My Apologies

Posted: January 26, 2014 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized
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So a couple weeks ago I posted a status update making fun of a blog article discussion where someone called me “rigid and dogmatic.” I added a link to the blog so others could see it. I continued participating in the commentary on the blog, “SBC Voices,” but need to address the manner by which I went about it.

Some good friends called me on the tone I was using–I wore the label as a “badge of honor,” and made sweeping generalizations about those who adhere to the “five fundamentals” and/or to the “T.U.L.I.P.” doctrines, and invited like-minded Facebook friends to join in and pile on.

The voices quoted and priorities set forth by some of those adherents have really disappointed and angered me at times for a variety of reasons. However, I have to confess that, while Scripture asks “In your anger, do not sin,” I did indeed express my anger in such a way that it was sin. It was self-serving, belittling to others, and unfairly generalized about a group when in fact there is diversity of belief and practice among them.

If I hope to be a credible voice in discussions of theology, Biblical exegesis, and church leadership, I need to participate in those discussions in a respectful and compassionate manner. Further, as an appointed leader of the church, I set a poor example about how to engage in such dialogue–especially hypocritical since just a few weeks ago I preached a sermon about Christians getting engaged in politics so that loving and peaceful voices might be heard and someday prevail against the angry and hurtful ones.

James 3:13-18 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.”

My words fell far short of this standard for sure. I owe apologies to those who look to me for leadership, and to those which whom I spoke disrespectfully. And I owe thanks to those who love me enough to call me out when I go astray. “As iron sharpens iron, so one of us can sharpen another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

  1. Chris White says:

    There are so many examples in the Gospels in which Jesus models for us how we should act, and how we should live. One of my favorite stories is the washing of His disciples feet. I’m just stunned that our Lord and Savior humbled himself, washing his disciples, his friends dirty, smelly, nasty feet–the same feet that would soon run from him in denial. Jesus models humility through that action-a humility that we all, as Christ followers, should have.

    Matt, my brother, I thank you for modeling Christlike humility in your blog post. It is an example to me, and makes me want to know Jesus more, and follow Jesus more closely and hold on to His teaching more strongly. I read Matt 26 this morning. Peter, full of confidence, not only states he will not deny Jesus, but will be the only one who remains with him (cue the “wah wah” sound). But just a few weeks later God uses Peter, this flawed broken man, to preach a powerful sermon of repentance. 3000 believed that day, and throughout the next weeks many believed and were added to their number. I am thankful that God uses flawed, broken vessels like me, like you, like everyone else who is striving to reach this lost and broken world by making disciples of Christ.

    In a response to a blog post I stated that we have “deep” differences. I regret using that adjective as it is certainly hyperbolic. I would amend that to state that we surely have differences (don’t we all!) but I would guess we agree on FAR more than we would disagree. I look forward to continuing to walk with you in obedience to Christ. We are disciples of Christ; we are life long learners. The deeper into my seminary studies I journey, the more I realize how much I don’t know! I’m thankful that God has used my ignorance, and the way I have sometimes expressed that ignorance, to teach me humility, and to also remind me that I have much to learn. I hope we can continue to learn from each other.

    Thank you for your servant leadership. It is a blessing to me, and I’m sure an exponentially greater blessing to your congregation. Thank you for your friendship. We see each other much less than I’d like, but I know that when we do see each other we can get to the heart of things. If I was walking through pain and suffering there probably isn’t another friend I would want by my side more than Matt Horan. Love you brother!



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