Comfort Ye My People: A Reformation Perspective on Absolution (Reformed View)

Friday, 03 Aug 2007

We are given ministers not to trouble our conscience as masters, but to lift the burden in Christ's own name. Servants rather than lords, they apply the salve that alone can heal our soul's sores.
Growing up in Evangelicalism there is a healthy suspicion of unbiblical ceremonies. At least in theory. In practice, we often substituted our own "sacraments." Where Rome offered forgiveness if the penitent met the conditions and claimed the inherent powers of the priesthood, we evangelicals were nevertheless often led to ourselves, to wander in the caverns of our own subjectivity. As I began to read the reformers and their criticism of a church that led people into terrible insecurities-wondering if they had been sufficiently sorry for their sins, had confessed every one-I saw striking parallels with my own ...

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