“To confess our sins — especially together in community — is an act of solidarity. It’s a practice reminding us that we are all on equal footing, all in need of grace; that we have all sinned and have been sinned against; that we are in the same broken family.”- Rich Villodas
“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a place in Shinar and settled there.”- Genesis 11:1-2 (NIV)
Rich Villodas concludes Chapter 1 of Good and Beautiful and Kind with the third Genesis story about the human tendency to turn inward.
3. The Tower of Babel: Turning inward through exclusionism. First, Pastor Villodas observes, the Genesis account tells us that the people moved eastward to build a tower. Most significantly, that’s the symbolic direction God sent Adam and Eve when He expelled them from the garden. East pointed to Adam and Eve’s distance from God.
Therefore, the people building the Tower of Babel preferred to stay in their homogeneous setting than allow their lives to intersect with others. Instead of going in faith, the people chose to stay out of pride. Hence, Rich talks about the towers we build:
“Sin has a way of absolutizing our values (especially the ones that we never intended to be absolute) in ways that cause further fragmentation. . . . The question becomes, Am I building a tower (that is, a life) that turns me in on myself? If so, I’m in spiritual danger.”
In conclusion, Pastor Villodas strongly believes in the practice of corporate confession of sins. He writes:
“Until we consistently live from a place of humility, confessing our sins before God and one another, we will find ourselves gradually turning inward. . . .
Followers of Christ establish our moral credibility in the world by routinely and fearlessly confessing and repenting of sin. And we lose our credibility by refusing to name our sin. This is the paradox of faith.”
Today’s question: Do you see confession as an act of solidarity? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Powers and principalities”