"I've cared too much and not enough in the same breath."
- Derek Webb, "I Was Wrong, I'm Sorry, and I Love You."
In high school one of my closest friends went to a Baptist church. It was the type of Baptist church where playing an electric guitar would be stirring things up. Around the time we became good friends, I began to connect with a charismatic church. People worshiped loudly, prayed passionately, danced wildly, cried unashamedly, prayed for the sick and talked openly about the supernatural. I was captured.
In my infinite wisdom I shared almost every detail of my new worship experiences with my Baptist friend. As you can imagine, we had some pretty big differences of opinion. Unsurprisingly, often my times of story-telling became theological arguments. I walked away from many of those arguments feeling like I'd won.
I've been around Christianity and the church for my entire life. My parents were missionaries, most of my family is Christian, and I currently attend a Christian college. I'm still pretty young, but old enough to pick up on a few patterns. And I don't think that my smug attitude at scoring truth-points was unique.
I've recently been working as part of the launch team for Derek Webb's new record (shameless plug, I know…). As I've listened to the upcoming album, its central theme of reconciliation haunts me. I have to wonder: why do Christians have such a hard time saying "sorry"? In a faith founded on confession and repentance, where did we go wrong?
After high school I realized what a pompous jerk I had been. I called my friend to apologize. As we were talking, we both confessed that we had had a mindset ...