MUST I CONFESS MY SINS ALWAYS? (If Christians think regular confession “belittles” the EFFECTS OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST, then they MUST as a matter of URGENCY stop sinning. It is not your confession that “belittles the efficacy” of JESUS Death rather OUR sins)
My response dear: It’s like asking me ‘how often must I pray’ and what is prayer? Over the years and especially with the dawn of Christianity, so many people saints and mystics attempted some explanation and these helped us understand what this term or act implies. ‘praying is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God’ or the requesting of good things from God’ – St John Damascene; …a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy’ – St Theresa of Lisieux.
Personally, I see prayer as a movement towards God. There are two movements, that is in two directions, – God coming to us each day (in order to bless us) and we (mortals) moving towards HIM (prayer) to avail ourselves for the blessings. Both movements are very necessary however, that of mortals, men and women is an imperative. It must be done from the very moment we can comprehend God till we give up our last breath. Some people pray every second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year. Why should men subject themselves to this routine and rigorous life of prayer? It is because God doesn’t force HIMSELF on anyone. But to be honest, isn’t an annual prayer enough for a Christian to merit this blessing instead of (spending time each second, minute, hour etc, etc for this encounter) Moreover, why should Christians waste time praying everyday, avoiding sleep on Fridays (these almost every night) if ONE blessing from GOD can sustain you for the rest of our lives Or God’s blessing are like any gaseous substance eg petrol or kerosene which evaporates with a little heat or when left at the mercy of an open environment. Great and mysterious then is that heat or anything whatsoever that evaporates this BLESSING.
On the other hand, if there isn’t any heat that can evaporate so great a blessing then it will suffice for Christians to pray once a year most favourably 1st January where we can implre God for all the blessings we need in a given year without having to disturb HIM daily or 31st December – during the various CROSS, JUMP,PASS, WALK, BRING, CARRY– overs etc.
NOW I turn attention to the substantive question.
Unless the body of Christ (Church) understands what Christ’s death really means this confusion will continue to linger among them. We can’t understand or appreciate the DEATH and RESURRECTION of OUR LORD without a deep reading, re-reading, reflection and praying of the Hebrew Bible what Christians call the Old Testament. Salvation history dearly, beloved didn’t commence with the New Testament corpus especially the Pauline nor the Gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke and John). The confusion among so many groups and the heresies being presented to people under the guise of inspirational messages and supra-grace teachings all stem from a rejection of the THEOLOGY or SPIRITUAL MEANING of the OLD TESTAMENT and its impact on SALVATION HISTORY.
To advance, I think it will be fair to ask once again “why did Christ die”?. Couldn’t GOD have saved the world inundated with sin without the death of Christ (nothing is impossible before HIM). He who created ex nihilo – out of nothing could have saved us any way HE wanted. What then is/are effect(s) of Christ death (here is where the confusion stems arises). It made us free, we are not under any bondage, it brought GRACE, I am saved no matter what I do, with HIS death, I just have to believe and receive baptism. Are these true? Some are! But have been misinterpreted, while others have dwelt so much on the redemptive aspect believing that nothing can lead them to Hell. The confusion among other things stems from the meaning given to words such as Justification, Redemption, and Salvation without recourse to the roots of these terms.
In fact to deny that the Death and Resurrection of Christ is the ONE-SINGLE act that brought us close to GOD is to deny being a son of GOD- A CHRISTIAN. However, the death and resurrection of OUR LORD means more than a mere acceptance and wallowing in our weaknesses.
Please help me unravel these questions
1. Christians (including men and women of God) cheating Christians under the guise of ‘tithes’ and other forms of offering not sanctioned by the NT. Or these people haven’t received the effects of resurrection? Why then do you allow them to lead your services or group if they are not led by the Spirit have effects of the Death and Resurrection?
2. Christians (leaders, pastors, musicians, men of God etc) chasing single and married women; married couples chasing singles AND married alike.
3. Christians employers cheating their employees.
4. Politicians lying and trying to knock heads against each other because of power.
5. Young guys and ladies who are in church always but only knows what they do afterwards, drunkards, lesbians, gays etc.
6. That poor taxi driver or pedestrian you insulted as “aboa” (animal). Or you think that insult is no sin.
7. The list is endless.
Did Christ not die for all these people? Did they not have the effects of the death? Why are these evils still committed in the church? You want to tell me that there are no adulterers, thieves, liars – Rev 218,26-27, in the churches across the globe
What they tend to do is that they justify their sins or try to water-down their weakness so that people who know them will not accuse them.
What others have said is that to go for regular confessions is to belittle the effect of the death and resurrection of Christ. Who then asked you to sin again IF THEY CARE TO KNOW, IT IS NOT THE REGULAR CONFESSION THAT BELITTLES THE POWER OF CHRIST’S DEATH, but OUR DISAPPOINTMENT AND SHAME IN PERSISTING IN OUR SINS. If you don’t sin how will you turn to God for forgiveness? STOP SINNING AND LET’S SEE WHETHER YOU WILL ASK ME WHETHER CONFESSION IS NECESSARY.
By Rev. Fr. Louis Cecilia Adu-Poku