Question: I need help. I want to confess my sins, but I don’t know who to confess them to. Do I just need to confess to God, or does he ask that we confess to others? I’m embarrassed of my sins, and I don’t know who to talk to about them.
Answer: The first thing to say is that confession is a normal part of a healthy Christian life. The Apostle John says, “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). John wrote these words to Christians. Then he added, “If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves” (v. 10).
The person who cannot see anything in his or her life that should be confessed as sin to God is a deceived person. That person is simply not seeing clearly. He or she is not in touch with reality.
Your desire to confess your sins is a good indicator of a normal, healthy Christian life. But how confession is to be done has been a matter of debate in history.
Many of us were brought up in a tradition where we were taught to confess our sins to a priest. There may be some value in that, but there is no place in the Bible where God says that you must confess your sins to a priest.
In the 16th century, there was a great movement to get behind the traditions that had built up in the church over the centuries, and to discover what the Bible actually said. The Reformers saw that we are confess our sins to God. They rediscovered the great Bible truth that in God’s eyes all believers are priests, and Jesus is our great high priest.
Your desire to confess your sins is a good indicator of a normal, healthy Christian life.
Click To Tweet
John Calvin, who was a wise pastor, said that we are to confess our sins to God, but that confessing a particular sin to another person could be helpful—especially if, having confessed it to God, you were still struggling to find peace in your heart about it.
In that situation, you can go to a pastor and tell him, or you can go to any other mature Christian and tell them. This is what is often called “the priesthood of all believers.” It means you can go to any priest, including the one sitting next to you!
If someone comes to you looking for help, and tells you about a sin in their life, your job is to help them grasp the promises of the gospel in relation to that particular matter. Whatever else that person may have done is none of your business. Your job is to help them come before God and believe the gospel in relation to the matter they have shared with you.
There is great wisdom here. James says, “Confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
Confess your sins to God. And if you are still struggling to find peace, share it with a pastor or a trusted Christian brother or sister so that they can help you apply the promise of the gospel to this particular situation, and so you may find peace.
The post Bible Q&A: Do I Need to Confess My Sins to Other Believers? appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.
Many churches today put significant energy and emphasis into creating a “worship experience.” It’s not simply enough to choose appropriate songs that reinforce the point of the sermon. The lighting, staging, decoration, visuals, and even smoke machines all come together to create an elaborate aura for the worship experience. In that regard, cutting-edge church services are indistinguishable from concerts and stage plays.
But is that where the focus should be in the first place? Is true worship a function of all the stirring music, staging, and visual effects? Is the point of our praise to stimulate our senses and emotions? On the other hand, is it a purely mental exercise—is it rote and robotic? Or is its intended purpose somewhere in the middle?
We recently put those questions to John MacArthur. Here’s what he had to say:
“Worship is where the mind—understanding the truth—activates the emotions in praise, and adoration, and love towards God.” That’s a far cry from the raucous emotional explosions that pass for worship in many churches today. However, it’s also not the somber, staid affair some in the church would prefer.
True worship is not a battle between our minds and our emotions—it’s the two working together to the praise and glory of the Lord. As Christ Himself told the Samaritan woman at the well, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). You don’t have to look hard to find churches that fail to worship God in spirit, or plenty of others that overlook the vital aspect of the truth.
In his book Worship: The Ultimate Priority, John MacArthur contrasts the spiritual dangers of both extremes.
Sincerity, enthusiasm, and aggressiveness are important, but they must be based on truth. And truth is foundational, but if it doesn’t result in an eager, excited, enthusiastic heart, it is deficient. Enthusiastic heresy is heat without light. Barren orthodoxy is light without heat.
The same two extremes are still with us today. On the one hand there are groups who get together and hold hands and sway back and forth and sing songs and speak in ecstatic language. You can’t fault their enthusiasm, but far too often it is merely zeal without knowledge.
Worshiping with enthusiasm is not enough. No group of worshipers is more spirited than the fanatic Shiite Muslims who once a year slit their scalps with razors and then beat themselves in the head with the flat side of their swords to stimulate bleeding. Men, boys, and even infants have their shaved heads lacerated with swift chopping strokes of a straight razor and then march around in the square before the mosque, bleeding profusely while thousands watch and chant. They do it to celebrate the death of a Muslim leader more than a dozen centuries ago, and they see their hideous display as worship. It stands as an extreme example of what attempting to worship apart from the truth can become.
On the other hand, there are those who hold firmly to sound doctrine but have lost all the fervor of true faith. They know the truth, but they can’t get excited about it. Maybe some of them go to your church.
The Father seeks both enthusiasm and orthodoxy, spirit and truth. 
In the days ahead, we’re going to look at how the truth must undergird our worship for the Lord; we’ll also expose the dangers of lifeless, emotionless praise.
Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B171002
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You
You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/about#copyright).
NEW YORK, NY—In a move designed to finally give an on-air voice to the nation’s conservative Christians, producers of popular morning talk show The View confirmed Monday the addition of preacher and author John MacArthur to the show. In internal test footage, MacArthur reportedly held his own against the flurry of conversation coming from the […]
. . . finish reading John MacArthur Added To Cast Of ‘The View’.
Liberals believe they are making Christianity relevant, credible, beneficial, and humane. Evangelicals in the line of J. Gresham Machen believe they are making something other than Christianity. That was the dividing line a century ago, and the division persists.
What is theological liberalism?
Liberalism is both a tradition—coming out of the late-18th century Protestant attempt to reconfigure traditional Christian teaching in the light of modern knowledge and values—and a diverse, but recognizable approach to theology.
Like any “ism,” liberalism is not easy to pigeonhole. But Gary Dorrien’s magisterial three volumes on The Making of American Liberal Theology present a coherent picture of a movement that has been marked by identifiable hermeneutical and sociological commitments. Even if one wishes to avoid liberal theology, it would still be wise to know something about a movement that has exerted such considerable influence over the past 200 years.
Below are seven characteristics of liberalism that have been culled from the first volume of Dorrien’s trilogy. The headings are mine; the indented text is from the book.
The idea of liberal theology is nearly three centuries old. In essence, it is the idea that Christian theology can be genuinely Christian without being based upon external authority. Since the eighteenth century, liberal Christian thinkers have argued that religion should be modern and progressive and that the meaning of Christianity should be interpreted from the standpoint of modern knowledge and experience. (xii)
What’s more, Dorrien recognizes this rejection is something new in the history of the church.
Before the modern period, all Christian theologies were constructed within a house of authority. All premodern Christian theologies made claims to authority-based orthodoxy. Even the mystical and mythopoetic theologies produced by premodern Christianity took for granted the view of scripture as an infallible revelation and the view of theology as an explication of propositional revelation. Adopting the scholastic methods of their Catholic adversaries, Protestant theologians formalized these assumptions with scholastic precision during the seventeenth century. Not coincidentally, the age of religious wars that preceded the Enlightenment is also remembered as the age of orthodoxy.
Reformed and Lutheran orthodoxy heightened the Reformation principle that scripture is the sole and infallibly sufficient rule of faith, teaching that scripture is also strictly inerrant in all that it asserts. (xv)
Note that Dorrien does not believe inerrancy was a Princetonian invention.
One of the most influential definitions of theological liberalism was offered in 1949 by an able latter-day proponent, Daniel Day Williams: “By ‘liberal theology’ I mean the movement in modern Protestantism which during the nineteenth century tried to bring Christian thought into organic unity with the evolutionary world view, the movements from social reconstruction, and the expectations of ‘a better world’ which dominated the general mind. It is that form of Christian faith in which a prophetic-progressive philosophy of history culminates in the expectation of the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth.” (xiv)
In this essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discusses the horrible events that took place Sunday night in Las Vegas. Mohler writes:
“Evil is a fact, too. And evil is a theological category. The secular worldview cannot use the word with coherence or sense. The acknowledgement of evil requires the affirmation of a moral judgment and a moral reality above human judgment. If we are just accidental beings in an accidental universe, nothing can really be evil. Evil points to a necessary moral judgment made by a moral authority greater than we are — a transcendent and supernatural moral authority, God”
Lighthouse Trails recently posted a letter to the editor written by a woman who is concerned that Dallas Theological Seminary, known for, among other things, biblical inerrancy, has invited a Word of Faith heretic to speak at a women’s conference. LHT points out that the reason Christine Caine should not have been invited to speak at any evangelical seminary is because “she claims Joyce Meyer as her ‘spiritual mother’ and lists Word of Faith preacher Sheryl Brady as a dear friend calling her ‘flat out the best chick preacher of the word.’ Caine has ‘preached’ in seeker/emergent Steven Furtick’s mega church in Charlotte, North Carolina.” More about Christine Caine here.
Thank you for the article regarding Dallas Theological Seminary’s movement toward contemplative prayer and the New Spirituality. It was painful to read as I have relied upon their faithfulness to the Word since 1974 when I first sat under the teaching of a DTS graduate. All the teachers I listen to and know have graduated from DTS. There are many graduates here in _____, Texas and true verse-by-verse teaching has had an influence upon so many who love the truth. I have been able to discern a change even in the teachers I sit under as I hear who they quote in their teachings.
Lord’s anointed. David recognized that the Lord Himself had placed Saul into the kingship. Thus the judgment and removal of Saul had to be left to the Lord.
MacArthur Study Bible
David respects Saul as the Lord’s anointed because Saul is still on the royal throne as king over Israel, even though the Spirit of the Lord has already left him. The Lord had previously anointed Saul as king (10:1), and in David’s eyes Saul still retains that status. The anointed of the Lord should not be killed or even cursed (cf. 26:9; Ex. 22:28; 2 Sam. 1:14; 19:21).
ESV Study Bible