Monday, June 11, 2012

Letter of Sincere Apology to those Scarred by Organised Religion

Dear Friend,

I am deeply saddened by the stories of pain and hurt I have been hearing lately. Stories of broken relationships and examples of religious abuse that have caused a falling away from 'organized religion'. I am deeply saddened  because of the long lasting, personal effects this has had on many reading this letter.

As an officer in The Salvation Army I have heard the pain. I am just as privy as others to the throw away lines; you know, the comments people say, that when the layers are peeled back, reveals a complex story of abuse, neglect, pain and fear. The cause of the pain and the reason for the feelings of resentment are varied, but for some, they are reasons that are rarely spoken of; atleast not overtly. For others, that's all that they can speak about, because the pain is still so raw.

I want to say sorry.

Not because I have much ecclesiastical authority. Not because I intend to sell my latest book. Not because I need you to sign a dotted line.

I am sorry.

I don't even hold much influence. I don't have a large church, and 97% of those following me on twitter would not notice if I stopped posting.

I am simply offering an apology.

All I can pray right now, is that God may cause the pain to subside. Maybe there could be reconciliation. Maybe there could be forgiveness. I don't know.

The Word offers us encouragement when it says: Colossians 3:12-13 - "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

Forgiveness will set the heart free. It will clear the mind. It will pressure spray the dirt away from the clogged up mess of broken relationships.

I can't say I know your story and I can't even say that I understand your story, nor the effects it has had on your outlook on faith, religion, leadership or relationships. Though I can say I pray God will be close to you, and heal the pain that has simmered away for some time.

I hope some may forward this on to those it may be applicable to...

God bless,


1 comment:

  1. Pete,

    The words the Holy Spirit lead you to write are like medicine to a wounded soul. I was one of those with stories of abuse, but Jesus is transforming me to start telling stories of forgiveness and healing. This post was beyond timely and Jesus has used it in my life today.

    Thank you.


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