I read this quote as the tag out line of a blog that was posted on a friends Facebook. The blog was by a devout non-Christian who became one a few years back and is explaining that she now gets what all the hub bub is about. While I like that article, that’s not what intrigued me about this quote. The quote itself was intriguing because I’ve simply never heard that, now famous, apology put in those particular terms. As a “word” guy it struck me.
It’s an age-old complaint that so many wrong and hurtful things have been done by Christians, in the name of God. Which of course invalidates anything a Christian may ever say about anything right? Much in the same way that perhaps the fact that our country doesn’t always do the absolute, 100% perfectly right thing by people across the globe or its own citizens sometimes invalidates it as a sovereign nation right? Ok without being too sarcastic, I will mention that my personal favorite is that go-to phrase that otherwise very thoughtful and intelligent people often think makes Christianity completely tumble at the mere utterance, “What about the Crusades?”
Ok now that that is done, the part that I found intriguing was this phrase: “…in the name of a God they obviously needed more time getting to know.” I’ve never heard it put that way. I suspect its because it was written by a relatively new Christian and they haven’t yet gotten the jargon down yet so they use things like synonyms to get their points across instead of the same list of approved sayings and phrases. I love it. Because that is the point. God is the all-knowing, all-loving, perfect one. He’s the one that can do it right. We Christians can’t quite do it right. That’s the whole point. We know we can’t do it right and we admit we need help. God is many things, but one of those this is a personality whom we get to know over time. The more we get to know him, just like a friend, the more we can accurately represent him. This doesn’t happen over night. This doesn’t happen in a mad passion of zealotry. It takes time.
So the people that go around apologizing for God all the time, as if He’s like your toddler who’s going through a rebellious stage and whom you love but he’s embarrassing you at your bosses Christmas party, that’s not where it’s at. God is the perfect one. We are the ones who are not perfect. It’s to be expected that humans will hurt each other and screw up. If there is an apology to be made, it’s not for God, but for the people who claim to know him so much that they ‘don’t screw up anymore’ and use his name to hurt other people and to do wrong when they don’t necessarily know what they are talking about.