A bizarre story began to unfold earlier this week when it was reported that two teenage brothers were brutally beaten in church. One of the young men died in the attack, which was an apparent attempt to get the two teenagers to confess their sins. The tragedy occurred in a Sunday night meeting at the Word of Life church, near New Hartford, NY. The brothers’ parents were charged with manslaughter in the incident, while four other adults were charged with assault. One ex-member of the church said that abuse and shaming were regular practices at the congregation.
The Bible does speak of the need to confess our sins. However, true confession can never be coerced. A person must be repentant and have a contrite heart before true confession can ever take place. This is the kind of confession God seeks.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:8-9.