Sarah Boxer has written a very perceptive article that contains excellent spiritual exhortations for anyone with ears to hear. Her first main insight reveals perverted appearance of on-line confession sites. She compares a flasher to this poster of sins. I think she is right about that. Confession can become a sanctified way of revealing in our sin. The “flasher” metaphor captures the mode of this error well. The point of confession is to become Christ-like by bringing a weakness before God so to acknowledge an area of need of God. We trust Christ and allow His Body to enter into our wound and bring the freedom and love of Christ into our wounds in order to heal the root of sin. The root is the real cause of sin, not just changing behavior. So, anonymous web-confessionals are ill suited for any healthy use. There is no owning of one’s sin if one will not own up to who they are. If one did, there is still insufficient community to aid in healing. Further even if sufficient “virtual” community existed, it is unlikely that this venue is capable of manifesting the love and freedom of Christ necessary to heal the actual wounds of the “sinner.”
A second insight fills in details about the dramatic disconnect between that people who think of the sight as a “healing” and prayer-filled environment and the performance of another sin. Boxer quotes a reader who expresses that he believes in the genuineness of the people who contribute. Boxer’s response is worth quoting at length:
“Oh, but there is [fakeness]. And it is the fakeness, the artifice and the performance that make this confessional worth peeking at. The secret sharers here aren't mindless flashers but practiced strippers. They don't want to get rid of their secrets. They love them. They arrange them. They tend them. They turn them into fetishes. And that's the secret of PostSecret. It isn't really a true confessional after all. It is a piece of collaborative art.”
How often are Christian accountability groups simply guilt groups or some other version of performative art? How often do we treasure our sin or make it an object of “beauty”?