Confession is something many christians seem to not really understand or believe in sincerely. I think the confessions of criminals is probably all many people believe is important. Like a signed confession of a thief. However most of those people confessed thier crimes to the courts or officers but not to the Lord.
Protestants believe in the sinners prayer. Yet the way they believe in confession is informal and not considered important. In the bible it states that most people should be killed because of the righteousness of the law. Reading the old covenant laws of moses death was often the penalty for sin.
The method for the atonement for sin was as tedious as a medical procedure. It was very formal and had to be done just right or the priest could of been killed by God himself. Someone told me once that they used to tie a rope around the foot of a high priest. If he went into the temple to make a burnt offering or sacrifice for atonement of sin and was killed by the Lord then they could drag him out with the rope.
With that in mind what do you think confession really is?. Who are you confessing to ?. To God or to you're pastor or best friend?. We need to confess our sins against one another to one another. however do we really understand who the Lord God is or why we need to confess?. Jesus made an eternal atonement for our sins. Our sins are covered by the blood of the lamb. He is the high priest who makes atonement or our sin so we dont have to take our lamb to the priest for atonement.
The catholics honor a traditional way to confess. The priests still beseech the Father in Heaven for the forgiveness of our sins. Its done secretly and the priest cant see you. I have been to confession before. I remember one Bishop , Bishop Stiener of Portland , Oregon. Hes the Archbishop of Portland. I was living in Corvalis , Oregon and was residing there at the time. On my way to confession that day I never had been so much in the spirit . The seriousness of Christs atonement had never been so real to me and never had It been so real the confession of my sin. It's indescribably what it was like walking to church and the whole ceremony was so formal and serious. However if you read how David confessed his sin was it to the priests always. I recall as a young youth that when I sinned the spirit would convict me and my heart would humble before God and I would in my heart bow and regret what I did. If it was against someone else I would apologize and God would let me know I was forgiven. However I believe that the Lord knows a persons heart and has his own ways. The catholics are right to believe in formal confession yet isnt the Lord who forgives sin not the catholics priests. I believe some priests are sincere but most I feel are only ignorant guys with no real zeal or sincere faith in God. I feel that about alot of clergy . God is so pure and so true when we sin we are trespassing his creation his life . He sustains all life . He is the Master of all creation and we cannot lie to God. The wages of sin is death. We die to our God and to our selves doing so. Its Love that we sin against. Sin is not love its the cause of hatred and of all the cruel ways of Mankind. It's sin that we havnt the stature God originally gave man before Adam and Eve sinned. There is more reason for us to confess than we know. Think of how majestic and official an earthly palace is. Can you address a king without a formal invitation . God invites us all to confession. Yet shouldnt we respect him not just as our father in heaven but also as our Lord and King.
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. " Psalm 32:5
1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
"Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me." Psalm 51:2-3
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus..." Hebrews 10:19
"Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" Mark 2:7
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" 1 Timothy 2:5
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." Psalm 130:1-4