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  #1  
Old Jan 9, '12, 12:42 pm
piobaire piobaire is offline
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Default Protestant vs Catholic confession

I have been reading a great book on God's love and forgivness that was written by a Protestant but when I came to the section on forgivness I am now totally confused about confession!

The author states that Jesus, being God and all knowing, knew all of our sins when he died and therefore we are completely forgiven and in right relationship with God before we ever repent, before we were ever born and hence the only need for confession is so we know and feel that forgivness, the psychological benefit so to speak.

So, if Jesus has forgiven all our sins, paid the price for our sins in his blood, why do we have to go to confession? This author almost makes it seem like sin is not a reality anymore. I like the idea he is getting at that we are perfectly and completely loved at all moments even when we fall but I am having a hard time reconciling this with our current practice on confession. I always feel like I am outside of God's friendship when I have sinned and cannot be restored to that perfect love and forgivness until I have been absolved in confession.

I think this ties into another struggle I have in wrapping my head around the notion that nothing we do can increase or decrease God's love for us. If this is so why do we strive for holiness, battle temptation, acquire virtue and try to overcome vice?
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Old Jan 9, '12, 12:56 pm
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promethius promethius is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by piobaire View Post
I have been reading a great book on God's love and forgivness that was written by a Protestant but when I came to the section on forgivness I am now totally confused about confession!

The author states that Jesus, being God and all knowing, knew all of our sins when he died and therefore we are completely forgiven and in right relationship with God before we ever repent, before we were ever born and hence the only need for confession is so we know and feel that forgivness, the psychological benefit so to speak.
I could write a book and say that Jesus liked the color purple more than any other color, so we should all wear purple all the time. The conclusion is completely logical assuming that the premise is true.

That is the same case here: the author has stated a premise, and then stated it's logical conclusion. The difference is that in my example, the premise is obviously false... the scripture nowhere records that Jesus liked purple. By the same rote, the scripture nowhere records that all sin of every person is forgiven for all time (that's the fundamentals of a heresy known as Universalism, as posited by Origen). In contrast to what the author writes, Jesus actually tells us that we must confess out sins to one another, that we must be baptised, that we must be holy as HE is holy.

So basically, the author wrote a non-scriptural premise and has confounded you with it, because while you are correct in realizing that the conclusion is true (based on the premise), the premise ITSELF is wrong, and thus the conclusion is wrong as well.

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I think this ties into another struggle I have in wrapping my head around the notion that nothing we do can increase or decrease God's love for us. If this is so why do we strive for holiness, battle temptation, acquire virtue and try to overcome vice?
For me, God is so incredible that He died for me, this after creating me and my repeated betrayal of sin... so when God asks me to be fundamentally good, well, I kind of owe it to the guy. That and I want to be in such a state that when I am asked if I reject sin FOREVER and wish to enter into heaven, I can answer yes... and I can't answer yes if I am clinging to my faults over God.
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  #3  
Old Jan 9, '12, 1:04 pm
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nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by piobaire View Post
I have been reading a great book on God's love and forgivness that was written by a Protestant but when I came to the section on forgivness I am now totally confused about confession!

The author states that Jesus, being God and all knowing, knew all of our sins when he died and therefore we are completely forgiven and in right relationship with God before we ever repent, before we were ever born and hence the only need for confession is so we know and feel that forgivness, the psychological benefit so to speak.

So, if Jesus has forgiven all our sins, paid the price for our sins in his blood, why do we have to go to confession? This author almost makes it seem like sin is not a reality anymore. I like the idea he is getting at that we are perfectly and completely loved at all moments even when we fall but I am having a hard time reconciling this with our current practice on confession. I always feel like I am outside of God's friendship when I have sinned and cannot be restored to that perfect love and forgivness until I have been absolved in confession.

I think this ties into another struggle I have in wrapping my head around the notion that nothing we do can increase or decrease God's love for us. If this is so why do we strive for holiness, battle temptation, acquire virtue and try to overcome vice?
You are Catholic, not Protestant. Why not read a Catholic book about forgiveness and then compare the two.

There are many great talks about forgiveness online even, that you can download for free. Before you allow the Protestant discord confuse you, study the Catholic position.
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  #4  
Old Jan 9, '12, 1:20 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

In retaliation from authority; which Sacraments would you dispose of and how would you go about making it appear as if Scripture allowed those changes?

Work out your system for change, and then you'll have a better understanding of the protestant Reformation.
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Old Jan 9, '12, 1:29 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

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Originally Posted by piobaire View Post
I always feel like I am outside of God's friendship when I have sinned and cannot be restored to that perfect love and forgivness until I have been absolved in confession.

I think this ties into another struggle I have in wrapping my head around the notion that nothing we do can increase or decrease God's love for us. If this is so why do we strive for holiness, battle temptation, acquire virtue and try to overcome vice?
Jesus said to, "Be Holy, as your Father in heaven is Holy."

He also told the 11 Apostles in the Upper Room (John 20:23) "whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven."

Later, the 11 Apostles voted in one more Apostle due to the vacant office created by Judas' suicide.
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Old Jan 9, '12, 1:33 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

Personally, I'm surprised that protestant denominations can base their faith on Scripture alone, when what they teach is that Jesus' words aren't to be taken literally.
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  #7  
Old Jan 9, '12, 1:37 pm
Luvtosew Luvtosew is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

I think Jesus loves us even when we sin, were always in a sin state of some sense, Jesus loved the people in the gospels and the lost sheep and and because of his kindness and love they repented. People repond much better to kindness and love.

I believe most Protestants feel the same as us , they try their best not to sin, but they confess it themselves to God, not in a confessional.

don't we do the same thing, go to confession so we can hear our sins are absolved, and start out with a clean slate, and makes us feel better. really not much different. I hear all the time on this message board,people saying how good confession makes them feel. We need to release our guilt of sin.

Surely it doesn't give us a free rein to sin again but we all do.
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  #8  
Old Jan 9, '12, 1:42 pm
Savior2012 Savior2012 is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

Ultimately who forgives sins, Christ or a Priest.
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  #9  
Old Jan 9, '12, 1:45 pm
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promethius promethius is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

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Ultimately who forgives sins, Christ or a Priest.
Both.

Christ says "whose sins you forgive will be forgiven in heaven"

Thus if the priest does not forgive the sins (in terms of the sacrament of reconciliation), then Christ does not either. It is not a case of the priest merely does proxy work for Christ, but rather that he acts IN PERSONA CHRISTI, or actually in the person of Christ.

All this is not to say that God cannot forgive sins on His own, but that Christ does not teach that He ultimately does the forgiving rather than the priest... but that BOTH must do so.
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  #10  
Old Jan 9, '12, 1:56 pm
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Newsy Newsy is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by piobaire View Post
I have been reading a great book on God's love and forgivness that was written by a Protestant but when I came to the section on forgivness I am now totally confused about confession!

The author states that Jesus, being God and all knowing, knew all of our sins when he died and therefore we are completely forgiven and in right relationship with God before we ever repent, before we were ever born and hence the only need for confession is so we know and feel that forgivness, the psychological benefit so to speak.

So, if Jesus has forgiven all our sins, paid the price for our sins in his blood, why do we have to go to confession? This author almost makes it seem like sin is not a reality anymore. I like the idea he is getting at that we are perfectly and completely loved at all moments even when we fall but I am having a hard time reconciling this with our current practice on confession. I always feel like I am outside of God's friendship when I have sinned and cannot be restored to that perfect love and forgivness until I have been absolved in confession.

I think this ties into another struggle I have in wrapping my head around the notion that nothing we do can increase or decrease God's love for us. If this is so why do we strive for holiness, battle temptation, acquire virtue and try to overcome vice?
God is all knowing and all loving. God knows our sins, even before they happen. Jesus, being God, knew the sins He would be sacrificed for. The problem with the author's conclusion is that Jesus tells us to repent to be forgiven. Luke 13:5, "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.". So, it appears the author of your book is forgetting something.

When we sin we break communion with God, so you rightly feel disconnected from Him when you sin. When we sin, we must repent and seek God's forgiveness. We do this through the sacrament of confession. James 5:15-17 and 1 John 1:8-10 will give the references to this sacrament.

As for "why to do good and grow in virtue", 2 Thessalonians 3:13 covers that. The only way that the author of your book could stand behind the ideas he puts forth is if he believes in "once saved, always saved" or a Calvinist version of pre-destination. I agree with nickybr, read a little about confession from the Catholic perspective and then see what you think.
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  #11  
Old Jan 9, '12, 1:58 pm
Luvtosew Luvtosew is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

but that BOTH must do so.

repectfully = No man has the right to justify what sins are forgiven,

Christ says "whose sins you forgive will be forgiven in heaven

That is true, how we forgive is how Jesus will forgive us, how we judge is how we will be judged.

1 John 1 8-10 says he who is just will forgive sins,

No man is just, not even a Priest who himself has sin, only Jesus is just.

James 5:15 says to confess your sins to one another, that doesn't mean it needs to be a Priest.

Now I am not saying confession to a Priest is not a good thing, but it is not the Priest who forgives one, he is just someone to confess your sins to.

Last edited by Luvtosew; Jan 9, '12 at 2:12 pm.
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Old Jan 9, '12, 2:18 pm
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promethius promethius is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

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Originally Posted by Luvtosew View Post
but that BOTH must do so.

repectfully = No man has the right to justify what sins are forgiven,

Christ says "whose sins you forgive will be forgiven in heaven

That is true, how we forgive is how Jesus will forgive us, how we judge is how we will be judged.

1 John 1 8-10 says he who is just will forgive sins,

No man is just, not even a Priest who himself has sin, only Jesus is just.

James 5:15 says to confess your sins to one another, that doesn't mean it needs to be a Priest.

Now I am not saying confession to a Priest is not a good thing, but it is not the Priest who forgives one, he is just someone to confess your sins to.
Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong... and I might point out that pretending to be catholic in order to lead people away from the church by falsifying her teachings and misrepresenting the church is NOT allowed in forum rules either.

As John 20:21-23 makes clear, Jesus is giving them the authority to forgive sins as an act of ordination (the breathing on portion here is important in that regard), just as he says Whosoever hears you hears me, so he gives them authority to forgive sins. Not everyone, just the apostles.

Furthermore, John 20:21-23 has nothing to do with "judge not lest ye be judged" but rather with a granting of authority to release people from the bonds of their sin. There is no context in which one could construe this as "forgive so that you can be forgiven".

finally, Christ was a man... ergo if no man "has the right to justify what sins are forgiven" (as you say), then no sin is forgiven and we can all kiss our chances of heaven goodbye.
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Old Jan 9, '12, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvtosew View Post

James 5:15 says to confess your sins to one another, that doesn't mean it needs to be a Priest.

Now I am not saying confession to a Priest is not a good thing, but it is not the Priest who forgives one, he is just someone to confess your sins to.
Look at the context of this verse. James 5:14 starts by telling them to call the elders, presbuteros in Greek. This word can be translated "elder" or "priest". Then the passage continues on to describe the sacrament of "anointing of the sick". Then, in the same context, it talks about confession. When we remove verse 16 out of it's context, it seems to tell us that anyone can forgive sins, but that is not the case.

John chapter 20, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”. So, you see that this was given to the Apostles, not to everyone.
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  #14  
Old Jan 9, '12, 2:26 pm
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ByzCathCantor ByzCathCantor is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

No need to repent because Jesus is all knowing?

As the Church Lady would say: "How convenient!" ...

But seriously, you must read even the most well intentioned books written by persons of other Christian professions with caution. Best to stick to Catholic sources for this type of subject matter.

As a mental and spiritual "reboot", I'd recommend you read (pray, as we would say in Eastern tradition) Psalm 51. It is often used by Eastern Catholics as a prayerful meditation, in advance of an examination of conscience. Even in the days of the Original Testament, as reflected in these verses, the need and almost instinctive desire for us to reconcile ourselves to God is evident.

Peace be with you!
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Old Jan 9, '12, 2:28 pm
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Anthony V Anthony V is offline
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Default Re: Protestant vs Catholic confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by piobaire View Post
I have been reading a great book on God's love and forgivness that was written by a Protestant but when I came to the section on forgivness I am now totally confused about confession!

The author states that Jesus, being God and all knowing, knew all of our sins when he died and therefore we are completely forgiven and in right relationship with God before we ever repent, before we were ever born and hence the only need for confession is so we know and feel that forgivness, the psychological benefit so to speak.
Sounds to me like something very close to Lutheranism. Was he a Lutheran priest/deacon?

Quote:
So, if Jesus has forgiven all our sins, paid the price for our sins in his blood, why do we have to go to confession?
Forgiveness and absolution are two entirely different ideas. Let's say that sin is like driving a nail into a fine piece of wood. Forgiveness is God's willingness to release you (the wood) from the nail. Absolution is him actually doing it. And then when we are in a state of grace,
which is a gift from God who chooses to forgive us, we can freely choose him again without bondage to sin.
Quote:
This author almost makes it seem like sin is not a reality anymore. I like the idea he is getting at that we are perfectly and completely loved at all moments even when we fall but I am having a hard time reconciling this with our current practice on confession. I always feel like I am outside of God's friendship when I have sinned and cannot be restored to that perfect love and forgivness until I have been absolved in confession.
This is the downfall of Protestantism. Luther and Calvin were fed up with the lukewarmness of the Church on defining grace-- so they made heretical theories up themselves. Not to say protestants are heretics. They didn't come up with all this stuff (as much as the newest denomination out there would like to think so).
Quote:
I think this ties into another struggle I have in wrapping my head around the notion that nothing we do can increase or decrease God's love for us. If this is so why do we strive for holiness, battle temptation, acquire virtue and try to overcome vice?
Our purpose is not for God to love us more, but for us to love God more! Protestants of most every stripe will be quick to call even the mention of good works pelagian. God gives us graces for the purpose of us using them to glorify him. We glorify him by doing his will, and keeping his commandments-- good works. The common misconception that is very well spread among the average protestant is that Catholics must work their way into heaven. This is true... but only if you look at it from a Catholic perspective. Our works are not intrinsically meritous. It is God's grace that is working in us, by our cooperation, that is meritous!
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