An Open Apology to Thabiti Anyabwile (and it is not Hateful)
Today’s been a crazy day on Twitter for the Church. Matt Chandler made some super conservatives mad with his (pretty not offensive) language. But then this article starting circulating like crazy: Coming (Back) to America: My One Fear by Thabiti Anyabwile.
I’ve stayed silent about this whole Mike Brown/Ferguson stuff. It’s just better that way. But when I did decide to comment, I chose my words poorly.
In what was never supposed to come across as accusatory, spiteful, or disagreeing, I posted a series of tweets directed at Thabiti that seemed to completely disregard his fear as a parent. I took away the humanity of it all and simply reduced his feelings down to logic.
And I can try to defend myself. I can try to explain my angle. I can try to tell Thabiti (and anyone else who saw this exchange) that while I can’t tell him from experience how it feels to be part of the physical minority, I can remember being a kid at nine years old, not knowing if dad’s going to make it home tonight from the Fifth Ward in Houston, TX. I can think back to the times I’ve asked my dad what it was like having to kill somebody in the line of duty—not unlawfully—and having him tell me of the sheer realness you feel after the fact.
So I’m here to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Pastor Anyabwile, for the tone which I had with you. The internet has a bad way of twisting the tone of someone’s words, even though that person is, in fact, the author of them. I’m sorry, Pastor Anyabwile, that there is nothing I can do that will lead instantly to widespread equality of races in the United States. I really do wish I could. To be a Christian is to desire what God desires—no partiality. The Gospel is not partial. God is not partial. We should not be partial. But we are fallen.
My heart is full of sadness over the broken nature of this world.
Tears have been shed over the fact that I could have—in some form or fashion—offended, upset, or hurt one of the pastors that I have looked up to the most since being introduced to his teaching. I’m not typing this flippantly. I’m sincerely troubled by the thought that maybe Thabiti misread what I was trying to say.
If I spoke too quickly, Pastor Anyabwile, I apologize. I really do. And if this is any kind of consolation to you and your family, I will have you all specifically in my prayers during these times of racial tension.
Grace and peace,