The catholic church teaches that sins must be confessed to a priest. Let’s take a look at this doctrine and prove it against the Scriptures. The catechism states:
“One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience.” Pg. 374, #1493
“Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance:” Pg. 365, #1456 “It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. Pg. 357, #1424 (See also Pg. 374, #1493).
What does the Bible teach on this subject? If it is to be important enough to be considered a sacrament, surely there will be something supporting such in the Scriptures.
“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. ” Psalm 32:5 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:2-3
The Christian does not have to confess his sin to anyone but God because Jesus’ blood has given us access to God’s throne.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…” Hebrews 10:19
Because of the sinless blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross, we have the authority to go straight to the throne of God for forgiveness. The Word gives a perfect example in the New Testament.
~Acts 8:18-22 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, (18 ) Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. (19) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (20) Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. (21) Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. (22)
Here was the perfect opportunity for the doctrine of confession to a priest. Did Peter command that Simon confess his sins to him? No, he commanded Simon to repent and pray to God to forgive him! Precept upon precept – when have you heard a catholic tell you that he has faithfully compared the doctrines of the catholic church to the Word of God? I have never heard this. What I have heard is quoting from catholic books and writings. This is not doing an independent and thorough study. It is like comparing apples to oranges. Instead, why not take your catechism and compare it to God’s Word? If you stand on God’s Word, what have you lost? But if you stand on catholic catechism and God says you were wrong, you have lost eternal life. That is a severe price to pay for being lazy and not studying matters out for yourself.