Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Butchering souls, requiring exhaustive confession

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 3 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ
Chapter 4 - Impurity of Sophists' doctrine of repentance;
discussion of confession and satisfaction

Sections 16-25 - Criticism of Roman injurious practices
Section 16 - The enumeration of all sins is impossible
We cannot recount them all; they overwhelm us;
we also have secret faults, hidden from ourselves.
David said this - Ps 19:12; 38:4; 18:6; 69:2-3, 15-16.

Section 17 - The requirement of complete confession is a measureless torment
It is butchery of the soul.
They start by categorizing sin, but when they finish, the enormous mass of sin still only leads to despair, under the requirement, "Confess all your sins."
1 John 3:20.

Section 18 - The pernicious effect of demanding complete confession
Yes, we should confess specific sins, but not assume we have or can confess all our sin.
People were forgiven their sins for centuries, without a priest to hear their confession; so how can Rome require this now?
Ezekiel 18:21-22.

Section 19 - Against auricular confession
Requiring confession to a priest once a year doesn't shame people from sinning, but invites them to sin all year long, and wipe it away with surface penitance at one stroke - Prov 30:20.

Section 20 - Baseless appeal to the power of the keys
To have the power of the keys, to forgive sin or bind sin, you must have the Spirit.

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