Excuse me, but there are a few errors in this answer- watch as I point them out –
Q: Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest, rather than going directly to God?
A. Well, the quick answer is because that’s the way God wants us to do it. In James 5:16, God, through Sacred Scripture, commands us to “confess our sins to one another.” Notice, Scripture does not say confess your sins straight to God and only to God…it says confess your sins to one another.
[color=darkred:hdlzc1or]The point was that we should be humble enough to recognize our faults and to turn away from them [/color:hdlzc1or]
In Matthew, chapter 9, verse 6, Jesus tells us that He was given authority on earth to forgive sins. And then Scripture proceeds to tell us, in verse 8, that this authority was given to “men”…plural.
[color=darkred:hdlzc1or]Not rigiht – the people just had never seen a man or any men have this ability before, But Jesus is God and He alone can do this.[/color:hdlzc1or]
In John 20, verses 21-23, what is the 1st thing Jesus says to the gathered disciples on the night of His resurrection? “Jesus said to them, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.'” How did the Father send Jesus? Well, we just saw in Mt 9 that the Father sent Jesus with the authority on earth to forgive sins. Now, Jesus sends out His disciples as the Father has sent Him…so, what authority must Jesus be sending His disciples out with? The authority on earth to forgive sins. And, just in case they didn’t get it, verses 22-23 say this, “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'”[color=darkred:hdlzc1or]
Only God can forgive sins not men. They can, however, as born again Christians that know the saving gospel to share with those that they encounte r, based upon that individuals beliefs, inform them wether they are saved or not, i.e. their sins would be forgiven or not. He did not give “the Power” to forgive to men aseven the Pharisees knew (Luke 5:21) [/color:hdlzc1or]
Why would Jesus give the Apostles the power to forgive or to retain sins if He wasn’t expecting folks to confess their sins to them? And how could they forgive or retain sins if no one was confessing their sins to them?
[color=darkred:hdlzc1or]God never did that “for He is God, and there is no other.” Your question is based upon a mis-interpretation of John 20:23 [/color:hdlzc1or]
The Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another. It also tells us that God gave men the authority on Earth to forgive sins. Jesus sends out His disciples with the authority on earth to forgive sins. When Catholics confess our sins to a priest, we are simply following the plan laid down by Jesus Christ. He forgives sins through the priest…it is God’s power, but He exercises that power through the ministry of the priest.
[color=darkred:hdlzc1or]A few more misconceptions here – 1 He did not give the authority to forgive sins too a human for the reasons above and if it was true then He’d be submitting to men – not having men answer to Him and 2- all True believers are Biblically priests not just those in your church whichare not Biblical – see Hebrews 7:23-27[/color:hdlzc1or][color=blue:hdlzc1or]
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who isholy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself[/color:hdlzc1or]