Opinion: On the public confession of sin

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Editor’s Note: This is an opinion column.

Years ago, revivals had “stop meetings” when people swore to quit smoking, drinking, playing cards or the like. Pastor Alex shocked his congregation when he came to the pulpit on a Sunday to announce that he was quitting the X-rated videos. He had become outspoken with his wife, he said, and they had asked for God’s forgiveness. .

“And I want you to restore me to fellowship with God,” he said and sat down.

It was in the days of rental video stores. Netflix has a documentary called “The Last Blockbuster” on the country’s latest franchise. Now, unfortunately, you don’t have to find a video store to stream porn, as three of the 14 most visited websites in the country are “adult” sites.

I can only imagine the atmosphere that morning in Alex’s church. He had given them something they had not planned, nor particularly wanted to do. In fact, he was removed from his post that day.

I had already received a call from the church while they were discussing the station with Alex. I told the caller that I knew him as a committed Christian and a faithful Bible teacher. And his wife was sweet as sugar. However, Alex had a secret sin that I didn’t know about.

Can the sin of pornography be forgiven? Yes. The grace of God is sufficient for all needs. We first confess to God and ask for his healing power.

But sometimes our bad choices affect others. The Bible teaches confession among believers: “Confess your trespasses one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). And Jesus said: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” If he listens to you, you have won your brother ”(Matthew 18:15).

Jesus further spoke of bringing a matter to the congregation if the lost brother was unrepentant. But what about Alex who was repented and in full confession? Rather, I doubt that his courageous but impulsive confession served a good purpose. I can imagine that the heinous nature of this sin has been discussed more openly in this city than the nature of God’s forgiveness.

Since he, his wife, and God were dealing with the problem, perhaps a better solution was to find a counselor to make sure he faces this sin, and a confidential support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, to help. accountable. Alex could have taken a few days off while he and his wife determined whether to begin the process of moving to another church or not.

It seems to me that public and specific confession of sin should be rare, and only if the mission, fellowship, and reputation of the church is in jeopardy.

Reflections is a weekly devotional column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster, Alabama. The church website is siluriabaptist.com.


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