1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.
2. a. A formal justification or defense.
b. An explanation or excuse:
3. An inferior substitute.
I have an apology to make. No, make that, apologies. They will touch on each of the definitions listed above. This is by no means the end of apologies but a beginning.
First, I regret certain choices I made early in my Christian journey. I bought into the notion that Jesus was a product you sell to unsuspecting strangers. I probably deserve a millstone for some of my antics. I have no idea how many people I turned off by presenting Christ in such a way. I was attempting to push off on others the religious baggage I had taken up. I was a short tempered, impatient, unloving religious hack. I bought into a religious system that claims what it often does not have. I supported those who sought political power by polarizing opposition on 2 or 3 issues to advance their agenda. My question now, was that agenda part of the Kingdom? These things I take responsibility for and trust in the mercy of God.
Next, the only justification or defense I can give is that of Jesus Christ. I am a colossal mess without Him. Even with Him I make mistakes, for which I take responsibility for not trusting His grace completely. In my opinion, too many have tried to justify Christianity intellectually. The need to defend Jesus Christ in an academic way is short sighted. He is the only One who justifies us and defends us. I can’t justify or defend Him, I will fail in the attempt. Better to trust in His making me true and be a living apology for Christ when His life is revealed in and through my life.
Any explanation I can give will fall short. Any excuse I give is all my own. The power of God found in Christ is beyond comprehension. The fullness of God is wrapped in mystery. Jesus Christ is the way to begin to embrace that mystery. This is not mystery to solve, but mystery of awe and worship.
Sadly, the Christianity I embraced as a young man was in some ways an inferior substitute. This is the worst kind of apology for Jesus Christ. The judgment, guilt, shame and burdens I took up hindered years of spiritual growth. Keep in mind, I do not hate the Church. I love the church and who she is and who she represents. My issue is with the Christianity that has grown in such ways as to hinder those who desire to follow Christ. If something, anything, keeps one from Christ and allowing participation in the love of God and love of neighbor, it should come into question. For all these things, I apologize.