Confession? In Church?

I love being Protestant. I would never have any desire to become a Catholic. Not hatin’ on Catholicism, I just don’t believe it is Biblical. So don’t misinterpret me: I think we should have confession in church. Why? For this reason:

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

So, having said that, I shall specify that I do not mean a formal confession, churchgoer-to-priest, useful for forgiveness/absolution of sins. The basic meaning of the word for “confess”  in the verse is “acknowledge” or, more wordily, “to bring out verbal agreement.” So, when the Bible says to confess our sins to each other, the main point is to admit to others our agreement with the truth of our sins.

To put it simply: we should speak openly about our faults.Don’t sugarcoat or whitewash them. Be honest about our struggles and failures. This should be how we are in church. We are supposed to build each other up, encourage each other as we live out our faith. That means also talking about what makes this life harder.

Let’s be real: most of the time in church we tend to do everything possible to make our Christian walks look better without directly lying. We all try to make ourselves look like better Christians than we really are. This is pride. God hates pride, especially among His own people!

Imagine this: God’s children, when they come together, spend their time pretending to be better than each other. So our Father looks on us and sees us acting very much like, well, children. This is ridiculous, entirely unnecessary. We ought to just be open and honest with each other, not judging each other for the same things which we try to hide about ourselves.

So let’s all confess our sins to each other, and pray for each other, that we can be healed. I’ll start: I wear a mask at church, and I know I should take it off. Pray for me that I will. And next time you’re at church, drop the act. We all know we’re not perfect. Don’t pretend otherwise.

I'm 22. I'm married with a toddler and a newborn. love Jesus Christ. I grew up a Southern Baptist and now situate myself within Evangelical Calvinism (which isn't TULIP!). I also draw substantially from N. T. Wright, Peter Leithart, and Alastair Roberts. I go to the Baptist College of Florida. I'm also a bit nerdy.