“Choose this day whom you will serve.”
These words, echoing those found in Joshua 24: 15, have become arguably the most definitive words in my life. These are the words that brought me back to God.
In the introduction to this series, I told the story about how my faith first died — how the actions of my pastor and mentor broke my faith in God and the Church. Yet, I never really left the church. No, if you were to ask me after the fact, I would have told you that I was a Christian. In fact, I might have believed it myself. But I seriously doubted the beliefs that I preached.
I was a hypocrite. I was a fake.
This went on for two years when I finally became convicted and realized that I was becoming the very thing that my former pastor was — a liar. That is when the words, “Choose this day whom you will serve” changed my life. I realized that I could no longer sit on the fence. If I was going to be a follower of Christ, then that was great. If not, then it was time for me to make that decision. Pretending was no longer an option.That night, I made a decision.
Yet, I cannot excuse my two years of being a fake. I became the very kind of person that drives people away from the church. And so, I want to offer an apology.
An apology, you ask? Why should I apologize to you? I have never hurt you and chances are I have never met you.
Yes, this is true. But, perhaps there was a time when you were hurt by the hypocrisy of the church. Perhaps there was a time when you were judged when you needed to be loved. Perhaps there was a time when someone who represented God did irreparable damage to you. No, I probably was not that person. But, if you will let me, I would like to apologize on behalf of that person.
I apologize to you on behalf of the hypocrites who drove you away from church. I apologize on behalf of the ministers who have failed morally. I apologize on behalf of a religion that has so often failed to follow the words of it’s teacher. I apologize for bogging you down in religion when love is what you needed.
I also apologize to those who cannot rationally accept the faith for not having better answers to your questions. I apologize for not having all of the answers. I apologize that I cannot “prove” to you that God is real. I apologize for ever trying.
I do not have all the answers. I cannot prove anything to you. What I can tell you is that I chose on that day whom I will serve and I chose Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed of that decision nor do I regret it. The remainder of this series will explain my beliefs, my reasons, and my doubts — all spoken out of an apologetic heart who sees a world crying out for answers.
“An Apology” began last Monday with, “Introduction”, and will continue next week with “What I believe”, followed by “What I don’t believe”, “Why I believe”, “Why I don’t believe”, and “Conclusion: Why I Still Believe”.