In the ongoing effort of growing and reforming as a church, we’ve decided that we should change the confession part of our liturgy. It turns out, that with all of you praying silently, we don’t know what all your problems are, which means that we can’t tell you how to fix your problems, or fix how you talk to God about your sins, since He is very demanding. It obviously will take a little longer, but if we set up four chairs up front, one for each pastor, we should be able to get through everyone’s confession in a timely fashion.
Now, I am being quite serious, and I needed to make the description long enough to increase your appropriate response of revulsion to such a proposal. Of course we are not going to do confession that way. That would be deformation, not reformation. It would be wrong. James speaks of confessing our sins to one another, but that’s when we’ve sinned against one another. We do not confess our sins through another person to God, priest or pastor. Through Christ each one of us, whatever gender or age or occupation or level of doctrinal learning, come directly to God’s throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).
Isn’t this amazing? Who are we, in our lack of certification, our lack of seriousness, our lack of holiness, to address Him without a mediator? We do have a Mediator, an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:2). But He is the only Mediator we need.
Isn’t this humbling? If you had to confess to a priest, he might presume you weren’t lying, but he couldn’t prove your intentions. It’s true that a pastor can’t help what he doesn’t know is wrong, but God doesn’t demand the information of your confession, just your honesty.
And so, what are you waiting for? He’s here, you’re here. He is the one with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13). With Him there is forgiveness. Pray to Him.