Category Archives: Confession

Openness and Honesty are Not Ends unto Themselves

There is an idea that has been floating around out there for a while that says as long as you are honest about your mistakes then everything is good. There has been a premium placed on authenticity and transparency over the last few years that is very healthy in one respect. However, it can very quickly become unhealthy if we believe that as long as we are honest about our mistakes it means it is alright to keep on making them. I believe part of this comes out of a desire to not be a hypocrite and the typical definition of a hypocrite is someone who is doing one thing and saying another…so all of that is solved if you just talk openly about what you do. Right? Well, not so much. Authenticity and transparency about our struggles is pointless without true repentance. Talking openly about our struggles doesn’t allow us to give a nod to the sin in our lives. Authenticity and openness in their best, healthiest form allow us to get all of our stuff out on the table so that we can work on it and make things better.

The paragon of virtue is not openness and honesty in and of itself…even those things can and will be twisted. Virtue and holiness require repentance and repentance is impossible to do without being honest with ourselves. So authenticity is a good start but it is not where we finish.

Creating Safe Ministry and Worship Environments

Congregational assemble should be a time when we can have some level of vulnerability. That is more true of meeting in homes than in an auditorium but it should be true of both. The problem is, we are human and we have been conditioned to be very quick to make judgments based on very littleContinue Reading

Book Review: Jesus is Better Than You Imagined By Jonathan Merritt

One of the things I always try to do when doing a review is to be brutally honest. There is a temptation to be extra kind on reviews because often the books were sent free of charge and, of course, we like people to like us and send us more free stuff and they mightContinue Reading

Shame: Us, God & Psalm 25

In the beginning, God made everything unashamedly good,  “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:25). Fast forward one chapter…the fruit, a serpent, temptation…being like God?, a bite…another bite, fear & shame. It went like this, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for foodContinue Reading

John Piper on What One Must Believe to Be Saved

Have a look at this video of John Piper telling what he believes one must believe to be saved. To read a transcript click here. He includes the following: Believe and confess his Lordship and his resurrection Recognition that we sin That God exists and that he created a world where sin is a possibilityContinue Reading

Confusing Transparency and Integrity

Transparency is highly valued. People hate hypocrisy. They despise people being phony. They would rather known what someone or something is really all about than something being presented falsely. But there is a difference between transparency and integrity. The two should never be confused. Transparency is seeing something for what it really is. If itContinue Reading

“Falling into Sin” – A Phrase We Need to Drop

I hear it all the time. It sounds so passive. I did it again…I fell into sin. It’s like a “woops” or an “uh oh.” I was walking along just doing the best I could and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back looking up at the sky…I slipped. I fellContinue Reading

Living By Faith, Not By Exception

“So this guy is walking up to the baptistry…he has repented and made his confession before the congregation and just as he steps in the water he slips hits his head on the floor. He dies right before he is baptized. Is he saved?” The point normally being made with this type of question isContinue Reading

Learning from Jesus’ Disciples – Sin and Reconciliation

In Matthew 26 Jesus lays out a series of predictions regarding the failure and desertion of his disciples. He predicts Judas will betray him (26:21), that the disciples will desert him (26:31) and that Peter in particular will disown him three times (26:34). In the same chapter they go on from there to the gardenContinue Reading

10 Dangers of Authenticity

There is a great desire today for people to be real. People want to be told like it is…no hypocrisy, no glossing over and certainly no “holier than thou” approaches. What we have seen has been refreshing for the most part – a real desire for authenticity among Christian leaders, teachers, and preachers. This isContinue Reading

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