Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Fine" Is a Four Letter Word - The importance of confession, repentance, and accountability.

Jon Acuff has a talent for calling Christians out on their cultural malarkey. The average person doesn't want to broadcast their problems. I get that. But shouldn't Christians feel most comfortable confessing their struggles with other people in the church? Doesn't James teach us to do just that?

In Nehemiah 8, the people respond to hearing the Bible by expressing grief. They've all sinned, they know it, and they know how everybody else knows it too. Chapter 9 records a prayer made by the leaders of the people. This passage shows public praise of God's goodness and repentance for the nation's sin.

Go ahead, read it.

For those of you who took the time for a little Bible, doesn't their prayer read like one of the Psalms? I've been thinking for about a year now how this prayer in many ways captures a major theme of the Psalms: "God, you're awesome. We suck. Thank you for being so awesome."

I have two questions for you about this passage. First, if we know God wants us to confess our sins to each other and accept His grace, why don't we do it more often? Second, what do you think about the leaders confessing on behalf of the people?


Joe said...

You know what Mark Twain said, "The Bible's full of lot's of things that people don't actually follow."
Of course, the real reason that most people don't share their failures with others from "the church" is that that they have learned that will become ammunition against them later. Of course, this is also why the leaders don't confess all that often except for the sexy sins.
Life is hard, people are often mean.

An Old Man said...

As a point of reference, you should respond to comments as it encourages conversation and increases all that good stuff.

Isaiah Kallman said...

You're absolutely right, Old Man. As for Joe's statement, I think he's got a valid point. But I've always assumed churches using failures as ammunition meant they never really understood grace.

At the risk of sounding crass, everybody poops. And if we see someone else's, you know, crap, we're fools to sling it at them and yell about how filthy they are.

Anybody else?