Anglican Standard Text or Revised Standard Text

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    General confession is all that is canonically required. Private confession is an optional spiritual help, "to ease men's conscience." Confession for us functions differently than for the Romans. There was no private confession anywhere in the early church for the first 600+ years.
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Yet it seems reasonably consistent with James

    James 5:13-16
    Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

    My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.​

    The mind of the Apostolic period drew a strong connection between sin and sickness, and we see that in questions in the gospels with questions like 'who sinned, this man or his parents?'

    I suspect that the Great Exhortation from 1661/2 is a good balance in these things.

    DEARLY beloved, on - day next I purpose, through God's assistance, ... And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God's holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.​
     
  3. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    James 5:13-16
    Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

    My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

    This really seems like the general confession and absolution. We confess outloud to one another our sinfulness and then we are granted absolution if we are really repentant .
     
  4. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    My general approach to confession is to hear what is weighing on the person's conscience at the time. The point of private confession is to give them some sort of guidance in dealing with whatever issue is bothering them. The rubric from the rite I use: After the confession is ended, the Priest may address a few words of counsel to the penitent. . .

    I was terrified the first time I heard confession; I wondered if I would have anything helpful to say. But the Spirit gave me counsel and comfort for that individual.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    One reason for private confession is, if the person continues to feel guilt over something despite the general absolution.
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Oh I've not problem with private confession; it is well attested to in the Anglican tradition. I just want to make sure we don't view it through the Roman lens, where it is put in a distorted position, and anyone who doesn't see it that way isn't a catholic.
     
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  7. S. DeVault

    S. DeVault New Member

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    I've seen Roman Catholics on the internet using James 5:13-16 in a more liter sense. Basically that members of the congregation would state their specific sins in front of all the congregation, and that private confession became a thing so that people would be more open to confessing all their sins if they only had to confess to their priest, who is under the seal of confession. Any factual ground for that or just hogwash?
     
  8. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    No clue. Us, the Armenians, and the Assyrians don't really do private confession though.
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I mean the Early Church had absolutely no private confessions. So it's impossible to interpret that verse in that way, because neither the Latin nor the Greek Fathers read it as that.