OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 21, 2014, 05:35:55 PM *
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: Holy Confession and God's Forgiveness  (Read 847 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Scott
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 90



« on: September 09, 2010, 09:36:53 PM »

Alot of the writings in Orthodox prayer books is asking for the forgiveness of God. Does God forgive us when we, as individuals, asks Him to? If God forgives us when we ask Him in private, or when reading our prayers books, why should we go to Holy Confession?
Thanks.
Logged

"To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge."
Confucius
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,917



« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 09:49:03 PM »

I would say for council and accountability, and potentially a penance, but honestly I'm not certain that a presbyter's absolution is necessary for forgiveness of sins or if that is a Roman Catholic concept. Help us priests!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 09:49:37 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 10:09:24 PM »

Alot of the writings in Orthodox prayer books is asking for the forgiveness of God. Does God forgive us when we, as individuals, asks Him to? If God forgives us when we ask Him in private, or when reading our prayers books, why should we go to Holy Confession?
Thanks.

I think it is a combination of...

1) The whole body suffers when one member suffers.

2) The priest is responsible for leading and guiding his people.

3) The priest is responsible for serving communion which if given to the wrong person, is received by that person for judgement and condemnation, and would be at the very least bad stewardship of the Body and Blood of Christ on the part of the priest.

4) Christ gave the authority to the Church to forgive sins and therefore desires both that the Church exercise this authority, and that it's members seek to have this done under the authority given to the Church.

5) There is an aspect of personal accountability involved when you "confess your faults one to another", especially if soemone starts to notice patterns of sins that they are continually confessing because they keep committing them.
Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 10:49:22 PM »

Does God forgive us when we, as individuals, asks Him to?

We don't know.

If God forgives us when we ask Him in private, or when reading our prayers books, why should we go to Holy Confession?

There is not a tangible form of absolution in private confession that is an indicator that that is where God intended the inner reality of absolution to be; therefore we cannot with the same confidence look to our private confession as having absolution as we can with Confession with a Priest of the Church.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,652


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 12:22:03 AM »

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
- James 5:16a

Here in one of the texts read for the service of Holy Unction we read part of the biblical foundation for confession to a priest.
Logged
Scott
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 90



« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2010, 01:20:34 AM »

Does God forgive us when we, as individuals, asks Him to?

We don't know.

If God forgives us when we ask Him in private, or when reading our prayers books, why should we go to Holy Confession?

There is not a tangible form of absolution in private confession that is an indicator that that is where God intended the inner reality of absolution to be; therefore we cannot with the same confidence look to our private confession as having absolution as we can with Confession with a Priest of the Church.

When we pray we should have confidence, right? If we can't have real confidence when asking God for His forgiveness in private prayers, why are the prayers of forgiveness even in the prayer books at all?

And what if we commit a bad sin and we die before our next Confession?
Logged

"To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge."
Confucius
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2010, 10:05:37 AM »

In the litanies we pray that we might live out our days in peace and repentance. We need to always be repenting and humbling ourselves. God forgives us even before we ask Him, but it is we ourselves who must acknowledge our sinfulness and turn from our sins. We do this in  Holy Confession, and should continue this at every moment when we are tempted to sin, we choose not to, we pray to God to help us.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
FrChris
The Rodney Dangerfield of OC.net
Site Supporter
Taxiarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 7,252


Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!


« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 10:23:42 AM »

All of these answers are great! I'd just like to add another element to think about:

Whenever two or more are gathered in His name, then there is Christ as well as the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit which descends upon the bread and the wine to consecrate them; it is the Spirit that descends upon water in the font to make it Holy Water in baptism; etc.

In the same way, when the penitent and the priest are gathered together for the reconciliation of this penitent, then we know that Christ is present as well as the Spirit (especially since one of the prayers said at the ordination of a priest is for the Spirit to descend upon him).

This means that we knoww that confession works when the penitent and the priest are together. Christ is present and also the Spirit, who can descend and make whole the penitent.

We can hope that private confession will also remove sins, and it is my fervent prayer that in all cases this is what happens. But we do not know for sure.

Also, the penitent knows for certain that s/he is forgiven their sins when done with a priest witnessing this confession, and this helps the penitent greatly.

Regarding what happens if a person has committed a sin yet has not gone to confession...well, we don't know. That is one of the reasons people should go to confession regularly and as soon as possible if a sin has occurred. This is also another reason we show our love for those who have died by lifting up prayers for them.

Just my $0.02.
Logged

"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus
sainthieu
Abstractor of the Quintessence
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 621


« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2010, 01:18:13 AM »

"If God forgives us when we ask Him in private, or when reading our prayers books, why should we go to Holy Confession?"

There are no indvidual Christians in Orthodoxy; you're a member of the body of Christ and that transcends any idea we normally have of the concept of membership. Orthodox Christianty is not practiced in isolation.
Logged
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2010, 02:18:42 AM »

When we pray we should have confidence, right?

What, you're meaning confidence that God will grant us whatever we're asking for in the midst of that very prayer? No, I think such confidence is silly.

If we can't have real confidence when asking God for His forgiveness in private prayers, why are the prayers of forgiveness even in the prayer books at all?

In hopes of the possibility that our sins may be accounted for by that prayer. Just cause you can't be sure something is effective doesn't mean that there is no point in doing it.

And what if we commit a bad sin and we die before our next Confession?

Then we hope that the prayers of the Church may be efficacious for the remission of that sin. That question sort of betrays a Roman perspective on the matter. From an Orthodox understanding, it is very likely that the majority of us will commit a sin that distances us from God (any sin) between the period of our last Confession and our death. It is a traditional part of the faith to rely on the mercy of God and the prayers of the Church for that.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
OrthodoxSitkan
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 27



« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2010, 05:56:17 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Through the Holy Gift of Tears all sins can be forgiven; this is teaching of the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ and of the Holy and God-Bearing Fathers.  Many saints away from any contact with a Spiritual Father were cleansed through Holy Tears of Repentance.  Orthodoxy does not have the juridical principle of obligatory confession as in the Latin Church. Although in Slavic lands through latinization this is the case.  And as the Orthodox Church does not have the Latin dogmatic tradition of 7 Sacraments--our teaching is that God through the Church, and beyond the Church in His Inscrutable Wisdom, has many Mysteries which can Heal the soul and restore the covered Ikon within to its Original Beauty and Radiance.   And Slavic Orthodox Churches in America require weekly reception of the Mystery of Repentance before Eucharist as the Traditionalist Latins do.  But this is not the Orthodox tradition.  The Orthodox Tradition is to find a Spiritual Father a priest or holy monk or elder and Confess and have Surgery performed by them on one's soul, but only to one qualified in Orthodox Psychotherapy and the discernment of spirits.  Going to any parish priest for the Mystery is a Latin practice.  You must find a Spiritual Father who is qualified and be healed by him who is not only a Witness to your confession to Christ God, but also true surgeon cutting away the passions and offering true remedy.  It is not just a matter of "getting absolution."  One must be healed from sin by a competent physician of souls and through Holy Tears.  Juridical confession does not heal the soul, it is a fabrication and a shadow of the True Mystery of Repentance.  One may "confess" every week before the reception of the Divine Eucharist and still be wounded by the same sins and never healed.  What is important in Orthodoxy is that we are healed from our sins, not that we give a laundry list each week and mechanically get our absolution.  Find a Spiritual Father who can give you a genuine reception of the Mystery of Repentance that you may be healed from your sins.  This horrible latinization of requiring "confession" each week before communion has become and emulated the Latin practice to such an extent that it has had the same effect on the Orthodox as the Latins, no healing from sin and restoration of the ikon of God within the person.  On the other end of the spectrum the practice of some Orthodox Jurisdictions of having infrequent use of the Mystery of Repentance and no admonition of the faithful to seek competent Spiritual Fathers so they might be healed is also an abuse.  To summarize: Holy Tears forgives all sin, recourse to Mystery of Repentance by a Spiritual Father is for the healing of the soul and is necessary to have the necrosis caused by sin and the disease within the heart cured and maintain spiritual health and stability.

In Christ God,


Alexis, A Sinner

 
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,917



« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 12:06:01 AM »

Going to any parish priest for the Mystery is a Latin practice.

And by what criteria do you determine which practices are Latanizations?
Logged
Shlomlokh
主哀れめよ!
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Bulgarian
Posts: 1,263



« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2010, 11:42:42 AM »

Going to any parish priest for the Mystery is a Latin practice.

And by what criteria do you determine which practices are Latanizations?

I think what Alexis might be saying is that not having a Father Confessor (I think that's the right word) who you confess to on a regular basis is a Latin practice. I'm not too sure how it works in all RCC churches, but from what I experienced and see from my friends here at a Catholic University, there is no sense of having a spiritual father who you confess to all the time and who guides you, at least not in the Orthodox understanding of it. They just go to whatever priest is there at the time.

In Christ,
Andrew
Logged

"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos
OrthodoxSitkan
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 27



« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2010, 02:15:21 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Latinization is the process of Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches taking on practices liturgical, customary, rubrical or spiritual even doctrinal which Latin Catholics adhere to--a process done in lands where Orthodox are either not the majority or one forced on them in Orthodox lands by hierarchs or even in the case of Czar Peter the Great--a wholescale repression of traditional Orthodox life, manners, dress, and revision of ecclesiastical government to follow the German Lutheran Church, etc.  

This process of latinization, anglicanization, or lutheranization of aspects of Eastern Orthodox Churches in Slavic lands was accomplished in the 17th Century onward.  Our Eastern Orthodox Churches have not only been latinized, but they have also been in the US through a process of americanization, anglicanization, and through a the use of economia, bishops have allowed a Western Rite to be authorized in some jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church (Western Rite and use of BCP is an issue for another topic).  Pews, kneelers, organs, stained glass, the use of hymnbooks etc, comes from Orthodox interaction and use of the Episcopal, Anglican Churches, and Lutheran Churches, and shows another example of this process of assimilation.  Use of black vestments is a latinization; using paintings instead of true canonical ikons in parishes is either a latinization, anglicanization, or lutheranization.  

Many of our older catechisms support the notions of original sin and transubstantiation and are patterned after Latin, Lutheran, Reformed, or Anglican catechisms.  There are so many examples of this process in Orthodox Churches and I will not list them all here.  But, in regard the Mystery of Repentance, Slavic Churches, as noted in the Slavic Form of Absolution, have taken on the Latin theological doctrine of Absolution, of Orthodox Priest as Alter Christus, Another Christ, who by his power forgives sin; in some cases Lutheran notions of confession have crept in as well.  In Orthodox theology priest is only witness and physician or in a more accurate manner of speaking the Great Physician's assistant, but it is God who Forgives and Heals the repentent one who stands before the Ikon of Christ not a potestas or power inherent in a character or mark placed on the priest's soul by the eparch at his ordination.


Alexis
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 02:19:29 PM by OrthodoxSitkan » Logged
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 03:47:12 AM »

But, in regard the Mystery of Repentance, Slavic Churches, as noted in the Slavic Form of Absolution, have taken on the Latin theological doctrine of Absolution, of Orthodox Priest as Alter Christus, Another Christ, who by his power forgives sin; in some cases Lutheran notions of confession have crept in as well.  In Orthodox theology priest is only witness and physician or in a more accurate manner of speaking the Great Physician's assistant, but it is God who Forgives and Heals the repentent one who stands before the Ikon of Christ not a potestas or power inherent in a character or mark placed on the priest's soul by the eparch at his ordination.

Alexis

Since we are being bold enough to compare here I'd like to offer one revision and then I'll back out.

In the Catholic Church absolution comes from Christ, through the bishops of the Church and his ministers of the gospel and sacraments [priests].  A priest has no power to absolve except that which is given him by his bishop and the bishop has no power to absolve save by the power that is given him directly by Jesus.  So the phrase "I absolve you..." is loaded with meaning for the Catholic that is clearly not grasped by all who are external to the tradition.  In any event the priest does not absolve by his own power no matter how many Orthodox believers say so.  If I am permitted to say this much, then this is enough:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01061a.htm

Quote
Absolution proper is that act of the priest whereby, in the Sacrament of Penance, he frees man from sin. It presupposes on the part of the penitent, contrition, confession, and promise at least of satisfaction; on the part of the minister, valid reception of the Order of Priesthood and jurisdiction, granted by competent authority, over the person receiving the sacrament. That there is in the Church power to absolve sins committed after baptism the Council of Trent thus declares: "But the Lord then principally instituted the Sacrament of Penance, when, being raised from the dead, He breathed upon His disciples saying, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.' By which action so signal, and words so clear the consent of all the Fathers has ever understood that the power of forgiving and retaining sins was communicated to the Apostles, and to their lawful successors for the reconciling of the faithful who have fallen after baptism" (Sess. XIV, i). Nor is there lacking in divine revelation proof of such power; the classical texts are those found in Matthew 16:19; 18:18, and in John 20:21-23. To Peter are given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Sin is the great obstacle to entrance into the kingdom, and over sin Peter is supreme. To Peter and to all the Apostles is given the power to bind and to loose, and this again implies supreme power both legislative and judicial: power to forgive sins, power to free from sin's penalties. This interpretation becomes more clear in studying the rabbinical literature, especially of Our Lord's time, in which the phrase to bind and to loose was in common use. (Lightfoot, Horæ Hebraicæ Buxtorf, Lexicon Chald.; Knabenbauer, Commentary on Matthew, II, 66; particularly Maas, St. Matthew, 183, 184.) The granting of the power to absolve is put with unmistakable clearness in St. John's Gospel: "He breathed upon them and said, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins ye shall forgive they are forgiven them; and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained'" (20:22-23).
Logged

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 0.078 seconds with 41 queries.