Friday, April 5, 2013

A Public Apology to Anyone

During the last few weeks, there's been a lot of talk around the country regarding the rights, status, and morality of a particular group of people.  I wrote about this topic recently, and it spurred even more discussion.

Some of these discussions were very fruitful, involving 2 or more people who just wanted to understand each other.  No arguing, no blaming, just talk.  I was even pleasantly surprised that an old friend used the topic to ask for some personal advice about a difficult situation.  I don't know how helpful I was in answering their questions, but I was glad to know that we shared a respect that led us toward mutual edification, even in light of our differing beliefs.

I love to be a part of discussions like this.  It makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself.  Like I'm not just an individual living life for myself.  It makes me feel like I'm part of a movement.  And when those movements meet my ideology (whether biblical, ethical, or political), it feels like the most important movement in the world.

But I have a problem.  In the same way an addict seeks the next thrill, I have a tendency to seek out the next big movement and make myself a part of it.  While there's nothing wrong with being part of an important movement, pushing yourself into a movement before you fully understand its direction can be detrimental.

I've never been a part of a picketing or rioting event, but I tend to lobby through my words.  That's quite obvious in this setting, but I also gravitate toward message boards or facebook discussions, and lately I've spent a lot of time in the latter.

In the past, I've been so drawn into discussions on a topic that I wrote solely out of emotion.  That's not to say that emotion in writing is bad (quite the opposite!), but to exclude the logical or faithful side of your thoughts is to leave yourself with empty rhetoric or worse.  In some cases I found myself wanting to push the envelope so badly that I found myself arguing points that even I didn't believe.

In the last couple of weeks, I think I made a similar mistake.  To be clear, my post entitled Coming Out remains valid.  I also defend the points I made in online discussions during the next few days.  But the way I expressed them was wrong.

The more I wrote and read about whether the lifestyles of a particular group were right or wrong, the dirtier I felt for discussing this issue so publicly.

I believe that issues such as prejudice and equality should be brought to the public, but I think I crossed a line.  I was spending less time defending the rights to equal treatment and more time debating the morality of their actions.  I wanted to blame my opposition as being too judgmental, but I realized that I wasn't any better.  Whether I thought they were right or wrong. I was still standing in judgment of their actions, as if I held any authority to judge.

So, I hope I didn't offend anyone in my public discussions about homosexuality.  If I did, I am truly sorry.  I want to love my neighbor, whether they be racially, financially, geographically, or sexually different than me, and especially if they're imperfect like me.  And I want to give my neighbors the respect they deserve, and a part of that respect is to observe the boundaries of friendship.  I'm sorry if I crossed those boundaries.

While my actions crossed lines, I have learned that my beliefs on this topic are important.  I believe I have found the heart of Christ in this issue, and I need to follow His example of loving the marginalized in my community.  I think my next step is to learn how to be an activist without becoming judgmental.  As always, I invite any accountability my readers have to offer.

Always moving forward,


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