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Stop Apologizing!

I’m tired of feeling like I need to apologize for my faith and my fellow Christians, and I’m tired of hearing other people actually do it. We’re the good guys. Paul is the one who said “There’s neither… slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). So why do Christians have to deal with the stereotype that we are the backwards looking, the ones subjugating women and perpetuating bigotry? Have people used the Bible to defend slavery or keep women in a lesser place? Sure they have, but you and I both know that a critical reading of scripture doesn’t support either position, and it’s very easy to point this out.

But when friends rail against the religious right, or the conservative movement, I feel like I should keep quiet. In their midst, my knee-jerk reaction is that it feels cruel to hold the views that I do. I’ve been so brainwashed by nearly every news publication and broadcast where religious and narrow-minded are used interchangeably. Even though I know I disagree, it’s easy to let that viewpoint seep into my consciousness because it is so ubiquitous. I don’t fault those that feel this way. That’s how we’re taught to think. That’s the climate we live in. It’s like breathing tainted air.

How else could abortion on demand become the compassionate position? In an era where people fly planes into buildings and claim the lives of thousands of innocent people in the name of Islam, I’m sick and tired of my faith being the one under attack.

My God is the one who says “turn the other cheek.” My God says “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” And no matter how many times I hear on the news that Christians are responsible for everything from 9/11 to Matthew Shepherd’s death to Hitler’s concentration camps, I won’t believe it or apologize for it, because my God had nothing to do with any of it. My God is the one who endured torture and humiliation to save those who don’t want to be saved. My God is the one who commands us to forgive not once, or twice, but seventy times seven. The only thing I believe the church needs to apologize for today is that we don’t stand up and take enough hits.

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Stop apologizing. Stand up for what God tells us plainly. Don’t allow Christians to be painted as the bad guys, the uncompassionate, the backwards looking minority. We aren’t. We know that the Bible isn’t merely a two thousand year old book of eastern proverbs. We know that it’s the message of our creator to us about how we are to live, for our own good. And if we don’t speak up about it, who will? What will God have to do if we keep quiet out of fear or uncertainty? He already sent a letter, he already sent his son. What’s next?

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