But you’re not making your own rules. We are ministers of reconciliation, confessing our sins one to another, building each other up, comforting one another and, when necessary offering words of warning and rebuke. But it certainly is not pointing the finger at everyone. It is offering the joy and certainty of the Gospel—if you believe and repent, you are forgiven.
Well, Protestants aren’t going to do that either. I’m not going to go to someone I don’t know or barely know saying you have sin in your life BAM! To hell with you.
But your description of priestly absolution is not that much different from what Luther envisions lay absolution to be. The emphasis is on the forgiveness of sin. For those struggling with sin, the point is not condemnation but to reconcile. This link is from a sermon preached by Luther on “The Power to Forgive Sins on Earth”.
So you don’t think you can enjoy your rights as an American citizen and still submit to government authority? Either hold the government accountable or submit but not both? That makes no sense.
There is always a distinction between legitimate, constituted authority and illegitimate, unconstitued authority. We are to obey elders in Christ when they represent Christ. When they start representing themselves and substituting their own authority for Christ’s, Christians are not bound to submit. We are to test the spirits.
How does your priest know?