Sunday, February 23, 2020

Apologies and Why They Matter



"I'm Sorry
I was wrong
Forgive me
Thankyou
I love You"

So very much could be said about the human need to apologize and why apologies matter in life.  In many points we all offend as says the scriptures.  Just interacting with others proves that daily.  

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”
Benjamin Franklin

In my experience, Apostles, Evangelists, Pastors, Members and Administrators were never good at it. Church organizations aren't good at it and one really can't forgive an organization anyway. We have to forgive people and it is people who have to apologize. Dave Pack, Ron Weinland and Gerald Flurry aren't good at it. They aren't even aware of the concept.

Donald Trump evidently isn't either.

"I think apologizing's a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I'm ever wrong."

 Herbert Armstrong never apologized for anything I can recall. He was wont to find a reason God allowed it. Garner Ted may have but the hits just kept playing so that tends to be "I'm sorry I got caught.".  I hear Joe Tkach Sr admitted he was a fool on his death bed but Joe Jr never thought it wise it seems to pass that one to everyone else.  Joe Jr never apologized to anyone for reckless and cold hearted change inflicted and  done in a couple years that have taken mainstream Christianity thousands. 

 Perhaps it was viewed as a weakness to admit one was wrong, mistaken or ignorant. Perhaps it was too easy to hide behind the foolish excuses such as:

God is giving us more time
Well, David was a man after God's own heart and he sinned
Jesus is revealing new truths to us every day
Because I said so that's why
God leads through his Apostle and Ministers
We didn't make you do that
You have a bad, poor or rotten attitude
It's trust and obey for there's no other way buddy
God worked a miracle in the church and we don't have any more money
I'm God's Apostle
I'm God's Minister
I'm God's Elder
I'm God's...deacon
...and so on

“Would 'sorry' have made any difference? Does it ever? It's just a word. One word against a thousand actions.”
Sarah Ockler, Bittersweet

Yes, I believe it does make a difference

I can think of many things in my life for which an apology was due. I owe and own any number of them towards former wife now deceased, though we did have that talk before her death and my family. I owe  members apologies I have influenced or taught badly along the way. Sincerely but inaccurately. 

I can think of a few sincere apologies the Church might owe myself and my family as well.

There are probably a few that might be in order here on Banned as we observe the Churches of God with a critical eye and then each other for the observing we do or the conclusions we draw. 

Sometimes we're not quite sure what we have said or done.  So we do  the best we can until the mud clears. I am having this particular experience at the moment endeavoring to have a relative return the cremains of my parents to me them being my parents and all and not theirs. So far no good. It seems there is some offense I have committed of which I am unaware holding up the show. No communication and no remains to show for it.  The two, in my world, aren't connected but I don't live in everyone's world where evidently they are.   So we do the best we can do until the waters clarify.

I will make every endeavor not to make a  joke about spineless chiropractors. I just know he'd adjust without them.
:)

Breathe.....I forgive....  

“I wasn't saying whatever they're saying I was saying. I'm sorry I said it really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don't know quite what I've done. I've tried to tell you what I did do but if you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then OK, I'm sorry.”
John Lennon

"Why are apologies so rare? Do people believe that by not owning up to their errors and the harm they've caused that no one will be the wiser?
Puzzled in Peoria

Dear Puzzled,
Many see an apology as a sign of weakness, believing that only the weak apologize.

“Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.”
John Wayne
(My addition to this short article)

 Since ancient times, the vulnerable have depended on the strong. Slaves bowed and apologized to owners; serfs apologized to feudal lords; courtiers apologized to royalty; employees apologized to employers. The reverse was considered unthinkable.

This tradition is unfortunately still with us: for the powerless, apologies are mandatory; for the powerful, they're unnecessary.

This shouldn't exist in modern life but it does, partly because many behave as if they’re “Masters of the Universe,” in Tom Wolfe's apt phrase from his 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities

When one friend hurts another, a caring friend apologizes at once. The Master or Mistress of the Universe doesn't: it’s the difference between being empathic and being arrogant.

Some people have more trouble apologizing than others.  As the gifted psychoanalyst Dr. Nancy McWilliams has written, narcissists have particular difficulty expressing remorse because to them it implies fallibility and personal error, admissions that are psychologically intolerable to such people.
Apologies can be difficult for everyone. An apology includes a clear statement of one’s error or offense, such as being disrespectful, underhanded, mean-spirited, deceitful, disloyal, unfair, hurtful, condescending, inconsiderate, insulting, heartless, cruel, abusive, as well as negligent, careless, feckless, and reckless.

Is it pleasant to acknowledge that you've been any of these?  No. It takes self-awareness, backbone, and a strong desire to do right by another human being.

Apologies matter if you value a relationship.

If you imagine that by procrastinating or refusing to apologize you'll evade responsibility forever and make the damage you produced vanish into thin air, you're fooling only yourself. Your friends or family members may no longer mention the injury you caused, but that doesn't mean a painful, unhealed wound doesn't remain. It's never too late to apologize, even decades after you inflicted harm. But, as Benjamin Franklin said, "Never ruin an apology with an excuse."

If you don't know what you've done to hurt or alienate someone: ask. Don't offer a vague, blanket apology "for anything I may have done" or peremptorily insist that the injured person "forget about this; it isn't important."  These tactics show greater concern for yourself -- and your need to "get past this unpleasantness" with transparently empty, unfeeling words -- than for the person you've hurt.



“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”
Robert Brault 

“If an apology is followed by an excuse or a reason, it means they are going to commit same mistake again they just apologized for.”
Amit Kalantri 

“Apologizing does not always mean you're wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”
Mark Matthews 

I do have to admit that theologically I NEVER understood the reasoning and why of 
"Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (of sin)"
Hebrews 9:22

And this doesn't count!

“What's the n-never-fail universal apology?"

"'I was badly misinformed, I deeply regret the error, go fuck yourself with this bag of money.”
Scott Lynch, The Republic of Thieves







39 comments:

Stoned Stephen Society said...

"If you imagine that by procrastinating or refusing to apologize you'll evade responsibility forever and make the damage you produced vanish into thin air, you're fooling only yourself."

Thank you for this post, Dennis. I offended I guy I met for the first time. It wasn't his fault. I was in one of the worst mind sets of my life. I was hoping he would chalk it up to me just having a bad day and not take it personal but it's been 18 months and it's apparent that is not the case. I need to make it right.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure if all the people you've offended, over the years, formed an orderly que they'd circle the earth Stoned Stephen.

Might be best to leave well alone.

Anonymous said...

Repent to the Father and to Christ And you may have offended if you can remember.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Good summary of the subject. I apologize for the peace of mind it brings me and the lesson the experience imparts. Nobody is perfect (except Donald Trump, in his estimation). I apologize often to Phyllis and do it sincerely because two people can't live together without unintentionally doing something for which an apology is necessary. We're bundles of attitudes and emotions, and that will always lead to some friction which needs to be mollified by a sincere apology followed by amended actions.

Miller Jones said...

This is an excellent post - one that any civilized society (especially one surrounding a blog) needs to practice. Of course, the other side of the equation is the graciousness and willingness to accept/receive the apology and then forgive!

Questeruk said...

Why should someone, especially someone who considers that they are a Christian, find it difficult to apologise?

The basis of Christianity is the ability to apologise to God, for doing things that are not love to God or mankind.

Is it so different to apologise to a person, if you have done something that is not love to them?

Stoned Stephen Society said...

@8:06 The long line of people I intended to offend is different. Welcome to the line.

The Painful Truth said...

Al said " I apologize often to Phyllis and do it sincerely because two people can't live together...."

No shit. There are other consequences such as.............

Anonymous said...

Who is QuesterUK talking to ? She sounds angry.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anyone feel A God or Jesus should apologize for tricking the sincere and not redirecting and protecting you in the beginning from a false church/religion/cult such as WCG turned out to be? Was he too weak? Uncaring? Did they think it would be a good joke on the sincere seeker?

I don't feel one can apologize to the invisible, inaudible and non-responsive do you? Apologizing to God always felt the same as apologizing to myself. Just sayin'




Anonymous said...

I worshipped God the Father and Jesus Christ well before you came along with all your church turf wars and troubles. And God willing i will worship them after you and your wars are out of my life.
I will never join your line.
Your insults mean nothing to me.

Near_Earth_Object said...

DD wrote: "Anyone feel A God or Jesus should apologize for tricking the sincere and not redirecting and protecting you in the beginning from a false church/religion/cult such as WCG turned out to be?"

The Bible speaks of a process of being called. If you are not called, everything about God will seem inane. And under those circumstances maybe he would not shield you from religious deception. It is not about his weakness or lack of compassion. It is about your spiritual condition.

In truth, I cannot explain the value of my being and Armstrongist for 30 years before becoming a Christian. Maybe someone will explain it to me someday. I am just glad I am a Christian now.

Note: After the second paragraph above, I should explain something. I do not know if God regards Armstrongism as an immature or flawed Christianity or if he regards Armstrongism as a belief that is completely non-Christian. To me, Armstrongism seems no worse than Calvinism. I do have an opinion. But any judgement on that is way above my pay grade.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"Anyone feel A God or Jesus should apologize for tricking the sincere and not redirecting and protecting you in the beginning from a false church/religion/cult such as WCG turned out to be? Was he too weak? Uncaring? Did they think it would be a good joke on the sincere seeker?

I don't feel one can apologize to the invisible, inaudible and non-responsive do you Apologizing to God always felt the same as apologizing to myself. Justright on sayin'"

Right on! Of course, an imaginary construct can't apologize for anything.

DennisCDiehl said...

NEO said

"The Bible speaks of a process of being called. If you are not called, everything about God will seem inane. And under those circumstances maybe he would not shield you from religious deception. It is not about his weakness or lack of compassion. It is about your spiritual condition. "

Everyone will tell you they were called into every sect of Christianity they are in. Being "called" is not exactly an exact science or one you can count on to be one where "truly called" means anything. I went through the "called" process in my mind when coming to WCG. I went through it again when put into the ministry. I honesty felt that was my calling. For whatever reasons, the call did not go through or no one ever came back on the line it seemed over time. Now I see "the call" as simply my own choice made with the information and emotions running the show at the time.

As a dad, I made every effort to keep my kids out of the street or away from hot stoves. You'd think the Heavenly One could take note of the practice and do the same.

Anonymous said...
I worshipped God the Father and Jesus Christ well before you came along with all your church turf wars and troubles. And God willing i will worship them after you and your wars are out of my life.
I will never join your line.
Your insults mean nothing to me."

Great, then you're all set. Leave...

Near_Earth_Object said...

DD and Dexter:

If you are true to materialist atheism, you should not apologize to anyone for anything. What would be the grounds? There is no morality other than what you arbitrarily determine. And even it you determine a "morality" for yourself, it doesn't mean anything to anyone else. And since you are just roiling protoplasm, not really different from an flowing amoeba except in size, why should you expect anyone to apologize to you? And if you know God does not exist, why should you be angry at Him or resentful? You should be totally chilled out waiting for the expiration of your meaningless life.

Questeruk said...

anon 2.50Pm

A strange comment, and wrong in so many ways!

(Hint. My comment was directed to the subject in hand).

Miller Jones said...

So God doesn't exist because "He" didn't protect you from the wiles of Herbert Armstrong? God doesn't exist because "He" doesn't intervene to protect us and keep us safe? God doesn't exist because the Bible is flawed and full of contradictory teachings? God doesn't exist because "He" hasn't clearly explained everything to everyone? God didn't call you because things didn't work out the way you thought they should?
What if God intended for us to ask questions, learn and make our own choices? What if God designed a multiverse where all of the possibilities for you and me happen? How meaningful/useful would it be for "Him" to intervene in ANY of those realities? For the sake of argument, let's say "He" does intervene from time to time - does that mean that the scenario where "He" doesn't choose to intervene still gets played out somewhere in the cosmos? Are there realities where six million Jews don't perish in concentration camps? Are there realities where Hitler was successful in eradicating all Jews? And, if those realities aren't allowed to intersect, doesn't that suggest that we were meant to deal with what's right in front of our faces now?
Does God owe us an apology if "He" exists? What if all of the garbage and suffering that we have had to endure will mean something to us someday? What if that's the plan? And, while our individual journey/quest/speculation may be very meaningful to us in the here and now, how much will it matter in the end? In other words, does it matter if we understand or figure it all out right now? What if all of this is playing out right now in a Superior mind?
None of this proves that God exists, but "His" invisibility, lack of explanation and lack of intervention don't prove that "He" doesn't!

Anonymous said...

Dennis, I believe that 4:07pm's comment was to Stoned Steven not you.

nck said...

5:57

Luckily only one or persons are true materialist atheists according to the NEO istic interpretation.

The rest intrinsically knows that, in order to thrive and survive mankind has developed "codes", so social groupings can exist.

It started of with Hammurabi, later Moses, now the global UN system. The superbowl and the perceived differences in fanbase are a superficial reflection of man's ability to adopt social rules of the group and enjoy the privileges of belonging to a group who will help you through setbacks and disappointments. For Americans traditionally it has been "the church". and those pesky socialist Europeans have their evil social systems, pension funds and Healthcare as an expression of how incredibly NEO misses the point.

Anyone who does not apologize (admit and submit to the local rules of engagement will suffer the (social) consequences. Except of course for those evil Christians who took hundreds of thousands of children from their unwed mothers in Ireland and the Anglo world since christians have the harshest impossibility to apologize for their belief in the construct of sin.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Called is one thing. Enlightenment is the important aspect. Enlightenment is something that one would feel deeply, and would last a lifetime. I do not believe that enlightenment resulted in any way, shape, or form from "conversion" into Armstrongism. The other critical aspect would be transformation, which is a direct result of enlightenment. Sadly, despite best efforts, this also did not result from "conversion" into Armstrongism. All that we did was subscribe to the Armstrong-chosen package of laws and the Armstrong brand of gnosticism, using sheer will power to adhere. There is considerable difference between those things, enlightenment, and transformation. Armstrongism was an attempt at a spiritual experience through the employment of totally physical techniques.

So far as apology goes, that is accepted most readily if it is offered sincerely and with no equivocation, excuse, or strings attached.

BB

DennisCDiehl said...

NEO also noted: " And since you are just roiling protoplasm, not really different from an flowing amoeba except in size, why should you expect anyone to apologize to you?"

I don't expect anything. It would be nice. It would be appropriate at times just as mine to others would be. I view the inability of others who have a legitimate reason to apologize for any number of things that come along in life between people to be an issue in their court, not mine. I don't desperately wait for someone to apologize so I can feel better, justified or right. Those are also not things I have a need to be. My sense of self and worth, if that is a correct term, comes from within myself and I do not depend on others to validate anything about me. You shouldn't either.

Apologies are for real people who actually live ON earth, in whatever present time in life they are experiencing no matter their religious beliefs or non-beliefs. Remember, "In many points we all offend."? It's in the Bible. Being just in near earth orbit evidently does not allow one to understand that completely. Keep trying and give some consideration to actually touching down on the planet.

Near_Earth_Object said...

DD:

A few observations:

1. The use of the pejorative "weird" is entirely your personal opinion. The fact is, I view atheistic materialism from a logically consistent perspective. You do not. You cannot be partly a materialistic atheist. Do you believe in half of a god? That seems to be what you are asserting and it makes no sense. Materialism or Naturalism is absolute as a philosophy.

2. If you are not angry at god why do you work overtime making it seem that way? Instead of cool, considered philosophical statements, you are always putting on a sneering, jeering, sarcastic show.

3. You're right. I am not going to call you. This little post of mine outlines the issues clearly. There is nothing further to discuss at this point.

Byker Bob said...

I don't know that giving out phone numbers freaks me out, Dennis. Hundreds of people have my business card with email address and cell number. But, the people who have my card are stable business people. We have a cadre of stable individuals here at Banned, but there are also some who have either proven themselves to be very unstable, or they have extreme agendas, and they just won't go away even when it is obvious that they have bombed here after numerous attempts to insert themselves. You gotta protect yourself, because anyone can be gotten to, even by people who aren't all that smart. NEO is one of the stable posters. But in publishing your number for his benefit, you also make it available to nazis and other hateful individuals.

BB

Near_Earth_Object said...

I agree with Biker. A good idea is to pass personal information through the moderator.

Back some years ago, some guy who was a complete stranger to me suddenly thought I was his nemesis. He began claiming to others that I had bolixed a relationship with someone he knew. Totally off-the-wall. I think he got my moniker off of Otagosh. Really bizarre. Probably some kind of paranoid break down. Glad he did not have any of my personal information.

DennisCDiehl said...

I just recall how nervous you got when Gary posted location of AC reunion in Vegas

DennisCDiehl said...

Can't be friends with different conclusions with the same experience NEO ?

DennisCDiehl said...

BB, I suppose I have had enough dangerous experiences with church members toting guns to church and spouses putting a deer rifle to my head to encourage me to stop talking to her husband about baptism etc to expect anything. So far so good. The people , and they are countable on one hand, here on Banned who actually took the time to call and chat became friends at a distance when it was not necessarily so without hearing voices and listening to more than soundbites on Banned. I am an extremely easy person to get along with and chat about anything with. In my experience and view, many wrong impressions of who and what someone is or how they are or feel and why are given just responding here and there to comments and topics.

The anonymous factor does not help. So far, I have not regretted being obviously who I am, where I am, what I have experienced (though too often repeated and I get that now) and how I feel about it all as well as conclusions drawn, here on Banned. I mistook precious little comment on actual topics posted and more personal attacks as my not saying it well enough. Thus too much repetition. That was not the case. It is just more fun to attack the question or the one asking it than actually offering one's own explanation. That's my perspective anyway on it all.

I wore a nice mask, in hindsight, as a WCG pastor struggling against my better judgement about the antics in the church, majoring in the minors and the politics it took me years sto catch on to. I spent way too long thinking it was a transition from Herbert to a more settled church and leadership not based on the one man show. Meh! No more. Authenticity of heart, mind and whatever one's spiritual outlook can be is of paramount importance to me. Even if dead wrong and going into the non-existent Lake of Fire for non-compliance. Not gonna do it the way I did it before. It was a if not the source of years of depression and anxiety that did not serve me very well. Those days are over. I simply regret ever having heard of the WCG, thinking I was suppose to go to AC, was called into ministry and could ever be a helper of one's joy in a joyless, go along to get along and non-critically thinking religious environment.

amen...

Anonymous said...

Dennis, you don't want to give out your phone number, a nut job like myself might just call you.

km

Questeruk said...

Posting a phone number probably isn't a good idea. Unfortunately religion in general seems to generate a number of weirdos.
I don't post here much now, as I appear to have gathered one or two 'stalkers' who use the Anonymous tag. One even appears earlier on this thread. This particular anonymous clearly thinks I am a different person to who I really am.
That's life I suppose.

Near_Earth_Object said...

DD:

I do feel a comradeship with many of the regulars on this blog, including you. I do believe we all have a shared experience with Armstrongism and I have benefitted from the insights of others. I think the owner of this blog performs an extremely valuable service in an accomplished manner. We air the issues and speak the testimony that Armstrongists would like to hide from the scrutiny of their lay members and the public.

But I am not likely to ever give anyone from this blog (or any other blog) a phone call. Just not for me. I don't even call people I know well.

Anonymous said...

QuesterUk many people know your Tonto. You are fooling no-one.

DennisCDiehl said...

Then it's all good NEO. Thank you for your response.

Byker Bob said...

I've got to laugh in a way. Some people I've known thought me to be paranoid. Others commented that I was always drawn to dangerous things. But, the thing is, I always carefully analyzed the dangerous activities, took proper precautions, and still do that today. That's probably what made me such an excellent illegal street racer for 30 years, (retired from it at age 50), who never had an accident while racing and never got a ticket for it in hundreds of stoplight races. One Saturday night while I was working at AC Press, I was at a party of mostly young guys from the press and their girlfriends. I came up with the idea of us taking our cars and bikes down to the 210 Freeway that hadn't as yet opened. We went around the barriers and staged the cars, getting in about three rounds before the police helicopter made its ugly appearance. We all left in different directions, and all made it home without getting tickets. I remember that night well because I lost one of the races to a buddy who was riding a Kawasaki 900, which was then just about the fastest bike on the road. I thought my CJ Torino could take him, but ran out of gears before he topped out.

BB

Anonymous said...

2:18pm Boy do you love to accuse. You accuse Stoned Stephen of being a UCG minister. You accuse Tonto of being a woman. You accuse QuesterUk of being Tonto. How do I know "you're" the same person doing all this accusing? You don't know the difference between your and you're! That's how.

Anonymous said...

Thats you QuesterUK the grammar police commenting here. Who's accusing? I'm merely stating the truth.
Truth will out, always has always will.

Anonymous said...

7:15am At least you used who's correctly.

Anonymous said...

Patronize, mock and insult it's all you can do. It's what you are through and through.
Bitchy blogs, catty ways. Mock, skit and laugh at others.

One day the British will be free of your rule. Realize that.

Anonymous said...

Tonto is female she made the slip-up a week or so ago.
Writing about consulting her husband on Lakers games in 70's.

Anonymous said...

What the hell are you talking about 6:36?