Religion: Confession for Lutherans

Without doubt, wrote Martin Luther, ";confession of sins is necessary, and in accordance with the divine commandments" But Luther was dead set against the Roman Catholic obligation to confess before receiving Communion. Confession, he felt, should be voluntary, and Christians must be clear that their absolution comes only from God; otherwise, he argued, confession becomes an instrument of oppression in the hands of the church. Luther's own formula for absolution: "Dost thou believe that my forgiveness is God's forgiveness?" (Penitent answers yes). "As thou believest, so shall it come to pass....

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