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Confessing Sins to Elders for forgiveness, Can Elders Forgive Sins?

    SanLuisObispoTruthSeeker posted Thu, 24 Oct 2013 02:34:10 GMT(10/24/2013)

    Post 21 of 100
    Joined 9/16/2013

    If I have a addiction to cocaine, gay-porn and rock-and-roll, where does the Bible indicate I need to confess my sins to the elders instead of confessing my sins here and have members pray for me? Whose brain-child was this idea? I would rather confess my sins to you because the elders are not known for keeping their mouths shut. Have any of the writers here had your sins shared to your wife from the wife of a elder, it's very humbling!

    mindnumbed posted Thu, 24 Oct 2013 02:42:13 GMT(10/24/2013)

    Post 177 of 214
    Joined 2/4/2012

    I think they use Matthew 18:18 to justify this.

    “Truly I say to you, whatever things you may bind on earth will be things already bound in heaven, and whatever things you may loosen on earth will be things already loosened in heaven.

    and James 5:14,15

    Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

    stillMS posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 09:02:49 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 1 of 4
    Joined 10/23/2013

    Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

    ... and they will lay restrictions on him, send an inquiry about what to do with him to the branch office and if he is repentant, they will not by no means disfellowship him"

    LOL

    Laika posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 09:08:26 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 384 of 896
    Joined 6/7/2013

    Do elders apply John 20:23 to themselves? I think Catholic and Lutheran priests do.

    DesirousOfChange posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 19:23:05 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 3357 of 3997
    Joined 1/13/2011

    That's a man-made tradition that was instituted by some Pharisees in Brooklyn.

    Doc

    problemaddict posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 19:32:15 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 1337 of 1816
    Joined 8/30/2012

    Its not like in the first century there were no "elders" or "servants" or people who "took the lead". There were. They just don't resemble the evolution of those terms as told by the WT society.

    In James, it states that the prayer and discussion with the older ones, if you are spiritually sick, will benefit you. It also says your sins will be forgiven. So simply the contrite act of seeking wisdom from those that should have it in and of itself, puts you on the path to forgiveness? Well yes and no. Forgiveness in the bible happens only through repentance and recognizing Jesus sacrifice for your sin.

    The elders have no control over either one of those things. You should WANT to go to the older men and then be MOVED to repentance. The act of going to them in and of itself is NOT repentance.

    This is the trouble.

    F blondie posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 21:03:45 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 35580 of 36595
    Joined 5/28/2001

    The WTS says that elders cannot forgive sins (see Catholic priests) but they can determine repentance....

    daringhart13 posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 21:37:30 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 461 of 530
    Joined 3/23/2010

    No they cannot. Most elders that I served with had never read the Bible in it's entirety and were borderline dumb as stumps. But they got 10 hours of field service in (read: rode around in a mini-van for 7 hours, went to Starbucks for 2.....actually knocked on a door for 1)

    SanLuisObispoTruthSeeker posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 21:44:29 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 32 of 100
    Joined 9/16/2013

    Pastor Jack from the Morningstar church in Southern California does not ask you questions and details describing your sinful actions, church elders and leaders will pray to God and ask Jesus to bring healing over you and avoid sinning again. No details, times and dates are required by eager freaks wishing to hear your intimate sins. My friend a neuroscientist and practicing Catholic said when he goes to Confession, he sits in a Confession Booth and dialogue goes like this:

    Sinner “father forgive me for I have sinned, it’s been one years since my last confession.”

    Father: “What have you done my child? Why are you here today?”

    Sinner: ““Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been two years since my last confession. These are my sins.” I had sex with my college teacher and her best friend; I was “Hot for Teacher”. My life is filled with sex, drugs and heavy metal music, will you please help me?

    Father: “Are those all your sins my child? You know the “Prayer of Contrition?”

    Sinner: “Sinner prays his prayer asking God to forgive him and does his best to demonstrate to God his is very sorry, mentions to God his sins he feels are egregious.” Sinner knows the Catholic Father will be praying on his side, even though the father did not require a detailed accounting of the sins committed, days, positions, was it “oral or anal sex” was alcohol or drugs involved? The father usually does not attempt to judge the person as repentant because the action of coming to Confession demonstrates the sinner is heartbroken!”

    I spoke with another church-goer who said his Pastor did not require detailed accounts of sins and dates she committed her sins. Prayer and counseling are offered if required; the Pastor and Catholic Fathers do not claim they are self-made psychiatrist or mental health counselors. This approach differs with the Watchtower’s practice of claiming they can forgive sins by (quoting Isaiah chapter 1) and proven by various Apostasy judicial committees when elders quote Isaiah:

    “ 16 Oh, wash yourselves! Be clean! Let me no longer see you doing all these wicked things; quit your evil ways. 17 Learn to do good, to be fair, and to help the poor, the fatherless, and widows.

    18 Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! 19 If you will only let me help you, if you will only obey, then I will make you rich! 20 But if you keep on turning your backs and refusing to listen to me, you will be killed by your enemies; I, the Lord, have spoken.”

    Twenty years ago I was foolish enough to tell the elders I had sex with one of the elders daughters in Atascadero and another sister in Morro Bay, i was 18 years old when I had sex with several JW girls older than me. Did you know my sins are known by every elder body in the Kingdom Halls I attended? One elder brought this up to me last year, he said he saw some notes about my woman chasing ways! I was stupid to have faith Jehovah's Witnesses elders were different, different they would keep my sins secret! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! They can keep a secret about a Friendly Roaming Pedophile" but a kid who had consensual sex with girls three to five years my older, that's worthy of death!

    Lesson learned, the sins I spoke in private to were shared with the entire elder-body in my Kingdom Hall even though the elders told me (a naive 18 year old) "Our Lips Are Sealed!", Lying Elders!

    DesirousOfChange posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 22:15:28 GMT(10/25/2013)

    Post 3361 of 3997
    Joined 1/13/2011

    Lesson learned, the sins I spoke in private to were shared with the entire elder-body in my Kingdom Hall even though the elders told me (a naive 18 year old) "Our Lips Are Sealed!", Lying Elders!

    The reason it got talked about so much amongst them is they were all jealous as hell!

    Hope that makes you feel a little bit better.

    Doc

    Junebuggie posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 02:48:02 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 19 of 36
    Joined 10/13/2013

    From what I have heard, those sins are actually recorded on an index card ( or similar to) and kept on file at headquarters. I guess they do that so Jehovah will have the GB say so on everyones sins. The GB can add to those cards and make it really hard for any of us to be forgiven. LOL! Seriously tho, I have heard that everything a person is disfellowshipped for is on record.

    LoisLane looking for Superman posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 04:31:31 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 1771 of 2216
    Joined 8/19/2012

    SanLuisObispoTruthSeeker ... Do you understand now, 20 years later, that those Elder's were jealous of you?

    I would think they were in awe of you. lol And maybe, they still are.

    I know it must have hurt you at the time, thinking Elder's were to be trusted to keep private affairs, private. I am sorry that their lack of decorum, hurt you.

    I hope you can, in time, think of you and those lovely ladies, with a happy and contented smile, as I am sure, that is how, they are remembering, you.

    LoisLane

    Stand for Pure Worship posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 04:41:10 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 104 of 308
    Joined 10/3/2013

    Elders cannot forgive sins, but the can keep the congregation clean, and readjust errant ones spiritually, bringing them back to their senses.

    SanLuisObispoTruthSeeker posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 04:46:19 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 37 of 100
    Joined 9/16/2013

    That makes me feel better :) Lois your funny!

    I think it's not normal to ask questions about "Oral or other types of sexual positions or what was done", what benefit are those details going to provide someone coming forward trying to make things right? Unless they are perverts, there is no reason to ask to describe in details everything I could possibly recall and did the girls enjoy it and how long did the sex acts last"? Some elders must enjoy hearing the details because it's as close to legal porn-talk they are going to get with a clean conscience?

    "Stand" Why do elders need to know all the graphic sexual details of the event, why do they push everyone away by getting "weird eyed" after a boy or girl confesses their sins? It's not normal, I doubt a worldy couch-doctor would delve in to that far of a persons psyche to help "the errant one become whole again". What's the reason for this, if Catholics are not asking for details what gives us the right to probe around?

    LoisLane looking for Superman posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 04:50:33 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 1772 of 2216
    Joined 8/19/2012

    SanLuisObispo , Referring to your opening paragraph, about your wife finding out what her husband was like 20 years ago, from the mouth of an Elder's wife, whose husband did not keep your secrets, secret.

    Many, many JW's do not know what personal boundaries are. I am flabbergasted, that this Elder's wife, felt the need to, what? Tell on you? Or gauge your wife's response, and possibly initiate a little wife swapping on the side, or even set up your wife, to feel her out for a possible 3 some?

    You never know.

    People are people. Many JW's have a "Kingdon Hall" persona and a separate "worldly" one, too.

    Live and learn.

    LoisLane

    SanLuisObispoTruthSeeker posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 04:56:59 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 38 of 100
    Joined 9/16/2013

    Lois, we had elders I thought were perfect turning out to be bad guys. I am willing to bet nobody has ever seen a elder run off with another elder and leave behind two crying women. The Kingdom Hall is presented to the pubic as "the safe place to be" or "a family stayed home from meeting and their kid was killed in the street by a man who escaped a mental facility, if they were obeying Jehovah their child would still be alive!"

    The Kingdom Hall is said to be a "Paradise or Lagoon of safety for sea-tired ships and vessels", my experience was the Kingdom Hall made you feel you were never doing enough and if you thought you were doing enough, there is something evil or sinister brewing inside your arrogant mind! How dare we think we did enough for Jehovah, we can't ever pay him back for our sins but it's best to error on the side of "die trying to pay him back with Field Service hours and time spent on Organizational building projects or donated professional time. Did you ever feel like you measured up with our Organization?

    Sammy Jenkis posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 09:35:59 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 307 of 319
    Joined 6/12/2013

    James 5:14,15 is all they need but you're right. Tell them something and the whole congo knows about it before you even get home.

    stillin posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 11:33:42 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 1083 of 1318
    Joined 7/20/2008

    Yes, what Sammy said. The elders use any tidbits discovered among the flock to elevate themselves in the eyes of the other elders and if possible, the Society. (Oh, sorry, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses inc)

    the juicier, the better.

    Really, most elders can't handle the truth.

    Fernando posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 14:07:17 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 2350 of 2711
    Joined 9/21/2009

    Personally I find the Watchtower only differs cosmetically (outward appearance) from those they criticise:

    *** w85 12/1 p. 6 Righteousness Before God—How? ***
    As a Catholic, Luther had learned that man’s justification involves baptism, personal merit, and good works, as well as the sacrament of penance administered by a priest, who hears confession, grants absolution, and imposes compensatory works that can involve self-punishment.

    In his efforts to find peace with God, Luther had expended all the resources of Roman dogma on justification, including fasting, prayers, and self-punishment, but to no avail. Unappeased, he read and reread the Psalms and Paul’s letters, finally finding peace of mind by concluding that God justifies men, not because of their merits, good works, or penance, but solely because of their faith.

    Dis-Member posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 15:58:28 GMT(10/26/2013)

    Post 148 of 455
    Joined 8/25/2013

    mindnumbed I think they use Matthew 18:18 to justify this.

    “Truly I say to you, whatever things you may bind on earth will be things already bound in heaven, and whatever things you may loosen on earth will be things already loosened in heaven.

    and James 5:14,15

    Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

    These scriptures actually say nothing of confessing the details of sins to anyone.

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