I worked with a young man years ago and broached the topic of faith and religion with him.
He told me a long story of heartache and pain at the hands of religious people.
He spoke of nightmares and an ache in his stomach that continued to assault him years after the abusive incidents.
Such stories are not uncommon.
Hypocrisy and abuse in the name of Christ by those that would call themselves leaders of the Christian faith occur all too often.
For those of you that have similar stories of pain and heartache, from those that would claim to be Christian, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies and ask for your forgiveness on behalf of all Christians.
Abuse and punishment is the antithesis of the Christian faith.
Love is its central theme personified in Jesus Christ who allowed himself punished and abused to be a relief to those that would call out to him and repent for their sins.
Those of you that have given up on the faith because of the cruel and stupid actions of those that claimed to be Christians have made a terrible error.
Christianity is not defined by its followers but by Christ.
Christianity will fall short when judged by its followers since all Christians are fallible.
This is not to excuse the reprehensible actions of those that claim to be Christians or to minimize the pain you may suffered from so called “Christians”.
It is my attempt to distance the poor behavior of Christians from the person of Christ.
I realize that being a pastor makes my opinion biased.
Thus I would encourage you to read the gospel and judge for yourselves what Christianity is by looking at the person Jesus Christ.
In the person of Jesus Christ is found the peace, purpose, relationship and acceptance that are meant for all mankind.
If you need a Bible or would like to talk my door is always open to visitors.
God bless you in your search.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Rev. Michael Kiewitt, Clearwater Community Baptist Church