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Willing to Share Struggles with Sin

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  • Willing to Share Struggles with Sin

    One of my friends has been attending a church for several months. He noticed that no one in the church talks openly about their struggles with sin. He talks to people before and after the service. He has been attending different social events and Bible studies at the church. Moreover, the pastor does not talk about his personal struggles with sin from the pulpit. He said that when people don't talk about their struggles with sin, they are putting up a barrier between themselves and other people. They are not having fellowship to the degree that they could have it. Moreover, some people might get the wrong impression that they are trying to hide something.

    What do you think about this? Should a pastor to share openly his struggles with sin from the pulpit? Should everyone else be open to sharing their struggles?

    I agree that people should be open to talking about their struggles with sin. People should have nothing to hide.

    Just because you don't hear someone talking about their struggles with sin, does not mean that they never do. Some people only share their struggles with a close friend or with family members. Others share about the intimate details of their lives in certain situations.

  • #2
    It can quite often become a pissing contest for who either struggles the most or has sinned the "biggest". Many see talking about their sin as glorifying their sin. It's a rather difficult thing to adequately discuss without keeping it in the proper frame of mind.
    That's what
    - She

    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
    - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
    Stephen R. Donaldson

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hornet View Post
      One of my friends has been attending a church for several months. He noticed that no one in the church talks openly about their struggles with sin. He talks to people before and after the service. He has been attending different social events and Bible studies at the church. Moreover, the pastor does not talk about his personal struggles with sin from the pulpit. He said that when people don't talk about their struggles with sin, they are putting up a barrier between themselves and other people. They are not having fellowship to the degree that they could have it. Moreover, some people might get the wrong impression that they are trying to hide something.

      What do you think about this? Should a pastor to share openly his struggles with sin from the pulpit? Should everyone else be open to sharing their struggles?

      I agree that people should be open to talking about their struggles with sin. People should have nothing to hide.

      Just because you don't hear someone talking about their struggles with sin, does not mean that they never do. Some people only share their struggles with a close friend or with family members. Others share about the intimate details of their lives in certain situations.
      Sounds like you and your friend just want some gossip.

      We should confess our sins but to people who know us, not out in public. An exception would be if you are a pastor and your sin is affecting your relationship with your flock.

      Comment


      • #4
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          Sounds like you and your friend just want some gossip.

          We should confess our sins but to people who know us, not out in public. An exception would be if you are a pastor and your sin is affecting your relationship with your flock.
          We don't intend to find gossip. I think my friend's point was that there should be nothing to hide.

          I don't think people should share all of their sins to anyone they meet. If they are meeting with a counselor, they can share their struggles or if they have a close friend, they can share them.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hornet View Post
            We don't intend to find gossip. I think my friend's point was that there should be nothing to hide.

            I don't think people should share all of their sins to anyone they meet. If they are meeting with a counselor, they can share their struggles or if they have a close friend, they can share them.
            I don't want to go to church to hear people complain or whine or confess everything they are struggling with. If someone has sinned against me, then yes, he needs to confess to me and ask forgiveness. If he has sinned against someone else, then confess to them. He doesn't need to tell the entire church and everyone he meets. He should in addition confess to God and ask for forgiveness.

            There is entirely too much gossiping going on in churches under the guise of "praying for someone"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              I don't want to go to church to hear people complain or whine or confess everything they are struggling with. If someone has sinned against me, then yes, he needs to confess to me and ask forgiveness. If he has sinned against someone else, then confess to them. He doesn't need to tell the entire church and everyone he meets. He should in addition confess to God and ask for forgiveness.

              There is entirely too much gossiping going on in churches under the guise of "praying for someone"
              I think a more appropriate setting might be something like a men's Bible study.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                I think a more appropriate setting might be something like a men's Bible study.
                Agreed. Like I said earlier, you should be confessing to people you know. Having a friend to hold you accountable is also important.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                  Agreed. Like I said earlier, you should be confessing to people you know. Having a friend to hold you accountable is also important.
                  I agree that there has to be some place in the church where people can talk about their sins and struggles with them.

                  In looking at the OP, it could be implied that the church never talks about sin even as a sermon topic. In the church I am struggle with whether to stay at or not, sin and repentance has been replaced by therapy so you never hear about sin and the need for repentance. I'm wondering if that is where the friend in the OP meant?
                  "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                  "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                    I agree that there has to be some place in the church where people can talk about their sins and struggles with them.

                    In looking at the OP, it could be implied that the church never talks about sin even as a sermon topic. In the church I am struggle with whether to stay at or not, sin and repentance has been replaced by therapy so you never hear about sin and the need for repentance. I'm wondering if that is where the friend in the OP meant?
                    Maybe?

                    I went to my brother's church occasionally (Southern Baptist) and his preacher (now replaced) was the Hellfire and Brimstone type of preacher who was constantly preaching about sin and hell, and doing the redfaced yelling thing, to the point that you felt guilty just sitting there. So preaching sin can be taken too far. People were leaving the church because of this guy.

                    I think a balance is needed. People need to know that sin is bad and we need Jesus, but then Jesus needs to be offered as the answer. The Gospel is the "Good News" after all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      Maybe?

                      I went to my brother's church occasionally (Southern Baptist) and his preacher (now replaced) was the Hellfire and Brimstone type of preacher who was constantly preaching about sin and hell, and doing the redfaced yelling thing, to the point that you felt guilty just sitting there. So preaching sin can be taken too far. People were leaving the church because of this guy.

                      I think a balance is needed. People need to know that sin is bad and we need Jesus, but then Jesus needs to be offered as the answer. The Gospel is the "Good News" after all.
                      That's probably better than the millions of churches with rainbow signs promising everybody they are just fine as they are, even so.

                      *Edit: Yes, "millions" was intentional hyperbole
                      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maybe take Paul's approach?

                        "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 7:21-25)

                        He didn't discuss his specific sins, but recounted his struggle with sin, and his deliverance. Though there is a place for specific confession, with trusted people:

                        "... confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (Jas 5:16)

                        Blessings,
                        Lee
                        Last edited by lee_merrill; 08-30-2019, 08:39 AM.
                        "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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                        • #13
                          It seems that it goes over a lot easier to confess certain "socially acceptable" sins like pride and envy than, say, sexual sins. If you say you're struggling with sin in the abstract, people will generally bend over backwards to support you, but it gets awkward once you get specific. This principle is illustrated brilliantly in The Scarlet Letter.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                            I agree that there has to be some place in the church where people can talk about their sins and struggles with them.

                            In looking at the OP, it could be implied that the church never talks about sin even as a sermon topic. In the church I am struggle with whether to stay at or not, sin and repentance has been replaced by therapy so you never hear about sin and the need for repentance. I'm wondering if that is where the friend in the OP meant?
                            My friend says that the pastor talks about sin and repentance as a sermon topic, but he does not share the specific sins that he personally struggles with.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hornet View Post
                              My friend says that the pastor talks about sin and repentance as a sermon topic, but he does not share the specific sins that he personally struggles with.
                              That sounds about right to me. I know pastors are human and have their own set of struggles. However when he is leading the worship service or otherwise acting in official capacity, he shouldn't be sharing those struggles. I hope all pastors have a place to share these things.

                              It's a tough balancing act for a church. As pointed out, sharing your sins with others can just make you the center of gossip. On the other hand, if the church presents that everyone is living a perfect life with no struggles (sin or otherwise), you discourage those who are struggling. They will either hide their struggles or stop coming. As it is said, the church is (in part) a hospital for the wounded.

                              To go to the third hand, I don't join a church for free therapy. Unfortunately some of the small groups I've joined, basically are therapy or self-help groups. Therapy has it's place buts not the whole of the church's purpose.

                              I'm not sure what the exact answer is. I know that haven't seen it done in over 10 years.
                              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                              Comment

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