How can Protestants be forgiven for sins? (Please, any adivce appreciated)

***** I’m posting this in the “Non-Catholic Religions” forum because I’m currently an Episcopalian, but I went to a Catholic high school and primarily follow Catholic moral teachings. I will probably convert to Catholicism at some point in the future after I’ve graduated from college.**

While riding the train home from work today, I suddenly remembered a bad (but not sexual or obviously blasphemous) thought I’d had several months ago. At the time I had this thought, I knew that I shouldn’t be thinking that, but at the time it didn’t seem like a “big deal”. (It definitely felt like a venial sin). So I lived the next several months without feeling much guilt over this particular thought.

In hindsight, however, I realize having this particular thought was probably a grave matter (it was a pretty aweful thought),and I did consent to having the thought, so I’m pretty sure it was a mortal sin.

Since realizing this was a mortal sin about five hours ago, I’ve had this incessant feeling of extreme guilt, to the point where thinking coherently or performing my normal tasks has become difficult. At one point I even crumpled to my bedroom floor and started crying in a ball. I’ve tried praying several Our Father’s and Hail Mary’s (about ten of each), but I still just feel completely disgusted with myself.

And the worst part is, up until this afternoon I was feeling more connected to/at peace with God than I had for awhile. It’s pretty discouraging to have all that inner peace suddenly shattered for something that is, in some sense, out of my control (since past actions are out of our control after they’ve occurred).

But since I’m not a Catholic, I can’t necessarily solve this by going to Confession. (The Episcopal Church does believe in the sacrament of Confession but doesn’t view it as mandatory and doesn’t regularly offer it).

Thank you for any advice!

Alison

Make an appointment with your priest and make your Confession. :slight_smile:

Keyword is YOUR Episcopalian priest, unless you are already in RCIA, then in that case keep your perfect contrition, and obey the priest who oversees it.

On this note:
canonlawmadeeasy.com/2017/06/29/can-non-catholic-go-confession/

This.

This. And if you don’t have a priest you know or feel comfortable with, there are many who will happily meet with you and hear your confession.

The concept of forgiveness of sins is very different in Catholic and Protestant theology. I wouldn’t want to get all into a long drawn out theological discussion because that wouldn’t be helpful for you.

So my advice is to go find a quiet place, get on your knees and cry out to God in contrition and for forgiveness. Then call your priest and go talk to him about it.

The OP is Episcopalian, so this is not applicable. Confession and absolution are a sacrament.

I’m not sure whether you were looking for answers from a Catholic or not. But, from my perspective, being a Catholic for 3 years now, I would of course advise doing RCIA right now and not later. If you believe in the Catholic Church then there isn’t any applicable reason to put off being reunited with her, or to at least begin formal exploration with a parish as you sort things out on an interior level. She’s your lost love, she is besieged on all fronts, and she needs men like you. You have more to gain within her than you know.

In the mean time, daily prayer, said in humility, asking Jesus for the grace & light you need to live the current day, followed by the next day, etc. I fall to pieces if I neglect prayer for a day. We may fail a thousand times in charity, but Jesus’ love for us is an inferno. He has absolutely no interest in seeing you die. He wants you to live and to live fully. Knowing that it is Jesus’ burning desire for us to have life - a desire that far surpasses our own desire for life - by itself should be an immense consolation for us.

I realize that, it is why I didn’t try to explain protestant theology on forgiveness.

Make an appointment with your priest and make your Confession. :slight_smile:

This. And if you don’t have a priest you know or feel comfortable with, there are many who will happily meet with you and hear your confession.

Interesting, I knew Lutherans and Anglicans had confession but I only thought the more traditional Anglo-Catholics or high church Lutherans went to confession as opposed to it being standard practice.

The real question is, how do groups like Evangelicals and Reformed Christians see it? I’ve never heard them going to confession, so do you just go and pray for forgiveness when you sin without mentioning it to anyone?

I would answer but it would hijack this thread and it would probably end up rivaling the never ending “Faith versus works” thread. :slight_smile:

Mortal sin has 3 elements according to the RC Catechism.
Considering something may or may not be a grave matter.

My opinion is you need not only a priest, but a Christian psychologist to figure out why you are wallowing in your scruples.

When I was in the Church of England, every service had the general confession and the priest absolved us.

Worked fine. It was taken very very seriously and the wording of the general confession reflected this. Those words are written in my heart to this day.

To speak them publically knowing what I had done wrong?

This is generally true of Anglican practice. The corporate general confession during the Mass is efficacious. Private auricular confession is available for those who feel the need for it.

As usual, the use of the word “generally” here is done cautiously.

Thank you

I tend to this day to find it offensive to have this dismissed as some here do.

For me it a strong and faith-filled life and actually more penitential as there was no “human” input. My awareness of my own sinfulness was heightened by that.

The Lord’s Prayer also. What a Prayer! When focussed on fully in this light. Father forgive.

As you are Episcopalian, open up the Book of Common Prayer (1662), you can find this online if you do not have a copy. Flip to Morning or Evening Prayer. You will find a confession at the start of it. The “absolution” that follows states the circumstances in which God (not a priest but God directly) will absolve you of your sins. Be at peace.

Protestants believe in total depravity.

That means forever total depravity even in Heaven.

Humans will never be clean. God will only cover their depravity and consider them as saints.

They say humans are like dung and Jesus is like snow covering the dung.

Sin it’s not a big deal for them if someone has faith in Jesus.

That’s why they don’t care about sacramental absolution.

If you are feeling guilt about your sins as a Protestant you’re not following the proper Protestant theology.

P. S. Yes, Protestant theology is crazy!

Sorry, don’t mean to derail the thread, but I have to clear this up.

By “total” we do not mean “utter.” Even the most wicked person likely has some goodness in him at one time or another. By “totally depraved”, we do not mean that people are as wicked as they can be. We mean that the Fall affects the whole person.It affects our human nature, our bodies, our minds, and our will.

When we are justified, we are born again and a new creation in Christ. It is his righteousness that we have and we grow in grace through sanctification. But the affects of sin still remain, only to be totally eliminated in glorification.

I believe Martin Luther made an analogy like this to illustrate imputation versus infusion of righteousness in justification. He was not saying we could “never be clean” or that we would be impure even in heaven. He was saying that the only righteousness that can cleanse us is the righteousness of Christ.

Wrong. Even those who “have faith” have to repent of their sins. Confessing our sins with godly sorrow is part of that.

Those Protestants who don’t utilize sacramental absolution do so because they do not believe it is necessary for a religious official to pronounce absolution when it has already been pronounced in God’s Word.

I think most Protestants would disagree with this.

Per Calvin himself, “it is futile to seek anything good in our nature.”

I wasn’t aware that Pentecostals held dogmatically to total depravity? Of course, the necessary follow-up would have to be “which Pentecostals?”.

No.When we are justified, we are born again and a new creation in Christ.

From my time with the seminarians at SBTS, justification is merely a legal term. That point was very specifically driven in.

Wrong. Even those who “have faith” have to repent of their sins. Confessing our sins with godly sorrow is part of that.

“…Sin boldly” Martin Luther

Folks have been slapping together apologetics for that one ever since Luther wrote it…

Those Protestants who don’t utilize sacramental absolution do so because they do not believe it is necessary for a religious official to pronounce absolution when it has already been pronounced in God’s Word.

Sure. Sola scriptura Christians ignoring the John 20:23 part of the scriptura. The interpretations on the part of Protestants to make it say something other than what it obviously says can range into the bizarre.

I think most Protestants would disagree with this.

Joel Osteen have very little room for guilt in his “theology”. He’s got one of the biggest congregations in America.

Itwn if you’re a Pentecostal then you’re not a Protestant.

You have a very poor understanding about the Protestant theology.

And your denomination (Pentecostalism) has no recognizable theology at all and is very recent (20th century).

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