Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Making amends

Glenn Hager tagged me for a meme for Christians confess.

I'm not a christian anymore, but I was a christian for rather a while, so I think I can participate.

I learned different language for "I'm sorry" in the twelve steps. I'm happy to say that I have already been working on making the following general amends, and hope to continue to do so.

1. I'd like to make amends for all the negative rhetoric which I, and we, as Christians, used. It was often just rhetoric to us, but was often, I am quite sure, terribly and personally painful to those who were members of the people groups we condemned, judged, and criticized. Especially to those who are homosexuals and to the witches and pagans.

2. I'd like to make amends to all the Christian women inside and outside the sect in which I grew up. In that sect, and in other churches I've been involved with, women have been pushed down, belittled, abused, and generally treated worse than shit by the christian guys, including me.

3. I'd like to make amends to myself. As a Christian, I worked for many years on honing my self hatred. Brennan Manning talks about how in his 30 years as an itinerant preacher, the largest overall problem he has seen among Christians is self hatred. He calls Jesus "The stranger to self hatred". I think Brennan nailed it, at least in my case.

Directions for the meme:

  • Apologize for three things that Christians have often got wrong. Your apologies should be directed towards those who don’t view themselves as part of the Christian community. Alternatively, apologize for things you personally have done wrong towards those outside of the church.
  • Post a comment at the originating post so others can keep track of the apologies.
  • Tag five people to participate in the meme.
  • If desired, send an email with the link to your blog post at the Christians Confess site, giving permission for your apologies to be added to the website.
I tag:



glenn said...

Found you, "Mr. No Longer Christian!" I guess we both are in recovery, along with a gazillion other people. I think we are church refugees.

I so agree with your "amends" and I too, love Manning.

Thanks for participating!

Helen said...

Benjamin, I've been thinking about how to respond to this.

I haven't fully joined in the meme/tag thing; however I did just post a list of things I regret from my Christian days over on CatE.

Now you can see just how much of a jerk I was in those days. Or at least get an idea ;-)

Lorna (see through faith) said...

what you write challenges me (try to) to live authentically. Thanks. I too have behaved horribly and dishonestly as a Christian and failed to respect others. I'm truly sorry. But I know there's a world of difference between Christ and Christians - and that fills me with hope - that we Christians can change and stop behaving like jerks.

Maximillian said...

Finally done!