My brother over at Sensual Jesus, has apparently decided that confession is good for the soul and has tagged me to participate in a kind of collective catharsis that is moving across some parts of Christendom. The writings in the scriptures do say that confession is good for the soul, so, perhaps this movement is on to something. Scripture also says that as believers we are to confess to our brothers and sisters and that by doing so, we will find healing.
In doing a bit of research for this article, I headed over to the site Christians Confess and I’ve got to say that what I read over there made me just a little bit uncomfortable. One submission went:
Here’s the thing…it’s pretty clear Jesus came to bring hope, healing and freedom and we, the church, his followers have sucked all the fun out of that. We’ve taken hope out of hope and continued wounding the wounded and piled chains on the slaves. I am so sorry!
Another person said:
I am sorry that so often the church has twisted Jesus message to exclude rather than include people.
As I read the confessions of so many of my fellow brothers and sisters, it dawned on me that we Christians have a lot to confess. And so, in the spirit of others who have been so willing to look deep inside of themselves, I offer the following:
I’m sorry that too often we’ve asked unbelievers to clean up their act before coming to God! How silly! We tell people that only God can make them whole, then act like he’ll only accept them if they are whole.
I’m sorry that we as Christians have asked our government to regulate the morality of people instead of offering them the only One that can actually change the course of a nation. We act like the political arena is where the real power is. If the scriptures are true, and our leaders serve at God’s discretion, then we need to quit inserting ourselves into God’s processes. God is not a Republican! Neither is He a Democrat!
I’m sorry that we’ve made gay people the current sin du jour in our political games. We’ve born false witness against them. We’ve castigated them. We’ve made fun of them. We’ve run them off. I’m sorry that we’ve told them that God hates them! No matter your personal feelings on this whole issue, if we look at the example of Jesus, then it is clear that the church’s response to this particularly community has been sinful at best.
I’m sorry I didn’t asked questions for so long but rather took as fact some of the theories the church has promoted as God’s truth. When the questions started and I felt my faith was shattered, instead of turning to you, I simply walked away. I am now learning that if it is a true and abiding faith, then it has to be a faith that can stand up to the questions!
More than anything, I’m sorry I hid for so long behind the image I thought you wanted to see, rather than standing proudly as the person God created. I’m sorry that my humanity thought it was ok to play word games in an attempt to feel better about myself.
As I close out this reflection, I must spotlight the confession of one other seeker who said:
I’m sorry that I ever thought that a pointing finger would be mistaken for a beckoning hand.
Some may argue that my confessions are the sign of a dangerous mind. And I would have to agree. While not particularly noted for her theological prowess, the artist Beyonce Knowles describes exactly where I’m at…dangerously in love!
If my confessions have triggered something in you, then I would encourage you to do your own confessions. You’ll find simple guidelines below…
1. Apologize for three things that Christians have often gotten wrong. Apologize to those who don’t particularly view themselves as part of the Christian community. Alternatively, apologize for things you personally have done wrong towards those outside of the church.
2. Post a comment at the originiating post so others can keep track of the apologies.
3. Tag 5 people to participate.
4. If desired, send an e-mail with the link to your blog at the Christians Confess site, giving permission for your apologies to be added to the website.