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Archive for April 1st, 2011

There is a good article in The Lutheran Witness on the  topic of celebrity ‘confessions’ , entitled,”By Any Other Name”:   http://www.lcms.org/pages/wPage.asp?IssueID=53&ContentID=947 .  This has  prompted your pastoral scribe to write a bit more on the topic.

The author, Pr. Scholl,  correctly points out that after celebrities  get caught, it is then  they publicly “confess” in order to get “redemption” .  I have posted two  of the more (in)famous ones (the full “confessions”:  warning!  Painful to watch)  in the last couple of years and to find them I just had to type in the celebrity’s name and the word,   “confession”.

A few  further observations on this:

1. The word “apology” is right from the New Testament Greek, apologia, meaning a defense.  So when you, say,  step on someone’s toe, you probably will say, “Sorry” and  that’s more akin to confession and is not an apology yet.   Then you add, “I didn’t see you there”.  That’s the defense.  But when one confesses for forgiveness, notice:  there is no defense.  I have been found out and I am asking for forgiveness.  Apology is to forgiveness as a lightning-bug is to lightning.  But to whom is confession finally made?  As King David knew, after his affair with Bathsheba:

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Psalm 51:3-5 ,  Psalm 51

2.  If confession is not done for the Lord’s forgiveness, then that confession is death.  As it is written:

For godly  grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

3.  Worldly grief leads produces death because the one confessing/apologizing is looking the wrong way:  at the camera and not to the Lord . The camera’s eye finally sees nothing on the inside.  From the Lord’s eye nothing is hid.  He sees through and in Christ Jesus, He has seen us through. Why would celebrities then so apologize/ confess?  Well, in a word:  ratings or status or keeping one’s job.  I have to admit it:  I would be so tempted. Worldly grief is bad grief.

4.  But when we know we have sinned against the Lord, deserving His temporal and especially eternal punishments and the abyss of hell before one’s feet,  and then His Cross is put before us for repentance:  this is good grief and “salvation without regret”.  No looking back, no regret, no impossible postures like “kicking myself in the rear”:  only looking to the One Who is near, and bore your sin and mine. We need more good grief in this sad world these days!

 

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