Evangelicals and Confession

by Gerald Button


I have always wondered why Evangelicals couldn’t be more like the Catholics? Catholics go to a little booth and confess their sins to a priest on the other side of a screen . Then they go and do a small penance and hope to sin no more that week.

Not the case with Evangelicals , they have to tell their sins to the whole damn market place and to make it even worse they must confess to those they have sinned against.

This may clear their conscience and they go away feeling cleansed but it leaves those they have sinned against in a state of shock and confusion.

A person that I had looked up to all my life called me and said that we needed to talk. Thinking nothing of it I dropped by his house and he told me he had accepted Jesus as his personal savior. I said “cool as long a he ain’t in the house now.” He went on to explain that things that he had done when we were kids bothered him and he wanted to ask my forgiveness. I wanted to know what he was talking about since I didn’t remember any gross sin from the old days.

He first said he wanted to apologize for trying to kill me because he was jealous that I lived up north in New York and he was stuck down in Kentucky. He went on to explain that what I thought were just farm accidents were really his attempts to kill me. The accident in which I was dragged behind my uncles truck was no accident. He knew that when the truck shifted into second gear that would not allow me  to climb back on the truck but what I thought was simply my clumsiness was in fact his plan to kill me because my father had sent down some new clothes the previous week .We were jumping off the back of my uncles truck and he went first. So when the truck sped up and I tried to jump back on he grabbed my arm , throwing me off balance and he held on  so that instead of just falling down in the road I was dragged behind the truck for about 50 yards . The result was torn up new sneakers and pants, and series of scrapes and a fractured skull. The following year we were playing around in the barn when  when he threw a hay fork at me and it went through my left foot leaving a half inch round scar. He confessed  he was aiming at my chest and missed .

This information was so damn shocking that I mumbled something and walked out. I could have lived with the idea that I was just a normal clumsy kid but to think that the person who you idealized all your life was trying to kill you. To think that your life was worth no more that a pair of PF flyers  tennis shoes and two pair of Levi’s. On the way home I had to pull over and just reflect on what I had just heard and try and suppress the rage that was building. I wanted pay back , damn it! Instead I  got on the interstate highway and drove to Buffalo just to clear my head of all the anger and came back home knowing that we would  not only never be friends again. In fact we would never be family ever again and I had been taught from an early age that our family was  the most important thing that we had. In fact I had always believed in Family , Friends ,God and Country. No more would that be the case. I just wish that he would have gone into a little booth told his story said a few “hail Mary’s” and left me out of it, because once this was revealed I couldn’t help review ever bump and scrape from my childhood and remember who was near when anything happened. I didn’t need that.



The author is a native of Woodburn, Kentucky and a long time resident of the city of  Rochester.  He has been married 43 years and is a twice retired Millwright.