Phillip Fletcher *
I apologize to you.
I apologize to the numerous men, women, and children who are poor and marginalized in this country and world.
I apologize to each of you (and you may be able to read this) because I participated far too long in a Christianity which preferred, catered to, and built itself around the powerful.
I apologize because this was a faith which originated among you, the poor and marginalized.
I apologize because it is a Christianity which prefers the educated and so it built seminaries which require great cost to attend.
It is a Christianity which prefers political power by riding on elephants and donkeys to maintain some false semblance of influence.
I apologize for being in a Christianity which created new temples which only the socially accepted, financially prosperous, and influential could draw near the Holy of Holies. While the poor and marginalized are looked at with critique and told implicitly to remain in the court of the Gentiles.
I apologize because this Christianity has chosen to reject its roots of being crafted by a poor teacher who refused social, political, and economic kingdoms. He refused to align with Rome and Rome killed him.
I apologize because this Christianity celebrates a European individualistic flavor while only footnoting the contributions of its collectivist Middle Eastern DNA.
I apologize because this Christianity has justified war, slavery, genocide, globalism, and colonialism under the guise of missionary work to usher in “God’s Kingdom.”
It has justified your poverty. It has made excuses for homelessness. It hides behind her red, white, and blue covers because comfort in that bed is greater than the discomfort found with the poor.
So all I can do now is walk away from this powerless relationship and stand with those whose backs are against the wall. To stand with men, women, and children like yourself whom Jesus identified with so long ago and gave true power to Love despite the many divisions.
Maybe in doing so, you will show me and my loved ones what Jesus meant in loving someone like me.
* Phillip Demond Fletcher is the founder and director of CoHO, a non-profit organization in Conway, Arkansas as well as the founder of Think-Love-Act, an organization engaged in teaching people what it means to be fully human from a Christian perspective. Phillip frequently speaks and writes on issues concerning the local church, leadership, and social justice. He is the author of The Excellence of God: Essays in Theology and Doxology. He serves as an appointee by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the 20th Judicial District Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee. He holds an B.A. in Ethnic Studies from U.C. Riverside, M.A. in Theology from Liberty University, and he has completed a doctoral dissertation on Theistic Personalism and Followership from Regent University.