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S/O What church/denom have you stand in fr. of the congregation and confess/repent


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S/O What churches or denominations have you stand in front of the congregation and confess and/or repent?

 

I didn't want to hijack the other thread with this question.

 

I can't imagine this.

 

And gee, there are those who have a hard time with the sacrament of Reconciliation. :confused:

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S/O What churches or denominations have you stand in front of the congregation and confess and/or repent?

 

I didn't want to hijack the other thread with this question.

 

I can't imagine this.

 

And gee, there are those who have a hard time with the sacrament of Reconciliation. :confused:

Are you talking about my post where I said the girl went up? Even if not, I better clear that up. She did that all on her own because SHE wanted to, not because any religion REQUIRED it. She did that because it's like a big family and she wanted everyone to know. I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression to anyone! It had NOTHING to do with religion/denomination!!!
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DH was raised Horning Mennonite and this was required at the churches he attended. When we were younger, we attended an Evangelical Mennonite church and witnessed this-we left that church. I have no desire to see public humiliation. Really-was that lady's adultery any of my business anyway. I had nothing to do with it and neither did my family.

 

I just read some of the other posts and wanted to add that this public humiliation did not stop the gossip. Everyone in town knew about it and kept talking about it-including the public airing of the laundry that happened at the church. I don't think I heard anything positive about it from anyone. Everyone seemed to feel sorry for the poor lady.

 

DH did say that in his experience, it seemed to be used more as a deterrant than really as a help for anyone.

Edited by weaver_67579
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I have been in churches that did this in certain situations. But honestly, the way it works itself out? Is not at all the way it sounds when written on a bulletin board among folk who are not family, but just outsiders looking in.

 

The church and its leadership felt that, in cases where the sin is very public and everyone WILL know about it, there will be murmurring in the church and the best way to handle it in the case of a repentant sinner is to get the sinner to publically state their apology and the church can then close rank around them in support without anyone wondering if the church was supporting the repentant or condoning sin.

 

The church of course handled unrepentant sin differently.

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There is no denominational requirement. We are to seek forgiveness for our sins. Sometimes, repentance needs to be made in a public way due to the public nature of sins. That doesn't always mean coming forward during a service.

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I remember attending a Dutch Reformed church that did this when I was a teenager.

 

You know, at the time, I actually thought it was pretty cool. I'm sure it was really tough on the couple of people I saw actually do this but they were all smiles and hugs and total acceptance afterwards. The congregation accepted them with open arms. I think it gave them a chance to clear the air, keep gossip at bay, and seems to have led to quicker healing (not hanging on to guilt, self-loathing, etc.).

 

I've never seen it done anywhere else though.

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I grew up in Baptist churches, attended a Church of God for about 8 years, and now we are members of a non-denominational church. I have never seen this done. I think if everyone was required to confess every sin in front of the congregation, there would never been any ministry done. Seems like it would take up the whole service.

 

I do know someone whose mother required she do this, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a church-required thing.

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I have heard of this but haven't seen it in practice. If I were to witness it, I would also ask that those with the sin of gluttony, lust, envy, avarice, etc. be paraded before the congregation as well. Some sins are more obvious (based on physical features) than others, but they are all sins - God doesn't differentiate.

 

I do think it is perfectly fine if the sinner chooses to air his/her sin publicly and seek forgiveness/reconciliation (if necessary). But only if the Holy Spirit prompted the action. Parents and pastors are not the Holy Spirit.

 

BTW, I do remember a time when a deacon (in charge of finances) was discovered embezzling from our church. He was required to confess before the congregation and apologize - that seemed appropriate seeing that it was not only a sin, but a crime.

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There are many VERY LEGALISTIC churches that do this. Most that I've known have been non-denominational. Southern Baptists may have done this in the past in some churches but I've belonged to several and it is definatley NOT the practice.

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A Reformed Baptist friend was required to do this.

 

Some Presbyterian franchises do something similar. A friend talked about what she had to go through when she wanted to leave the Pres church to become Catholic. Oh my.:eek: :blink:

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I have mixed feelings about this. If an unmarried woman gets pregnant she is likely mortified enough that I would not want her sacrificed on the altar of "righteousness." If all sins need to be confessed up front, I'd be up there every week.

I think it's between the sinner and God. Things that will or have the potential to become public as an obvious pregnancy, adultery, drunkenness, etc, etc, are already in the open. Nobody should feel compelled to have to speak about it to a room full of people who also sin but most of their sins remain private.

 

Having said this, for some who desire this as part of a cleansing process and it helps them feel forgiven, good for them.

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My dd and I talked about getting up in front up the membership and talking to them about our situation. I don't ever want people to think we are trying to hide any sin and thought it would be best to tell our church family instead of them hearing it through the grapevine. I also thought it would help to curb any gossip and would bring more support. My dd teaches the 2/3 yr. class so she is a role model which puts her in a more difficult situation.

Our pastor did not like the idea one bit, (I'm not sure I agree but I respect his wisdom tremendously), and said he would not feed her to the wolves. If people could not handle her repentance they could leave. He also told dd if she did it again he would tan her hide himself. He loves her like his own daughter.

I would never "make" her do anything like that if she was uncomfortable with it. And it would only be an, "I'm sorry, I did wrong, please forgive me and help me," sort of thing. I think tremendous respect would come from being brave enough to do that.

I don't think it should be required. If someone was made to do that when they weren't ready it could really shatter them.

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I have to say "Kudos" to your pastor, whoever he is! We need more men like him leading our churches.

 

You may be right about the respect issue, however I really think your dd can convey the exact same sentiments in one-on-one conversations if people speak to her. It will also get around that she handled herself maturely and acknowledges her mistake. End of story. Now, let's move on and prepare for that baby! :001_smile:

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A Reformed Baptist friend was required to do this.

 

Some Presbyterian franchises do something similar. A friend talked about what she had to go through when she wanted to leave the Pres church to become Catholic. Oh my.:eek: :blink:

I don't understand the mindset that allows this type of thing. Why in the world would anyone put up with being humiliated publicly for being human?

 

IMHO it is nothing but condoned bullying.

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My dd and I talked about getting up in front up the membership and talking to them about our situation. I don't ever want people to think we are trying to hide any sin and thought it would be best to tell our church family instead of them hearing it through the grapevine. I also thought it would help to curb any gossip and would bring more support. My dd teaches the 2/3 yr. class so she is a role model which puts her in a more difficult situation.

Our pastor did not like the idea one bit, (I'm not sure I agree but I respect his wisdom tremendously), and said he would not feed her to the wolves. If people could not handle her repentance they could leave. He also told dd if she did it again he would tan her hide himself. He loves her like his own daughter.

I would never "make" her do anything like that if she was uncomfortable with it. And it would only be an, "I'm sorry, I did wrong, please forgive me and help me," sort of thing. I think tremendous respect would come from being brave enough to do that.

I don't think it should be required. If someone was made to do that when they weren't ready it could really shatter them.

 

Your pastor sounds like a wonderful man. What a blessing.

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I don't understand the mindset that allows this type of thing. Why in the world would anyone put up with being humiliated publicly for being human?

 

IMHO it is nothing but condoned bullying.

 

I know this is done at Sovereign Grace churches. I have heard scriptures quoted as to why they do it, but don't remember them. There is a huge wave of church discipline that is becoming popular. Some churches even have you agree to it when becoming members so that they can't be sued, because there have been some lawsuits in recent years.

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I used to attend a very small church which is part of a little-known charismatic denomination. At one service, when no children were present (they were at children's church), the head pastor told us that there had been some kind of s*xual sin between the worship leader and his girlfriend, that they had then come to the head pastor and told them about it, and wanted to apologize to the church body. The worship leader had not been leading worship for several weeks. There were no details about the sin given. It was just "we sinned, we're sorry" and lots of hugs, support, and tears. The couple in question became engaged not long after and are now married.

 

I do *NOT* think they were required to go in front of the congregation and apologize. I do *NOT* think that just any old church-goer at the church would be required to do that, either!! I think it's because of his position that anything of the sort happened to begin with, along with a wish on their part to get more accountability and apologize. (It was also a charismatic church, and the church believes that sins can affect everyone whether you know about them or not, which contributed to the public confession/repentance I'm sure.)

 

I do think that in Mennonite churches public confession/repentance would probably be required, though I don't know. I'm almost positive it would be required in Amish churches from what I know of them. But I think most mainline Christian churches/denominations do *NOT* require that, except perhaps if a leader commits a grave sin.

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Do these churches that have people do this require it from everyone? Like if a preacher finds out a guy is a porn addict, must they also face everyone?

 

Whatever religion does this, i think its appauling. I am a Christian and have been my whole life, but what makes that sin worse than others that it require it to apologized publicly? I would never want to get help fpr anything if that is the case. Every place on earth now has a privacy policy but churches are requiring people to publibly humiliate themselves. WOW

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I don't understand the mindset that allows this type of thing. Why in the world would anyone put up with being humiliated publicly for being human?

 

IMHO it is nothing but condoned bullying.

 

Do these churches that have people do this require it from everyone? Like if a preacher finds out a guy is a porn addict, must they also face everyone?

 

Whatever religion does this, i think its appauling. I am a Christian and have been my whole life, but what makes that sin worse than others that it require it to apologized publicly? I would never want to get help fpr anything if that is the case. Every place on earth now has a privacy policy but churches are requiring people to publibly humiliate themselves. WOW

 

I too can't see how this would help people. I'm Catholic and have never seen or heard of anything like this. It kind of gives me the willies thinking about it. I sin a lot but I don't think that I would be helped by standing up during mass and talking about being gluttenous, gossipy, and short tempered with my kids.

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Would a young man who got a girl pregnant also be expected to make a public confession and show of repentance? I have only ever heard this mentioned for pregnant girls.

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My BIL is a pastor of a GARB church. When his son and his girl friend were expecting their baby he asked them to get up and talk to the congregation. There were many at the congregation who had wanted to vote him out as pastor for not "controlling" his son. Since then his daughter has also been a teen mom. I do not believe that she was asked to talk to the congregation. I'm not sure why there was a difference between the two children. (But for the sake of the OPs question this was a specific request from their dad and was not a church requirement or a denominational requirement.)

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In our congregation of the church of Christ:

 

If you have committed a public sin and want to ask for forgiveness then you can come forward during the service, you would talk to the minister and then he would tell the congregation what needed to be shared and then lead a prayer for you. The minister is available anytime if you are in need of prayer, want to place membership with the congregation or want to be baptized; although you can also come forward during service for those things too.

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I must be one of the only ones who thinks this isn't so terrible. It isn't about certain sins, imo. Frankly, I think we'd all be better off if we'd confess our sins to one another whether it was pride, gossiping, or sleeping around.

 

I don't think it should be required and I don't necessarily think it has to be in front of the entire congregation, but I think there is a wonderful accountability, transparency, and freedom in being able to stand up and say, "Hey, I'm human and I need you all to support me as I work through this."

 

So while I have a hard time imagining it, I don't think it is terrible. And while I think it has the potential to be abused, I can see where it could also be helpful.

 

Wow, frankly, I'd love to stand up in front of my congregation and be able to say, "You know what? I'm addicted to the computer and I need help getting away from this stupid thing." Maybe, someone in that congregation would actually care.

 

Everyone is so determined to hide the elephants in the room. God forbid people in the church be transparent with each other.

 

I don't know. Maybe I'm nuts. LOL.

Edited by Daisy
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Frankly, I think we'd all be better off if we'd confess our sins to one another whether it was pride, gossiping, or sleeping around.

 

... and while I think it has the potential to be abused, I can see where it could also be helpful.

 

... "You know what? I'm addicted to the computer and I need help getting away from this stupid thing."

 

... Everyone is so determined to hide the elephants in the room. God forbid people in the church be transparent with each other.

 

Daisy, much of your post resonates with me (mainly the parts I quoted, above). I know many people do not see the value/validity of the sacrament of confession/repentance, but since becoming Orthodox this year I can honestly say that confessing out loud to Christ, in the presence of our priest, every few weeks has become HUGE in seeing the old man in me stay dead. I have a long way to go -- but confessing these things and receiving counsel from a humble, peaceful, gentle soul is amazing.

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Daisy, much of your post resonates with me (mainly the parts I quoted, above). I know many people do not see the value/validity of the sacrament of confession/repentance, but since becoming Orthodox this year I can honestly say that confessing out loud to Christ, in the presence of our priest, every few weeks has become HUGE in seeing the old man in me stay dead. I have a long way to go -- but confessing these things and receiving counsel from a humble, peaceful, gentle soul is amazing.

 

I have no issue with people doing this voluntarily, or a church leader, etc., but hauling a young pregnant girl up there as a condition of restoration makes me think of the scenario in John 8. I wonder if the young man was hauled up too? Again, I see this as being very different from a voluntary public confession.

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Daisy, I think everyone should be admitting their imperfection and asking for help, encouragement, support, ideas, etc. And I definitely believe that serious, intentional sin needs to be handled. And some situations do require some sort of public acknowledgement.

 

But I think requiring people to stand up in front of an entire congregation (or half of one) and detailing serious sin is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

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I have no issue with people doing this voluntarily' date=' or a church leader, etc., but hauling a young pregnant girl up there as a condition of restoration makes me think of the scenario in John 8. I wonder if the young man was hauled up too? Again, I see this as being very different from a voluntary public confession.[/quote']

 

I absolutely agree. I was solely addressing Daisy's post with my response to her -- I was not at all addressing the original post.

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15"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

 

16"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.

 

17"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

 

My church practices church discipline. But there is no dragging the sinner up front to be beaten into confession. In the past 11 years I've attended this church, I've seen several people disciplined. Some repented later and were warmly welcomed back, their previous sins never to be mentioned again. Some were not repentant and were disfellowshipped. IIRC, there have been 3 or 4 unmarried pregnant women. None of them were required to come up front and say anything. I think 3 of them wanted to confess their sins to the congregation and ask for prayer and support. Details of the sin were never revealed or asked for. There have also been a few divorce situations where one person just left or had affairs or whatever and those folks were disciplined and disfellowshipped for their lack of repentance.

 

I can recall only one situation where someone was required to come up front, and that was a missionary couple who'd gone on the field and committed some horrible things in the name of our church. Because they represented our church, and because our church was supporting them on the field, they were required to tell the church what they'd done. They claimed to be repentant, were brought off the field and given several years of counseling. They later divorced and were disfellowshipped. There is a lot to that situation that I'm not going to spell out--it would take too long. But, there was a LOT of lying, deceit, and rebellion going on. The woman, specifically, worked very hard to ruin reputations and cast unfounded accusations among several people in church. She had no proof of her accusations but would not recant any of them. She was removed from fellowship.

 

I know many hear the term "church discipline" and automatically envision some poor young girl being dragged up front and forced into tearfully confessing her sins as some sort of knee-jerk reaction or judgment from the congregation, but that is not biblical. Churches who do that misinterpret and misapply the concept of church discipline. True church discipline is never to shame anyone; it's to bring them to repentance. And, in many cases, the church as a whole is never made aware, because when confronted, people repent. I know in my church, often it takes years of counsel before someone is disciplined, depending on the situation. With my EX, it was 7 years of counsel before it came to that point. It's not something to be used as a weapon of intimidation; it's a tool used by the church for the repentance and restoration of someone's soul. When applied appropriately, it's biblical and part of how Christ indicated a church be run.

 

Sadly, some churches don't follow Scripture in this situation and either allow the unrepentant to continue in fellowship, or they go to the other extreme and inappropriately expose things publicly that are best left private. I want to be clear here. Everyone sins. The difference here is between people who rebelliously continue in sin, basically thumbing their noses at God, and those who struggle with sins, as we all do, and are repentant and strive to live for Christ. Struggling with sins such that are common to man is not a reason for church discipline; reveling in those sins and embracing them rebelliously is.

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I absolutely agree. I was solely addressing Daisy's post with my response to her -- I was not at all addressing the original post.

 

 

Oh, I didn't mean to sound as if I was disagreeing with you. Sorry if it came across that way. I was really just responding to the general idea of the thing. Confession is an important part of the Christian life regardless of denomination, IYKWIM?

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My church practices church discipline. But there is no dragging the sinner up front to be beaten into confession. In the past 11 years I've attended this church, I've seen several people disciplined. Some repented later and were warmly welcomed back, their previous sins never to be mentioned again. Some were not repentant and were disfellowshipped.

 

I know many hear the term "church discipline" and automatically envision some poor young girl being dragged up front and forced into tearfully confessing her sins as some sort of knee-jerk reaction or judgment from the congregation, but that is not biblical. Churches who do that misinterpret and misapply the concept of church discipline. True church discipline is never to shame anyone; it's to bring them to repentance. And, in many cases, the church as a whole is never made aware, because when confronted, people repent. I know in my church, often it takes years of counsel before someone is disciplined, depending on the situation. With my EX, it was 7 years of counsel before it came to that point. It's not something to be used as a weapon of intimidation; it's a tool used by the church for the repentance and restoration of someone's soul. When applied appropriately, it's biblical and part of how Christ indicated a church be run.

 

Sadly, some churches don't follow Scripture in this situation and either allow the unrepentant to continue in fellowship, or they go to the other extreme and inappropriately expose things publicly that are best left private. I want to be clear here. Everyone sins. The difference here is between people who rebelliously continue in sin, basically thumbing their noses at God, and those who struggle with sins, as we all do, and are repentant and strive to live for Christ. Struggling with sins such that are common to man is not a reason for church discipline; reveling in those sins and embracing them rebelliously is.

 

:iagree: Our church follows a similar pattern.

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I have been in churches that did this in certain situations. But honestly, the way it works itself out? Is not at all the way it sounds when written on a bulletin board among folk who are not family, but just outsiders looking in.

 

The church and its leadership felt that, in cases where the sin is very public and everyone WILL know about it, there will be murmurring in the church and the best way to handle it in the case of a repentant sinner is to get the sinner to publically state their apology and the church can then close rank around them in support without anyone wondering if the church was supporting the repentant or condoning sin.

 

.

This is what I've heard done--typically in fairly small churches--in response to a sin that led to pregnancy. The congregants were then warned strongly against gossiping and urged to be suppportive. The intent was not to shame, but to take the secret shame away by a public act of forgiveness. I believe that pregnancy provoked the public nature of the act simply because everyone can see that an unmarried girl is pregnant. It's not that it's more serious than a number of other sins, but those don't create a visible reminder for the next 9 months. Otherwise, regular congregants would not have been brought up to confess.

 

The standard is different in many churches though if a leader such as a pastor or elder sins such that they need to leave office (even if only temporarily for a period of rehab.) Then I think it is more common (and appropriate, imo) for the pastor to confess to the whole congregation because his action affected them all.

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My experience with this was in a very large Assemblies of God church. It was one of the staff pastors daughter...and it was wrong. She was the only one made too do it because she was a pastors kid...and the boy was not permitted to go up with her.

 

I feel like this is wrong in all situations. And I think a minor should never be allowed to do this, even if they want to...they are not able predict the long term ramifications of being that exposed, and not haveing their love ones sheild them.

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Do these churches that have people do this require it from everyone? Like if a preacher finds out a guy is a porn addict, must they also face everyone?

 

As far as I have seen, it is mostly used for pregnancy outside of marriage. At that point, I always wonder what the purpose really is. Is it to bring closure and stop gossip (maybe we should just tell the gossips to stop THEIR sin,) or is it to serve as a warning for everyone else's daughters that it isn't okay?

 

You know the old saying... the worst sin in the world is the one you aren't tempted by. ;) It's easy to comdemn unwed mothers if you are (1.) male, or (2.) already married. No chance of being snared by that sin yourself, so it must be the worst sin of all time. :glare: Or at least if you tell yourself that, it makes your sins seem better...

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Church of Christ, my dh was forced to go in front of the congregation when he was a teen & we saw a teen girl go forward when she was pregnant. We are not Church of Christ members.

 

I grew up in the Church of Christ and witnessed a number of public confessions. The desire to repent publically should come from the person but I know in several instances pressure from the elders and others in the church pushed the individuals forward.

 

As an introverted person, I simply cannot imagine going through this. Needless to say, I'm now a member of a different Christian denomination.

 

ETA: I didn't intend this post to bash the Church of Christ. Church discipline is biblical but we can disagree about how we go about it.

Edited by emzhengjiu
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...and it still applies today in some situations. I'm Catholic. Generally, in modern times, private sins require private confession (with the priest), and public sins require public confession. So when a well-known leader steals or commits adultery or curses someone out in public those things require public apology...if done in the church, it would be called public confession. (In the Catholic way of things, a priest would need to be present to hear the confession and to absolve the sins sacramentally.) If John or Jane Smith commit one of these sins and it's not caused a scandal (become public) then it shouldn't be dragged out into general knowledge. That might be relative to the size of community one lives in.

 

But anyhow, it was a practice of the early church and generally done before baptism...and the assumption was that once a person had chosen this life (Christianity) with all its dangers and the seriousness of this decision, that their zeal for holiness would keep them from choosing to sin again. But over time, Christians did fall into sin and repeated public confession was put aside in favor of private confession for many of the reasons mentioned in this thread previously. And yes, if done, it should include all sins that are of serious matter, done with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will (definition of mortal sin) not just the sexual sins. Confession venial sins regularly is good for the soul as well, but mortal sins need to be confessed asap whereas venial sins you usually wait until your next regular confession.

Edited by LeeAnn Balbirona
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S/O What churches or denominations have you stand in front of the congregation and confess and/or repent?

 

I didn't want to hijack the other thread with this question.

 

I can't imagine this.

 

And gee, there are those who have a hard time with the sacrament of Reconciliation. :confused:

 

Before we get baptized, we tell what led to our becoming a Christian (how God changed us, etc.). That was hard enough for me (just talking in front of people before I got dunked in a FREEZING cold pool in October!

 

We do practice church discipline outlined in the Bible. It has only happened a couple of times since the church was started though and it was with teens/young adults (practicing homosexuality, practicing promiscuity). However, this is not mainly in front of the church. It starts with one person going to the person who is living in sin. If that does not "work", then two people go to the person living in sin. If that does not "work", then the person is "treated like a sinner/tax collector" (meaning not excommunicated or anything, just not able to have a leadership role and treated as a visitor might be (not treated like a "believer in Christ" since they are choosing to live in sin). This happened early in the church (before we came) so I'm not sure how public the last "step" was but I know the first two steps are completely private btwn. those two or 3 people.

 

Those are the only two things we do publicly and the first one, though speaking of past sins, does not focus on sins but more on how God saved them from those sins! (we are non-denom. but most of our people came from Baptist backgrounds)

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...and it still applies today in some situations. I'm Catholic. Generally, in modern times, private sins require private confession (with the priest), and public sins require public confession. So when a well-known leader steals or commits adultery or curses someone out in public those things require public apology...if done in the church, it would be called public confession. (In the Catholic way of things, a priest would need to be present to hear the confession and to absolve the sins sacramentally.) If John or Jane Smith commit one of these sins and it's not caused a scandal (become public) then it shouldn't be dragged out into general knowledge. That might be relative to the size of community one lives in.

 

The problem is with the word "scandal." what other people decide to gossip about, should in no way define whether someone is made to publicly confess. Plus, there is a huge difference between someone confessing to their priest/pastor, and someone being made to confess to the entire church.

 

The only acception I would draw is that of when pastoral leadership has done something worthy of them stepping down. Then I think a brief statement of explanation should be made to the church (not by said pastor), but again this I think should only be the case when said pastor is leaving their position.

 

But anyhow, it was a practice of the early church and generally done before baptism...and the assumption was that once a person had chosen this life (Christianity) with all its dangers and the seriousness of this decision, that their zeal for holiness would keep them from choosing to sin again. But over time, Christians did fall into sin and repeated public confession was put aside in favor of private confession for many of the reasons mentioned in this thread previously. And yes, if done, it should include all sins that are of serious matter, done with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will (definition of mortal sin) not just the sexual sins. Confession venial sins regularly is good for the soul as well, but mortal sins need to be confessed asap whereas venial sins you usually wait until your next regular confession.

 

 

I do think confession and repentence are extrememly healthy and vital things, just not publically, and definately not in the case of minors or lay members. :)

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