We’re Sorry, One More Time

September 29, 2009 by

Recently, I gave a little bit of a rough time to Christian apologists. All too often, I’ve found myself wanting to apologize because it’s the cool thing to do in front of Christian friends, and it seems “spiritual.” But what does a real and honest apology look like?

Apparently, it looks like the churches of Sacramento.

Reverend Rick Cole personally and publicly apologized to Christina Silvas and Ben Sharpe.

Eight years ago, Silva was working as a stripper while putting her daughter through the church’s school. Due to her profession, the church asked her to remove her daughter from the school.

Ben Sharpe, 14 years ago, was asked not to attend his eight-grade graduation for having a buzz cut. Apparently his haircut violated school policy.

But on a recent Sunday, in one service, one apology was able to turn 22 years of pain and negativity into a net-positive for those involved and the community.

And the article doesn’t stop there. It has more stories from the Sacramento area, including this:

At Impact Community Church in Elk Grove, congregants made gift baskets and dropped them off at gay civil-rights organizations and strip clubs with attached notes apologizing for the words and actions of some religious leaders.

It’s so moving to see these churches reaching out in love. They’re meeting face-to-face, apologizing for their actions and humbly repenting on behalf of themselves and their communities–showing grace to their neighbors, both secular and religious.

If you ask me, that’s how you do an apology.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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6 Responses to “We’re Sorry, One More Time”

  • Ted
    September 29, 2009

    This is where you see the stark difference between religious people (those who would rather stone a stripper and tar/feather a student) and Christians (those humble enough to ask forgiveness and admit wrong)
    **We can’t demonstrate Jesus to the world if we’re swinging machetes at their necks.**
    Bravo! Also, the gift basket thing is a gesture that’s way overdue.

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  • Phil
    September 29, 2009

    Yeah, that’s just right.

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  • Matt Singley
    September 29, 2009

    It’s about time. Too bad this pastor’s example is the exception and far, far, far from the rule.

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  • Michael Buckingham
    September 29, 2009

    I think this is a nice start, my concern is with “apologizing for the words and actions of some religious leaders.
    Again, it’s a good start…but apologizing for someone else is only a start. I also see this too often as a marketing campaign, with ‘other churches suck, but we’re really cool.’ And while I applaud what they are trying to say I think we can do it with a more positive tone.
    What if, instead of apologizing…we simply loved them, helped them with something, offered to watch their kids…I don’t know, something positive and proactive instead of just reactionary.
    I do think this is a good start, and I hope it starts to wake us up. The truth is none of us have it together, often the only difference is one person admits it while the other pretends.

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  • Michael Buckingham
    September 29, 2009

    Sorry…didn’t see the link to the Sacramento story. I love that they stepped up, no doubt about it. Couldn’t have been easy to do, but image the walls that started to come down that day.

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  • Shawn Struckmeier
    September 30, 2009

    I am one of the pastors at Impact Community Church. We did a series in 2007 called “Confessions of a Repentant Church”. Our hope was that our community would see a church that really did care, a church that instead of talking about action and community outreach actually stepped outside our walls and did something.
    Our people took this very seriously. We took gift baskets to strip clubs, to Planned Parenthood, to gay bars and many other places where Christians have historically rallied against.
    While I agree that “this is only a start” it prompted a discussion and relationships with people who we would generally not have had an opportunity to connect with. What has been suggested here that we do something more “proactive instead of just reactionary’ seems to be throwing the cart ahead of the horse.
    Watching someone’s kids or helping them with something all comes from relationship. Again what our church did was a proactive step in developing a relationship with those that Christians would not normally reach towards.
    Are we best friends, no, but there has been a significant step towards and hand offered to these that we reached out to. They saw a church that did something and not just talk about doing something.
    I certainly understand the comment, but what people need to understand is that because of this proactive step that our people took it showed these people that we really did love them and that we did desire a relationship where we could have an honest dialogue and discussion about things that really do matter to the fabric of our community.
    We will continue to reach out in ways that actually show the love of God to people. I guess sometimes when you do these types of things it does look sensational but you would need to hear some of the dialogue that has taken place because of the courage that our people showed in this outreach.

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