by Englishman 50 Replies latest jw friends

  • AlanB

    OK, I'm convinced.....

    "I'm going to confession....... I may be some time !"

  • acsot

    From what I’ve been reading lately, I seem to have an affinity for a more Eastern/Buddhist perspective and I just finished an article entitled “Sometimes Full, Sometimes Half Full” by Norman Fischer (in Shambhala Sun, September 2003).

    In one way it seems to parallel what TeenYuck has posted, but from a different perspective.

    Bear with me as I quote a few things from the article, and which have resonated more with me than anything from the Kingdom Hall platform. (emphasis added to certain points as well as my own editorial comments thereon).

    “Life is full of gray areas, and we are full of unexamined motivations and self-deceptions. We are much better off when we admit this and are willing to look at our conduct honestly, with as much awareness of our real motivations and the consequences of our actions as possible.

    Fixed moral codes are always theoretical. They are vastly subject to interpretation, since no ethical norm can ever take into account all of life’s subtlety and complexity.” (never would hear anything like this from an elder or the WTS code of rules and regulations covering every facet of one’s life)

    “… Mistakes are not tragedies. Without them there’s no learning or growth.” (ever have an elder tell you this??)

    “It is precisely our moral mistakes, much more than our moral victories, that deepen our sense of what ethical conduct is. Our mistakes mature us and temper us; they fire us like strong pottery.

    … If the powerful negativity of a really bad mistake doesn’t come home to you, if it never sears your soul, then that mistake has been useless to you; it will not serve to temper and tenderize your heart. Once you fully feel the remorse for your mistake, you are ready to confess (see below) it, and then to forgive yourself. This process might take a good deal of time.

    Some really terrible mistakes may need to stay buried for many years, since feeling them might be too painful, at lest for a while. But most of the time we do come to feel the effects of our mistakes eventually, and we find a way to forgive ourselves and move on – a little wiser and clearer about where we are going and what we need to watch out for.

    …. When we make a mistake we admit it not only to ourselves but to others. We pay the price for it by apologizing to whomever we might have hurt and making all possible amends.

    … If we make the same mistake over and over again, we haven’t really owned the mistake, been truly aware of it, forgiven ourselves for it and so been changed by it.”

    Sorry for the long quotes, but the above really resonated with me. Confession would involve clarity of mind – seeing what we did, the nuances of the act, why it is not in our or someone else’s best interests – then remorse or sadness, then accepting it and forgiving ourselves (and if necessary, asking forgiveness of others). Only then can change begin within ourselves and then outwards to others.

  • Utopian Reformist
    Utopian Reformist

    I find that confessing directly to someone I have injured is helpful. I feel better/relieved when I truthfully explain what I did, why I did it, and ask for help in rectifying any damage.

    However, over the years I have noticed (from WTBS lifestyle) that discussing certain situations numerous times with numerous parties leads to frustration. I prefer to deal directly with an individual, and if I need help or information, I prefer to research that on my own.

  • unique1

    I believe you should never confess. Well unless you murdered somebody or something really heavy like that. I personally never confessed unless caught and couldn't talk my way out of it, which happened maybe 1% of the time. I figure god sees what I do. He judges me in the end, therefore it is between me and god and everyone else should mind their own [email protected] business.

  • Betsy

    I can see the benefits of a private confession (not like confessing to the elders because that's never really a private conversation). I think some people, like me, tend to carry guilt around for the smallest things - even if they don't really matter. I think that guilt might be worse to you physically/mentally than confessing to a trusted person that will keep it confidential. The trouble is finding that person.....


  • jgnat

    Utopian, you expressed very well what I believe.

    I find that confessing directly to someone I have injured is helpful. I feel better/relieved when I truthfully explain what I did, why I did it, and ask for help in rectifying any damage.

    In dubland, confession through the elders can lead to all kinds of abuses. I can see why an XJW would develop an aversion to confession. I mean, the consequences are so extreme for any kind of confession. It would be safer to confess to God and leave final judgement to Him. I maintain a happier witness is the one who unashamedly lives a double life and deny, deny, deny.

    When my son was barely three, he took a toy from a store without paying for it. Though I was pretty sure he was too young to understand what he had done, I insisted he take the toy back to the clerk. To my amazement, he quickly dropped the toy on the counter and hung his head. The clerk was charmed. I was surprised that a child that young, could understand he had done wrong, and felt bad about it. What my son did was a form of confession and restitution. And I believe, absolutely essential to his moral development.

  • Ravyn

    I think alot of x JWs are poisonned about confessing to a priest becoz they think they are like elders. not so. Priests have atleast 4 years of seminary training which includes pastoral work and in most cases the same training that therapists get. I did not expect it to be the way it is either. But I would trust a priest before i would trust anyone else(which is why the sex abuse cases are so terrible).


  • Euphemism

    mouthy wrote:

    Yeru!!! hate to disagree with you but I must. In 1946 the Catholice Church was teaching all Protestants were going to hell.

    Yeru can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that teaching was changed at the Second Vatican Council in the mid-60's.

  • Mary
    Is it really good for the soul? Does it make us clean and pure again? Is it best never to confess to anything?

    It depends on what you're being charged with and if you live in Texas.

  • Yerusalyim


    You said,

    Yeru!!! hate to disagree with you but I must. In 1946 the Catholice Church was teaching all Protestants were going to hell. Not by just ONE priest in their teachings...I WAS There when that teaching was being taught.I was a Protestant my Hubby was a Catholic...I had already got married in the Catholic Church( they said we would not really be married if I didnt -I was pregnant so had to in those days) The preist came to bless my kids -otherwise they would NOT go to heaven-I allowed it for my husbands sake- my in-laws took my babies to be chrisiten ( without my knowledge) into the Catholic church -otherwise they would go to hell. Oh yes I have suffered alot from the catholic teaching as well as the JW teaching. Thats why I agree religion IS the opium of the people. Relationship with God is freedom from rules of men......
    No doubt some priests did indeed teach that...but it's never been the official teaching of the church. There are some priests that still teach this nonsense...but it's not the official teaching of the Catholic Church. Big difference between what over zealous idiots teach, and what the truth is. The Church has done a poor job of Cathecizing itself, and of policing itself of what these IDIOTS were teaching.

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