What is the aim of a confession in general? To strengthen cohesion and fellowship among people, and to give people something concrete to identify themselves. A confession is, in fact, an oath, a promise to think in a certain way especially about religious issues. There are confessions in many other affairs, too. Almost all bureaucrats and officers have their own laws and rules which to follow.
It is easy to accept that policemen and all other officers have strict regulations to be able to act somewhat similarly for all citizens. Here, too, rules are sometimes lifted in a too dominant position, so that the voice of reason is forgotten. Rules and regulations should be the aid for right actions, not a substitute for responsibility and sound thinking.
Political parties have confessions of their own which contain in written form the main aims of their activities. Sometimes these declarations lose their touch to the ever changing reality, but it is often difficult to make fundamental alterations to the statements with a long history.
If we look at the history of religions, it is quite easy to find out that confessions have often caused severe struggles – even wars. We could also notice that the differences between confessions concern the ideas that are difficult to be testified with concrete facts. Religious arguments are often based on old scriptures and tradition, but how can we be sure that this text contain the original ideas in their right forms? The confessions attained on any convent are usually compromises, thoughts of the majority, which does not guarantee their degree of truth. Why do people often think that men in the past were much wiser in religious thinking than we are today? Is it because they were closer to the original impulse? Consider that they had all gone wrong! It is no wonder that some mystic intervention of the Holy Ghost has been used to sanctify situations where fundamental decisions have been made.
In Christian Church, most quarrels have been raised up from diverging interpretation of Holy Scriptures and old confessions. It should be understood that there has never been verbal expressions of which different people could get just the same mental image. Individual mental images are based on personal experience, and every living creature has a history of his own. There are similarities in thoughts, but total alikeness is a rare quality.
In most democracies, a freedom of speech, writing and a meeting is self-evidence, in spite of that, in affairs of religion; people tend to restrict their thinking into the frames of some old confession. In Christian countries, this was understandable a few centuries ago when diverging ideas often led into serious consequences. Today we should have no reason to accommodate ourselves to any idea without thorough consideration. Some people would probably tell us that it is dangerous for a soul to take liberties like this. All ideas in religious matters are perfected long ago by holy men, for us there is nothing new to be thought.
It is hard to run over any of the religious boundaries, which are proposed as common and eternal truths. Most people keep silent if they have ideas of their own in these delicate affairs. They do not voluntarily want to face the pressure of masses. It is enough that they can get along with their own conscience, which often brings up the accusations that are born in the environment since one’s childhood.
Many people would say that it is easier to drive together on well-signed roads and highways than to walk alone in unknown forest and deserts. Maybe that suits most individuals but are those well-signed ways leading people into an advanced mental or even spiritual goal? Are they but practical means for leaders in keeping their own flog under control and together as payers?
Very few people dare to have confidence in their own thinking. It is more common to let religious matters be untouched and focus totally on ordinary and safe things. There are people who are not satisfied in common fixed ideas but who want to break all questionable barriers to see, what is behind them. They will soon find out that one can search one’s ways without confessions and other crutches. A confession may be taken as hypothesis on which it is appealing to find an experiential ground. In doing so one often gets a label of pride and arrogance, but that is not a high price for freedom of thinking – or is it? A social pressure might work as a maturity test for those who want to remove the curtains of mysteries.
Most people are quite satisfied with mysteries in their literal forms, and there is nothing wrong in that. A few individuals cannot confess anything unless they experience it by and in themselves. They think that all mysticism must reveal its extreme nature as a person manages to rise above all his mental limitations. This means the same as the old expression of “losing oneself”. A limited way of perception finds all things and phenomenon as ever changing, separate objects. The mystic aims at the state where the extreme essence of any object can be experienced, in fact, even the extreme essence without any object, life itself, becomes known.
Maybe we could say that it is the highest time to leave behind the belief, “there is no salvation outside the church or parish”. The statement comes from Cyprian of Antioch, who derived it from a poorly grounded and justified belief that only bishops had right to forgive sins – and there were no bishops outside the church. It is not difficult to see in what purpose this devious idea has been awoken – it gives the clergy the means and power to keep their folks regimented.
In conclusion, it is possible to live in or outside any church while maintaining one’s inner liberty and freedom of thought. Even for many theologians, uniting into traditional confessions causes some trouble. They must search allegorical interpretations in order to let themselves take part in literal confessions.
It is the highest time to lower the value of words coming from the misleading rendering of a Creech word ‘logos’ into Latin ‘verbum’. We should understand that it is much more crucial what one is in his heart than what words one is thinking to believe in.