Thursday, December 06, 2007
Let People Confess
I have a big pet peeve. Why do pastors refuse to let their people confess their sins? I'm not talking about not having times for private confession and absolution. I'm talking about those times when God's people faithfully harken to the call to repent and the pastor does, what in my opinion, is the stupidest, most faithless thing he could do..."That's not really a sin," or "That's not that bad."
If people come to you with something to confess, let them! Give them the sweet gift of Holy Absolution. I don't care if its something as seemingly trivial as going 1 mile over the speed limit, if that has caused a dear saint in Christ to despair so much so that they would come to you privately seeking the Gospel, GIVE IT TO THEM!!!
I had a pastor to whom I made confession once, many years ago. It was a big sin that I struggled with for years. He looked at me and said, "It's not that big of a deal, many people do that." Why did he do it? Why does any pastor turn away a penitent sinner? Perhaps its because they struggle with the same sin but have not or refuse to acknowledge it as sinfulness. Perhaps its because they despise their office and the Gospel, refusing to give that which was given freely, it to a beggar. Whatever the reason, if you are a pastor and have done this, REPENT! If you are a lay-person and have done what few Lutherans are willing to do by going to private confession, make your pastor forgive you. It's his job! Don't ever let him off with "that's ok, it's not a big deal!" The atonement of Christ is a big deal and He has given it to you at a high cost.