Is “confession good for the soul” still true in today’s society or for that matter in the church? Two out of three churches I attended recently did not contain “ a Call to Confession and Words of Assurance” in their order of worship. In fact two out the three churches seldom if ever have it in the order of worship.
As a child (many decades ago) I was well aware of the commandments that God gave his people. During most of my ministry, some form of “Call to Confession and Words of Assurance” where included in the order of worship. Why do some of our churches fail to place emphasis on this portion of the worship service? Do we think that confession is not necessary in our day and age and that we should only emphasize what is positive about God’s love and concern for our welfare? Obviously if we fail to acknowledge that we are sinners than we fail to recognize the need for God’s grace.
We live in a society today that takes little blame for anything and believes it is entitled to any lifestyle they choose without anyone questioning if it is moral. We are quick to point our fingers at others for our failures and immoral activities. For example, if I question whether homosexual activity is moral, I am called a bigot. If I disagree that illegal immigrants should be able to remain in our country ahead of a list of folks from other countries (including Mexico) who are attempting to immigrate legally, I am a bigot and must have a prejudice against illegal immigrants. We fail to separate our actions from natural consequences of doing the wrong. It is always someone else’s fault that we have bad results in our life. Confession is a foreign concept in our society. Do a crime and you get an attorney and plead not guilty. Have an accident and find as many ways to grab as much money as possible without admitting any fault of your own.
In that kind of trend in our society have we decided that our order of worship should have praise songs, prayer and a sermon only and delete “a Call to Confession and Words of Assurance”? I think just the opposite. I still believe that Jonathan Edwards sermon title, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” has some merit. We may have change our attitude toward sin as a society but I do not think God has. As much as any time in history we need to call individuals to live responsible lives that make choices directed by God’s will for our lives. As elders who supervise worship services, what do you think?