OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 31, 2014, 11:45:26 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Confession... when did it start as a church practice?  (Read 5228 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« on: January 05, 2009, 04:23:30 PM »

Any ideas?  Huh
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
GreekChef
Prez
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: Metropolis of Atlanta
Posts: 884



« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 05:46:31 PM »

I was just reading an article this morning on the Goarch website that talks about it.  Here's the link, if you're interested:

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8493

It's down toward the bottom, in the last section.

Hope this helps!
Logged

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Matthew 18:5
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,371



« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009, 11:02:37 AM »

Forgive me if the article went over this, I don't have time to read it at the moment (I'm only now catching up on posts). But fwiw, I think confession was there fairly early, but in the early church it was communal: you did it in front of the entire congregation. Eventually this practice fell away (thankfully!)
Logged

Didymus
Peace and grace.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: HG Coptic Bishop Anba Daniel of Sydney
Posts: 563


St. Thomas Didymus the Apostle of India


« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 11:51:34 AM »

The people St. John the Baptist baptised come to him "confessing their sins" as the Holy Bible says.

Likewise St. James and St. John instruct us to confess our sins in their Epistles.

The Church has always had confession.
Logged

...because I was not with you when the Lord came aforetime.
...because I am blind and yet I see.
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 01:24:07 PM »

Any ideas?  Huh


James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

The Epistle of James is pretty old. So it was well into the 1st century.



I remember my priest telling us something, but I forgot. It had to do with how we use to confess facing everyone in the Church, but as the Church got bigger and as more visitors and nonchristians would come, this practice changed to facing away from the Church so that only you and the Priest could hear the conversation.

I could be wrong about that, because it's been a while and my memory is failing me.......so I could be wrong. You could ask your priest about it.




JNORM888
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 01:27:33 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 01:26:36 PM »

I was just reading an article this morning on the Goarch website that talks about it.  Here's the link, if you're interested:

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8493

It's down toward the bottom, in the last section.

Hope this helps!


I know this wasn't for me, but thanks for the link!!!!





JNORM888
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 11:35:35 PM »

We're about to go over this topic in the coming semester in liturgical theology at St. Vlad's...I'm curious about it myself.
Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 10:55:10 PM »

OK...well, we went over it in Liturgical Theology here at St. Vladimir's.  In short:

Confession, as we know it today, was not practiced in the early Church.  While the New Testament Church did have disciplinary measures (mainly excommunication - not as punishment, but rather as a corrective measure, ala' St. Paul), there was no such act as "private sacramental confession."  The discipline of "public penance" was instituted in the 3rd century after the Decian persecutions, mainly to deal with the issue of reconciling former apostates.  The assumption was that the sin was already manifest; no public confession of sins, but there was a public penance (prayer, fasting, sackcloth and ashes, etc...) that were outward manifestations of repentance.

The confession practice as we know it today began as the public rite of penance became more privatized.  Really beginning in the 8th century, people began to seek out monks as spiritual guides - not confessors per se, but more like counselors.  This was a result of the iconoclast movement - most priests and bishops were iconoclasts, while the monks remained Orthodox, so people went to them for guidance.  Also, you see the develop of written guides for confessors, like that of Patriarch Tarasius, which were in essence a series of questions the confessor was to ask the penitent, and corresponding penance.

This developed into the practice of private confession as we know it today around the 13th century.

Today, we are dealing with issues of confession as well:  mainly, how to cure misunderstandings of the purpose and nature of the sacrament of confession.

Anyways, just thought I'd follow up...
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 10:56:33 PM by SakranMM » Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 12:09:52 PM »

Correction - the guide for confessors that I referred to was not written by Patriarch Tarasius, but by Theodore of Tarsus.
Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
searn77
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Old Calendarist
Jurisdiction: Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas & the British Isles
Posts: 236


St. Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York


« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 01:21:40 PM »

Just wondering, how do they do confession in the western Antiochian rite? Is it done in a confessional like Catholics or in front of the icon of Jesus?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 01:50:23 PM by searn77 » Logged

Let us the faithful now come together to praise our father, protector and teacher the pillar of the Orthodox faith and firm defender of piety even the wondrous hierarch Philaret and let us glorify our Saviour Who has granted us his incorrupt relics as a manifest sign of his sanctity.
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2009, 02:57:07 PM »

OK...well, we went over it in Liturgical Theology here at St. Vladimir's.  In short:

Confession, as we know it today, was not practiced in the early Church.  While the New Testament Church did have disciplinary measures (mainly excommunication - not as punishment, but rather as a corrective measure, ala' St. Paul), there was no such act as "private sacramental confession."  The discipline of "public penance" was instituted in the 3rd century after the Decian persecutions, mainly to deal with the issue of reconciling former apostates.  The assumption was that the sin was already manifest; no public confession of sins, but there was a public penance (prayer, fasting, sackcloth and ashes, etc...) that were outward manifestations of repentance.

The confession practice as we know it today began as the public rite of penance became more privatized.  Really beginning in the 8th century, people began to seek out monks as spiritual guides - not confessors per se, but more like counselors.  This was a result of the iconoclast movement - most priests and bishops were iconoclasts, while the monks remained Orthodox, so people went to them for guidance.  Also, you see the develop of written guides for confessors, like that of Patriarch Tarasius, which were in essence a series of questions the confessor was to ask the penitent, and corresponding penance.

This developed into the practice of private confession as we know it today around the 13th century.

Today, we are dealing with issues of confession as well:  mainly, how to cure misunderstandings of the purpose and nature of the sacrament of confession.

Anyways, just thought I'd follow up...

So when did this practice become formalized into a Mystery (i.e. Sacrament) of the Church?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,762



« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2009, 04:51:42 PM »

Just wondering, how do they do confession in the western Antiochian rite? Is it done in a confessional like Catholics or in front of the icon of Jesus?

We do it in the Church in front of the Icon of Christ normally.

Thomas
Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
Orest
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 936


« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 05:40:20 PM »

Quote
Correction - the guide for confessors that I referred to was not written by Patriarch Tarasius, but by Theodore of Tarsus.

The key word here is  "guide" to confession.  Not to imply that the work of Theodore of Tarsus was used by all priests everywhere during his time.

I was very surprised to learn (by chatting with Greeks from the Greek Orthodox Church) at the Sunday of Orthodoxy one year how few Greeks actually go to confession and how different the practise is from the Eastern Slavic traditions.

I went online to verify what I heard and asked my priest to confirm what I heard.
Logged
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2009, 06:19:32 PM »

Just wondering, how do they do confession in the western Antiochian rite? Is it done in a confessional like Catholics or in front of the icon of Jesus?

We do it in the Church in front of the Icon of Christ normally.

Thomas

You learn something new everyday.  I never knew you attended a Western Rite parish. Tongue  I was wondering the same thing though.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,762



« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2009, 09:53:39 AM »

Just wondering, how do they do confession in the western Antiochian rite? Is it done in a confessional like Catholics or in front of the icon of Jesus?

We do it in the Church in front of the Icon of Christ normally.

Thomas

You learn something new everyday.  I never knew you attended a Western Rite parish. Tongue  I was wondering the same thing though.

I am sorry, I misread your "western Antiochian rite" in your statement, I do not go to  awestern rite Church so I can not answer that question first hand, I sould have stated that Ihave been told they do confession in front of the icon of Christ. This answer probably should have come from one of our posters who is in the Western Rite.

Thomas

« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 09:53:53 AM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2009, 11:18:56 AM »

Grace and Peace,

I'm still wondering when Confession was formalized into a Mystery (i.e. Sacrament)?

As a Roman Catholic we have been taught that Sacraments were 'instituted by Christ to confer grace'... but it appears that the early Church would not have known this Mystery.  Undecided
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 11:19:13 AM by ignatius » Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2009, 01:27:25 PM »

I have a question regarding that, as well.

What of the passage in St. James' epistle where the prayers of the elders will heal the sick man and forgive him his sins? (5:14-15)

Moreover (and, more to the point, as the above could just be seen as an occasional healing service with the semetic understanding tying sins and sicknesses together), how then was the Lord's authority to forgive and remit sins exercised by the apostles to whom it was given (and, presumably, their successors)?  If not as some sort of absolution -- either private or public -- then as what?
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
NorthernPines
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 934



« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2009, 03:01:09 PM »

This is an interesting thread. I was told, and read early on confession was done in front of the entire congregation (which of course early on wasn't 100's of people). Was this not A practice of the early Church, even if it was not universally practiced?


Edited to add: never mind, I see others have already kind of answered it.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 03:03:18 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2009, 04:12:51 PM »

What of the passage in St. James' epistle where the prayers of the elders will heal the sick man and forgive him his sins? (5:14-15)

Moreover (and, more to the point, as the above could just be seen as an occasional healing service with the semetic understanding tying sins and sicknesses together), how then was the Lord's authority to forgive and remit sins exercised by the apostles to whom it was given (and, presumably, their successors)?  If not as some sort of absolution -- either private or public -- then as what?


Well, according to what I've learned at the seminary, the passage in James was never understood to entail a private sacramental confession.  I mean, there just aren't any early sources to indicate that the church ever saw it in that light.

Regarding the Lord's authority to remit sins/binding and loosing (namely, in Matt. 16 and John 20), here's how I had it explained to me:

In Matt. 16, you have the Lord giving Peter (and, in Orthodox understanding, all of the Apostles and the entire church by implication) the authority to bind and loose. “Binding and loosing” are terms from the synagogue which speaks of excommunication and lifting; these terms were used by rabbis to decide whether a vow/law was binding or not.  This is far more than simply the authority to forgive sins; rather, it is the authority given to the Church to interpret the law of the kingdom which was given to the community. Binding and loosing does not refer exclusively to sin, but to doctrinal issues in the Church as well.  It is sacramental b/c it affects our relationship to the Kingdom of God.

In John 20, the Apostles are commissioned and given the authority to forgive sins. Here, the forgiveness of sins is not so much Church discipline, but rather the commission to carry on Jesus’ own mission to bring reconciliation to the whole world.

With all that said, I'm not saying that this is the only Orthodox way to look at these passages; this is simply how I've had it explained to me in my courses at St. Vlad's.  It doesn't make me an expert or anything, but I'm just trying to relay what I've learned from theologians who are considered experts in their fields.

Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2009, 04:33:19 PM »

Two more things:

#1 - My understanding is that the earliest evidence for sacramental confession as we know it comes from around the 13th century.

#2 - Regarding Theodore of Tarsus Guide for Confessors, I didn't mean to imply that it was used everywhere; but it is the first known source indicating a shift towards a privatized system of penance (in that it counseled individual confessors to admit individuals to communion (and detailing questions for spiritual "counseling sessions"), with the understanding that they would still perform public penance.)
Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2009, 05:15:13 PM »

Two more things:

#1 - My understanding is that the earliest evidence for sacramental confession as we know it comes from around the 13th century.

#2 - Regarding Theodore of Tarsus Guide for Confessors, I didn't mean to imply that it was used everywhere; but it is the first known source indicating a shift towards a privatized system of penance (in that it counseled individual confessors to admit individuals to communion (and detailing questions for spiritual "counseling sessions"), with the understanding that they would still perform public penance.)

Thank you SakranMM,

You're sharing with us your education in the Faith as St. Vladimir's is much appreciated.

So, let me ask a question. Assuming this to be true and knowing that the Churches in the East and the West were separated how did they both develop such a similar Mystery or Sacrament so late?

Also does your studies explain why such a late development would be recognized as a Mystery or Sacrament?

In my understanding of this, as a Roman Catholic, the Sacrament was instituted when our Lord and Saviour stated...

As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained' (John 20:21-23).

What role does this passage play in the Orthodox understanding of Confession?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2009, 04:10:20 PM »

Hello, Ignatius:

Great questions.  Again, I don't assume to know all the answers.  I'll just pass on what I've heard and let the experts discern the deeper issues.

To be honest, we haven't gotten too deep into how/why the west developed their sacrament so late.  We have to remember that Theodore of Tarsus was Archbishop of Canterbury in 668 (and he was Greek), so there was definately an exchange of practice going on, and I'd venture to say went on until the 4th crusades in 1204.  Catholic liturgical theology just went in a separate direction that Orthodox liturgiology did.  I'd point you to the works of Fr. Alexander Schmemann for greater detail on this.

Regarding John 20, please note my comments in my previous post:

"In John 20, the Apostles are commissioned and given the authority to forgive sins. Here, the forgiveness of sins is not so much Church discipline, but rather the commission to carry on Jesus’ own mission to bring reconciliation to the whole world."

We can make an argument that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Confession, but in reality, you can't divorce the historical evidence from the theology/exegesis of the Church.  There just isn't any indication whatsoever in the early texts that imply that John 20 was referring to private sacramental confession.  It simply did not exist in the early Church.  Sin was assumed to be manifest; either you sinned, or you didn't, and the community knew about it. 

So anyway, that's what I've got...I don't know if I can go much deeper than that, since I'm only at the first stages of studying liturgical theology, but as I come across more information, I will pass it on.

Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2009, 12:05:45 AM »

Two more things:

#1 - My understanding is that the earliest evidence for sacramental confession as we know it comes from around the 13th century.

#2 - Regarding Theodore of Tarsus Guide for Confessors, I didn't mean to imply that it was used everywhere; but it is the first known source indicating a shift towards a privatized system of penance (in that it counseled individual confessors to admit individuals to communion (and detailing questions for spiritual "counseling sessions"), with the understanding that they would still perform public penance.)


Why are you making confession to more than one person as being something "fundamentally" different than confession to only one person?

I don't see what the big deal is. Confession itself goes back to the first century.

Are you talking about confession booths? If so.......E.O. doesn't normally have those. I know we don't have those at my parish. Nor have I seen any in any other parish. So what's the big deal? It's still done in the presence of everyone in the Parish......it's just that we are no longer facing them when we do it.



"In the congregation, confess your sins; do not come to your prayer with an evil conscience" Didache (70 A.D. to 150 A.D.)


"In smaller sins, sinners may do penance for a set time and come to public confession according to the rules of discipline. They then receive the right of communion through the imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy." Cyprian 250 A.D.

They do violence to His body and blood [i.e., the Eucharist]-before their sin is expiated, before confession of their crime has been made! They do this before their conscience have been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest! Cyprian 250 A.D.


Also, I don't think you can say that the very first time was in the 13nth century, just for the fact that Cyprian and Tertullian give accounts of people going to so and so to be absolved. The norm could of been public, but I don't think you can say that the very first time we see confessions to only one person was in the 13nth century.






JNORM888
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 12:24:38 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2009, 12:38:02 PM »

JNorm:

I appreciate your outlook on these points.  But I respectfully disagree with you on a number of points:

1.  In regards to confession as we know it today, I'm not talking about confession booths.  I'm talking about the 3-5 minute confession and counseling session followed by absolution that we call sacramental confession.  This did not exist at all in the early centuries (I'll go into more detail below); true, monastics were "revealing their thoughts" to their elders in daily "confession", but nothing indicates that this was sacramental confession with absolution at this early stage.
I'm not saying that its a big deal; I'm just trying to answer the original question as to when formal confession appeared based on early texts.

2.  Formal accounts of "public confession" in early writings are few and far between, and the ones that do appear were almost unanimously disapproved of in other texts. 

3.  Regarding your citing of the Didache, I don't think an accurate reading of it could assume that this was public confession.  You can't discount the "Jewishness" of the Didache; this was such an early document that it still shows a close tie with the Jewish synagogue practice in the structure of its prayers and description of the services within; thus, the "confession" stated would most likely refer to a public common prayer of confession, not an individual one.

4.  Regarding Cyprian, remember, he was writing in regards to the response after the Decian Persecutions.  Confession wasn't the issue.  The issue was HOW to reconcile former apostates, and whether the intercessions of the "confessors" (people who had suffered for the faith, but not martyred) could be accepted on behalf of the former apostates.  Cyprian and Tertullian both describe a public penitential rite, but it nowhere includes confession in any sense of the word.  The sins was presumed to be manifest, period.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 01:07:37 PM by SakranMM » Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2009, 01:24:56 PM »

A few edits:

Regarding the Didache - Your citing is a bit out of context.  The main point in this section of the Didache is not about confession; it's about maintaining peace and unity in the community.  That's why the Didaches emphasizes the need not only to be holy, but for the kiss of peace - the sign of unity in the community - in order to approach the Eucharist.

Tertullian was very strict, especially after he became a Montanist.  What he cites in his "De Penitentia" is the public rite of penance (prayer, public penance - i.e. sackcloth and ashes, laying on of hands by the bishop, followed by restoration to communion), and this is something that could only take place once after baptism.  He is very clear on this point.  So it wasn't a periodic examination of conscience followed by revelation of thoughts to a priest that we do today.  What we call confession today is very individual and private.  Tertullian, Cyprian, and the Didascalia Apostolarum all view penance as something ecclesial, and meant to reconcile one to the Church.

So in summary, in the early period, I just don't see any reference to private confession or anything even resebling it other than the monastic revelation of thoughts each day to the abbot before the 7th-8th century at the very earliest.  The penitential process in Cyprian and Tertullian were dealing with apostasy, and to some extent adultery and murder.  Apostasy was the paradigmatic sin, and, again, was assumed to be manifest, so there was nothing written about verbal, outward confession, either to the community or to a priest.)  Again, the model developed by the monastics was spiritual counseling, but nothing indicates it as a confession and absolution under the priest's stole.  As I said in an earlier post, the earliest indication of the privatization of penance was in the works of Theodore of Tarsus (7th century), and it wasn't until the iconoclastic period that laypeople really began to seek out monastics as spiritual fathers for counseling.  John the Faster comments on this in his 9th century writings,and gives the basic model of the confession service that we still follow today.  This is when we see indication of lists of questions that the priest was supposed to ask the penitent (for example, in John the Faster - "How, my son, did you lose your virginity.")  The main focus shifted from apostasy to sins of a sexual nature, because this is what monastics were dealing in their lives in terms of temptation.  The development of private confession and absolution was very slow and gradual. Privatization beginning in the 7th century, full-on private sacramental confession by the 13th century. I'm not saying it's bad; it does have its strengths, but also its weaknesses (as does the public rite of penance.)

Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2009, 02:30:49 PM »

A few edits:

Regarding the Didache - Your citing is a bit out of context.  The main point in this section of the Didache is not about confession; it's about maintaining peace and unity in the community.  That's why the Didaches emphasizes the need not only to be holy, but for the kiss of peace - the sign of unity in the community - in order to approach the Eucharist.

Tertullian was very strict, especially after he became a Montanist.  What he cites in his "De Penitentia" is the public rite of penance (prayer, public penance - i.e. sackcloth and ashes, laying on of hands by the bishop, followed by restoration to communion), and this is something that could only take place once after baptism.  He is very clear on this point.  So it wasn't a periodic examination of conscience followed by revelation of thoughts to a priest that we do today.  What we call confession today is very individual and private.  Tertullian, Cyprian, and the Didascalia Apostolarum all view penance as something ecclesial, and meant to reconcile one to the Church.

So in summary, in the early period, I just don't see any reference to private confession or anything even resebling it other than the monastic revelation of thoughts each day to the abbot before the 7th-8th century at the very earliest.  The penitential process in Cyprian and Tertullian were dealing with apostasy, and to some extent adultery and murder.  Apostasy was the paradigmatic sin, and, again, was assumed to be manifest, so there was nothing written about verbal, outward confession, either to the community or to a priest.)  Again, the model developed by the monastics was spiritual counseling, but nothing indicates it as a confession and absolution under the priest's stole.  As I said in an earlier post, the earliest indication of the privatization of penance was in the works of Theodore of Tarsus (7th century), and it wasn't until the iconoclastic period that laypeople really began to seek out monastics as spiritual fathers for counseling.  John the Faster comments on this in his 9th century writings,and gives the basic model of the confession service that we still follow today.  This is when we see indication of lists of questions that the priest was supposed to ask the penitent (for example, in John the Faster - "How, my son, did you lose your virginity.")  The main focus shifted from apostasy to sins of a sexual nature, because this is what monastics were dealing in their lives in terms of temptation.  The development of private confession and absolution was very slow and gradual. Privatization beginning in the 7th century, full-on private sacramental confession by the 13th century. I'm not saying it's bad; it does have its strengths, but also its weaknesses (as does the public rite of penance.)

Could we say that private Confession, as we know it today, developed out of Spiritual Counseling? We know that such instruction was a vital part of the spiritual nourishment of the Desert Fathers, is there anything in our studies which have alluded to this connection? Just Curious.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2009, 03:42:38 PM »

Hi Ignatius:

Spot on.  I think it is very easy to make that connection.  Monastics engaged in spiritual counseling of this sort since at least the 4th century, probably even a bit earlier.  Laity began to go to monastics for counseling en masse during the iconoclast controversy (since most "secular" clergy were iconoclast heretics), and thus laity began to receive this same spiritual counseling.  I think when you look at the near-concurrent privatization of the rite of penance and the development of "guides for confessors," I think it is a very short step to connect the two phenomena.

With that said, here's a general comment on the development of the rites of the Orthodox Church in general.  I think it is very easy for us to assume that the way we do things today, or the way things are done today on Mt. Athos, for example, is what Orthodoxy has always done since the time of Christ. That simply isn't the case, whether we're talking about the Divine Liturgy, or confession, or whatever.  Things have developed, and really flowered in the Byzantine middle ages.  But the essence of the rites have remained unchanged.  Just because there has been development of one sort or another, it doesn't take away the "orthodoxy" of what we do; things change and develop to meet the needs of the people and the times; otherwise, we have a tendency to view Orthodoxy as very monolithic, and that's a dangerous thing.  Orthodoxy has to adapt (which doesn't necessarily mean accomodating to secularism - equally dangerous - so please don't mistake what I'm writing here for something else), or else it ceases to be the Body of Christ, and becomes instead a museum of ancient rites, smells, and bells.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 03:47:04 PM by SakranMM » Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2009, 04:07:27 PM »

This sort of thing highlights how the Church has organically grown and changed over time, much as an infant grows into the adult version of the same person.  Certain traits, habits, needs die out, others are introduced as the need arises, but it is one and the same person who experiences all of these throughout his life.  So it is with the Church...
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2009, 11:52:32 PM »

JNorm:

I appreciate your outlook on these points.  But I respectfully disagree with you on a number of points:

1.  In regards to confession as we know it today, I'm not talking about confession booths.  I'm talking about the 3-5 minute confession and counseling session followed by absolution that we call sacramental confession.  This did not exist at all in the early centuries (I'll go into more detail below); true, monastics were "revealing their thoughts" to their elders in daily "confession", but nothing indicates that this was sacramental confession with absolution at this early stage.
I'm not saying that its a big deal; I'm just trying to answer the original question as to when formal confession appeared based on early texts.

2.  Formal accounts of "public confession" in early writings are few and far between, and the ones that do appear were almost unanimously disapproved of in other texts. 

3.  Regarding your citing of the Didache, I don't think an accurate reading of it could assume that this was public confession.  You can't discount the "Jewishness" of the Didache; this was such an early document that it still shows a close tie with the Jewish synagogue practice in the structure of its prayers and description of the services within; thus, the "confession" stated would most likely refer to a public common prayer of confession, not an individual one.

4.  Regarding Cyprian, remember, he was writing in regards to the response after the Decian Persecutions.  Confession wasn't the issue.  The issue was HOW to reconcile former apostates, and whether the intercessions of the "confessors" (people who had suffered for the faith, but not martyred) could be accepted on behalf of the former apostates.  Cyprian and Tertullian both describe a public penitential rite, but it nowhere includes confession in any sense of the word.  The sins was presumed to be manifest, period.


Understood,


And thanks for the info.







JNORM888
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2009, 09:42:24 PM »

Hi Ignatius:

Spot on.  I think it is very easy to make that connection.  Monastics engaged in spiritual counseling of this sort since at least the 4th century, probably even a bit earlier.  Laity began to go to monastics for counseling en masse during the iconoclast controversy (since most "secular" clergy were iconoclast heretics), and thus laity began to receive this same spiritual counseling.  I think when you look at the near-concurrent privatization of the rite of penance and the development of "guides for confessors," I think it is a very short step to connect the two phenomena.

With that said, here's a general comment on the development of the rites of the Orthodox Church in general.  I think it is very easy for us to assume that the way we do things today, or the way things are done today on Mt. Athos, for example, is what Orthodoxy has always done since the time of Christ. That simply isn't the case, whether we're talking about the Divine Liturgy, or confession, or whatever.  Things have developed, and really flowered in the Byzantine middle ages.  But the essence of the rites have remained unchanged.  Just because there has been development of one sort or another, it doesn't take away the "orthodoxy" of what we do; things change and develop to meet the needs of the people and the times; otherwise, we have a tendency to view Orthodoxy as very monolithic, and that's a dangerous thing.  Orthodoxy has to adapt (which doesn't necessarily mean accomodating to secularism - equally dangerous - so please don't mistake what I'm writing here for something else), or else it ceases to be the Body of Christ, and becomes instead a museum of ancient rites, smells, and bells.

Grace and Peace SakranMM,

I was doing a little research on my own and I thought I might share what I have found on the Western Front.  Smiley

Being raised by a Roman Catholic Grand-Father and Mother I've had time to gather about me a fairly large collection of Latin resources in which to ponder. Far more so than I have Eastern Orthodox resources so I don't know how useful this would be for your studies but I thought you'd be interested nevertheless...

The exist two letters by His Holiness Pope Leo I which speak concerning doctrinal and pastoral problems of the penitential discipline of the Church, mainly the need to offer reconciliation to the dying but seems to argue the presence of a sacrament of reconciliation and penance.

Letter to Theodore, Bishop of Frejus (452)

God's manifold mercy comes to the aid of human beings who have fallen so that the hope of eternal life may be restored not only through the grace of baptism but also through the remedy of penance. Thus, those who have violated the gifts of their new birth can come to the forgiveness of their crimes by a judgment in which they condemn themselves. These remedies of the divine goodness have been so ordained that God's forgiveness cannot be obtained except through the supplication of the priests. For "the one mediator between God and humankind, the man Jesus Christ" [1 Tim. 2:5] gave to those who hold authority in the Church the power to grant the discipline of penance to those who confess and, after they have been purified through salutary satisfaction, to admit them to the communion of the sacraments through the door of reconciliation.

Letter to the Bishops of Roman Rural Districts (459)

I order that all measures to be taken to eradicate the presumptuous deviation from the apostolic rule through an illicit abuse of which I have learned of late. In the procedure of penance, for which the faithful ask, there should be no public confession of sins in kind and number read from a written list, since it is enough that the guilt of conscience be revealed to the priests alone in secret confession. Though such fullness of faith seems praiseworthy which out of the fear of God is not afraid of shame before human beings, yet not all sins are such that those who ask for penance would not fear them to become publicly known. Hence this objectionable practice must be removed lest may be kept away from the remedies of penance, either out of shame or for fear that their enemies may come to know of facts which could bring harm to them through legal procedures. For that confession is sufficient which is first offered to God, then also to the priest whose role is that of an intercessor for the sins of the penitents. Finally a greater number will be induced to penance only if the conscience of the penitent is not made public for all to hear.

Perhaps you may have other translations of these but I found these in The Christian Faith in the Doctrinal Documents of the Catholic Church by J. Neuner, S.J. and J. Dupuis, S.J.

Peace.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2009, 08:37:58 AM »

Two more things:

#1 - My understanding is that the earliest evidence for sacramental confession as we know it comes from around the 13th century.

#2 - Regarding Theodore of Tarsus Guide for Confessors, I didn't mean to imply that it was used everywhere; but it is the first known source indicating a shift towards a privatized system of penance (in that it counseled individual confessors to admit individuals to communion (and detailing questions for spiritual "counseling sessions"), with the understanding that they would still perform public penance.)

Thank you SakranMM,

You're sharing with us your education in the Faith as St. Vladimir's is much appreciated.

So, let me ask a question. Assuming this to be true and knowing that the Churches in the East and the West were separated how did they both develop such a similar Mystery or Sacrament so late?

Also does your studies explain why such a late development would be recognized as a Mystery or Sacrament?

In my understanding of this, as a Roman Catholic, the Sacrament was instituted when our Lord and Saviour stated...

As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained' (John 20:21-23).

What role does this passage play in the Orthodox understanding of Confession?

It is the basis of it, as seen in the absolution prayer.

As for the date of confession, it can't be that late: the Life of St. Mary of Egypt mentions her going to confession, as does the life of Moses the Black.  In the second century controversies raged on what sins the Church could and could not absolve (the Church stating that the latter was none).  That's just off the top of my head.

...The main focus shifted from apostasy to sins of a sexual nature, because this is what monastics were dealing in their lives in terms of temptation.  The development of private confession and absolution was very slow and gradual. Privatization beginning in the 7th century, full-on private sacramental confession by the 13th century. I'm not saying it's bad; it does have its strengths, but also its weaknesses (as does the public rite of penance.)

Actually, when I read early monastic literature, what they harp on is gluttony and pride.  Sexual matters appear far, far less than the non-monastics seem to think.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 08:47:09 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2009, 12:53:25 PM »

Grace and Peace ialmisry,

What can add to illumine the Letters from St. Leo I? Are there any extents of these letters in Greek?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2009, 01:07:44 PM »

Grace and Peace ialmisry,

What can add to illumine the Letters from St. Leo I? Are there any extents of these letters in Greek?

Being in Latin speaking (by then) Rome, from a Latin pope to Latin bishops, I wouldn't expect them to be in Greek.

I think that the mentions of Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, etc. on the question of sins that the Church can forgive allude to the evidence you are seeking.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2009, 02:36:51 PM »

Grace and Peace ialmisry,

What can add to illumine the Letters from St. Leo I? Are there any extents of these letters in Greek?

Being in Latin speaking (by then) Rome, from a Latin pope to Latin bishops, I wouldn't expect them to be in Greek.

I think that the mentions of Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, etc. on the question of sins that the Church can forgive allude to the evidence you are seeking.

So you believe Confession as a Sacrament developed out of Northern African before the Gentile Church in the Rome and Constantanople?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2009, 05:27:37 PM »

Grace and Peace ialmisry,

What can add to illumine the Letters from St. Leo I? Are there any extents of these letters in Greek?

Being in Latin speaking (by then) Rome, from a Latin pope to Latin bishops, I wouldn't expect them to be in Greek.

I think that the mentions of Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, etc. on the question of sins that the Church can forgive allude to the evidence you are seeking.

So you believe Confession as a Sacrament developed out of Northern African before the Gentile Church in the Rome and Constantanople?

No, just that the Donatists and Montanists created a situation where the practice was discussed in a record that survives.  Long before Constantinople was founded, confession was in place, everywhere.  But whether it is mentioned or not depends a lot on the quirks of history.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
SakranMM
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 327

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!


« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2009, 09:51:40 AM »

Quote
As for the date of confession, it can't be that late: the Life of St. Mary of Egypt mentions her going to confession, as does the life of Moses the Black.  In the second century controversies raged on what sins the Church could and could not absolve (the Church stating that the latter was none).  That's just off the top of my head.

Some clarification for you, Ialmisry (again, as I understand it through my studies, but I am open to correction):

The Life of St. Mary was written by St. Sophronius in the 7th century - which would have been exactly the time when privatization of confession was beginning to take place on a wide-spread basis.  I don't think he implies that she went to sacramental confession as we know it, however, because it just didn't exist.  When a 7th century author writes of confession, and a 20th century author does as well, they're speaking of the same thing, but at very different stages of development.

And regarding the issue of sexual sins in monastic literature, etc...sure, you'll find counsels against gluttony, pride, and almost every other sin imaginable; but I really believe the sexual sins were at the forefront as manifestations of deeper issues, because it is those sexual sins that are questioned about most of all in early guides for confessors.
Logged

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..."
wolf
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Still looking
Posts: 126



« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2011, 03:24:11 AM »

This thread has been really interesting. I just thought I'd resurrect it for a few questions on confession.
If public confession of public sins was the practice of the early church, then why is it necessary for all sins to be sacramentally confessed in order for them to be forgiven? I can see a practical reason, in that it allows for a person to move on completely, but is there a theological necessity?
Also, many Catholics use the distinction between public and private sins that existed in the early Church as support for the doctrine of mortal and venial sins - how would the Orthodox respond to this?
Logged
NicholasMyra
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian/Greek
Posts: 5,769


Avowed denominationalist


« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2011, 04:21:46 AM »

This thread has been really interesting. I just thought I'd resurrect it for a few questions on confession.
If public confession of public sins was the practice of the early church, then why is it necessary for all sins to be sacramentally confessed in order for them to be forgiven?
Why do you assume that the public confession was not sacramental?
Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
wolf
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Still looking
Posts: 126



« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2011, 05:50:18 AM »

This thread has been really interesting. I just thought I'd resurrect it for a few questions on confession.
If public confession of public sins was the practice of the early church, then why is it necessary for all sins to be sacramentally confessed in order for them to be forgiven?
Why do you assume that the public confession was not sacramental?

What I meant by "sacramental confession" was the "modern" practice of private confession of all sins. As I understand it, in early centuries, only major public sins would be confessed along with the use of public repentance. These would be sins that excommunicated you from the Church, such as idolatry, murder, fornication, apostasy. Minor or private sins would be privately repented of. My point is that in the "modern" practice, all sins need to be confessed, and yet this wasn't always so - so why is it a necessity?
Logged
Orthodox11
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,999


« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2011, 07:56:37 AM »

What I meant by "sacramental confession" was the "modern" practice of private confession of all sins. As I understand it, in early centuries, only major public sins would be confessed along with the use of public repentance. These would be sins that excommunicated you from the Church, such as idolatry, murder, fornication, apostasy. Minor or private sins would be privately repented of. My point is that in the "modern" practice, all sins need to be confessed, and yet this wasn't always so - so why is it a necessity?

St. Basil the Great, for example, explains that he would hear certain forms of confession privately where a public confession might endanger the life of the person confessing (an adulterous woman being murdered by her enraged husband, for example). This eventually became the norm, and the public sacrament of reconciliation became connected with the concept of spiritual guidance, which necessitates a complete openness before your spiritual guide about all areas related to your spiritual life.

So yes, prior to the fourth century, only a single public confession was granted to those who had committed serious sins - such as idolatry, apostasy, murder, sex outside of marriage, theft, etc. - which then signified your re-admittance to the Christian Church. However, this does not mean that you would not have been expected to be open about more minor offences, thoughts, habits, etc. before your spiritual father in order for him to be in a position to help you.

In the early Church, the conduct expected of a baptised member of the community was much higher than what it is today. So high that many, if not most, postponed their baptism until old age. Nowadays, when many confess on a weekly basis the kind of grave sins that one would, in the early Church, only get one or two chances to correct via public confession, it is quite appropriate that a prayer of absolution and reconciliation is equally frequent.
Logged
wolf
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Still looking
Posts: 126



« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2011, 07:02:31 AM »

Orthodox11, thanks for helping me understand, much appreciated.
Logged
pasadi97
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 572


« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2011, 07:19:36 AM »

Any ideas?  Huh

The plan to forgive sins in Christianity was exposed from Old Testament , I believe BY GOD: Jeremiah 31
"JER 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
JER 31:32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahweh.
JER 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:
JER 31:34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more."

So this was planned in advance. And this power was given to priests. I think this practice was from beginning of Church and I believe there are documents specifying conmfession for forgiveness of sins. That is was not labeled as sacrament, possible however I believe it was there since a way to forgive sins was planned by God, looks like from Old Testament.

So you have in Old Testament stonning to deathn for sins like abortion, fornication, maybe masturbation and such....that maybe did not solve much and confession that is more powerfull and angels were seen at confession erasing sins.

Again, to add insult to injury , in their confussion some Protestant groups went to stonning or blood atonement from confession that is to Old Law from New Law not knowing that Old Law may not offer salvation and entrance to heaven since it has not baptism.

" During his confession, St. Macarius saw a tablet that was all black representing the sins of St. Moses.  An angel was seen wiping off every sin as it was confessed by St. Moses, until finally the tablet was completely white."

Guys, have faith as I believe God told me that he is sending Holy Light every year to show that Eastern orthodox Church is true Church. Could it be true Church if it would teach you have sins saved while this was not the case? So as long as Holy Light comes to Eastern Orthodox Church, do not worry.

Confession erases sin of abortion too. Abortion, smoking, masturbation, fornication are erased through confesiion.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 07:45:17 AM by pasadi97 » Logged
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,369



« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2011, 11:19:50 AM »


Again, to add insult to injury , in their confussion some Protestant groups went to stonning or blood atonement from confession that is to Old Law from New Law not knowing that Old Law may not offer salvation and entrance to heaven since it has not baptism.


Would you please give some information as to what "Protestant groups went to" death penalties such as stoning or blood atonement "from confession"?  Thank you.

 
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
pasadi97
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 572


« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2011, 01:43:34 PM »

Are mormons Protestants or they are something different?
They may be seen as a result of Protestantism, thought.
"In Mormonism, blood atonement is a controversial doctrine that teaches that murder is so heinous that the atonement of Jesus does not apply. Thus, in order to atone for these sins, the perpetrators must have their blood shed upon the ground as a sacrificial offering. "
Logged
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,369



« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2011, 04:01:44 PM »

Are mormons Protestants or they are something different?
They may be seen as a result of Protestantism, thought.
"In Mormonism, blood atonement is a controversial doctrine that teaches that murder is so heinous that the atonement of Jesus does not apply. Thus, in order to atone for these sins, the perpetrators must have their blood shed upon the ground as a sacrificial offering. "

I was wondering if you had the Latter Day Saints in mind when you wrote that.  I know of that particular statement, but also that it is not, in the main LDS centered in Salt Lake City, Utah followed today.

To answer your question, no Mormons are not counted as a Protestant denomination/Church.
 Are there any other Churches that you had in mind since you wrote "groups"?

Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Tags: confession 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.16 seconds with 72 queries.