Is there a scriptural basis for making people publically repent for certain sins?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by abcgrad94, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why do some churches require people to come up front and repent of certain sins, publicly, but not others? I'm thinking specifically of teenage girls who get pregnant out of wedlock whose parents and pastors have them come prove their repentance for their sin in front of the whole congregation.

    Is this necessary? Why or why not? Why require public apology for fornication but not other sins, like lying, gossip, etc.?
     
  2. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've wondered this myself before, so the discussion should be interesting.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,126
    Likes Received:
    220
    Because too many pastors and deacons would have to come to the altar! :praying:

    Salty
     
  4. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've always heard, "The more public the sin, the more public the apology (or "confession").

    Ideally, it should go along with church discipline which most churches don't practice anyhow.
     
  5. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,655
    Likes Received:
    225
    I agree. The confession should be as public as the sin.
     
  6. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting to note the very early church did this open confession. As can be seen in certain writings. Talk about accountability.
     
  7. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    This SOUNDS good, but is it scriptural? I would tend to think that some sin done in secret should be more public because of it's potential harm to others in their spiritual walk. For example, adultery or abuse.

    When King David sinned with Bathsheba, he confessed to God and said "against thee only have I sinned."
     
  8. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    From what I understand from those requiring this: if the sin is public and known to others, then the declaration of repentance and acknowledgment should be public.
    The theory is that one has caused occassion for the enemies of grace to mock the Lord.
    For example, when I was in seminary, there was a workshop.
    The scenario was that a church secretary and a church deacon were having an affair, and no one, not even the spouses of the offending parties knew of the affair, until the pastor found out that these two were meeting in an out of town motel.
    What were we to do ?

    Everybody answered: have them repent and confess before the church !!
    and we all got an earful from the pastor conducting the workshop.
    We were told we should deal with this in private bring the spouses in individually and prvately without having to embarrass them before the congregation, and in turn embarrassing the congregation.

    Personally, I think that whether the sin is private or public, the erring member should be dealt with in love and in accordance with the procedures set in Scripture.
     
  9. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Well, we find ourselves in agreement! :thumbs:

    I would add that certain sins should be confessed to those who have been wronged and/or stand in accountability with the person. Airing our sins lists only serves to increase gossip and decrease trust as I have seen it.
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,655
    Likes Received:
    225
    The prodigal son did not merely confess his sin to God, he confessed it to his earthly father. Though he sinned only against God, he trespassed against his father in that he was disobedient and demanded his inheritance before the time his father appointed it. Then he wasted it instead of increasing it, thereby robbing his father of the honor due him in his old age. He also increased the burden upon his brothers and servants.

    But as Mexdeaf said. Public confession goes hand in hand with church discipline.
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    0
    When Peter sinned publicly, Paul confronted him publicly (Gal. 2:11+). Paul doesn't record his response, but it seems probable Peter confessed and repented.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  12. dh1948

    dh1948
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0

    Was the prodigal's family affected by his sin? I would say yes. Is there scriptural evidence that he confessed his sin to the entire family?

    It is my opinion that when sordid sin is confessed before the entire church body, it does more harm than good. It provides fodder for gossip. It titillates the senses of some of the hearers.

    In any case, godly wisdom must be used in handling these situations.
     
  13. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Agree...........:thumbs:
     
  14. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    And "covering it up" doesn't?
     
  15. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with the above, but if it were the pastor and the church secretary or the pastor and a deacon's wife, and someone in the church found out, would not the pastor have to go before the church to confess, assuming he was willing to do so, because of his position?
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,655
    Likes Received:
    225
    He confessed to the federal head of the family who in turn told everyone else. Then there was a party.

    I don't know what kind of confession you're thinking of. David's confession in Psalm 51 didn't contain any details. Neither did the confession of the Prodigal Son. Everyone already knew the details. Public confession of a public sin doesn't add anything to the equation except transparency.

    I was asked if there were any Scriptural basis for my statement that the confession should be as public as the sin.
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,655
    Likes Received:
    225
    I would agree if the individuals didn't hold office, but their positions made them accountable to the church, and they would have to give an account to the church.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't know, Marcia.

    The point the pastor handling the workshop was driving at was discretion.
    Maybe if the member who found out confronted the pastor in private, then with two or three witnesses, and the pastor and the partner do not repent, I for one would demand his ouster.
    If he does repent, then I think the board of deacons should treat the matter rather discreetly and allow the pastor to leave his ministry quietly if he repents.
    If he does not, then the matter should be taken before the church.
    What makes this touchy is the church secretary or the deacon's wife.
    What if the partner-in-sin was repentant.
    Her family would know.
    That will be unavoidable.
    They would need counselling, as well, and suppose they would like the matter handled discreetly ?
    I suppose the Christian thing to do would be to help them preserve their integrity.
     
  19. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    FWIW, my opinion is that the early Christian church handled things rather differently because they had things in common.
    We don't.
    Today's christian church is made up of different families that need to be treated with dignity and respect, but still treated firmly.
     
  20. Zenas

    Zenas
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    Strangely, no one has cited James 5:16, "Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another." We can't say for sure how public James intended this to be but the context suggests something more than one on one.
     

Share This Page

Loading...