below is a letter from the tuscaloosa news, a march issue. i copied it because i agree with most, if not all, of the statements below. i put it here in hopes that someone that needs to read it will stumble upon the message that we aren't perfect people, but that we serve a perfect God.
feel free to ask any questions in the comments section, and if you would like to go to church with me, i attend both adaton baptist church and coaling baptist church; if you would like me to help you find another place to attend, i will do my best to assist you.
WE ARE SORRY
An open letter to non-Jesus followers and those hurt by the Church.
Easter is a time of confession. We can’t speak for all “The Church”, but for our part, here are some things for which we are truly sorry:
That we’ve been judgmental. Judging is God’s job, no one else’s.
That we’ve been self-righteous. While we might debate other issues, self-righteousness was something Jesus never tolerated.
That we took the life-giving message of Christ and turned it into a numbing, soul-quenching, self-centered institution interested primarily in its own maintenance and growth.
That we’ve spent million on the finest of facilities, somehow convincing ourselves that building bigger buildings equates to “success” in building the Kingdom of God.
That we have produced a vast army of “consumer Christians”, rejecting Jesus’ message to “deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me” and joining the call of “give me the best of everything or I’ll go worship elsewhere.”
That we’ve turned the all-out adventure of following Christ into a repressive, man-made-rules-filled religion.
That, on both the left and right, we’ve been more loyal to political parties than Christ.
That we, of all people, have tried to put God in a box. We’ve missed the fullness of God’s grace and caused others to do the same.
That there is often among us an anti-intellectual attitude. Jesus said we are to love God with all our minds, yet we are content with knowing more about athletic statistics than God. As Mark Noll penned, this is “the scandal of the evangelical mind”.
That Sunday morning services often carry with them an absence of acceptance, while twelve step meetings are frequently a place of brutal honesty, real community, and unconditional support.
That the Church has failed to rise up against injustice and evil, and in fact, has often corrupted our beliefs to endorse them. That we have justified our status as the most segregated body in America, both racially and socio-economically…that we have done an a lousy job in “environmental stewardship”…that we have said “love your neighbor as yourself while spending most all our resources on ourselves while billions live in poverty…and so much more.
That we have said “love the sinner and hate the sin” when, in many cases, we’ve publicly hated the sinner, and secretly enjoyed the same sin.
There is a whole lot more, but you get the idea – We’re Sorry. We have often given Jesus a bad name and harmed His plan of setting the world free through love. We ask that you not hold our failures against Him. In Christ, there really is love, hope, joy, peace, and meaning unlike anything the world has to offer. We’d also ask you to give us another chance as the Church. All over the city, people are coming together, struggling to get it right. (Safe Haven is just one among those groups). Sure we’re going to blow it sometimes, but we are genuinely trying to be the people of God we are meant to be. Find and join an authentic group of Jesus followers in worshiping, serving, and growing together this week. Help us get it right.
Repentant and Incredibly Hopeful,
The people of Safe Haven Church