Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pastor Rutherford Apologizes

Last week I posted my review of a video on the history of the Star-Spangled Banner. In the video, Pastor Dudley Rutherford of Shepherd of the Hills Church in California shares a story on the origins of our national anthem that wasn't completely historically accurate. The day after posting my review, Pastor Rutherford contacted me via email and shared his regret that some of the points in his video were a bit misleading.

Well, yesterday Pastor Rutherford posted a new video in which he expresses his regret and apologizes for his video on the Star-Spangled Banner. Take a look:



First, let me say how refreshing it is to see somebody who is sincerely interested in historical integrity. Pastor Rutherford, who is not a professional historian, has more "True Grit" (an excellent movie that you should see, BTW) than many professionals in the historical community. I personally know several historians who could NEVER admit when they had made a mistake because their pride, ego and Ph.D. get in the way. I hope that I can follow Pastor Rutherford's example when I get my history wrong in the future.

Let's be clear here, there are no winners or losers in this debate. Nobody has been proven wrong and nobody is keeping score. This is history, not hockey. Pastor Rutherford's apology is not an admission of guilt but rather a determination to get the history right. And as a result, he comes off the victor. Like I said, I sincerely hope that all of us here at ARB (and the historical community in general) can learn for Pastor Rutherford's brilliant example. Admitting error leads to growth, persisting in one's mistake only makes the individual look like a fool.

Pastor Dudley Rutherford is no fool.