Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : July 3, 2005

During my daily blog roundup, I came into contact with this
blog called PostSecret where people can share deep secrets.  People
long to confess their deepest sins or shames or fears.  We all long to
stand completely naked, body and soul, in front of someone and have
them accept us.  I sometimes wish I were Catholic, because they have a
built in system of exposing one’s self (Confession).  We know that the
early church probably confessed to one another (if we believe that they
listened to James’ exhortation, that is).  Maybe we have so many dang
self-help books because we are afraid to let others in enough to help
us.  Maybe we go to therapists because they help us figure ourselves
out, not because of our desire to confess to another human being.  But
even if we approach a therapist like another human being, we know that
they don’t have to confess anything to us.  They are professionals.
They have to hear and accept us.  There is no real risk of
judgement…and so it isn’t really confession. 

PostSecret is the epitome of the longing for release and forgiveness
in a fractured world.  How do we, the Church, create communities where
people can stand naked, find forgiveness, and be accepted?

for further reading . . .

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4 Responses to “Confession”

  1. David Finch on July 3rd, 2005 11:56 am

    I’ve have said for a while that confession is ingredient that we are truly missing. However, until we circle ourselves in communities where the outcome of confession is forgiveness and release rather than exposure and isolation we will continue to not practice it. However, if we circle ourselves within a community of trust and love we will began to see this needed practice again enjoyed by followers of Jesus.

  2. Van S on July 3rd, 2005 12:53 pm

    Well said, David. I don’t we’ll get that community of trust and love as long as the church (at least in my country) builds itself upon the foundation of individual self interest, taste, self-actualization, and consumption. I grow weary of shouting at these societal poisons (among others). I desperately want to be a part of a counter-community that is messy, but loving, struggling, yet liberating, a group that is small yet living the life of the disciple.

  3. Chris B. on July 3rd, 2005 5:50 pm

    Even if a community is perceived as loving and accepting and open by the people in it, there is still always the risk that your confession won’t be received well. Just as important as a community in which confession of sin is graciously accepted are members willing to risk alienation, abandonment, excommunication, and loss of dignity or respect in order to be transparent and honest. I think if the leaders of a Christian community would be willing to wear the confession of their sins as a badge of honor, then people would follow those leaders. Unfortunately, it seems rare for a Christian leader to confess his sins to the rest of the church.

  4. Anonymous on July 13th, 2005 8:06 am

    My postcards would read:

    I once shared Christ with a woman, so she would stay away from me.

    I’m scared my in-laws will accuse me of being happy when my mother in law dies. And what if their right?

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