Should I Confess My Sin to My Church?


If I have confessed my sexual sin to my pastor, is this something I should also confess to my church?

I don’t know what the sexual sin is, so it is difficult to give anything but a general answer. Typically, a man who has fallen into sexual sin should only need to confess his moral lapse to his spiritual leader. If he has repented, there is no reason for anyone else to know about it.

In Matthew 18, Jesus gives the following formula for dealing with a man who does not repent: “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you,take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17)

I share this to make one point: Jesus only involves other people as He needs to. If He can lead the erring brother to repentance with one person’s involvement, He will do so. If it takes two or three, so be it. If this doesn’t work—and as a last effort to save this man’s soul—He is not above letting it be known by all. But again, this is only for the unrepentant person. If you have repented, this does not apply.

Now, I must make one exception to this rule. If a person has victimized people in the past, it may need to be brought out into the light for the protection of others. For instance, if a man has molested children in the past and has repented, it is still only right that parents know what the man has done. Not only will this serve as a deterrent to him should he get weak and tempted, but it will also protect those children. For a guy with a porn problem to slip is one thing. For a guy with a molesting problem to fall could be devastating.