The Sacrament Of Reconciliation
-- Catholic Penance --

Dan Corner (Former Roman Catholic)

The Sacrament Of Reconciliation or Catholic Penance

What is the sacrament of reconciliation for a Catholic? According to Roman Catholic Vatican Council II beliefs, Catholic penance is the sacrament by which the sinner can be forgiven of sins, after his infant baptism, through confession of their sins to a Catholic priest and praying the rosary, our fathers, hail Marys, etc. as directed by the priest to whom he confessed his sins. Catholic penance (or the sacrament of reconciliation as it is also called) is NOT biblical repentance, nor is it able to cleanse sins away. Catholic penance is a misdirected attempt by sincere Catholics, who want to be spiritually purified from their sins.

Self Punishment Penance
Rather Than Jesus' Cleansing Blood

Catholic penance is done in extreme ways, especially in predominate Catholic countries. Sometimes sincere Catholics doing penance will crawl on their knees, as pictured here in Mexico as they go to a Marian apparition shrine. In the Philippines, Roman Catholics might beat themselves bloody as pictured! Such are very moving displays of very sincere people desperately trying to be forgiven of their sins. By wanting so earnestly to be forgiven, they are champions! However, they are also following the wrong directives. Such are the ruinous results of false teachings, if done in Catholicism or some other false religious system!

Sincerity Is NOT Good Enough

Over the decades I have communicated with many different types of religious people, especially those claiming to believe the Bible. VERY FEW non-Catholics would beat themselves bloody in an attempt to get cleansed of their sins, like some Catholics do, for penance! But folks, sincerity is NOT good enough! We must base our actions and beliefs on the Bible (on God's truth) to be accepted by God. Throughout the Old Testament, Israel did many things that were religious, but idolatrous. Though they were sincere, at times, their idolatrous actions only got them in trouble with God! In the New Testament, Saul of Tarsus (Paul before he became a Christian) was highly religious, zealous and sincere as he persecuted Christian men and women. His actions were not based on truth as he showed himself to be an enemy of God at that point. Again, this shows sincerity (and religious zeal) are NOT good enough, as with Catholics who "do penance."

God's Way

God's way is through humility and sincerity that a person acting on God's written word can find mercy and forgiveness for his sins. The focus is JESUS. The only savior of mankind is JESUS. Hence, through faith in the Lord Jesus we are purified spiritually (Acts 15:9). Jesus bore our sins (2 Cor. 5:21) and provided purification for our sins (Heb. 1:3). Now we need to make him our own personal Savior and Lord. He must be our first love, even before our own natural family or our lives (Mt. 10:37,38) to be worthy of Jesus, who is eternal life (1 John 1:2 cf. 5:12)! Until a person commits himself to the Lord Jesus to follow and obey him, which includes turning from all sins, he will remain spiritually dead and a slave to sin! To be freed from sin addictions (pornography, drunkenness, hatred, etc.) one must die to those, so he can be forgiven, cleansed by Jesus' blood (Rev. 1:5) and personally benefit by what the Lord has done for us on the cross.


The Truth About Catholic Penance

Catholic penance, though painful and self-humiliating, is a religious counterfeit. It is as empty as a bubble and as worthless as a cigarette ash (just like Hindues bathing in the Ganges River and Muslims kissing a black stone to get forgiven)! It is also a false hope with deadly and disastrous results. It will NEVER set one free from his sin addictions, which occurs at salvation (Rom. 6:22). Imagine beating oneself bloody (or wanting to drink pond water as Jacinta in the famous Fatima apparitions for penance) in vain and because of false teaching! That is what is occurring on a grandiose scale in Catholicism! From Pope to cardinals to archbishops to bishops to priests to Catholic saints -- the whole Roman Catholic religious system is based on bits and pieces from the Bible, but mainly pagan and idolatrous concepts which have misled many sincere people away from the God and Paradise they long for! This is horrible, but true!

True Forgiveness

While true forgiveness is actually taught, at the same time, Catholicism is refuted. Ponder this carefully: Peter is standing before Simon who is captive to sin (again). Peter didn't hear his confession of sins, but instead told him to repent and pray to the Lord:
Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." (Acts 8:20-23)
If the Catholic understanding of John 20:23 was correct, then Peter would never have answered that way! That passage says:
If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. (John 20:23)
Clearly, John 20:23 has been read into and an interpretation has been forced out with a Catholic spin. The Lord's original followers understood it differently by the way they taught and acted, as shown with Peter himself.

True forgiveness begins with HEART sorrow over sins and going to God directly. Confess to God (not the priest). Go to God through Jesus, NOT Mary.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah (Psa 32:5)
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Prov 28:13)
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:13,14)
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:24)
I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:21)
The Bible is God's eternal truth and the supreme court ruling! If you go to hell it will be because YOU have departed from the message of the Bible! You are 100% SAFE to go by the Bible alone. IF you deviate from the Bible in the slightest way, you WILL BE DECEIVED! Walk holy and cautiously. Fear God. He who endures to the end will be saved (Mt. 10:22). Don't fear the unam sanctam papal decree. It is bogus! Remember also that the sacrament of reconciliation is NOT the same as Biblical repentance.

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