I came across something really moving on the internet the other day. It was a link found through a link found through a link type of thing but this was one of the most powerful blogs I've read in quite some time. I'm reprinting it here with the permission of the author, Chris Ridgeway, (or as we liked to call him at U of I: Cridgewa). The whole thing is kind of long so with the hopes of people reading all of it, and for more focused comments, I'm posting it in multiple parts. Here's the intro:
I'm a Christian. By that, I mean that I identify with the teaching and example of the rabbi Jesus Christ that I've read about in the scriptures. I've decided to believe that when he said was God, that it was Real, and that he used the power of deep forgiveness to start a cosmic chain reaction that is reconnecting me to myself, to other people, and especially to Him.
It also means that I belong to a group of people throughout different times and places who have also been Christians.
Here's the thing. I really feel this need to apologize. For us. For some things we've done. To say that there's been times we've been really wrong, and to ask for your forgiveness.
This is tough to do, because while the History Channel has been pretty helpful, the truth is, I don't know much about a lot these other times and other cultures. Heck, I don't know a lot about other people on my campus here at the University of Illinois who are Christians too, but who are part of a different church, different community, or just live in Urbana.
But maybe, just for this letter to you, could we pretend that I was elected to speak for all Christians? I doubt I'd be the right person for the job. Maybe we could have the apostle Paul, or a pope, or Billy Graham or Mother Theresa. But I'm the one here now, and I still feel it's the right thing to try.
It all has to do with the way that in the name of Christ, we've acted, especially when we've been thinking about how to invite other people to be Christians with us.
I'd like to apologize for four things.