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Confession

Discussion in 'LCMS / WELS / ELS / LCC' started by Hope1960, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Active Member

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    As a recent convert to Lutheranism from Catholicism I was wondering how many of you confess your sins directly to God and how many confess to their pastors? I’m getting used to confessing directly to God but I do miss the feedback I’d gotten from going to confession.
    My new pastor told me that he wishes more congregants would come to him for confession, but compared to Catholic priests, how qualified are they as confessors?
     
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  2. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Welcome! :)

    I think the Lutheran Church around the world has somewhat different practices when it comes to Confession, but at least historically and ideally, Confession should occupy an important place in the Church. That is, not under compulsion, but allowing people to confess their sins whenever they feel burdened, and have the priest/pastor absolve their sins.

    The practice has regrettably faded over the years for a few different reasons, but any Lutheran confessor should be rightly qualified. It's in our Cathechism after all - right between Baptism and the Eucharist. Furthermore, the Augsburg Confession reads: "Of Confession they teach that Private Absolution ought to be retained in the churches, although in confession an enumeration of all sins is not necessary. For it is impossible according to the Psalm: Who can understand his errors? Psalm 19:12." So on paper, Confession and Absolution is very central to the Lutheran Church.

    Interestingly, in orthodox Lutheranism, Confession is sometimes counted as the third Sacrament. (Baptism and Eucharist being the two other)
     
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  3. Al Touthentop

    Al Touthentop Well-Known Member

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    I'd be curious to know what scriptural basis there is for confessing one's sins to a clergy member.

    "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "

    It doesn't say were are to confess our sins to men, but to God. Now, if in our sin we have harmed somebody, we are still responsible for restitution. Confessing and receiving forgiveness from God, does not remove our responsibilities. If a man confesses his adultery to the clergy and continues to commit adultery, he hasn't truly repented anyway. His confession is worthless. He has to come clean with his wife and he has to repent - stop sinning. That's what that word means.
     
  4. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    James 5:16
    Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
     
  5. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Through faith in Christ, we have full forgiveness of sins. Yet, Christ urges us to pray for forgiveness daily. This is not because the works and person of Christ - God's grace - is insufficient, but rather, it's for our benefit, as God knows we often get burdened with sin.

    The Christian receive forgivness of sins through different means, but they are all the same, as there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. We can receive forgivness through prayer, in Baptism, in the Eucharist, and Confession. In other words, the Christian cannot escape God's grace! Confession, because of God's gift of what is often called the Office of the Keys: "And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."
     
  6. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    Jesus also sent His apostles out to forgive sins. People obviously confessed to them. This has been handed down through the priesthood. Jesus forgives through the priest. Its an amazing Sacrament.
     
  7. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞Steadfast Lutheran, Messianic leaning ✡ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    MOD HAT ON

    Just a reminder that this thread is in the Lutheran (LCMS sub forum) and members posting need to be of that faith or post in fellowship. Further posts that do not comply to this could be deleted.

    MOD HAT OFF
     
  8. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞Steadfast Lutheran, Messianic leaning ✡ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    I confess alone and in the general confession at the Mass. I have not been to a private confession since I left the Catholic Church. That said, when I was Catholic I can certainly say there is something powerful about confessing to a person, in that case the priest. But I also understand that in Lutheran theology it is not a necessity to confess to the pastor. As for qualifications, I would say they are just as qualified as any Catholic priest would be.
     
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  9. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    How are you finding your new home? Settling in okay?

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  10. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Active Member

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    I was, but haven’t been there in awhile since the whole Covid 19 thing. I really miss it.
     
  11. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    Good to hear!
     
  12. Clovis Man

    Clovis Man LCMS - Recovering Baptist Supporter

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    Back to the original question from six months ago --

    I am a convert to Lutheranism, being confirmed just over five years ago.

    As a former Baptist, it's taken a bit of work, but I have been to Private C&A several times now. It's wonderful to hear those words directly to YOU, especially if there is something in particular bothering you. I don't know if it's my Baptist baggage or not, but it usually takes me about three weeks of wanting to before I make the appointment. Maybe it's everybody, I don't know.

    As to qualifications, I think Lutheran pastors are qualified to hear your confession. Of course each pastor has his own style, so be prepared for that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  13. LutheranPiratesFan

    LutheranPiratesFan New Member

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    Private confession is fantastic-it's one of the reasons I like going to a traditional Lutheran Church. I haven't gone to private confession yet with my pastor, in fact, I don't even know if he offers them. That's a good question, actually.
     
  14. Clovis Man

    Clovis Man LCMS - Recovering Baptist Supporter

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    I occasionally hear of one or maybe a few pastors who refuse, but that's the exception. You could do worse than ask.
     
  15. LutheranPiratesFan

    LutheranPiratesFan New Member

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    I probably will. I've met the pastor several times, but most of my interactions have been with the vicar.
     
  16. Silverback

    Silverback Well-Known Member

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    This may be a bit secular

    Many years ago I had an affair, I did it because I wanted to, there was nothing my wife did, or failed to do that justified my behavior. I came clean to my wife about what happened, and it was crushing. As you might guess, she went out and had an affair "out of vengeance" I found out about it, and it was crushing to me as well.

    My wife has never taken full responsibility for her decision, and never will. It took about five years before we could stop the tit for tat, retaliations. I was in the Navy at that time, and I spent almost three years separated from her and the kids, and that helped. We are at a point now, 30 years later, where we can live together, and enjoy each other's company. Speaking for myself, I don't really trust her, I'm just as happy without her around. I care about her, but there is no respect, or trust, and at this point I don't really expect anything to change.

    Sorry about the long post, but nothing good came from telling my wife about the affair, nothing, I was ending the affair, I know I needed to get right with God, and I regret what I did, but mostly I regret telling my wife. I should have taken it to the grave.
     
  17. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    Have you folks tried confessing your sins, one to another, outside of corporate or articular confession to a priest? I find it helpful.
     
  18. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞Steadfast Lutheran, Messianic leaning ✡ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    Like an "accountability partner"? That was something advised to people when I was younger, in a Baptist and Methodist church. It is certainly permissible, but the preferred route would be to the Pastor in the Lutheran viewpoint. Attending the Divine Service and hearing the Gospel, along with communion and corporate confession would be highly advisable still.
     
  19. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    Before Covid19, Pastor offered private confession every Thursday evening at the Church; and on request. Right now, it is on request. In the Liturgy, because of having regular private confession, he uses only the pronunciation of Grace rather than the Absolution. The Absolution is reserved for private confession; or the larger Rite of Corporate Confession (often used on Maundy Thursday), where we receive individual absolution at the Rail. It is very reassuring indeed to kneel before the Altar, hearing God's word, and receiving the absolution along with the laying on of hands.

    While salvation is not conditional on partaking of the Sacramental acts of the Church; I believe it is a sin to willfully reject God's Grace when freely offered to us. While the Church does not compel us to go to private confession; our faith, in all of Christ's promises, does.
     
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