A large part of my world came crashing down last night. On the drive home from work, I realized that my church was a fraud. I realized that all my non-Christian friends were right when they talk about Evangelicals as immoral.
They don’t say that we’re stuffy. They don’t say we’re superstitious. They say we’re immoral.
Let that sink in, just in case you hadn’t heard it before. My non-Christian friends, for the most part, believe the Christianity is immoral, or at least that American Evangelical Christians are. And they’re not alone. Barna found that most young Americans feel the same.
They don’t think we’re stuck in the mud, old fashioned, or goodie-two shoes. They think we’re immoral. They think we hate. They think we don’t care about the poor. They think we don’t care about the violence done in our name.
And they’re right. God help me, they’re right.
It all became terribly, brutally clear last night.
And I got angry, so angry I could barely even go to church last night. But we were putting together fruit baskets for our church’s homebound (mostly elderly) and nursing-homebound, so I felt like I really needed to go.
That was definitely the right thing to do. It forced me to be civil and communicative for an hour or so, and it helped me rise above my anger.
But there is no rising above the sorrow. We – and that we includes me – I – owe a terrible apology to the world and to Jesus Himself.
This repentance will take a while. Today I begin, simply by offering an apology. In following days, I will confess what I see as the sins I am and have been a part of, the corporate sins of my denomination (Southern Baptist) and general affiliation (American Evangelical).
My goal isn’t to convince you that I’m right. And I certainly don’t feel any need to defend myself.
Ultimately, I owe this apology to God first. But for those of you who are reading this who have been hurt by various branches of American Evangelicalism, this apology is to you, too. Even if I’ve never met you, I owe you this.
Even as I now
Turn from these wrongs, I realize
My hands helped build them
My tithes funded them
My silence affirmed them
My words proclaimed them
And I am sorry. Terribly, terribly sorry.