ever been hurt by someone who claimed to be a Christian (so many people have), I’m sorry.

For the times when someone came to you with the right answer but the wrong attitude, or was kind and charitable but gave you terrible advice or information.

For the folks who accosted you or tried to make you feel worse than you already felt about the stuff you know you did.

For the people who used the Bible to justify their prejudice and intolerance.

For those who turned a blind eye to injustice and cruelty.

For the arrogance that masquerades as righteousness.

For the lack of discernment and abundance of poor judgment so often revealed among those who rise to positions of leadership and authority in the Christian community.

For the guy who told you you’re wrong about something he knew nothing about.

For making you sit through a spiritual sales pitch for something you don’t want before you could get the physical help you desperately need.

For those of us who are more concerned about how you voted last November than whether or not you ate last night.

For the cowardice that has kept us from sharing with you the best news you’ve never heard.

For preaching “Peace! Peace!” when there is no peace.

For reducing the gospel to just a method of getting into heaven (or, more likely, avoiding hell) after you die.

For confusing our own opinion with God’s.

For railing against the sin “out there” and pretending there is no sin “in here”.

For drive-by evangelism.

For theological muggings.

For treating you like a project instead of a person.

For not explaining our beliefs well and for making you feel dumb for not understanding.

For giving you the impression that our hypocrisy is somehow your problem.

For failing to listen and failing to love.

For all of this and for so much more please accept what follows as my apology.