Friday, January 25, 2013
I used to belong to a group of pastors that practiced private confession. One of our number refused to go to private because of a bad experience he had. After confessing his sin, the Father Confessor said something like, "That's okay. Everybody does that. I do that too. It's not a big deal." The Father Confessor's error is symptomatic of a big problem in the church today: There is no sin and no absolution. Sins are explained away or condoned. No one ever does anything that's really wrong. There are always extenuating circumstances that alleviate our guilt, rather than the word of the gospel. But in truth, sin is a big deal (it got Jesus killed). Just because sin is popular doesn't make it right. I have heard bishops and pastors, when confronted with the Word's condemnation of sins now accepted as virtues, say, "Well, yes, the Bible says... but the church has decided..." The church cannot say more, and it cannot say less either, than the Holy Scriptures. Sins are to be confessed and absolved, not ignored, not redefined in a more positive way, not passed over lightly. We cannot know the joy of Christ's forgiveness unless we first know we have sinned.
Posted by Pastor Eric at 5:59 AM