Dear Pastor Mark,
I’m writing to offer you an apology for the way that I’ve spoken, written (in particular tweeted) about you in the past.
Initially, I’d like to explain why I’m writing an open letter. I’m planning to write a series as part of my blog on the things that I’ve been wrong about. The central reason though, is that you don’t know me, and therefore the comments that I’ve made about you have gone unnoticed by you. Therefore, I want the people who’ve heard and read the dreadful things I’ve said about you to read this, and know that I realise I was wrong and I’m sorry.
The first thing I would like to apologise for is the comments I have made about your character; you don’t need to know the details of what I’ve said. The truth is though, the things I’ve commented on in you, are the things that I most dislike about myself. I am sorry.
Secondly, I’d like to offer you an apology for the things I’ve said that challenge the legitimacy of your ministry. I’ve said things that not only undermine you and your staff, but also devalue the kind of person that goes to your church (if there was a ‘type’). For that I am truly sorry.
Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to apologise for the things I’ve said about your theology. There are some things you have said that I whole-heartedly disagree with, but I have come to realise my behaviour in response to these comments has been entirely worse than the things you’ve said. I am sorry.
I have come to realise that the church needs unity and not division. I knew it before, but I didn’t know it for myself before. I realise you are seeking to work for the Kingdom of God, and that the things you say and do and write – however misguided I might think they are, are not malicious and are meant for good.
How I wish I was able to articulate where I disagree with you without critiquing your character, but I fail, so I shall keep my mouth shut. I can be opposed to your theology without opposing your personality. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with your opinion, however I have learned, recently, that it is not my place to disagree with your character.
Well, I’m glad that we’ve had a chance to clear the air.
Grace and peace to you.