"When Is an Apology Not an Apology?"
A civil court recently decided that the Catholic "church" was negligent because one of its "priests," Rudolph Kos, sexually molested several young men over a period of several years. Dallas "bishop" Charles Grahmann apologized to the victims, but the victims refused to even be present to hear the apology. Why?
Because the apology was not much of an apology. At least not according to Barbara Elias-Perciful, chairman of the board for Texas Loves Children, a nonprofit agency that works to prevent child abuse. She says Grahmann "spoke about being sorry in only the most general terms." She added, "There is a huge difference between apologizing for the fact that bad things happened to the plaintiffs and apologizing for allowing those things to happen."
She makes a good point. I'm not trying to judge the "bishop's" apology, but I do know that oftentimes when we "apologize" we really don't. Oh, we say we're sorry, sorry that others are upset, or sorry that others were offended, but we never admit wrong. We say we're sorry this happened, but we never take responsibility for what happened. We don't say, "What I did was wrong, and I sincerely regret I did it. I'll never do it again. I wish I could relive that moment and not do what I did. I was wrong, and I'm going to change. I hurt, deep down, for the hurt I've caused you. Please forgive me." Now that's an apology, but unfortunately, it's an apology you seldom hear. I have actually heard Christians go before the local congregation and say, "I'm sorry--but I didn't do anything wrong." Now if that's the way a brother feels, then by all means, that's what he should say. But don't call that an apology, and above all, don't call it a confession.
If you're going to admit wrong, then admit wrong. Come out with it, make yourself clear, don't confuse others with what appears to be an apology but really isn't. If you regret an unfortunate event or situation, fine, express your regrets. But if you're going to confess sin, then confess the sin!