An Apology: Introduction

An Apology Introduction

I remember the day that my faith first died.

It was a Sunday afternoon in the late summer and everything that I once knew was gone. It was during a time of transition in my life and I was on shaky ground as it was — I did not need something else to fall apart. See, I grew up very sheltered. My family and I were at church every time the doors were open. I attended a private, Christian school from kindergarten through eighth grade. Just about everyone in my life believed the same thing.  And then, I transferred from my private school (which had about 150 total students) to a public high school (which had about 2,000 students). I realized then that not everyone believed the same thing.

And then, that Sunday afternoon happened. It was the day that my faith died. It was the day that I first began to understand what hypocrisy was. It was the day that I began to wonder if church, Christianity, or even God was true at all.

An announcement was made in church that morning: the pastor was resigning. Now, for many people, this is not a big deal. For me, it was. See, my pastor was my mentor. I began wrestling with “a call to ministry”, whatever that meant for me at the time, and he had taken me under his wing. Then, he was gone. I found it odd that I had sat and watched a football game with him the Friday before and he never mentioned a word. Yes, very odd indeed.

I would find out later that Sunday afternoon that my pastor had failed morally — that was why he left the church without giving me a hint that I would never see my mentor again. I have never seen him since.

I found myself growing confused, sad, and angry that afternoon. I just did not understand. I remember crying myself to sleep that night, trying to pray. For the first time in my life, I was not sure if God was there.

I tell you this story because I know it is not a unique one. I know that I was not the first or the last person to be hurt deeply by the church. I was not the first person to pray to a God that I was not sure was there. Somehow, someway, many of you can relate to this story I have just told you.

I also tell you this story as I am beginning a series of blogs which I have titled, “An Apology”. Now, this is not going to be a typical apologetic approach where I hope to prove the existence of God. I gave up on such endeavors a long time ago. I do not hope to prove anything or even “convert” anybody — whatever that means. All I hope to do is explain why I, despite whatever doubts come my way, have chosen to live in to the gospel of Jesus Christ — why I believe that Jesus’ words are true. This is not an argument. This is an apology — because I am sorry that the Church has so often misrepresented Christ. Because I am sorry that I do not have all the answers. Because I am sorry that you have spent nights crying out to a God that you doubt was there. I am sorry — I apologize. I apologize that I put my faith in a God that many have felt abandoned by.

Perhaps, if you give me a chance, you can understand why I unashamedly believe in Jesus Christ despite doubts.

“An Apology” will consist of several blog posts, to be posted each Monday. The posts will be as follows: “Introduction”, “Apologizing”, “What I believe”, “What I don’t believe”, “Why I believe”, “Why I don’t believe”, “Conclusion: Why I Still Believe”.

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9 responses to “An Apology: Introduction

  • Irvin J. Boudreaux

    Great words Andrew! Faith is not based on proof , but on embracing the mystery. I look forward to your future posts.

  • EvolvedLove

    Loved this. (:

    I can’t wait to read the rest!

  • annabachinsky

    You are right Andrew. So many people have been hurt by the “church” in some way or another and it is so tragic when it causes them to turn away from God. I highly respect all the leaders and pastors in my church but I must always remind myself of the fact that they are human and that they can fail too just like any of us (even King David, the man after God’s own heart failed) and my faith doesn’t depend on what people do but who God is even when His people wrong me in some way or another.

    I don’t know if you’ve read the book “Blue like Jazz” but this reminds me of a chapter from it where Christian college students create a confession booth for other college students to stop by during a huge college party event and instead of those students that come confessing their sins, the Christians actually confess THEIR sins as believers who don’t live by God’s Word, and who judge others, and don’t accept + love people like Jesus did. It was very bold on their end but it worked because a lot of people who were wronged, rejected, or hurt by other believers in the past felt their love and compassion (and need for forgiveness) for the first time.

    I’m looking forward to reading your posts!

  • Andrew Sinift

    I love “Blue Like Jazz”! Donald Miller is one of my biggest influences as a writer. That scene in the book you describe moved me so much. In fact, it is part of what led me to start this series.
    Thank-you for your feedback!

  • anniepenn

    Your honesty and humility and inspiring.

    I too have been hurt by church leaders, but God is shown all the more in his glory as the perfect healer!

    The church is a hospital for the sick, not a museum for the perfect. If more people like yourself were teaching the good news of Christ in such an authentic way, what a wonderful witness that would be. Thank you for your transparency.

    • Andrew Sinift

      Thank-you! I really appreciate the encouragement.
      Unfortunately, stories of people being hurt by the church are all too common. I suppose when you get a bunch of people together, things are bound to get messy. Thanks be to God for healing from those hurts!
      God bless!

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