Contemporary teachings, doctrines and rituals about confession, especially related to 1 John 1:9, have caused much fear and confusion within the Christian community. Instead of living in the joy and freedom of Christ, believers find themselves caught in cycles of self-examination and judgment. While confession may at one time have brought relief through of the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins, along with a cleansed conscience, the never-ending cycle of examination, repentance and confession slowly imparts an entirely different message to those caught in its grip: fear, guilt, shame, insecurity, self-hatred, and so on. The initial sense of relief and forgiveness becomes replaced with a growing obsession with sins and how to overcome specific patterns of sin. A very critical concern among many believers comes from the fact that some of these sin patterns started up in the midst of doing all the right Christian things. How did the joy of salvation, fellowship with God, and love for Jesus ever get twisted into a life that revolves around sin?
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