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"I forgive you, but it really chapped my hide."
Pastor Andy Stanley, founder and senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, apologized last week for saying that individuals who seek out small churches are "so stinkin' selfish," saying in a tweet that even he was offended by his comments.
"The negative reaction to the clip from last weekend's message is entirely justified," Stanley tweeted. "Heck, even I was offended by what I said! I apologize."
The apology came after Stanley delivered a sermon late last month in which he said that people who attend small churches are selfish, arguing that large congregations are better for children's Christian development, the Christian Post reported.
The negative reaction to the clip from last weekend's message is entirely justified. Heck, even I was offended by what I said! I apologize.— AndyStanley (@AndyStanley) March 4, 2016
A video of Stanley's comments has amassed more than 110,000 YouTube views since being posted on March 3, with strong reactions quickly spreading.
"This is one reason we build big churches. People say, 'Why do you have to make them so big?' Let me tell you why," Stanley said in the sermon. "We want churches to be large enough so that there are enough middle schoolers and high schoolers, that we don't have one youth group with middle school and high school together."
But it was what came next that riled some critics, as Stanley said that adults who say that they don't want big churches and prefer to "be able to know everybody" are "so stinkin' selfish" and "care nothing about the next generation."
"All you care about is you and your five friends," he said. "You don't care about your kids, anybody else's kids."
Watch the video below:
Stanley's apology was well-received by some, with Twitter user @krachunis writing, "I forgive you, but it really chapped my hide. I don't think 140 characters is enough. God bless the regular size churches!
And @bartbarber added, "A gracious, responsible apology. Well done."
(H/T: Christian Post)
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