SPLIT: Why confess to a priest?

In RCIA I was told I could go to any priest for confession. Does this mean for my first confession as a convert I can go to any Catholic priest with the faculties to hear confessions and absolve sins?

What about going to God?
When I understood from scripture that I needed to ask God for forgiveness, my pastor led me in a prayer of repentance to God, in Jesus name. I didn’t have to rattle off every sin. The conviction of the Holy Spirit was enough to show me my sinful state.

The burden of sin, the guilt, the uncleanness were gone after I asked God to forgive me. My confession was that I believed Jesus Christ died for me and rose again. I asked God to help me turn from sin and for Him to help me live for Him.
It was the most effective and powerful prayer I have ever prayed.

It’s been 24 years since that day. I have learned God loves me unconditionally. He works everything out for my good. He provides. Protects. I read His Word regularly and put my trust in His Word. It is the final authority by which we can measure if a belief is true or not.

God has been changing me. I know I can trust God with my whole life. He is everything or all in all.

I pray God would reveal Himself to you as He has done to me and so many other people throughout history. God is the same, today and forever.

Ask God, the God of Gods, the Lord of Lords to forgive you and start to get to know what God plans for your life.
I pray you enter into His rest and seek His face all the days of your life so you can know what is the hope that is in Christ Jesus for all those who believe.

Carmen
Carmen

I see your point Carmen but with that said there’s at least one objection but I want to be careful to not get into a heated debate over this.

Confession is a Sacrament of the Church.

Jesus chose to initiate this Sacrament. I’m sorry but at the moment while on my cell phone I won’t be able to give as much biblical scripture and evidence detail as I’d like.

Jesus gave his disciples the authority to forgive sins, the authority to bind and lose etc. It is there you see Jesus initiate the Sacrament of Confession. And besides Catholic teaching on Confession there is something profoundly healing when confessing your sin to a Priest. Not only healing but an empowering grace when in confession.

I’m certain I could say more but I’m rather limited at this moment but I’ll come back later and add more or see what others have added. It is also a good time to briefly mention that this is a major difference between Baptist theology and Catholic theology is the Sacramental life of a Catholic which is often misunderstood by Baptists and other denominations similar to the Baptist church. I’m pretty familiar with Baptist theology and other Evangelical and Charismatic theology. I’ve had a diverse experience in the time I was involved with the Protestant tradition.

I go to a priest outside my parish because I just feel more comfortable with a priest I do not know. The priest from the neighboring parish has never ever seen me outside of his confessional, and that the way I like it. I go every 1-3 weeks.

Hi, Carmen. Your post is off topic. Would you care to discuss the Biblical basis of Confession/Penance/Reconciliation with us in another thread?

Feel free to start a new thread in the Apologetics section. I would LOVE to discuss that with you there. (I know this sounds like I’m asking you to ‘step outside’ LOL) I am looking forward to it.

You are wrong about confession.

Watch this 3 minute video about Confession from Tim Staples who was raised Southern Baptist and converted to Catholicism.

catholic.com/video/confessing-sins-to-a-priest-a-biblical-defense

aaa

You haven’t sinned in 24 years?

When you are in Confession you ARE talking to God.
Read up about it.

We confess to a priest because he has the authority to forgive sins on God’s behalf.

*When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. (Matthew 9:8)

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20:23)*

If you think only God can forgive sins then you are making the same mistake as the pharisees.

***Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" *(Mark 2:7)

-Tim-

That’s not what Carmen was saying.

To understand what Carmen is saying or referring to, we have to understand some Baptist theology. That is, if we want to respond with a “Catholic Answer”

Baptist are generally rooted in Calvinism.

Which is the basics of a Baptist understanding of Salvation, Redemption, Christ’s work on the cross.

Putting it simple from a Baptist theological view:

  1. Saved by faith alone
  2. Christ’s death paid the penalty for our past, present, and future sin.

With this understanding you only need one confession because your future sins are already forgiven so there’s no need to confess sins already “covered by the blood of Christ”

Now here’s a Catholic Response, or at least to my best understanding.

  1. As Catholics we reject saved by faith alone…

James 2:24 - we are not justified by faith alone but by works

So Catholics believe it is by faith plus works.

Baptists Church has only 2 sacraments

  1. Baptism
  2. Communion (but they say only symbols not the actual flesh and blood)

So most Baptist don’t understand the Sacramental life of a Catholic.

The Catholic Church says that the Priest has been given authority to absolve us/forgive us our sins while Baptists believe the sacrament of confession that a Catholic participates in is like placing the Priest in the role of God because according to Baptists and most Protestants only God can forgive sins Catholics obviously disagree with this.

So between once saved always saved, our past present and future sins already forgiven, and believing confession to a Priest is wrong most Protestant believers can’t see why Catholics view Confession and Reconciliation and Penance as necessary andthen wwrongfully believing our faith is all about works. It becomes a rather confusing conversation. As a former Pentecostal I personally rejected Calvinism and the once saved always saved theology. As a Catholic not much of my belief has changed because Catholic teaching on salvation is not much different from an Armenian theological understanding which is typical to what Pentecostal / Charismatic believers hold to. Although there are some differences.

While it is true that God always loves us, every one of us, we must confess all the times that we didn’t love God above all.

Sometimes our egos got in the way and we didn’t treat people the way God wants us to. Sometimes our appetites get in the way and we eat, drink, have illicit sex too much, not the way God intended. We confess for the times we fall short of the glory of God. We must own up to those things. In today’s vernacular we must “own” our sins and make a conciese (sic) effort to turn from them and truly show our love for God.:thumbsup:

Or the phrase I like:

“Cooperating with the Holy Spirit and the grace given to walk out our salvation and towards sanctification / holiness.”

ie to cooperate with …

So, it isn’t that he hasn’t sinned in the last 24 years, it is that it doesn’t matter that he has sinned because Christ died for our sins?

Kendra - that’s not entirely true. The answer would be yes and no … The point, is that if sin is not being turned away from then you have never been saved to begin with. Only the elect few are saved according to the Calvinist theology. So it doesn’t matter in that the work of sanctification is being done and if you are saved you are not committing willful sin. Committing unwillful sin is a matter of maturing in the faith but future sins are still forgiven so there’s no need to confess according to this theology.

But of course as Catholics we are saved and “born again” if you will through baptism.

Baptist believe baptism is just a symbol of inward faith and an act of obedience while as Catholics we believe baptism is more than just a symbol but are actually saved through the sacraments and grace received through baptism, confession, and penance.

Your pastor led you in prayer for forgiveness of your sins. Well, that’s what a Catholic priest does, as well. The difference being that the priest has the power from Christ, who gave it to him, to absolve penitents of their sins . If you had your pastor lead you in prayer why shouldn’t you have a priest do that? :slight_smile:

The idea that our future sins are forgiven with a one time act of contrition is simply not true. All through Paul’s letters he warns Christians that they fall away from the faith by falling into grave sin. The priest is meant to help us examine our conscience–it’s very easy for us to excuse ourselves or ignore sins we don’t want to face. Having to answer to another person keeps us on track.

Jesus knew what he was doing when he gave the Apostles the power to forgive sins. He knows we are bodies as well as spirits–that we need contact with the physical to aid us in understanding and living the spiritual. This is why he commands us to do certain physical things, such as baptism, receive communion, as well as give our mental assent to faith.

Reconciliation with a priest reconnects us to God and the Body of Christ. It gives us the means to undo the damage our sins have done, and gives us guidance to help keep us walking the “narrow way” Christ commanded we walk to reach heaven.

AWESOME ANSWER!

Since coming into the Catholic Church I look forward to Confession. Sometimes it does make me feel uncomfortable but I still look forward to Confession.

It holds me accountable to the church through the Priest
It is a liberating experience
It has been instrumental in my maturing in the faith
It’s a grace given, empowering and healing experience
It aids me in my journey
I feel less alone in my journey
Going to Confession enables me to receive forgiveness in far deeper ways.
Going to confession often ends up being like a short spiritual direction session which I love about Confession. Perhaps I go to a confessor who actually engages with people in their daily lives because when I need it my confessor takes a little extra time.

When I was in the Protestant tradition I didn’t speak much with my Pastor and it was hard to do especially when they were married and juggling family and ministry. I haven’t received this much Pastoral care since my days in Youth Group being mentored by my Youth Pastor and his wife. Of course things changed when my Youth Pastor took on the Lead Pastor role, I miss them dearly but I am so grateful to have this Pastoral care again even if it’s just in the confessional, a confessional is better than zero interaction with a Pastor … You know, since a Pastor should be more than just a preacher.

Is 2 Corinthians 5:11ff about the Sacrament of Reconciliation? If no, what is it about?

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 NABRE

The Ministry of Reconciliation

Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we are clearly apparent to God, and I hope we are also apparent to your consciousness. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you an opportunity to boast of us, so that you may have something to say to those who boast of external appearance rather than of the heart. For if we are out of our minds, it is for God; if we are rational, it is for you. For the love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

maybe a different translation would help you?

Douay-Rheims Bible:
We are Christ’s Ambassadors

11Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we use persuasion to men; but to God we are manifest. And I trust also that in your consciences we are manifest. 12We commend not ourselves again to you, but give you occasion to glory in our behalf; that you may have somewhat to answer them who glory in face, and not in heart. 13For whether we be transported in mind, it is to God; or whether we be sober, it is for you. 14For the charity of Christ presseth us: judging this, that if one died for all, then all were dead. 15And Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.

16Wherefore henceforth, we know no man according to the flesh. And if we have known Christ according to the flesh; but now we know him so no longer. 17If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new. 18But all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ; and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. 19For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins; and he hath placed in us the word of reconciliation.

20For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us. For Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God. 21Him, who knew no sin, he hath made sin for us, that we might be made the justice of God in him.

so between the two translations… this does appear to support the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Clearly the literal sense is about the Ministry of Reconciliation as practiced in the very beginning and continually down through the last 2000 + years, but Scripture is deep and rich and has a number of other senses of interpretation as well.

Exactly! If people would do even the slightest bit of study on a subject, they would find the clear answers to their questions. In all charity, my opinion is that they come here just to argue, if they actually wanted to know, they would have found out something so easily found out.

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