Letter: Public confessions healthy

In the fall of 1942, President Raymond Edman of Wheaton College came to the podium for the morning devotions. He stood there looking over the student body as if wondering what he should say. Among the students was senior Billy Graham.


“I feel as if God has something different for us today. Maybe there is something that someone else would like to say? If there is, that person is welcome to come to the platform and say it.”

There was silence for several moments and then a tall young man came to the platform and, addressing the audience said, “I am the captain of the school’s cross country team, and yesterday, Sunday, we ran in a tri-state meet in Chicago and won; but we dishonored the Lord in running on Sunday. I am so sorry, I ask the school’s forgiveness.”

He then sat down. After a few minutes, Dr. Edmond rose and quietly said; “Perhaps someone else has something they should say?”

Nothing happened for several minutes and then a student rose and came to the platform and made his confession. Then another, and another, and in a short time a line had formed, leading all the way to the back of the building. It grew until students and members of the facility were standing for hours to confess their wrongs.

This was on a Monday morning! The line continued all day, that night, every day and night, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and ended on the following Monday at Chapel.

We can hardly expect our politicians to confess their sins, to make things right, but maybe we church members could.

Gil Ward




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