There are many rules on confession. To set the stage for this post, you have to understand first their concept that no sin can be forgiven unless there is a prescribed set of steps followed so God can remove that sin from our soul. So the Biblical understanding of sin and forgiveness is what is skewed, and therefore their concept of confession suffers.
Here are some rules of the church for confession:
- If you sinned privately, you must confess it privately to the person who is aware of your sin.
- If you sinned publicly, you must stand up (literally) and make a public confession at church.
- Sometimes church leaders will be hesitant to come right out and say that breaking one of the church’s rules is an outright sin, but it will still be considered a sin in most cases because it could “cause a brother to stumble.”
- When making a confession, you must say the word “forgive” ie: “please forgive me for…”; or “I want to ask your forgiveness for…”, not “I am sorry for….”
- If you don’t “take care of your sin” before Sunday morning, you can’t participate in the Lord’s supper. This comes from a wildly misinterpreted exegesis of Matthew 5.
- If someone is withdrawn from you are only allowed to make a confession to them once the teacher or preacher approves of it.
- On certain occasions, teachers and preachers can insist that someone has not had enough time to repent of their sins, so they are not allowed to make a confession.