T Nation

Church: Confession


For ya'll who go to church, and even if you don't you can comment.

Do you think there should be public confession in the church?


The only confession that should ever be made is privately to your creator. There is no point to tell someone who has sinned, maybe even more than you have.


How many people would confess if this were the case.

Not that confession means anything...




The principal purpose of making confession to a pastor is to provide help for people in dealing with their guilt, facing their sin, and accepting the grace and forgiveness of Christ. With some people it is hard for them to understand forgiveness. I assume you were talking about Confession or Pastoral Counseling. I however am talking about the almost obsolete practice of public confession of sins, in front of the community.

This would possibly bring harshness and judgment through out the community, but isn't it safe to say that with a balance of prayer, study, conference (confession and discussion), and practice, that community confession will bring acceptance and understanding that we all have sins. And the anyway anyone will get to Heaven is through grace and forgiveness.

Along with the idea, that semi-private/public confession to a pastor or counselor would in fact resolve the conflict of taking communion while holding guilt/hatred towards your brother/sister in God.


Well, I am not sure as I have not much studied it in today's church, but I know it is deeply rooted Presbyterian tradition in Scotland, and other places in Europe. I think it could be argued that a balance of private self-examination, pastoral counselor, and public confession could be good for the individual and his relationship with God, as well as his relationship with the community. Not saying you have to confess details, but categorized for others can help the community out as well as show your humility.


I just don't believe in the idea of saying 10 Hail Marys and 20 Our Fathers for something you did. I think it can be good for the soul, but in my case, the same people who you confessed to also smacked you good if you didn't turn in your homework. I would have to say my opinion is biased because of that.


I am not talking about the Roman Catholic Church, and I'm not talking about confession with a Priest. I am talking about the act confession you have sinned in front of the community or your church.

This article ( http://www.amnightwatch.com/acntable.htm )talks on it a little, about going into detail about the sin. I however am talking about confessing sin in general (I have broken the eighth commandment, I have angered quickly, etc. Even being more vague than that.

The previous article talks down on public confession in the sense of going into detail and misusing power, but this (http://www.watchmanmag.com/0109/010905.htm) one talks on the subject of confessing in public in certain circumstances and in the right situation.


I have never known of a public confession in front of church. I don't know. I probably wouldn't do it but that's me.


Confession in terms of the Church's power, was a very clever invention. First, through religion you teach and exploit in people things like guilt, shame etc etc... Then use it to get them to tell on themselves. lol.

Keep in mind that religion always was a form of politics all about control and increasing power.

As far as real confessions, they are laughable. Some confess to the creator directly. Also silly. The creator knows what you did, do and will do. Just your life playing out. It's a clever psychological ploy to get people to tell on themselves and others in "private".

Rest assured the priests of the day took everything people said and used it to analyze the state of their state's affairs.


And let me guess, Aliens abducted you, also, and probed you in the ass. It must have been long because it screwed with your logic.

Yet, I am fascinated at your reply, please explain further. I would also like some evidence besides your theology behind this.


Why bother? The douchebags in church can just come down to the local bar on a Friday night and see for themselves exactly which commandment I'm breaking on that given night. If they don't, they're clearly not interested enough.


I know a fundamentalist christian that tells this story of a friend of his who attended a church that supposedly practiced a form of public confession. Everyone was supposed to stand up and yell out their sin. According to the story, at the moment of truth this guy stands up and yells "MASTURBATION!" Apparently, he was the only sinner in church that day.

It seems to me in another thread I read, that prayer and religion is about one's relationship with god. If confession is a form of prayer, what real interest does the "community" have in inserting itself into that one on one relationship.


No I don't think it should be public. It's between you and your priest.


The idea is that it humbles the person confessing, and allows other members of the church to see that everyone sins. Your relationship with God is as important as the one with your neighbors.


This basically seems to be correct, with the added thought that it's about accountability too. The idea is that public confession to some degree or another (doesn't have to mean you stand infront of the whole church and give all the gory sinful details) often indicates that the person is serious about wanting to repent. Think of public confession as walking the walk, instead of just talking.

You can of course privately repent of your sin and ask God for help, but this really doesn't require much commitment and gives you no accountability. On the other hand, publicly confessing requires a lot of resolve and humility, while also providing a good amount of accountability.

So my opinion is it shouldn't be required, but that doesn't mean it ought not be done.


Correct and that is the reason for the Catholicism use of Confiteor. It is not the actual standing up and saying, I have committed sin of anger. It's a general statement that I have committed sin, and in front of my brothers and sisters I tell you this and God forgive me.


The truth about confession

A guy goes into the confessional box. He finds on one wall fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the finest Cuban cigars. Then the priest comes in.

"Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to
confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much
more inviting these days."

The priest replies "Get out. You're on my side."


How inappropriate but funny.


You don't have to mock me, but if you don;t get or see where i'm coming from then it would take too long to explain. You have to know the history of religion and how it ties into Politics and keeping the population docile and controllable. It's deep area of study, so have fun.