Would You Confess Your Sins to the Apostles?

A well-meaning but disturbing King James Bible Only Protestant recently began commenting on my youtube videos and sending me messages. A sampling:

READ LUKE 1 46-47 IF YOUR DEMONS WILL ALLOW YOU, OR MAYBE YOU CAN ASK YOUR PRIEST TO REMOVE THEM IN MARY’S NAME OR THE POPE OR YOUR NAME OR THE GARBAGE MAN OR THE SCHOOL TEACHER OR THE JANITOR OR YOUR DOG OR AN EVIL BLACK CAT

catholics are a cult man made religion from satan himself

YOUR BEWITCHED SHOW ME CHAPTER AND VERSE THAT WE SHOULD CONFESS OUR SINS TO A MAN .ANYWAYS I THOUGHT IT WAS OUR FAULTS I GUESS MY LITTLE KJB HAS BEEN DECIEVING ME I BETTER TRUST A … PRIEST WHO HAS THE POWER TO FORGIVE SINS THATS GOOFY AND EVIL.DONT GET THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE STOP TRUSTING IN MAN AND TRADITION. STEP OUT OF YOUR CULT FOR A MINUTE AND JUST READ THE KJB AND YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH THOSE … HAVE BEEN LYING TO YOU.YOU HAVE MADE SEVERAL IDOLS

I responded, ignoring the ugliness and pointing him to John 20:21-23, where Jesus gives the Apostles the authority to forgive sins in His Name. The commenter, Ezra, responded by saying:

He was speaking to the apostles for that time period. read Luke 5:21 only God can forgive sins dont get the cart before the horse buddy

Much like the Reformers did with the Great Commission, Ezra claims that Christ’s words were only meant for the Apostles, not Christians after them. It’s an odd sort of dispensationalism; I’ve seen it elsewhere applied to James when he describes the anointing of the sick. The formula is: if Christ or the Apostles command something that we don’t do in our denomination, then that command must have only been meant for the Apostles.

Ezra continued harping on his belief that confessing your sins to a man is idolatry, satanic, etc. Yet he conceded that Christ did give such authority to the Apostles. So the question to ask him is:

If you lived during the Apostolic era, would you have confessed your sins to an Apostle?

Problem is, if he says “yes,” that means he admits that he would have confessed his sins to a man, something that he condemns as satanic. But if he says he would not confess his sins to an Apostle, he contradicts Christ’s words and his own admission that the Apostles were given this authority by God.

A catch-22, a two-horned dilemma with each horn being problematic.

I did ask him this, but unfortunately I had to block him before receiving an answer, as he started spamming all my videos with CAPITALIZED VITRIOL.

A sensible Protestant answer would be: “yes if I lived during that time, I would have confessed to an Apostle. So in principle it is possible that God can forgive sins through a human being. But that authority was revoked, even though no verse says it was, so nowadays there is no human being that has this authority from God.”

Stick this question in your apologetics tool-belt for next time!

17 thoughts on “Would You Confess Your Sins to the Apostles?”

  1. Of course we can confess our sins to one another. That is in Scripture. We are FREE to do so.

    Any one of us has the authority to hear a confession and to forgive sins, in Jesus’ name and by His stead. It is not a function of the individual that is able to do this (for us) but a function of the Word of God and It’s power (Romans 1:16).

    1. Have you actually heard confessions and forgiven sins in Jesus’s name? What do you say to someone who has confessed their sins to you? Have you ever “retained” sins instead of “forgiven” sins?

      I am curious how similar is this to the sacrament of reconciliation in the RC Church. Here is what a Catholic priest would say in the sacrament:
      “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

      He will typically assign some penance as well – some way we can help make amends for the evil caused by our sin. Typically the penance will be prayer, but not always.

      There are cases when a priest will retain sin. I have never experienced this, but my understanding is he may not absolve the sin if there is no contrition for sins committed, no desire to make amends for sin, or no desire to be free from the confessed sin in the future.

  2. Steve Martin has the more traditional Protestant view, which at least makes sense. The (ultra)dispensationalist theology is really quite nonsensical, and I say that as someone who is very familiar with it. My sister and her whole family have been led astray by it. The KJV only-ism is just the beginning of the insanity. For them, this theology has led them to not baptize… at all. Not just to not baptize infants, but no baptism at all. Cus that is only for the jews, not us gentiles who can only listen to the writings of Paul.
    It is very frustrating and sad also, Devin, because (as you found out with the capitalizer) they are especially resistent to any sort of chalenge to their silly little system. All challenges are met with bible page flipping and reading an isolated scripture, then flipping to another isolated one, on and on, ending with a declaration that anyone who disagrees just is not listening to the plain words of scripture.

    One interesting fact about Ultradispensationalists, which you will rarely find with any other Protestants, is that they often will conceede many Catholic things. CR Stam and his followers even conceede that Peter was given the keys, and as you found out, they will concede that the apostles were given the power to forgive sins. They basically have no problem with the idea of a very “Catholic” Jewish early church established by Christ. But they see this Church as not being about grace through faith and they see through the typical caracatured Protestant lens of a works based salvation, not agape infused by grace (the true Catholic teaching). And even this early church belief quickly fades when Paul comes on the scene. Pauls epistles and portions of acts (they disagree among themselves on which portions) are the only scripture they accept as “for them”. They view Jesus as an Old Testament prophet whose words are only for Jews, never for us “gentiles”.
    Very sad stuff. And the saddest part for me is how anti-intelectual the movement is. It makes it very hard to make any headway toward getting them out of this cult. And yes, after considering it when I was Reformed, and now s a Catholic, I think this sect should be considered a cult. It has all the signs.

  3. YES! This.

    SO very true. Somehow in all my Protestant Bible reading, I never noticed Jesus giving this authority to the apostles–not until I started reading books written by Catholic apologists. Of course once I DID actually stop and read those passages and actually think about it, I realized that oh yes, there IS precedent for confessing sins to a man appointed by God. Case closed. Because there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone reversed this authority.

    Anyway, great post! And there are some seriously crazy people (using CAPS LOCK) out there on the internets, that is for sure!

    1. Thanks Brianna! Like you, there were certain passages of Scripture that, as a Protestant, I somehow never saw. Or I saw them but quickly passed over them because I didn’t see how they squared with my Protestant beliefs. The NIV study note on the passage in John is particularly convoluted in trying to justify a goofy interpretation.

  4. I appreciate this post, very interesting. I grew up Catholic, am now a practicing Protestant, but find myself in the middle between the two– and I’m surprisingly comfortable with it for now.

    Anyway, in some of my most recent experiences, I have encountered the KJV only folks and I would agree with your other commenters about these ‘ultra dispensationalists. The level of fervor in protecting one (fairly faulty in my opinion) translation of Holy Scriptures is unprecedented, in my opinion. I do not understand all the tradition behind it, but it is painful to watch someone defend it in a way that can only be described as idolatry.

    I’m sorry for the exchange, though it was good to read your thoughts in light of it. Thanks for your words here!

  5. I think I may have run into that Protestant once or twice (=1,000,000 times) in my past. But at least he called you, “buddy.”

  6. Wouldn’t worry about it too much. Youtube comment boxes, for whatever reason, attract the cesspools of internet trolls. The trolls that are so trolly even other trolls don’t like them. It’s super annoying but, hey, the upside is limitless numbers of cute cat videos. Aww…. :)

    ~Benjamin

  7. CAN SINS BE CONFESSED AND FORGIVEN BY MEN ON EARTH?

    Can sins be forgiven by confession to men? The Bible teaches us that only by confessing our sins can we achieve forgiveness from God. How do we know this? Again, the Bible tells us these

    facts. Let’s start with the Old Testament. In II Samuel 12:13, David confesses his sins to Nathan and was given assurance from Nathan that his sins were forgiven. From the New Testament we see many verses regarding confessing sins, however, we will stick to only the verse pertaining to the authority that God gave man. Look at John 20:22-23 it states that Jesus”breathed” on them and said:

    (John 20:22-23) Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

    How can anyone take this out of context, this passage is as clear as day? God has given man the authority, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to forgive sins. It is interesting to note that there is only two places in the Bible that the term “breathe” is found as an action performed by God. The first, of course, is in the Old Testament Genesis 2:7when God “breathes” the breath of life into man. In John 20:22, God again “breathes” the gift of life into man (the gift of Eternal Life) in that He is giving His representatives the authority to assist in purifying the souls of men, thus giving them life. Let us look at verses to support confession:

    (Acts 19:18) – And many that believed came (to the Apostles), and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

    (Matt. 18:18) Again, Jesus gives the apostles authority by stating: Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever y shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.

    (2 Corinthians 2:10) Paul said: If I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave it I in the person of Christ.”

    ( 2 Cor. 5:18-20) Paul states; (read the whole verse) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation (the ministry of forgiving sins); to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    It is easy for us to say in our head “Jesus I am sorry for the sin I committed” however, this type of confession is hardly the type of confession Jesus intended for us–especially when the Bible states otherwise! To stand in front of a representative of Christ, whom God has given the authority to be His stand-in, and actually state aloud the sin, which was committed with true contrition, is not an easy thing to do–think about it? Once an individual goes to confession and actually states the sin aloud with true contrition, it is guaranteed that a relief and cleansing will immediately follow, as well as a strong sense of forgiveness–there is no doubt that you are forgiven–you know! Confession gives the penitent a fresh start to perhaps work with a strong passion to never commit the sin. Not only does confession cleans the soul, it is pleasing to God and He fills the soul with graces.

Comments are closed.