In one of my Catholic bible study groups, there was a Christian who had a question about the Catholic practice of the sacrament of reconciliation.  For those who are not familiar with this sacrament, a Catholic goes to a priest to confess and get absolution.  On the contrary, Christians say they confess straight to God or other Christians.  When this was brought up in the group discussion, I could see that the Christian was in distress because she was understanding that for the many decades she had been confessing to God or other Christians her sins that somehow this was wrong.  More radically, that her sins had not been forgiven.  I picked up on her distress and quoted Mark 9:38-41,

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name,[g] and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward. 

In my littleness, I interpreted to the Christian that she was ok.  These verses speak of her who confesses to God directly is still whorshiping God, though different from Catholics.

As you can see, I have misquoted the Word of God because of the compassion for my fellow Christian.  Though the intention was good, it was wrong.  A lot of Christians and Catholics take the bible and interpret the Bible in their own way, which is what Satan did by quoting Deuteronomy and tempting Jesus in the desert.  Am I using the Word of God my way to convince others to follow the Catholic faith?  I am glad the answer is no.  My interpretation is simply erroneous.

There are many out there that quote and interpret the Word to their own opinion and understanding.  It is like taking an orchestra playing the same piece of music out of sync.  The instruments are all out of sync.  Thus, the music becomes a noise – taking all the beauty away.  As Christians and Catholics, we must strive daily to play the instruments together in sync and not create noise.  So, where does this put us either in the sacrament of reconciliation or confessing and talking straight to God?  I do not know.  But I do know in the midst of our interpretation, we must see the big picture that both Christians and Catholics are seeking reconciliation for our sins.  Whichever way a Christian/Catholic does this is of importance but more importantly (just for me), I focus on the big picture. Others may disagree but I am okay with that.


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