Monday, May 29, 2006

If We Confess Our Sins

Private confession of sin is one thing (I don't do enough of it, I know that), but public confession of sin seems to be entirely another.

Many of us seem to be content with the notion that confession is good for the soul, but only if it's done individually. The corporate confession of sin sounds, well, too "Catholic" for many of us. But should it? I don't think so. Public confession of sin, which is followed by absolution (or the assurance of forgiveness) has a long history in the church. Although it's been largely ignored or forgotten by the contemporary evangelical church, I think it's something we need to get back to.

By the way, the "public confession" I'm talking about doesn't involve going up and down the pews, standing up and confessing the previous week's sins. I'm talking about a general confession that's spoken in unison with time given for silent, private confession.

Philip Ryken, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, has written a sample confession that was used there. It's convicting - personally and corporately. Here's where you can find it.


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