CLICK AND CONFESS

Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City, Florida just launched a website – ivescrewedup.com – where you can confess your sins anonymously for all the world wide web to see. Jennifer Lebovich of the Miami Herald wrote an article about this site, portions of which I’ve included below: 

”I think it helps people understand . . . that we’re not here to point out people’s screw-ups, that we’re here to help them,” said lead Pastor Troy Gramling, whose nondenominational church launched the site on Easter weekend. “The church is made of skin and flesh and people that have made mistakes.”

The 6,500-member church created the site as part of a 10-week series on the ways people mess up — in marriage, parenting, finances and more. The goal of the series is to help congregants learn from their mistakes.

So far, more people are reading the confessions than posting them. The site gets about 1,000 hits a day, with about 200 online admissions. Lust, pornography and a litany of sexual transgressions top the sinners’ hit parade. Theft, lying and alcohol abuse also make frequent appearances.

”I think there’s a feeling that you’re not the only one that’s out there that has messed up before and there’s other people,” said the man, who declined to reveal anything about himself or his confession.

The Miami Herald contacted the church, seeking confessors, but found none willing to be identified in print.

I’m not really sure what to think about this site. My first reaction is that this site could be dangerous for the following reasons:

#1. There is zero accountability. The person confessing remains anonymous. The point of confessing our sins one to another is to eradicate shame and darkness by bringing our sins into the light. There is no light brought to the heart of the sinner in this context because they are still hidden. In fact, it’s more diabolical because the sinner feels like they’ve exposed their sin to the light and are therefore less likely to guard themselves from the sin that still has power over them.

#2. It creates a context for comiseration. Others read the sins posted on the web and are suddenly emboldened to sin or continue to sin when they realize that others are doing it too. “What? I thought I was the only one who did that. It must be normal. It must not be that bad. If others are doing it, I guess it’s not that big of a deal. Whew.”

What are your thoughts?

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  1. Victoria

    I agree whole-heartedly with you. Plus there is no spoken forgiveness. I would almost go as far as to say thing whole thing is provoked by satan. Shall I explain? When we confess sin, he is faithful to forgive it, yes? Yes. But with this site, the sins stay posted….and it’s nothing but a dark whole. The bible says it is shameful to speak of what the wicked do in secret…i’m just saying…

  2. I also agree. But I think it was probably done with a sincere heart. The facilitators should probably take it a step further, and not just let it lie. Maybe if they could create a hotline or something, or give confessors the opportunity to join an accountability group. If the confessors aren’t prayed with or taught the Word, how will they change. I recall the story of the man who had 1 demon. It was cast out, but his house was left empty, and 7 demons came in.

  3. Ok, Wow. Does anyone else feel depression? Good grief. I didn’t fully enter, but I don’t want to read people sins. It’d be different if they could come back with praise reports or something.
    Victoria is right: dark hole.

  4. I think it also has the potential to rope more people into the yuckiness of it, since it sounds like it’s kind of turning into a spectator sport, with a lot more people reading than submitting. Someone could be fine, go on and read about all kinds of sins that people are engaging in, and be unintentionally inspired to go and do likewise… sounds like it might accidentally spread temptation around more than it helps stop it.

  5. ruthbloem

    i think it’s very creative to come up with something like this.
    but nonetheless… I don’t think it’s a good creative idea 🙂

    When the bible talks about confessing your sins to one another I don’t think the bible meant writing your sins on a certain website. sometimes you should look someone in the eye and confess your sins, (you feel the weight of your sin ever more then…) and you may feel ashamed when you do that, but like you said…light will be brought to you for sure. Plus, I think when you confess your sin to someone you will really feel the weight is not there anymore, so real freedom.

    I don’t know, i can’t explain it very well…I just don’t think that this kind of confessing brings healing and restoration to your soul. it’s not personal to confess to a website.
    nooo….not a good idea. creative, but not OK

  6. I agree quite a bit with what Amanda and Victoria said. Very good points.

    This is also a great context for people who delight in darkness or delight in their own sins. It could almost turn into a one-up kind of thing. “Oh yeah?… Top this one.”

    This just has too much potential to feed some really bad things… and to give false impressions that it is doing something positive that it is not doing at all.

  7. David

    One of their main points seems to be that they take away the shame of telling someone personally. Didn’t Jesus kinda do that on the cross?

  8. Even their url seems poorly chosen.

    “I’ve screwed up.” As in, oops, minor error there, sorry guys.

    Last I checked, sin was a serious enough issue that the Son of God died to bring freedom from it. A bit more than us screwing up is involved in sinning.

  9. adamhanly

    wow. that’s really wierd.

    there is something glorious about confession, and the honesty is intriguing… but it’s too graphic for the amount of boldness/honesty they appear to have.

    there is something good in it as far as making it clear how dark we are… with clear testimonies of the battle against sin.

    but if some people dont embrace the grace given to them & the self-control needed to read that kind of stuff, and enter into intercession for them, their flesh will rise up and they’ll fall into a great temptation themselves.

    i’m from california, so im entitled to call that website GNARLY.

  10. adamhanly

    but it’s far too graphic…. waaay too graphic. i think its bad because they’ll feel like they got it off their chest.

    they’ll be de-sensitized to the shock of their sin.




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