Confession cures the virtue spiral. [I Tim 4]

We are an odd generation. We don’t ban marriage, but we do in this manner: we both say it is unneccessary because if you love you can live together, ignoring the need for boundaries around the marriage bed. If any couple can marry, there is no need for it to be between two: soon the polygamous will want the civil approval for their rites, and there is some evidence that the elite want the age of consent to be far lower than is right and proper.

Or no age of consent at all.

But at the same time the state wants to over regulate relationships. They say the do not want to be in the bedroom, but that normal leadership is abuse, and so they want to regulate all forms of consent within and without marriage. This leads young men to not consider marriage worth it, but relationships at all. Particularly if they read Japanese Light novels, where the women are armed and psychotic.

We know that this generation is the consequence of a great falling away in the church. the liberals preached self-esteem and psychological well-being. They neglected Christ. And no one calls sin evil but the mates of Matt Briggs.

Few leave the Church these days because of confession, since reconciliation is not often encouraged. And it’s now not so much people telling you of your sins that’s a problem either. It’s that sins which are sins aren’t accepted or even known as sins. Now what do you do about that, especially when you have some leaders in the Church telling you to follow your conscience and that this self-same conscience is the best guide to right and wrong? Some people really do believe, or claim to, that certain acts in which they engage aren’t sins, even though they’re “on the books” as sins. Conscience overrules the book? We’re in ignorance-of-the-law-is-no-excuse territory here.

Then, once you know a sin is a sin, it isn’t always so easy fessing up to it. Rather, some faults are easy to admit, some hard. Some things you do, you’d sooner burn away in shame and bury yourself in some dark hole instead of saying, “Twice I …” Now you know the priest can’t say anything outside the box, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know that he knows that you know that he knows (I might have got lost there) what you did. And this induces a reluctance.

That reluctance is always worth overcoming. But you have to be ready with truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I think it was Pascal who also said (though I have been unable to discover the original quotation) that we often sculpt confessions so that we seem not so much less bad, but so that the priest thinks better of us.

I’m reformed. We don’t go to a priest fo absolution. We do general confessions, and have to face Christ directly, telling him of our filth. It inhibits our prayer, for we don’t want to own our evil. We don’t want to confess our sins. But that we have to do, to enter into fellowship with our saviour.

This is standard doctrine, now not spoken in polite company.

1 Timothy 4:1-16

1Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. 3They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; 5for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

6If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, 8for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. 10For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

11These are the things you must insist on and teach. 12Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. 14Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

What we are doing, foolishly is entering a holiness spiral. If one fasts one day a week, we will fast two. If one is celibate, we will become anchorites. If one restricts their diet, we will do more. We will look righteous.

But the evil within us remains. We feed our pride, our desires, and enjoy the pleasure of denial. The consequences to our families are ignored.

And we start talking interfaith collaboration and spirituality. We have entered in to the hellhole the Shakers made. And sound doctrine is neglected.

The need for confession is important. We need to confess to each other our sins. We need to speak truth. This keeps our pride in check, and makes us realise that we are less competent than we think we are. We ignore self-esteem. We do not signal our virtue: we do not wear the ribbon of the latest campaign of the elite even though the cause is good. [1]

It is our job to do the works of Christ. To preach Christ crucified. The law helps us divide good from evil, and the Spirit allows us to love the good and hate the evil,

Including the evil within us.

For without Christ we can do no good.

Self esteem is a delusion, and virtue signalling a habit that encourages this error. Let us instead confess to Christ that we are broken, and tend to do what is wrong if we listen to the ratinalisations that we need to think that we ourselves may be good.

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1. A pink ribbon or shaved head do not cure cancer. A white ribbon does not stop violence.