When most people hear the word “Christian”, they think of a lot of other words — likely all of them negative. Words like “hypocrite”, “judgmental”, “self-righteous”, and — well, you get the idea. For many people, meeting individuals who identify themselves as Christian is also likely to stir up past memories of hurt and pain.
This site was started in order for Christians to acknowledge that we have got it terribly wrong at times, and to apologize for this. We understand that many will feel that words aren’t enough. We agree! Though we also admit we don’t know what else to do practically about this. If you have any ideas please contact us and let us know how we can show, not only in word, but also in deed, that we’re sorry.
The cool thing about this site is that it’s pretty much user generated. There’s no attempt to control the message, anyone can post any kind of apology they want (though they are specifically asking for Christians to apologize to non-Christians). Here’s a few:
I’m sorry for all the times we’ve shoved God in your face and loved you with an agenda- trying to keep you from the burning pits of hell. I’m sorry we don’t live more unique and genuine lives centered around loving one another. I’m sorry we get over righteous on you and fail to see life as it is. I’m sorry I told you I was a christian but I never minded gossiping about my sister or brother. I’m sorry I judged you.
I’m sorry i overlooked you as a potential friend just because our beliefs were different.
I’m sorry for ignoring you in preference to the “God stuff” that I was doing.
Here’s the thing … it’s pretty clear that 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 the hope out of hope and continued wounding the wounded and piled chains on slaves. I am so sorry.
I am sorry we have not been a more frequent, more firm and more graceful voice in environmental, political, and human rights arenas.
I am sorry that so often the church has twisted Jesus’ message to exlude rather than include people.
I am sorry for acting like I know-it-all and have the corner on truth while making fun of people who have actually devoted their lives to studying things like the Bible, or science, or history.
The site also has a section for non-Christians to tell their stories of how they’ve been hurt by Christians or to give feedback about the site. Here are a few:
Wow. I came to this website with apprehension. Is this a trick? Am I going to be insulted, threatened with damnation, made fun of? Told I have to believe, or else!? I started getting teary eyed around the fourth apology and was crying by the end. Your apologies are brave, and I forgive you. I apologize for all the times I feared you when you revealed yourself to be a Christian. I apologize for all the times I rejected your thoughts and opinions just because you are a Christian. I apologize for all the times my beliefs in universal unity wavered. I apologize for all the times my patience gave out. I think we have a lot more to offer one another and a lot more to gain from coming together then we have by staying separated and pulling apart. Hopefully one day we will all come together under the umbrella of love.
I am not Christian. I am sorry that I rolled my eyes when I saw the name of this site. I am sorry that I judged every Christian on the planet to be the same.
I am a “recovering” Catholic living in a mid-sized city in the Bible Belt. I’m also a published writer, and I make no bones about my atheism in my writing. My children are both beautiful, smart, funny, kind-hearted kids, but they have very few friends. My husband heard recently from the rumor-mill at work that some of the ladies on our block have said that they don’t let their kids play with mine because we don’t go to church. I don’t mind so much that we don’t get invitations to the neighborhood get-togethers. We’d rather stay home, anyway; we enjoy each others’ company. But it upsets me greatly that my children are having a lonely childhood because my neighbors are intolerant of religious difference. It hardly seems Christ-like to punish them for our beliefs.
I read through the apologies on this site and unexpectedly started crying my eyes out. I was raised in the church and left a long time ago. There are too many stories to even begin to share here. It amazes me that something that is supposedly all about love and grace can cause so very much wrenching pain and damage. …can’t even begin to say…
I have to say that I came here with doubts. But I can leave saying that this is a wonderful website. I used to be Christian, but have since left because of what I felt was intolerance, hatred, and the unwillingness to listen to others who were different in any way. I still feel that there are many Christians out there who are like this, but more and more everyday I meet many who aren’t. I feel like they are also getting the crappy end of the stick because the intolerant Christians are shutting them out.
But this is an apology website. I do apologize for hating Christians when I was younger. I can’t hate an entire group for the failings of a few. I do apologize for laughing at Christians. It was just as bad as some laughing at me.
I think with age comes maturity and I realize now that I can’t hate people at all. I can dislike, that’s something you can’t help, but I can no longer hate people. I wish that people of any religion could understand that. It’s ok to disagree, but hatred just pulls everyone down.
So what do you think? Is a site like this helpful? Worthwhile? If you’re a Christian, are there any apologies you’d like to add? If you’re a non-Christian, do you have any stories or comments you’d want to contribute?