“Walk in wisdom … redeeming the time” (Col. 4:5 NKJV).
Does the past intrigue you? Frighten you? Seem irrelevant to you?
Does The Civil War, the South, and the Church seem a subject too hot to handle? Too distant to matter? Do you wonder what it could possibly have to do with you?
Does the idea of “confessing” sound most frightening of all?
A host of inner voices may tell you to avoid this book, or to see it as applying to someone else.
Listen, instead, to the voice that calls you to read with an open heart, and then to say what you see – because the truth does indeed set us free.
A terrible weight rolled away
When the truth about yourself, your family or your culture isn’t pretty or comfortable, it’s normal not to want to see it. Fear, pride and shame urge you, “No! Don’t look!”
And yet, as you do see – and grieve, confess, repent, forgive – a terrible weight rolls away. You experience new freedom and life. You open the way to reconciliation and honor. You bring glory and deep delight to God.
Ah, but if you try to hide from whatever is hard to face, the opposite happens from what you so desperately want. You’re not protected from the shame. Instead, you’re bound to it. You’re blinded by it. And so is the generation after you, and the next, and the next – until someone chooses to see.
Why read We Confess?
1. If your ancestors didn’t get rid of it, you inherited it. Toxic shame has been passed down for generations since the Civil War era, and not just in the families you may think. As a result, we repeat cycles that we profoundly deny.
A new understanding of the past – especially of the bloodiest era in our nation’s history – may well help you understand and overcome distressing things happening today in your life, your family, your world.
2. The only way out is through. In his classic bestseller, Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw describes ways we try to cover up what makes us feel shame. One of those ways? By employing a “paradoxical phenomenon called reenactment.” Oh my. “The behavior that set up the shaming event is repeated with surrogates who reenact the original shaming scene, or a person shames himself in the way he was originally shamed.” Yet, says Bradshaw:
As long as our shame is hidden, there is nothing we can do about it. In order to change our toxic shame we must embrace it. There is an old therapeutic adage that states, “The only way out is through.”
Embracing our shame involves pain. Pain is what we try to avoid … In the case of shame, the more we avoid it, the worse it gets.
3. You can deal a death-blow to toxic shame in your life and family. In the last decade, I’ve experienced firsthand the astonishing results of going “through.” What was previously blocked in me and in my family is finally beginning to flow – identity, intimacy, healing, life.
I can testify from experience:
The uncomfortable, the difficult, the devastating aspects of confessing and repenting aren’t a plot to do us in. They’re God’s way of removing the veil so we can see and reflect his glory – splendor we cannot imagine or describe.
One hundred fifty years after the American Civil War, We Confess! shows readers how the unresolved past still fetters our churches, our families and our hearts. And more: It shows the way to be healed and free.
Biblically anchored, historically accurate and spiritually profound, We Confess!
- Calls the US church culture rooted in the Bible Belt to see what we haven’t wanted to see – ways we’ve deeply hurt whole groups of people, sabotaged ourselves and misrepresented Christ.
- Challenges all who call Jesus “Lord” to recognize when we’re pursuing a false identity and excusing a divided heart.
- Outlines God-honoring first steps toward wholeness, blessing and reconciliation: as we face up to the root causes of our current issues and begin to set them right.