The body of Christ is broken and bruised, and we have hurt so many people in the process of our own gruesome misgivings. This is an open letter, a mass apology, a confession to you and before you, to mend what needs mending. Please know that this is from the very sincere depths of my being, to the very depths of yours.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am sorry that my haughty (and erroneous) interpretation of scripture has excluded you and given me ammunition to verbally abase you, judge you, and reduce you to your category of sin instead of using the scripture to guide me towards the love and forgiveness we all equally need. I apologize for seeing you as "deceived" and therefore not hearing your questions and understanding of life; for not acknowledging that you have something to offer me, to offer this world. I am sorry for saying that I love you when I really have an agenda to despise you so that I can feel good about myself. I'm sorry that my love is conditional and that my arrogance blinds me from my need for forgiveness.
I'm deeply troubled that I haven't recognized that the Spirit in me, is the same Spirit in you, and that I have undervalued, underappreciated, and left you feeling inferior. I'm sorry that you have heard me talk about love and peace and forgiveness, and then heard me speak negatively and judgmentally about others. Forgive me for throwing stones.
Forgive me for being afraid of different worldviews. For allowing anger to rise from your questions, when I was really just afraid of looking foolish for not knowing the answers. I'm sorry that I have reduced God's love to the people who "already have it together," or to a formula. Forgive me for blindly following antiquated interpretations of theology, or new and white-washed self-help beliefs that compartmentalize and reduce you to a category of sin instead of a person who is cherished and held.
I'm sorry that I have allowed disagreements about theology or politics to overrule my respect for you. For viewing Jesus as a master rather than a friend. I'm sorry for making my beliefs seem like an overreach, like a social club, or clique that only the selective few can be a part of. I'm sorry that I have cheapened God's grace and made it elitist.
I'm sorry for hurting you out of my own misunderstandings. It's really not your fault at all. It's me. It's my failures and fears, my instinct and brokenness to self-preserve, to want to feel important. I'm sorry that I have misunderstood my own reconciliation to Christ, and have projected that onto you. I'm sorry that I haven't loved you well. I need to understand love too. I'm sorry that I've been blind to my own arrogance and I am asking from the bottom of my heart, for you to forgive and release me.
Let me love you better. Let me soak in the adornment of Christ instead of bad theology, so that I can serve and love you from an endless reservoir. Let me prove to you that I can honor our differences, that I can respect your will, and that I can embrace a conversation with you that won't ensnare you in condescension. Let me show you that I am sorry. Speak up gently when I fail you, when I revert to old mindsets. I promise I will begin to listen and humble myself. Give me the opportunity to ask for forgiveness, and to move forward in wisdom. Forgive me of the many sins I have committed against you. Forgive me for the hypocrisy that Jesus himself detests, so that we can move forward in unity, peace, and mercy.