When you feel the need to apologize for the church

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Beefster
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When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by Beefster » 15 Feb 2018, 18:31

Today at work, while out for lunch, I found out that one of my coworkers is gay. I knew he was married, but he's not at all the gay stereotype, so I just kind of assumed his spouse was a woman. He definitely doesn't wear it on his sleeve, so it was a little bit surprising. But it didn't bother me. At all. I was happy for him.

But I felt this inexplicable urge to apologize on behalf of the church for its opposition to Prop 8 and so forth. I ultimately didn't, but I wanted to. And it's been on my mind since. Am I really in the right church if I feel the need to apologize in its behalf? Can Christ's church really be the one that alienates thousands of good people, leads hundreds to suicide, and only works for a small subset of homosexual people? Would the church of God really demand that certain people give up a huge part of the human experience for salvation? (TBH, I don't think I can stand behind the Abraham & Isaac justification. That story never really jived well with me.)

It led me to this: if Dan Reynolds is, for some reason, excommunicated for Believer, I'm out. I can't stand by a church that treats people this way.
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nibbler
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by nibbler » 17 Feb 2018, 16:04

Beefster wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 18:31
Can Christ's church really be the one that alienates thousands of good people, leads hundreds to suicide, and only works for a small subset of homosexual people? Would the church of God really demand that certain people give up a huge part of the human experience for salvation?
Even if I were to take the "truthfulness" of the church at face value the church would still be an organization led by humans and staffed by humans. Revisiting the quote that occasionally appears here, "humans gonna human."

Humans are going to be human and make lots of mistakes, apologizing should be a part of the human experience. Top leaders may not want to apologize because they might worry that it opens the church up to being legally liable for things, they may worry issuing apologies may undercut their authority, or maybe it's purely a pride thing... but I feel apologies are a part of healing and a part of ministering to people. Someone in this church has got to apologize and I don't feel bad doing it - maybe it's up to the rank and file to do what those at the top feel they can't do.

An apology from someone other than the person that contributed towards the offense may not have as much of an impact but at the very least sitting beside someone and saying, "I'm sorry" can help them feel less alone in their struggles.

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SilentDawning
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Feb 2018, 06:45

I am always walking a balance between being positive about the church and "qualifying" its behavior, for lack of a better word.

I try not to bash it to non-members, and never bash it to members locally...but I have, on occasion, indicated I don't agree with a stance the church takes. I don't go so far as as to apologize for it, but I simply indicate I don't agree with certain aspects of it. And then followup with a statement that I am so unorthodox, don't assume that any mainstream idea a person hears about the church has necessarily made it into my own personal belief system.
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Roy
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by Roy » 19 Feb 2018, 10:22

I suppose there are different levels. If I am not close to the person then I do not feel the need to clarify (unsolicited) how my personal beliefs might differ from the party line. If I am close to the person then a discussion and apology might be appropriate and healing.

I have sometimes said that if a child of mine came out as gay that would be my last day attending the LDS church. Part of this is because I view church participation on a cost benefit analysis and this would tip the scales for me. The other part is that I would want my child to know that I support them completely without reservations. This is the most extreme level for me.
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Feb 2018, 11:02

I never apologize for the Church. I don't have that responsibility or right. All I can do is express personal sorrow when practices and policies hurt someone.

However, I am not shy about my views on issues where I disagree with certain policies or cultural practices. I also am open about historical things that I view as mistakes, and the recent essays have helped me in that regard.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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dande48
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by dande48 » 19 Feb 2018, 12:22

Curt Sunshine wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 11:02
I never apologize for the Church. I don't have that responsibility or right. All I can do is express personal sorrow when practices and policies hurt someone.
I agree with Curt. There are two kinds of "sorry". There's the "I accept the blame for and will try to rectify" sorry, and the "I feel sad because" sorry. We should never apologize on behalf of any person or organization that is outside our control... our nation, our race, our gender, our religion, etc. It's not your fault or responsibility. But expressing sorrow towards another's hurt is a very kind and empathetic thing to do.

Not sure on your history, but I do think it is acceptable to apologize in behalf of who you once were, or what you once believed. If you feel the need to apologize, I'd go that route instead.
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Feb 2018, 14:37

Amen to dande48's last paragraph. That is a healthy, appropriate response.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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On Own Now
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by On Own Now » 19 Feb 2018, 15:28

When I marched in a Pride Parade with Mormons Building Bridges, my message wasn't an apology. It was that, "Hey, I hear you and I'm with you and I'm trying be make a change in the Church." There were a lot of very appreciative responses.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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SamBee
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Re: When you feel the need to apologize for the church

Post by SamBee » 05 Mar 2018, 10:07

On Own Now wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 15:28
When I marched in a Pride Parade with Mormons Building Bridges, my message wasn't an apology. It was that, "Hey, I hear you and I'm with you and I'm trying be make a change in the Church." There were a lot of very appreciative responses.
It has to be a two way process. I don't think extreme gay activists smashing up our churches in the USA ever did a thing for gay rights in the church. In fact, I think it set them back by a long way.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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