04 February, 2011

New iPhone app aims to help Catholics go to Confession :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

But how do you keep them from texting during their confession? (grin)

New iPhone app aims to help Catholics go to Confession :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

18 comments:

  1. I think there may be websites where people can actually confess their sins online. How bizzare this world is getting. None of it is necessary. (see gospel of John)

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  2. Hi Wayne

    This is a fairly lengthy biblical arguement for the Catholic understanding of confession. I thought a link would be better than posting a lenghty rebutal hear.

    http://www.scripturecatholic.com/confession.html

    Cheers
    Paul

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  3. Paul,

    I had a look at your link. It is a series of misinterpretations and twisting of Scripture in order to present the arguments in favour of auricular confession to a RC priest. Christ gave the apostles authority to preach the gospel and through believing in Christ, people received remission of sins from God (not from the apostles). See the verses in the gospel of John about believing on Christ for eternal life. The writers of the New Testament often used figurative language to express things. This has often been misinterpreted to mean something other than what is intended. Jesus for example referred to himself as a door. The verse used by Rome never meant the apostles themselves had the power to remit sins. It is understood that by the preaching of the gospel, and people believing on Christ, that the people would receive remission of sins. Check various other verses which clearly show that.

    For example, this is what the apostles preached:

    "Repent ye therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19

    "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

    To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Acts ch10:42,43

    The apostles never were commissioned to go out and hear secret confessions of people or grant absolution and penance. That was a later man-made invention of Rome to add to it's list of ways to control the masses.

    The reference to comments by the early church fathers I examined and responded fairly to before. Their quoted statements do not support a private auricular confessional with absolution and penance. They simply spoke about general confession such as to confiding to a friend or to the members in a congregation or even to the pastor, but this does not give support or credence to the mandatory system of Rome (Sacrament of Reconciliation) whereby people must go to a priest and privately confess their sins regularly and receive absolution in order to be forgiven by God. That is purely man-made for control purposes.

    Wayne

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  4. "None of it is necessary. (see gospel of John)"

    Why must it be "necessary?" How about if it's merely convenient? Reference to gospel not required.

    And, while I have yet to see a website where one confesses his own sins, there's an awful lot of them for those who are eager to confess the sins of their neighbors!

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  5. Hi Wayne

    Amen to your quotes. There is no contradiction with the scriptures you posted and the sacrament of reconciliation. As a Catholic Bible Christian, I could easily say the same of the misinterpretation of scripture by protestants concerning this and many other issues that divide us. The article I posted makes a strong case for confession and its entirely biblical.You have to take great liberty with your interpretation of scripture to make it fit the anti catholic worldview. John 20:23 spells it out in plain english. How you could construe this in any other way than the Lord giving his apostles the authority to forgive and retain sins is a mystery. Some major twisting has to take place to see it any other way. One would obviously need to hear the sin to make the choice between the two options the Lord presents.

    Cheers
    Paul

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  6. Paul,

    If you just take John 20:23 by itself and ignore the rest of the New Testament, I admit it seems to mean what you say. But if you take the other verses I quoted and the rest of the New Testament, it is an entirely different story. The Bible does not contradict itself and you must consider the whole teaching of the apostles and prophets in order to understand a difficult verse such as John 20:23. The apostles were never given the authority to hear auricular confessions and grant absolution.

    Can you agree that the verses I quoted say those who believe receive remission of sins, as in Acts 10:43?

    Lady Janus,

    You might not be aware but according to RCC teaching, confession to a priest within a certain time period (one year I believe) is an absolute requirement or one falls into mortal sin. If one is in mortal sin, according to the RCC, they go to hell if they die in that state.

    I would like to discuss interpretation with anybody who is interested, but if you say reference to the gospel is not required, then what is there to discuss? We are talking about the interpretation of the Bible which you say you don't accept.

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  7. Paul,

    You may find John Gill's Bible commentary on the verse in question useful (John 20:23).

    John Gill's commentary says:
    "John 20:23
    Whose soever sins ye remit
    God only can forgive sins, and Christ being God, has a power to do so likewise; but he never communicated any such power to his apostles; nor did they ever assume any such power to themselves, or pretend to exercise it; it is the mark of antichrist, to attempt anything of the kind; who, in so doing, usurps the divine prerogative, places himself in his seat, and shows himself as if he was God: but this is to be understood only in a doctrinal, or ministerial way, by preaching the full and free remission of sins, through the blood of Christ, according to the riches of God's grace, to such as repent of their sins, and believe in Christ; declaring, that all such persons as do so repent and believe, all their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake: and accordingly,
    they are remitted unto them;
    in agreement with Christ's own words, in his declaration and commission to his disciples; see ( Mark 16:16 ) ( Luke 24:47 ) . On the other hand he signifies, that whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained:
    that is, that whatsoever sins ye declare are not forgiven, they are not forgiven; which is the case of all final unbelievers, and impenitent sinners; who dying without repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel declaration, shall be damned, and are damned; for God stands by, and will stand by and confirm the Gospel of his Son, faithfully preached by his ministering servants; and all the world will sooner or later be convinced of the validity, truth, and certainty, of the declarations on each of these heads, made by them."

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/john-20-23.html

    These Bible commentaries are available online at this website and are very useful tools. The major Bible Commentaries over the past 500 years are online.

    This interpretation is in accordance with what Jesus said:
    "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16

    "And that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:47

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  8. Paul,

    You may wish to also consider the related verse, Mark 16:16 and what John Gill, Bible Commentator has to say about it.

    "Mark 16:16
    He that believeth
    Not notionally only, or that gives a bare assent to the truth of the Gospel; but spiritually, who sees Christ, his need of him, and the worth and excellency, suitableness and fulness of him; who comes to him as a poor perishing sinner, and ventures on him, and commits himself to him, and lives upon him; believing alone in him, and expecting life and salvation alone by him:

    and is baptized;
    faith must precede baptism, as these words of Christ, and Scripture examples show; and such as have it, ought to make a profession of it, and be baptized; and in which way it is that faith discovers itself, and works by love to Christ; namely, in observing his commands, and this among the rest:

    shall be saved,
    such receive the remission of their sins a justifying righteousness, the privilege of adoption, a right and meetness for heaven now, and shall be saved in Christ, with an everlasting salvation; not that either faith or baptism, are the procuring causes of salvation: not faith, for Christ is the author of salvation; and faith is the grace that looks to him for it, receives the assurance of it now, and that will be the end of it hereafter: faith and eternal life are so connected together, that he that has the one, shall have the other; and it is descriptive of the person that shall enjoy it: and baptism, though it is said to save by the resurrection of Christ, as it is a means of leading faith to Christ's resurrection for justification, yet has no casual influence upon salvation; it is not essential to it; the thief on the cross, went to heaven without it, and Simon Magus to hell with it; but it is the duty of every one that believes, and he that truly believes, ought to be baptized, and prove the truth of his faith, by his obedience to Christ, and such shall be saved:"

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/mark-16-16.html

    - Wayne

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  9. Paul,

    The Bible Commentary on Luke 24:47 may also be helpful.

    "Luke 24:47
    And that repentance and remission of sins
    Which are the sum of the Gospel ministry; see ( Acts 20:21 ) the doctrine of "repentance" is not of the law, which neither requires, nor admits of it, but of the Gospel. The Persic version calls it, "the Gospel of repentance"; a doctrine preached by John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles; and the thing itself is a blessing of the covenant, a gift of God's grace, and in the hands of Christ to bestow; and therefore the doctrine of it is published in his name, as well as remission of sins; which, though it springs from the free grace of God, is procured by the blood of Christ, and through him it is preached. These two are joined together, not because repentance is the cause of pardon; for repentance makes no satisfaction for sin, or atonement for it; nor does the law at all regard it: tears of repentance will not wash away sin; notwithstanding these, iniquity remains marked before God; Christ's tears themselves did not take away, nor atone for sin; his blood must be shed, and it was shed for the remission of it; and that is the only meritorious cause it. The Syriac version wrongly reads, "repentance for the remission of sins": the Jews F3 indeed have a notion that repentance atones for sin; but it is a very bad one, and has no countenance neither from the law of nature, nor the law of Moses: but these two are put together, because there is a connection between them, as there is between repentance, and life, and salvation: repentance issues in these things; and to whomsoever the grace of repentance is given, to them the forgiveness of sins is applied; nor need any truly repenting sinner despair of the pardon of his sin: and indeed, there is no true evangelical repentance without views, or at least hopes of pardoning grace, and mercy; for that is attended with faith in Christ, and is heightened by the discoveries of forgiving love: such who have the fullest view of the remission of their sins, have the clearest sense of sin, and have the most sorrow for it, and loath themselves on account of it, and are ashamed of it, and do most frankly confess it, and most thoroughly forsake it. And now it was necessary, according to Old Testament prophecies, that both these

    should be preached in his name;
    in the name of the Messiah; by his authority, and as coming through him; since the remission of sin is by his blood; and he is exalted as a prince, and a Saviour, to give both repentance and forgiveness of sins to all the Israel of God, whether Jews or Gentiles; and therefore it is fitting and proper that these should be preached,

    among all nations;
    of the world, where God's elect are; that so they may be brought hereby to repentance, and receive the forgiveness of their sins:

    beginning at Jerusalem;
    from whence, according to the Old Testament, the word and doctrine of the Lord were to go forth, ( Psalms 110:2 ) ( Isaiah 2:3 ) and is particularly mentioned, because the Gospel was to be first preached to the Jews, and be the power of God unto salvation to them; and because that in Jerusalem lived those who had been concerned in crucifying Christ, to whom repentance and forgiveness must be preached; and which would be a great encouragement to the vilest of sinners, to hope for mercy and forgiveness, since such received both."

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/luke-24-47.html

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  10. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."

    I agree with this statement absolutely. As a believer in Christ, when I confess my sins they are forgiven through the name of Jesus Christ because of his sacrifice on the cross. I don't read that as saying my sins are automatically forgiven because I simply believe in Jesus. If that were the case, why preach repentance?

    John rights:
    If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.

    Notice the "if we acknowledge". It seems the sin must be recognized for forgiveness to come. There seems to be conditions to us receiving that forgiveness other than simply believing in Christ.

    Cheers
    Paul

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  11. Paul,

    You said "Notice the "if we acknowledge". It seems the sin must be recognized for forgiveness to come. There seems to be conditions to us receiving that forgiveness other than simply believing in Christ."

    ""Mark 16:16
    He that believeth
    Not notionally only, or that gives a bare assent to the truth of the Gospel; but spiritually, who sees Christ, his need of him, and the worth and excellency, suitableness and fulness of him; who comes to him as a poor perishing sinner, and ventures on him, and commits himself to him, and lives upon him; believing alone in him, and expecting life and salvation alone by him:"

    Confession is partially an attitude. It is not always necessary that one recall and recite every individual sin. If one believed that, it would impossible to find peace or forgiveness with God. One would have to spend every minute of the day confessing and have no time for anything else.

    King David wrote the Psalms knowing his sins were forgiven. So it is with the Bible-believer today. When we fall into sin, we should immediately acknowledge it and ask in our heart that our heavenly Father cleanse us of all sin as 1 John 1:9 says. But if the christian does not specifically remember to confess it, he does not lose his salvation. Perhaps a daily prayer is a good time to make a general confession. Once a person is a child of God, he is adopted, sanctified (set apart), justified, and never, ever loses his/her salvation.

    It may help to remember Jesus is advocating in heaven on behalf of christians at this moment. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:" Hebrews ch9 vs24

    Perhaps these verses will make that more clear.

    "He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

    For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

    As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
    Psalm 103 vs 10 - 12

    Christians don't go around every moment of the day confessing and asking for forgiveness because there are so many things that occupy our minds in the business of life. Our Lord knows we have many things to do. We know we are children of God and the attitude should be one of wishing to live for God according to our heavenly Father's will for us. Repentance is a change of heart or attitude toward God and sin.

    Sometimes christians do wander away from God in sin and become backslidden. When that happens they do not lose their salvation, but can break or harm their fellowship with their heavenly Father. In that case, they need to repent and seek forgiveness and mercy, as King David did.

    David show us what is meant by a general attitude of repentance when he says:
    "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

    Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

    For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me." Psalm 51 vs1 to 3.

    Check the whole Psalm. David wrote this after he had fallen into serious sin, possibly the sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah.

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  12. Hi Wayne

    I can't respond to all your lengthy response since time is not something I have a lot of. I'll note on a few that jumped out at me most.
    John Gills commentary was a fine example of the kind of theological gymnastics required to reshape those verses to fit an anti-catholic theology. If a priest has not the authority to forgive sins on Christ's behalf as Catholics believe John 20:23 is clearly indicating, what do you make of this:

    Is anyone among you sick? 6 He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord,
    15
    and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. 7
    16
    Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.

    This passage says we should confess our sins to the presbyter (priest) and they will be forgiven.

    You also seem to ascribe the "once saved, always saved" protestant theology. I know many "Bible Christians" that don't share that view. Saint Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. That makes absolutely no sense if you can't loose your salvation. What is there to fear if heaven is assured? What is there to "work out"?
    Scripture also tells us faith without works is like dirty rags. This too seems to cast doubt on the once saved always saved theology.

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
    will enter the kingdom of heaven,
    but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
    Many will say to me on that day,
    ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
    Did we not drive out demons in your name?
    Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
    Then I will declare to them solemnly,
    ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

    Cheers
    Paul

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  13. Paul,

    I can understand you not having a lot of time for this. I am fortunately retired and so probably have more time.

    I will examine your points, and what Scripture says and try to give a reasonable response. The subject of eternal security or as our Reformed Confessions refer to as the Perseverance of the Saints is a whole different subject from confession although there may be some connections in some ways. I will try to give a correct response. Also, the verses you mentioned are from James I believe. I will examine them.

    I wanted to thank you for the good discussion and your calm approach. I will try to reply later today Paul.

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  14. Ah retirement. I hope you're enjoying it Wayne. I got 5 little ones running around yet so thats not in the cards for me for some time. We're loving it though.
    You certainly are a prolific writer! Thanks for all your posts and your effort. You certainly lack no zeal for doing the Lords work.
    I doubt we'll ever come to agreement on our theologies but I can hope we will at least walk away understanding one another better and have a greater appreciation for the truths we do share.

    Cheers
    Paul

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  15. Paul,

    You mentioned James ch5 vs14, 15.
    "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven."

    It is simply referring to calling the ministers or elders of the church to pray with him. It has no reference to auricular confession to a priest.

    You quoted "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.

    This passage says we should confess our sins to the presbyter (priest) and they will be forgiven."

    The verse does not say confess your sins to a presbyter (priest). My RC Bible (New American Bible) says:

    "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed." James 5:16(a)

    This is simply the practice of general confession to fellow believers or it could be elders (presbyters). But it is not speaking about the kind of RC confession with it's absolution and penance. That is not the idea here.

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  16. Paul,

    "You also seem to ascribe the "once saved, always saved" protestant theology. I know many "Bible Christians" that don't share that view. Saint Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. That makes absolutely no sense if you can't loose your salvation. What is there to fear if heaven is assured?"

    The Reformation which took place in the Netherlands with the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort, and part of the UK, particularly Scotland and possibly a segment of England with the Westminister Confession of Faith found that salvation was by God's electing grace, not man's work. The great early church father, Augustine, taught this.

    The Westminster Confession of Faith says:
    Article XVII. Of the Perseverance of the Saints:-

    1. They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

    2. This perseverance of the saints depends, not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

    3. Nevertheless they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein: thereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal jugments upon themselves.

    You mentioned some Protestant churches believe one can lose their salvation. This is true. However, Reformed and Presbyterian and possibly some other believe christians are eternally secure. I believe Pentecostals and possibly some others believe one can lose their salvation. This is called Arminianism and is an error. Calvinism teaches christians are eternally secure. Romanism falls into the category of Arminianism although it's errors are far more serious, to the point of not being biblical christian at all. Like all false relgions, Romanism teaches that salvation depends on the individual and whether that person does certain things deemed necessary by the religion.

    "When a person has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and truly converted unto Christ (by repentance and faith), is it possible to again become a child of wrath and of eternal destruction? The answer of the Scripture is clear and emphatic: no, it is not possib;le. "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life" (John 3:36). "He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life"(John 5:24). Here we have God's Word for it that when a man has once exercised faith in Jesus Christ, he cannot come into jugment any more. He has passed from that judgment never to return again."

    --WCF Study Guide by G.I. Williamson

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  17. Paul,

    "Saint Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling."

    John Gill Bible Commentary says:

    "trembling;
    which is to be understood not in such a sense as though men could obtain and procure for themselves spiritual and eternal salvation by their own works and doings; for such a sense is contrary to the Scriptures, which deny any part of salvation, as election, justification, and calling, and the whole of it to be of works, but ascribe it to the free grace of God; and is also repugnant to the perfections of God, as his wisdom, grace, and righteousness; for where are the wisdom and love of God, in forming a scheme of salvation, and sending his Son to effect it, and after all it is left to men to work it out for themselves? and where is the justice of God in admitting of an imperfect righteousness in the room of a perfect one, which must be the case, if salvation is obtained by men's works? for these are imperfect, even the best of them; and is another reason against this sense of the passage; and were they perfect, they could not be meritorious of salvation, for the requisites of merits are wanting in them. Moreover, was salvation to be obtained by the works of men, these consequences would follow; the death of Christ would be in vain, boasting would be encouraged in men, they would have whereof to glory, and their obligations to obedience taken from the love of God, and redemption by Christ, would be weakened and destroyed: add to all this, that the Scriptures assure us, that salvation is alone by Christ; and that it is already finished by him, and not to be wrought out now by him, or any other; and that such is the weakness and impotence of men, even of believers, to whom this exhortation is directed, that it is impossible for them ever to affect it; therefore, whatever sense these words have, we may be sure that this can never possibly be the sense of them. The words may be rendered, "work about your salvation"; employ yourselves in things which accompany salvation, and to be performed by all those that expect it, though not to be expected for the performance of them; such as hearing of the word, submission to Gospel ordinances, and a discharge of every branch of moral, spiritual, and evangelical obedience for which the apostle before commends them, and now exhorts them to continue in; to go on in a course of cheerful obedience to the close of their days, believing in Christ, obeying his Gospel, attending constantly to his word and ordinances, and discharging every duty in faith and fear, until at last they should receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls: agreeably the Syriac version renders the words, (Nwkyyxd anxlwp wxwlp) , "do the work", or "business of your lives"; the work you are to do in your generation, which God has prescribed and directed you to, which the grace of God teaches, and the love of Christ constrains to."

    Con'd

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  18. Paul,

    cond'
    "Do all that "with fear and trembling"; not with a slavish fear of hell and damnation, or lest they should fall away, or finally miscarry of heaven and happiness; since this would be a distrust of the power and faithfulness of God, and so criminal in them; nor is it reasonable to suppose, that the apostle would exhort to such a fear, when he himself was so confidently assured, that the good work begun in them would be performed; and besides, the exhortation would be very oddly formed, if this was the sense, "work out your salvation with fear" of damnation: but this fear and trembling spoken of, is such as is consistent with the highest acts of faith, trust, confidence, and joy, and is opposed to pride and vain glory; see ( Psalms 2:11 ) ( 115:11 ) ( Romans 11:20 ) ; and intends modesty and humility, which is what the apostle is pressing for throughout the whole context; and here urges to a cheerful and constant obedience to Christ, with all humility of soul, without dependence on it, or vain glorying in it, but ascribing it wholly to the grace of God, for the following reason."

    from John Gills' Commentary

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