CONFESSION PDF Print

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes,

“The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner.   So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship.  We dare not be sinners.  Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous.”

“So what do we do?”  He asks, then answers.

“We cover up our sin, and live in hypocrisy.”

He expounds further on this spiritual practice.   “In contrast to this kind of fellowship, the gospel is only for the sinner.  We do not have to lie but we can own up to God.  Moreover, we are to confess and be confessed to.”

Here is some of his main thoughts on this issue:

• Non confession isolates an individual, which is precisely where sin desires to place you. (Reworded)  “Where there is confession, the way is open to returning to the community.”

• Confession should be on a personal basis – between two people. 
For in confession to one member, confession is made to all.  (Only general confession is made to the entire fellowship.)

• Confession is communal in that it reconnects the sinner to the fellowship. (Reworded)

• Confession declares our willingness to be obedient, to walk in humility, and reignites our joy we once found in fellowship. (Reworded)

• To whom shall one confess?
He who lives beneath the cross.
Only those who confess should listen to confessions.

Dietrich saw confession as a necessary act in the life of an individual Christian and the church at large.  This practice kept the heart of the believer filled with the joy of God’s presence, and connected to the community.

Thoughts?

– Dale

 

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