Sincere questions for protestant Brothers


#1

My in laws are Baptist, and I want to understand (my husband is uncomfortable discussing for some odd reason)

If you don’t confess your sins to men, how do you really examine your conscious? Or is there no need since you are saved?

The reason I ask is I was invited to my sister-in-law’s church recently, and I was sitting quietly (the way Catholics do) and I was shocked to hear gossip. My sis-in-law was gossiping in church about another member…Now…I consider my in-laws good people…salt of the earth good, but it occured to me that she didn’t even realize that what she was doing was wrong. Now, I know that it is perfectly acceptable to confess your sins straight to God, but how do you obtain a sinless state if you don’t sit down and think about it…down to the little white lies and all.

This experience was good for me because I figured out why we confess to men…and why Jesus asked us to (John 20:21-23)…Jesus understood our human nature so well that he set up a system that forces us to think about all of our sinful ways. (this last part is, of course, my opinion, and not meant to offend)


#2

I used to wonder this too. I hope somebody answers this question.:hmmm:


#3

…the unfortunate truth is… you could talk to 20 different Baptist if not Baptist ministers, and today you might get 15+ different answers…

the Baptist church that i knew (through dating my wife) is not the same Baptist church today…

…my wife is still southern Baptist, and she would tell you herself the church she attends today is not the church she grew up in…

don’t know if you will get a difinitive answer… or not!

Peace:thumbsup:

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#4

I don’t know either, but I think your opinion on why Christ would want auricular confession to another person is perfectly sound. I found it far easier to fall into sin back when I was a non-Denom. Why? I only had to face my own somewhat man-made conception of God, as opposed to the notion of God as Other.


#5

There are many ways of examining one’s conscience:

  1. Sharing thoughts with friends and family
  2. Keeping a journal (very popular with Protestants)
  3. Praying/contemplating/meditating in Nature, or at Home
  4. Praying to God throughout the day, each day, 24/7, 365.

#6

[quote=Newvert]I don’t know either, but I think your opinion on why Christ would want auricular confession to another person is perfectly sound. I found it far easier to fall into sin back when I was a non-Denom. Why? I only had to face my own somewhat man-made conception of God, as opposed to the notion of God as Other.
[/quote]

Yes…it was a wonderful contemplation, a gift from God…I also found the new recognition that it is good to be silent in church, to know that Christ is present and show reverence…to be silent is awesome because when we talk…we just may sin…


#7

[quote=Ahimsa]There are many ways of examining one’s conscience:

  1. Sharing thoughts with friends and family
  2. Keeping a journal (very popular with Protestants)
  3. Praying/contemplating/meditating in Nature, or at Home
  4. Praying to God throughout the day, each day, 24/7, 365.
    [/quote]

So good conscientious protestants would ask for forgiveness…but they don’t have to at all, because they are saved of all past and present sins…right?


#8

[quote=Lillith]So good conscientious protestants would ask for forgiveness…but they don’t have to at all, because they are saved of all past and present sins…right?
[/quote]

I think the answer would differ, dependent upon what sort of Protestant you ask. Some Protestants don’t believe in “once saved, always saved”.


#9

[quote=Ahimsa]I think the answer would differ, dependent upon what sort of Protestant you ask. Some Protestants don’t believe in “once saved, always saved”.
[/quote]

I’m Methodist and the only people I ever heard of using the once saved, always saved was Baptist’s and Non-Denom’s. As far as confessing sins, I was always raised to believe that you pray to God for forgiveness of sins.


#10

Hi Lillith -

I was raised in a Baptist church but have been attending a Covenant church for the past 26 years. Usually when I pray I go by the “ACTS method”–

A Adoration
C Confession
T Thanksgiving
S Supplication

In the confession part of my prayer I usually ask the Lord to bring to my mind any sins that I am not aware I committed. To tell you the truth, many of my specific sins don’t even come to mind while I’m praying, but later something will pop into my mind “out of nowhere,” possibly even something from years ago that was wrong and I never confessed. (For several years I was what the Baptists would call a "Carnal Christian.) Even if nothing comes to mind, I ask for forgiveness because, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10

As I’ve gotten older (I’m 58) I’ve found that if I picture Jesus sitting next to me on the couch watching tv, standing next to me as I talk to people, in the car as I drive, etc., I can avoid a lot of sins. Would I have Jesus watch this tv show? Would I want Jesus to see me shake my fist and swear at the guy who just cut me off? Would I say unkind words to the person I’m talking to with Jesus standing right there? Would I want Jesus reading the novel I’m reading?

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” My favorite verse to call to mind when tempted in something is Phillippians 4:8,9 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, PRACTICE THESE THINGS, and the God of peace shall be with you.”

“Thanks to God for my Redeemer”

http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif Marquette


#11

[quote=Marquette]Hi Lillith -

I was raised in a Baptist church but have been attending a Covenant church for the past 26 years. Usually when I pray I go by the “ACTS method”–

A Adoration
C Confession
T Thanksgiving
S Supplication

In the confession part of my prayer I usually ask the Lord to bring to my mind any sins that I am not aware I committed. To tell you the truth, many of my specific sins don’t even come to mind while I’m praying, but later something will pop into my mind “out of nowhere,” possibly even something from years ago that was wrong and I never confessed. (For several years I was what the Baptists would call a "Carnal Christian.) Even if nothing comes to mind, I ask for forgiveness because, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10

As I’ve gotten older (I’m 58) I’ve found that if I picture Jesus sitting next to me on the couch watching tv, standing next to me as I talk to people, in the car as I drive, etc., I can avoid a lot of sins. Would I have Jesus watch this tv show? Would I want Jesus to see me shake my fist and swear at the guy who just cut me off? Would I say unkind words to the person I’m talking to with Jesus standing right there? Would I want Jesus reading the novel I’m reading?

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” My favorite verse to call to mind when tempted in something is Phillippians 4:8,9 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, PRACTICE THESE THINGS, and the God of peace shall be with you.”

“Thanks to God for my Redeemer”

http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif Marquette
[/quote]

It is good that you hold yourself accountable by your constant awareness of God. Not many people can do this. Many of the early Church fathers called this “remembrance of death”. It could also be construed as a type of ceaseless prayer.

God Bless you!


#12

All Protestants hold to the concept that we must be in repentance in that as Christians our actions are directed away from sin by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Luther used to say that contrition in and of itself is passive as we can never do anything of ourselves that is pleasing to God. By the time we get around to doing a good work our Faith has done it for us and our faith comes from God and not from ourselves.

That being said Luther and other Protestants are not against adaphoria and asceticism which are actions or practices that assist us in keeping the faith. Luther felt that absolution and confession were not sacramental but he still found the actions to be useful.

Many Protestant denominations still hold onto the concept that the Priest does retain the office of the Keys and does have some ability to bind and loose in regards to forgiveness.

Hope this helps.


#13

The evangelical tradition is to meet with God every day in Bible reading and prayer. At that time, confession is understood to be necessary before making requests. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

For most of us, church is not the time for contrition. I’m not saying that we’re right, I’m just reporting the facts.


#14

[quote=Lillith]This experience was good for me because I figured out why we confess to men…and why Jesus asked us to (John 20:21-23)…Jesus understood our human nature so well that he set up a system that forces us to think about all of our sinful ways. (this last part is, of course, my opinion, and not meant to offend)
[/quote]

Well put!

And the embarassment factor is a pretty good deterent too.


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