Confessions of a Non-Catholic

Justin Johnson

I admit, Roman Catholics have a lot of Biblical support for their holy Sacrament of Confession to priests. Biblical does not mean dispensational.

After all, God told Israel to ordain priests to whom men confessed sins for forgiveness (Lev 5:5-6). Men came to John the Baptist confessing their sins (Mat 3:6). God in Christ ordained authority for the apostles to forgive sins also:

“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them…” – John 20:23

Roman Catholics think they are Israel and that their authority comes from Peter. So, it is not a shock that they have priests, confessionals, and absolution.

Of course, the Church is not Israel and Peter was not ordained the apostle to the Gentiles (Gal 2:7-9, Rom 11:13), but why quibble over such things as dispensational right division.

Protestant Confession

Non-Catholic churches spurn the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Confession to priests, but they also strongly advocate the covenant requirement of confession of sins for forgiveness.

The historic Protestants taught the priesthood of all believers on the basis of Peter’s quote of the Mosaic covenant in 1 Peter 2:9. Who needs a priest in a confessional, when it is taught that every believer is a priest confessing directly to God?

Never mind that Peter was talking to the remnant of Israel in 1 Pet 2:9, not the Gentiles; Gentiles are never called priests; and Paul doesn’t use the word “priest” even once.

The Protestant battle was against ordained priests as mediators to remit sins according to John 20:23. Even the great Protestant leaders, however, confessed that confession was still needed for forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9. They simply made confession directly to God.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…” – 1 John 1:9

It is overlooked that John is writing to the remnant of Israel, and describes the law of forgiveness as described in Leviticus 26:40-41 and 2 Chron 6:24-30 for that nation.

Confessing Error

Both Roman Catholic and Non-Catholic churches think they are Israel and follow Peter’s priesthood and John’s confessional. This undermines the understanding of forgiveness in the dispensation of grace.

Confessions always appeal to a covenant promise, and never to the finished work of the cross. If the work were truly finished, why do we need to continually confess to get forgiveness?

To those who put their faith solely in the complete work of Christ, we have already been forgiven for Christ’s sake through his blood (Eph 4:32, Rom 3:24-25).

Those who continually confess their sins for forgiveness are confessing their inability to rightly divide the ministry of Peter and John from the ministry of Paul.

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Published: January 21, 2012
Last Modified: May 12, 2013
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