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Author Topic: When Should A Christian Apologize?  (Read 32603 times)

Bunyan

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2009, 12:09:08 PM »

This is a good topic. It goaded me to search the web and look up the words Christian and apology. To my surprise, all I came up with is these three subjects. 1. Christians apologizing to the Jews. 2. Christians apologizing to the Muslims. And 3. Christian apologetics. It seems not a lot of Christians ever write about Christian offences, personal Christian relationships, apology or Church interaction. It is truly a subject neglected. I did read the Good Rev. Carl Haak write:

"If you do not confess your sins, there will be a spiritual withering within you-a spiritual hardening inside you. Confess. Put content into your words. Do not generalize. Tell the Lord what you have done. And confess your sins one to another. When I discover the sins that I have committed against my brother, then I must confess that sin. Yes, confess your sins. Repent of your sins. Be sorrowful for your sins. But know why God forgives your sins!"

So some good Christians are aware of the need. And I'm glad we get a chance to discuss it here, even though some posts are ridiculous. The subject is long overdue. Anyone know of any articles on the web concerning it? ..or any books on the subject? Preferably from a Reformed or biblical perspective.
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Drew

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2009, 08:11:28 AM »
A couple Unfortunate and hurtful comments made by what we will call, anonymous Christian posters:

"Why? Did you think a Christian was someone who doesn't dance, smoke, or drink and attends Sunday service? Those are Baptists, and if a bake sale, Lutherans."

"We all know different denominations are known for certain distinguishing characteristics.  The last Baptist church I attended was just as bad as the Pentecostal and catholic church in their teachings.   There’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between them if you ask me, lost is still lost."

Not a bit of difference between baptist Churches, and I assume, baptists. WOW! To come to a place where obviously there are a lot of Baptist Christians, and make such comments, shows a lack of common sense caution. Don't you think that these comments that are insensitive at best, and callous at worst, come under this category? if they fit in either case, do you think that an apology is out of order?  Or is it? Perhaps we are wrong and feelings should have no bearing on the offense of a Christian. That is possible. So the question is, should we rule out feelings as a reason to apologize?

Reformer

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2009, 09:30:20 AM »
Not to beat a dead horse, but I was curious about the silence of the Lamb. And Christian behavior is right on topic. So I looked up the word apologize, and I found that every regular Christian on this forum has used it at one time or another. Even Reformer (humor - humor!!!!)

  Hey! I resemble that remark! ;)


Reformer

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2009, 09:31:19 AM »
Well, this thread is getting a lot of comment. I'll add mine.

As one who is often saying something he shouldn't and has to apologize, I think for a Christian to apologize is a very healthy and blessed thing of the spirit. We all have to learn to admit when we are wrong, and thus endeavor to build bridges between fellow Christians instead of walls. Like someone else said in this thread before, too often Christians don't really care. They think they are right, and therefore that justifies any offense to the fellow christian.

Proverbs 6:2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

God has to move a soul to be humble enough to understand that we sometimes do and say things that we should not have. Even when we feel justified. So when we are in the wrong (even though we may be right), I think we need to take responsibility for causing strife and admit we are wrong. Be humble enough to say we are sorry for any offence to our brethren. I think scripture teaches that n abasing ourselves, we exalt and glorify our Lord. That's a part of what makes us "different" from the world. A Spirit of love, compassion and union with the Christian family. God, who is well pleased with such charity and sacrifice, rewards us in ways we cannot even imagine. Learn the meaning of the proverbs concerning this

Proverbs 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
 
Humility and honor in God's eyes goes hand in hand. So why glory in our ego when his grace is both sufficient and honorable. This taking on the vesture of humility is something I think a lot of Christians really have a difficult time doing. Myself included. But that doesn't mean it is not something we should strive for, that we may grow in grace.

Rose

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2009, 11:16:40 AM »
All excellent posts. But let me say something. We can talk and talk until we are blue in the face, but unless a Christian wants to hear it, it goes in one ear and out the other. The same hardness and resistance you may have encountered when talking to dispensationalists or Pentecostals about the scriptures, we find that exact same hardness with some Christians when they do things they shouldn't. They always resist the truth, and we have to recognize that. We can't change anyone's mind, but we have left a record of our good witness to the word and that is enough. Amen?
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Colleen

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Colleen

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2009, 08:57:25 PM »
Here's an excellent piece, the author can be reached below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Principles of Judging
Christian Behavior
and
Principles of Forgiveness

Luke 17:3; 1 Timothy 5:20; 2 Timothy 4:12;
1 Thessalonians 5:14
 

1. We are always to first judge ourselves for any sin present in our lives that we know of (1 John 1:9). We are to examine ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:31). We are to repent of all sin habits.

2. If we have knowledgeably sinned against others, we are to refrain from worshiping God, and immediately go to our offended brother or sister for reconciliation (Matthew 5:23 & 24). And...

3. The same is true (#2) if we have sinned against unbelievers (Matthew 5:25).

4. If a Christian sins against you, first, make sure you have no known sin in your life that you could be rebuked for, before you go to your brother to correct him. Read Matthew 7:1-5 very carefully.

5. Then, only if you have no “beams” in your eye, can you apply Galatians 6:1. Watch your attitude. Go in gentleness.

6. Depending on his response, use Matthew 18:15-17 if he (your brother) has offended you.
 
7. We must judge our brother as to whether he is in sin, and if he is willing to repent of it and separate himself from it. We must make the judgment to separate ourselves from fellowshipping with him, if he is unrepentant and refuses to ask for forgiveness. (2 John 7-11; Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Romans 16:17)

8. Can we judge (krino) a brother’s service, ministry or stewardship? NO! The only exception is if ALL the facts are known and sin is actually and openly involved. (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)

9. Again, be warned of Matthew 7:1-5. Better to ask “why” a person is doing something than to judge (krino) by appearance or haste.

10. If an unbeliever sins against you, you can forgive or use 1 Timothy 1:8-10.
 
Proverbs 27:5-6 - Open rebuke;
Nouthesis; Correction; Restoration
 
To Admonish: putting in mind (verbally), (Greek - nouthesis) training by word (negate “do nots” or encouragement) includes reproof, remonstrance, i.e. strong reasoning against something. Warn.

To Exhort: call aside, entreat (verbal), (Greek - parakaleo, paraineo) urge, plead to come back to God’s way, advise, warn, beseech.

To Rebuke: Put honor upon, then to adjudge, (Greek - etitimao) solemn warning of consequences of sin. (Greek - elencho), convict, refute, reprove with conviction, to put to shame. (Greek - epiplesso) to strike at, on (all verbal). (Greek - elenxis) rebuke.

To Reproof: is to bring to light, privately, a fault in another person. (Greek - elegimos) to expose something, convict. (Verbal)
 
SAME
 
To Refute: to expose, convict (elegimos) (verbal)


CHANGE BEHAVIOR


To Correct: (Greek - diorthoma) reform, amendment, correction, a making straight, clarifying, change. (Greek - epanorthosis) a restoration to an upright state. (Greek - paideutes) a corrector/teacher/chastizer.

 
MANNER OF APPLICATION
 
...in longsuffering and doctrine, love, meekness,
...in humility, patiently, responsibly, gently

Judging a sin:
1 Corinthians 5:3, 12, 13, 11:29-32
To restore:
Galatians 6:1 (Greek - kartatizo) mend, repair
To Judge:
Angels, the world (1 Corinthians 6:3)
Brethren (1 Corinthians 5:3, 5, 12; 6:5)
Ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:31)


PRINCIPLES OF FORGIVENESS - (Aspect 1 - Before Man)


Luke 17:3 & 4 - (Read) This verse reveals “conditional” forgiveness. IF he repents FIRST, I will forgive him.

“if he repents”; (changes his attitude, apologizes, admits his sin, asks you to forgive him), you THEN are to forgive him, and forget what happened. The commitment here - to forgive - is to God, NOT to the offender. (There is no such thing as advance forgiveness.)

Matthew 18:15-17 - NO forgiveness is granted to him or her until the offender
repents.

2 Corinthians 2:6-7 - after church discipline has been done (Matthew 18:15-17)
and IF repentance comes, THEN forgive him. Tell him you forgive him so he knows it for sure.


PRINCIPLES OF FORGIVENESS - (Aspect 2 - Before God)
  

You MUST forgive all people who have offended you so that God will hear your prayers (Mark 11:25)

If you don’t forgive them before God, you won’t be forgiven your transgressions either (Mark 11:26; Luke 11:4 Our Father’s Prayer); (Matthew 6:14-15; “if you have repented”.)

WARNING: You cannot ask another Christian to repent if you haven’t repented of known sins or sin habits in your life (Matthew 7:1-5; Galatians 6:1).

Forgiveness requires “forgetting” the past completely. To keep “digging up” old sins is sin. To be bitter and carry a grudge is sin. Forgiveness ALWAYS means “forgetting” the offense.
 
We, at Good News Bible Church, encourage you to print any of these Bible studies on our website for your own personal Bible study, or to use in a group Bible study. But just as salvation is a FREE gift, offered to us through the work of Jesus Christ, these Bible studies are a FREE gift and are not to be sold for any reason.

If you have questions or comments, or you would like any other information concerning this or any other Bible studies we have available, please contact us using the information below.

gnbcbible@gnbcbible.com


Doug Johnson

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2009, 11:08:17 AM »
A couple Unfortunate and hurtful comments made by what we will call, anonymous Christian posters:

"Why? Did you think a Christian was someone who doesn't dance, smoke, or drink and attends Sunday service? Those are Baptists, and if a bake sale, Lutherans."

"We all know different denominations are known for certain distinguishing characteristics.  The last Baptist church I attended was just as bad as the Pentecostal and catholic church in their teachings.   There’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between them if you ask me, lost is still lost."


Ok, from someone who lurks and reads this forum, I think that the first comment is humorous but seems quasi-insensitive. But the second comment seems mean, implying all Baptist Churches are alike. From my perspective, that's neither a good thing to say, nor is it true. That's why there are so many different sects in the non Catholic Churches, because there are different types even in the same groups where you don't all have to be the same. I consider that a minus rather than a plus, but that's beside the point. Apology is in order in both instances.



Nikki

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2009, 03:41:32 PM »

Forgiveness.  Revelant?

Hi,
  Have you read John Bunyan's Christian Behavior?

Pearson

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2009, 04:42:03 AM »
Firstly, I want to give my sincere apology to anyone, whether Baptist or Lutheran, that was offended. I can see how someone can take my statement about these denominations and find it offensive; it was a poor choice of words.

[Soapbox mode on]

Apology accepted of course. Not that I needed it. Let's hope that others don't use this as a reason to continue the defense of the indefensible. I think good Christians here understood it was simply a poor choice of words. The problem is, those attempting to defend them, I think, caused more harm than good. That you can see how someone can take your statement, and defenders could not see it, is in my view the real problem that offended more.


Quote
However, for those interested in what I was seeking to convey: the context was - what is a Christian? Is it legalism:  don't dance, smoke, drink, etc? Indeed, the church has adopted forms of legalism throughout its history and the holiness movement has affected most all denominations - so the "joke" is a familiar stereotype based on authentic problems within the church that still exists in a host of denominations. But, a Christian actually is very unlike the caricatures the world presents - which was my point, however garbled.

I think most of us got what you were trying to convey, and the "usual suspects" (who, according to rules will remain nameless) who attempt to cause trouble are well known, as is their motivation.


Quote
Thus, "if" Granny views a Christian as someone who does "things" to become holy (a common fallacy) - she would do well to understand it is the reverse. We are made holy by our relationship with Christ - which is why our liberties can be restrictive and yet express true freedom.  It is because our liberty is bound in Christ we do not have, nor want, freedoms outside of Christ. 

Amen!


Quote
A wrong-hearted action would be to turn your offense into a cause célèbre and bemoan the fact to the world that you haven't got your much-deserved deserts in the form of an apology. The consequences are that soon you have a polarized community with people taking sides.

I think it would have blown over if not for those attempting to justify it, and also adding this comment, which was much more offensive:

"We all know different denominations are known for certain distinguishing characteristics.  The last Baptist church I attended was just as bad as the Pentecostal and catholic church in their teachings.   There’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between them if you ask me, lost is still lost."

If this was supposed to be a defense of what was said, it was an offense worse than the original misunderstanding, only serving to widen the breach and miss the point entirely.



I disagree in one point. The agitators have really gained nothing, and the Church (I believe) has been edified and strengthened by the resultant discussion and agreement on Christians offending Christians and graceful action of apology. I'm not saying it was all a good thing, but that it was used to the good of all of us. I think that your actions and witness of words on this forum will speak volumes, as will theirs. Christians are not as foolish as one might think.


Quote
I think the proper Christian attitude toward small offenses is two-fold:  First, stop being hurt by every little thing, which means you must stop thinking the worst of everyone – and to do that you'll have to stop thinking so highly of yourself and your own importance.

While I agree in principle, sometimes I believe that an apology is in order and even required by the word of God. Not that yours was one of those cases, but they do occur and I don't think that it is out of line for a Christian to expect, but not demand one from other conscientious Christians.


Quote
Secondly, being genuinely offended, first deal privately with the person - state your case plainly (without overstatement) and make it clear how you were personally affected. And then go your way. Leave the matter with God.

I agree with this totally. Unless it is a continuing offense, in which case there may be need for it to be openly rebuked.




Just My two cents

[Soapbox mode off]


Amy Lineal

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2009, 07:45:24 AM »
I've read John's post carefully.  Some parts more than once.

I thought about responding with quote blocks but I defer because I think I can state my confusion with one statement.

I, first of all, was not offended by the original remarks made by John.  If his response stopped at his first paragraph, I would simply iterate: "apology accepted."

HOWEVER, the rest of his response seems to further defend himself RATHER than to be sincerely apologetic.  (Am I the only one to sense this?)

It 'seems' he is "offended" by being told he offended people and is asked to apologize.    :o  This is bizarre, IMO.

Regardless, I think I am going to re-read Bunyans Pilgrims Progress--the part where Christian and Hopeful meet up with TALKATIVE.  Maybe that would help me with undestanding the mindset or worldview of others better.

Drew

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2009, 09:17:29 AM »
I've read John's post carefully.  Some parts more than once.

I thought about responding with quote blocks but I defer because I think I can state my confusion with one statement.

I, first of all, was not offended by the original remarks made by John.  If his response stopped at his first paragraph, I would simply iterate: "apology accepted."

HOWEVER, the rest of his response seems to further defend himself RATHER than to be sincerely apologetic.  (Am I the only one to sense this?)

No, you're just the only one who has the integrity to say anything about it, since the writer apparently can do no wrong.


Quote
It 'seems' he is "offended" by being told he offended people and is asked to apologize.    :o  This is bizarre, IMO.



I wouldn't call it bizarre, because we see it all the time. It's called pride. He can't bear to just "admit" that he's done something he shouldn't have done, it has to ultimately be someone else's fault.


Quote
Regardless, I think I am going to re-read Bunyans Pilgrims Progress--the part where Christian and Hopeful meet up with TALKATIVE.  Maybe that would help me with undestanding the mindset or worldview of others better.


 I totally agree with Amy. I know it is difficult for some oif you, but try and be fair and look at this objectively. If you can. What John does is apologize, and then in effect minimizes his real responsibility by saying it's really your fault for either not having a sense of humor, or being too sensitive.  ???

 A real apology is taking responsibility, not in ranting or blaming the people you are supposedly apologizing to. That's pride kicking in. He can't bear to apologize without striking out at the people he's (supposedly) apologizing to. That is all this is, and if you are honest with yourselves, you know this. All these replies most of you made about humility, and we get an example of just the opposite. This so-called apology lacks that humility of a sincere apology. And you know it.

If you're going to apologize, just apologize and let it go. Then we can all move on. One line is all that was required. "I apologize if I have offended Baptists." Period!  But don't go on this pious rant about all the Baptists who were offended being too thin skinned and who themselves were evidently to blame in some way. That negates the whole apology. He might as well have not said anything.


Drew

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2009, 09:21:44 AM »
Oh, PS:

 The worst comments on Baptists made by Mr. U-No-Who isn't apologized for at all. So I guess we should count ourselves lucky to be in the presence of John, who at least moved in that direction. Perhaps we expect so much of Christians.  :-\

Amy Lineal

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2009, 09:55:57 AM »
Drew, thank you very much.   :)


Amy Lineal

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Re: When Should A Christian Apologize?
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2009, 08:41:33 AM »
I need to correct a previous statement.  TALKATIVE discourses with FAITHFUL and not HOPEFUL.  The scene is before VANITY FAIR so Faithful isn't dead yet.

Some excerpts:

Faith. Now did Faithful begin to wonder; and stepping to Christian, (for he walked all this while by himself,) he said to him, (but softly,) What a brave companion have we got? Surely this man will make a very excellent pilgrim.

Chr. At this Christian modestly smiled, and said, This man, with whom you are so taken, will beguile, with that tongue of his, twenty of them that know him not.

. . .

Faith. What would you have me to do?

Chr. Why, go to him, and enter into some serious discourse about the power of religion; and ask him plainly (when he has approved of it, for that he will) whether this thing be set up in his heart, house, or conversation.

. . .

Faith. Because I saw you forward to talk, and because I knew not that you had aught else but notion. Besides, to tell you all the truth, I have heard of you, that you are a man whose religion lies in talk, and that your conversation gives this your mouth-profession the lie. They say, you are a spot among Christians; and that religion fareth the worse for your ungodly conversation; that some have already stumbled at your wicked ways, and that more are in danger of being destroyed thereby; your religion, and an alehouse, and covetousness, and uncleanness, and swearing, and lying, and vain-company keeping, will stand together. The proverb is true of you which is said of a whore, to wit, that she is a shame to all women; so are you a shame to all professors.

Talk. Since you are ready to take up reports and to judge so rashly as you do, I cannot but conclude you are some peevish or melancholy man, not fit to be discoursed with; and so adieu.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/classics/pilgrims_progress3.html






 


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