Witness and Confession are really the same thing. An “apology”, and apologizing can really be opposite things. The Apology to the Augsburg Confession is a defense. The confessors rather that saying they were sorry for it were defending it. We apologize when we are sorry. In our church body however there are certain sets of folks that never really apologize. They may be sorry that you took something the wrong way but they are not sorry for what they said. Some of the most hateful, sad and silly things can be said and yet never apologized for as long as we are “confessing” the faith. Some of the most vituperative things that I have read were written by Christians who are supposedly “protecting” God’s Word. I am all for confessing the faith but I am also for unity, mutual consolation of the brethren, and some kind of gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:8-15 – Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[; do not be frightened.”[ 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
All baptized should be prepared to make a defense (apologia) of the good hope within us The thrust of this passage it seems to me is that “in Christ” we live in such a way that people will come to us and ask us why we are different and what is the hope that we have? They ask us because we are different. Why do you live this way? Why think this way? Our vocations are evangelical.
If we are so odious in word and deed that we are unapproachable there is no chance for this kind of evangelism or witness either. Of course if you care more about “Doctrine” than the people the doctrine is designed to save it doesn’t make much difference.