Is this unCopt-like?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Am I being unCopt-like for basically refusing to repent? I personally feel weird going in front of a MAN (of course a holy man, Abouna) and stating every sin I have committed. I really haven't done anything wrong, I just feel uncomfortable doing so. Of course, we say that Abouna cannot judge you, but he is only human like the rest of us, I can't help but feel that he IS judging us. Is it okay to just confess straight to God in prayer, in seclusion? Please answer. Also, I have heard there is no enterance into the Heavens unless you have repented. This really upsets/worries me. Please respond this is my first post! I look forward to meeting all of you wonderful people on these forums. ~ChildrenOfGod


  • Hello & welcome ChildrenOfGod, and hello MarMar91..

    We discussed this question in sunday school earlier this year, and here were the points we came out with (sorry... some of this was already mentioned by MarMar91 :)


    Bible Verses

    Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in Heaven. (Matthew 18:18)

    "As the Father sent Me, I also send you." And when He said this He breathed on them, and said to them: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them, if you retain the sins of any they are retained." (John 20:21-23)

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)

    Why do we confess to a priest?

    * Repentance & Confession is one of the 7 Sacraments

    * Remember that you're actually confessing to God in the presence of a priest.

    * We receive the Prayer of Absolution to remit our sins

    * We should have both physical & spiritual means of performing sacraments, because we have a physical body and a spirit.. we're not just spirits. God wants us to take an initiative.... and to show our sincerity. Some examples of taking a physical action:
    - Moses (his rod and the rock): Why did he have to hit the rock. Why not just go up to it and pray and have the water come out?
    - Blind man washing in water: After annointing the blind man's eyes with clay & saliva, Our Lord Jesus instructed him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. Maybe He wanted the blind man to prove his sincerity and make an effort to be made well.
    - Baptising in water & Annointment with Mayroon oil: Why is water and oil involved... why not just have Abouna and the family say a prayer to God directly for their baby, without taking any physical action?
    ==> These are just a few examples of how we do things both spiritually and physically... because we're human and because when we physically take an action it shows our sincerity and innitiative in wanting to do it. If I go to Abouna and confess, I'm taking an action. But if I confess to God directly, I'm just sitting in the comfort of my home and confessing to God in my head.

    * To feel shame & embarrased. It's harder to confess in front of Abouna then directly to God. And it's good for us to feel the shame. Some people say "I can't say this to Abouna", and they'd rather say it to God. Maybe because they know God already knows it, and it's easier to confess to God. Someone might argue that it's actually not easier to confess to God directly; and so a question for them would be this: If Abouna was visiting your home, would you for example play a bad movie? You probably wouldn't. So if Abouna was not visiting you, would you put a bad movie before God, Whom you know can see you? Well...... one might. So then we do feel more embarrassed in front of Abouna than we do before God, and that's because we can't physically see Him with our eyes. If our spirits were strong, we wouldn't put the bad movie whether Abouna is present or not....... because we know God is watching (e.g. Joseph refusing to sin before God)

    * It's humbling to confess before the priest.

    * To receive spiritual guidance from the priest through the direction of The Holy Spirit (e.g. advice on dealing w/a specific sin, some exercises to help avoid the sin, certain fasting/metanias for discipline, etc...)

    * You feel a sense of relief, like something off your chest, when you confess.

    Some more:
    * Isn't it preferable for me to feel shame in front of Abouna for a few minutes, then to have my sin remain forever?
    * Why should I take a chance with my eternal life? I should confess my sins while i still can.

    So... to answer your question :) .... it's actually "unOrthodox" not "UnCopt". "Copt" = "Egyptian". The Faith is Orthodox; but i know what you meant :)

    Hope this helps.... sorry for it being long... and sorry if some of it was difficult to understand. I'm sure there are other reasons that others can add as well.

  • hey,
    I just wanted to point out that you kind of are supposed to feel "weird" during confession, well not weird but embarassed because you sinned in front of God like it was nothing, but you feel embarassed telling a human like yourself what you did; so imagine what it would be like in the last day when you keep that sin and have God Himself remind you of it if its embarrassing having a priest know what you did... God knows about it too...

    Abouna Bishoy in Bayonne said a nice story about this:

    Once there was a young man going to confession... but in the confession there were three people- him, abouna, and the devil. So abouna asked the devil why he was there and the devil replied "I'm here to give the young man something I took from him", and the priest asked "what did you take from him?" He devil responded and said "embarassment, I took the embarassment away from him when he was sinning so he would'nt realize he was doing it before God and now I'm here to give it back to him so he'll be too embarassed to confess the things he did wrong."

    hope this helps

  • Hey childrenofgod,

    Welcome first of all, when you pointed out that you feel uncomfortable repenting or confessing in front of abouna, satan is tempting you in one way or another so you need to fight the battle against satan and win it because right now he's in charge of you! And you can't enter the kingdom of God if you didn't confess, and most of all you can't just confess infront of God by yourself and agree that you have repented and confessed, no you need to be brave about your innerself and actually go confess and then pray to God while confessing repent and if you don't know how to repent ask abouna! By the way girls have to go infront of abouna sometimes we are just too afraid, but we need to focus on our commitment and actually realize that when we confess the confession goes through abouna to God so your confessing through our Lord, just remember that God saved our souls, but most importantly we need to defeat satan because he's tempting us!
  • Hello ChildrenOfGod,

    Welcome aboard, from your first question and post, you are a person who value his/her spiritual life and want to know the correct way and not just asking random questions.

    There are important steps every one of us needs to understand:

    1- When we commit a sin, we sin against God and by doing that we separated ourselves from the Divine grace.

    2- The first step to return to God, is to go to your inner room and repent, if possible with tears and deep remorse asking God to forgive you.

    3- The Lord already heard your repentance and He is willing to forgive you, but the Lord Himself established a Mystery by which sins can be removed and abolished. This Mystery, He instituted by Himself when He was on earth through His disciples, the power to bind and to loose. This Mystery He instituted after His resurrection and after He offered Himself a sacrifice on behave of us all, which means he did not nullify His previous promise to His disciple on Matthew 16:19

    Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
    And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
    If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." John 20:19-23

    4- An example: Suppose you won a prize or you received a cheque, which is so wonderful, but you can not have the prize or the money unless you go by YOURSELF and claim the prize. The same is with the forgiveness of sins, the moment you have repented, The Lord is very pleased and is waiting for you to fulfill His Will He Has instituted, the Mystery of Confession and Repentance.

    5- Regarding the embarrassment or shame you mentioned, I agree with you, it is a real one, just remember it is a very small thing to pay, I mean I and you and everyone should have our place on the cross instead of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    May God bless you.
  • i'm still on the search for a FOC that I like talking with. I confess but I just never feel like i want to go back to the same person. omgosh the last priest i went to, i had this sin that i wrote on paper because i was told i can do that if i'm too embarassed to say it. and then he said "i'm sorry i can't read english". and there was no turning back so i had to say it lol.
  • when you write it down? does the staff from the church read what you wrote, and bless? if so, i don't think i want to write my sins down on paper for other people to,
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