Re: Confessing Sin
You don’t have to confess your sins to anyone other than God. He already knows them and has forgiven you before you sinned. He loves you and wants to rid this burden of shame away from you by giving the things you are embarrassed about to Him.
As far as confessing to others, I believe the bible is just referring to being transparent with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It doesn’t mean you have to tell the whole world or even a lot of people, but if you feel it in your heart to share, don’t be shy to be transparent with someone close in Christ with you.
If you want to subscribe to “Sola Scriptura” confession involves Christians as well, preferably an elder or someone who cares for you spiritually.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
What happens if you only confess to God is that it becomes a pillow confession. How many times have you cried out for forgiveness in the night only to wake up still chained to the same addictions. When you submit to another fellow christian and confess your sin you are confessing to God. His grace works through the person as you humble yourself. Now your brother/sister is compelled to walk with you through this as well. This is the healing process revealed in the Word of God. And what is Grace? It is many things; forgiveness of sins, spiritual gifts, sacraments, but what more? It is the divinely given power to avoid and conquer sin. And remember that we are “more than conqueror’s” through Christ Jesus.
If we follow the logic of the Womackian (Andrew Womack) theology since God knows everything then we do not need to ask for forgiveness because it has already been granted. While in a sense it is true, that kind of understanding is foreign to scripture, tradition, and the Christianity that Jesus and the Apostles taught and has been passed down from age to age. This type of thinking is the same kind of thinking that helped form the Calvinist version of predestination. People get the forknowledge of God, his soverienty, and our free will all jacked up. Thomas Aquinas has an awesome writing on contemplative prayer that touches these things. It is not light reading but if you want to get strong in your faith you will have to challenge yourself. Do not rely on TBN to spoon feed you a milk toast christianity.
It is best to follow C.S. Lewis’s advice…
Only allow yourself to read one new book to every three old books you read.