Wheaton College Mass Confessions

February 1950: During a chapel service, the students of Wheaton College were invited by the college president to come forward and confess their sins. What followed was 38 hours of uninterrupted confessions as one student after another came forward. Many confessed more than once. Classes were cancelled to allow the spontaneous confess-a-thon to continue.

One student confessed that he wasn't sure if he loved his fiancee or God more, another to cheating in Bible class. A somewhat cynical student confessed that she couldn't believe all the confessions were sincere. Then asked forgiveness for doubting their sincerity.

Finally the college president halted the continuing stream of confessions, noting that "outsiders might think the revival has become too showy."

Wheaton students pray and listen to confessions
Newsweek - Feb 20, 1950

Decatur Herald - Feb 11, 1950

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 28, 2016
     Category: Religion | 1950s

Notable alumni include Billy Graham, Dennis Hastert, and Wes Craven.
Posted by ges on 04/28/16 at 10:35 AM
That's beautiful.
Posted by RobK on 04/28/16 at 12:50 PM
Burning questions to put to the religious:

"Can God make a rock so big that he can't move it?"

"Is the God of the Muslims the same God of the Christians?"

"When you ask me if I believe in God, I want to know: Whose God? The god of the Christians? The god of the Muslims. The god of the Pastafarians?"

Try those on the next travelling group of proselytizers who knock on your door. It's fun to watch them squirm.
Posted by KDP on 04/28/16 at 02:22 PM
My mother told me what her father told her which was: Never argue religion we all worship the same God, just in different ways. I always thought that was rather profound. It speaks to the idea that God is at the same time much too complex to understand and also understandable to each person according to that person's ability and faith. The all seeing and all knowing maker of heaven and earth must certainly be approachable by more than one path, it is us who are unable to imagine but one single path to His grace. I know many of you disagree with me on a lot of different levels and I respect that. So please be kind and don't pile on.

As far as the confessions, I suspect it may have started as a few spontaneous confessions and turned into some sort of mass hysteria event.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/28/16 at 06:06 PM
I once read an anecdote that seemed to sum religion perfectly.

It seems the farmers down at the general store got into a discussion over the different types of religions, and asked one old timer what he thought about it. He said:

Well, the nearest cotton mill's in Parley, over t'other side of Parley Hill.
You can get there by the swamp road that goes around Parley Hill, but it's a long road, take you all day, and the skeeters'll like ta carry you off before you get there.

Or you can take Hill Road. It goes right over the top o' Parley Hill, it's the quickest, get you there in 'bout three hours, but it's a hard'un on your mule.

Most people take the west road. It goes up over the west side o' Parley Hill. Take you 'bout half the day, but it's an easy route for your mule, and no skeeters.

When you get to the mill, Ol' man Jenkins that runs the mill don't care how you got there, he just judges how good your cotton is.
Posted by Captain DaFt on 04/28/16 at 10:02 PM
I love it sweetie, perfect!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/29/16 at 06:20 AM
Redemption by confessing one's sins somehow always seemed a bit too easy. It's like Emo's joke: "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me."
Posted by Fritz G on 04/29/16 at 07:58 AM
Patty, your observation that God is too complex to understand but understandable on a personal level is very good in general. My beef with fringe religions is that there is someone at the top who claims they have a personal hotline to the head deity. And you had better not question anything the head honcho says that they heard from said deity.
Posted by KDP on 04/29/16 at 09:14 AM
@KDP: "fringe religions"; you need not stray so far from the main stream.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 04/29/16 at 10:09 AM
Thank you KDP. There are plenty of con artists everywhere, that will never go away. The simplicity of that is if you believe you have a maker to face then you also believe those types of people do to. It falls back to the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the strength to change what I can, the serenity to accept what I can't, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

Pretty wise words to try and live by even without the prayer format. We do what we can to make the world a better place, at least our little corner of it anyway. And try not to let other's darkness extinguish our light.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/29/16 at 01:02 PM
"Never argue religion, we all worship the same God, just in different ways."
I must confess (sorry, couldn't resist), I took a religions class in high school and after studying all the current religions in '73, the resulting consensus was right along the lines of the above statement.
I don't belong to any one religious organization, but I try to aspire to the goals that each one teaches. No Nirvana for me this time around though, that much I know.
Posted by GFinKS on 04/30/16 at 09:46 AM
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