Even though some bible verses clearly prove some of our beliefs to be accurate, many Protestants would still come up with an excuse to disprove it. I thought we should discuss that. Now let me start off with one:
John 20:23 mentions the sacrament of reconciliation, but this one guy named Mike P in answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080331150757AAium8q goes to great lengths at interpreting it as something else:
John 20:23 does not mean that God gave the apostles the power, or the ministry to forgive sins. This can be seen in the book of Acts itself. The apostles are never once described as forgiving sins. Nowhere in the Bible do we see this - it’s a fabrication of the church. Rather, Jesus understood that the apostles would be faced with new believers asking the question “now that I’ve accepted Christ, are my sins forgiven?” They needed to answer, and since they knew that they themselves could not forgive sins, they needed confirmation that when they felt a person was sincere in their statement that they’d truly accepted Christ, they were indeed forgiven by God even before they (the apostles) uttered the words of assurance. Jesus was assuring them (the apostles) that when they perceived a person had become a true believer, they were correct in pronouncing that their sins had been forgiven according to the gospel that they were preaching. If the apostles had truly been given any power to forgive sins, you would surely be able to read about it in the Bible. Today, priests claim that they have the power to forgive sins, or to administer that forgiveness, but that’s not Biblical. It’s based on a self declaration of the church. You need to ask yourself - do they (the priests of today) exhibit any of the other powers the apostles were given such as healing the sick, and other privileges? They don’t. Also, if the apostles had claimed to have had the power to forgive sins, they would have certainly been challenged and possibly stoned, since almost all people in the region knew that God alone could forgive sins, and claiming otherwise meant death. Jesus was killed, in part, for making that claim; yet we see no mention of the apostles being challenged, or threatened, or killed for making the claim that they had the power to forgive sins. This is because they never made that claim. To review - the apostles never made the claim that the power to forgive, or even administer the forgiveness of sins rested with them. We never see them forgiving sins, as if they alone had the power to do so, nor do we see priests today exhibiting any of the powers the apostles did. Given these observations, it 's reasonable to conclude that no one other than God should even utter “your sins are forgiven” in any other capacity than that of relaying the message. This being the case, anyone can pronounce that the sinner can be assured of forgiveness, and is indeed forgiven, if forgiveness is sincerely sought by the true believer, based on the promise given by Jesus in John 20:23. This ability is not granted to priests alone, but to the whole body of Christ.
Consider one more point: If Jesus requires that the priest perform the forgiving of sins on His behalf, then one must conclude that Jesus is not able, or not willing to forgive sins Himself personally. We must conclude that Jesus is not alive, nor truly present in our lives, because a priest is required to perform the act of forgiving as a proxy for Christ. This is not Biblical, and it denies the real, spiritual, and life saving power of God. Some believe in the “real presence” of Christ in the bread and wine in the Eucharist, but can’t seem to accept that His “real presence” might be there when a person accepts Christ, and that an “agent” is not needed to accomplish this. It defies logic, reason, and the true spirit of God. It rejects the power of God, and flies in the face of Scripture.