Friday, September 11, 2009


"If We Confess Our Sins He Is Faithful and Just..."

Justin Taylor, a while back, had a couple of posts on public confession. One quoted John Piper extensively. The other reprinted a comment from the Piper post. The discussion centered on what was public and what was private and what was appropriate.

The comment post reminded me of many a "prayer concern" meeting I have been in that turned into little more than a gossip session. The commenter had a valid point, but I also think he missed the real power in the Piper quotation.

If one chooses to set oneself up in front of a congregation as a leader - then pretty much everything that person does is public and therefore subject to public confession. What is a "private thing" for many people is a public thing for people that choose to be the public face of the church.

I can hear the immediate objection, "Just because I am a public leader, my family is not - why should they be subjected...." Well, like it or not, if you step in the limelight, you bring your family with you - which means you either better, one, not make a mistake that is going to require them to come into that confessional spotlight, or two, work it out with them before you go public, but they are stuck with the consequences.

The church brings perfection - eventually, but the gospel for right now is not the perfection but the path to it. And that means the cycle of sin-confession-restoration. That is what has to be modeled by leadership. If leadership models "perfection," then people are going to think the church offers that perfection - but it doesn't, not really.

I quoted I John 1:9 in the title to this post for a good reason. Think about it, not the confessing part, but the "faithful and just" part. Is there any better way to express faith than to throw ourselves, blindly and unknowingly on the mercy of Christ? That's what confession is! It is the ultimate expression of our unworthiness, and in light of that, the ultimate expression of God's love and faithfulness. Can there be a stronger witness to the gospel?

Leadership in light of such a gospel is a special thing. Leadership like that is called to share Christ's cross. It has to be nailed up there with Him. Think about it.

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