internet protestant confession booth

at GetReligion: September 5, 2006: "Looks like it’s a thoroughly Protestant understanding. I’m surprised that Groeschel is surprised by the sins and anguish that are being revealed. I’m sure that a pastor or priest who regularly hears confession would not be so shocked at what is afflicting the flock. In fact, I would think that confession-hearing pastors get an insight into the life of the congregation that non-confession-hearing pastors are oblivious to. I’m also interested to read that Groeschel believes healing comes from confessing to other people. Oprah would certainly agree.

An open, anonymous confession site has interesting implications. On the one hand, assuming that there is any truth to these claims, the pastor can better preach to the flock. On the other hand, given that these confessions are coming in from at least nine separate congregations as well as, well, the rest of the world, then how useful is it to hear the confession in terms of more focused preaching?

In historic Christian churches, confession is heard so that it may be absolved. The pastor or priest directly pronounces God’s forgiveness for the penitent. Here, the confession is heard but the forgiveness is not directly applied. It’s something the penitent must find himself by knowing about God’s nature. I’m not arguing about which method is desired — but just pointing out that there are monumental differences between historic confession and what’s going on here."

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