To Confess or Not

In some way the senior pastor of 800-member Elim church learned that Calvin Inman, his newly ordained youth minister, had many years ago killed a person. After many weeks of talking with the young man, Ron Nissen persuaded him to admit his crime. On Saturday, Calvin Inman was charged with capital murder and locked in jail.

More of the story here.

There will be those who say Rev. Inman should not have revealed himself, but merely have continued his good life, for surely He had repented to God. Others, of course, will say he did the right thing by confessing this terrible deed.

What do you think? After many years have gone by, is it necessary to confess everything a person has done wrong? What about the grief such revelation brings to family, friends and the church? In this case, restitution was not possible, for life could not be restored. I’m of the opinion that he probably should have confessed, but understand the terrible ramifications such words would cause.

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My devotional blog is here.

11 thoughts on “To Confess or Not

  1. Hello, Natasha

    Welcome to my blog. Hope you visit here often.

    I am impressed by the name of your site in which you refer to yourself as being an Unashamed Christian and a Stay At Home Mom. You, my dear, are one after my own heart. I sincerely congratulate you on both those stances.

    What insight and drama you bring to this subject, merely because of your relationship with Calvin. Thank you for adding these most enlightening details, and especially for confirming the fact that, indeed, God does change lives.

    Blessings to you and yours

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  2. I actually knew Calvin back in his teens. I would of never thought of him to be able to do this. I always saw the sweet loving Calvin. We became close for short time, but went our seperate ways due to our life styles. I remember him telling me that we couldn’t be together due me being too good for him.

    He has always been in my thoughts since I lost contact with him. God actually led Calvin back to my life last year.

    I just got back into contact with him last year via myspace. I am so proud of the man he became. Out of all my friends I knew, he surprised me the most.

    We lost contact on myspace due to what Calvin was going through. I wish I could of been there for him.

    I know the Calvin back then would of never confessed. He was a very sinful person. Even though he had a good heart, he was into some bad things.

    He has been struggling with this confession for 13 years now. I know satan has been on his shoulder.. and he has been in a spiritual warfare. We don’t realize how fast time goes by.. I know for me the last 1o years has been a blink. Satan tricks us into waiting… that is his game.. wait till tomorrow.

    God has a plan for his life… it might not be the story book ending that Calvin thought he would have.. but God’s plan is greater than what we see.

    He is going to pay the “earthly” price for the crime. I am keeping my eyes on Heaven. I will finally get to be reunited with someone I really cared about. That is the ultimate prize that came out of this. Calvin is saved.. and going to Heaven.. no matter how long he will pay his “sin’s” cost here in the “world.”

    I pray that Calvin is safe.. he will probably be going to jail for life.. I know he will be able to change other’s life.

    Thank you for your support on here. Blog and blog is judging him left and right. They don’t know the Calvin I knew.. and was getting to know again.

    He is a sweet loving person.. God has changed his life.

    He is a inspiration to me.. and hopefully others.

    God Bless.

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  3. This is a very extraordinary story. I agree with BR that he could not have remained silent and been a righteous man in this situation, whether or not he confesses to God. But he should be commended in that while he was in the situation that he could have remained silent and avoided arrest and jail and likely never got caught, he confessed and will pay what the law of the land requires.
    Certainly murder is terrible crime. I saw Mike Huckabee speak during a debate about a time when he had the ability to excuse a man from capital punishment. It made an impression on me how he stated that he read every document concerning that case very closely and carefully and put much care in his decision. The reason was that should this man die at the hands of his state, they could not reverse his death in the case that new evidence would change the situation.
    And so is the case with this situaion. Iqbal Ahmed’s death cannot be reversed, he is gone. From a certain perspective, Inman can never make this completely right. He took Iqbal Ahmed’s life, but he cannot give it back. But Inman’s choice to confess to the police and be accountable for this crime he commited many years ago is admirable in that he seems to be doing all that he is able to make it right. His choice would be admirable no matter what religious beliefs he had or did not have. And especially because he had the option to remain silent.
    But it is encouraging to all Pentecostals and Christians to see a Pentecostal do the best they can to make it right despite the cost.

    Regarding BR’s last comment: Christians are taught to forgive almost anything (and maybe even anything). Jesus taught this kind of forgiveness and it is regardless of who the offender is or what they believe.

    Hi, John. Thanks for joining the interesting conversation and for adding your thoughtful remarks.

    Ah, forgiveness……quite an issue for all of us. I think we probably agree, that although Jesus calls for us to “forgive almost anything (and maybe even anything),” that does not mean the perpetrator of the evil should not suffer its consequences.

    Appreciate your being here.

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  4. BR

    Is anyone seriously suggesting that this cold-blooded murderer should have gotten off scot free because he was never caught by the police and had apparently lived a blameless life since?

    At what point do you draw the line? What if he had murdered two people, or ten? If he confesses to God, is he absolved of any other responsibility?

    We are a nation of laws, and this Inman character clearly had no respect for them at the time he committed a murder. I doubt that repentance to God, Allah or Buddha brings much closure to his victim’s family. He needs to face the music for his crimes.

    The statements from his church about his character and bravery are frankly nonsensical, and make it sound like Christians are willing to forgive almost anything if committed by one of their own.

    Hello, BR. Welcome to my site. Hope you’re here often.

    Everyone who has spoken on this site, I believe, agree that Mr. Inman should pay for his crimes. Indeed, it seems Inman was of the same thought for it is reported that his pastor said of him, “”He knows it’s the right thing to do. His desire is to help other kids not make the same mistakes he did.

    Personally, I agree that he should pay for his crime and spend time in prison. Having said that though, through the many years of my life, I have seen people change, and know mindsets and thought processes can be quite different when a man is a wild 16 year old, and when he is a grown Christian. Please don’t discount the change that Jesus Christ can make in people. While that in no way excuses his past behavior, people indeed do change their way of living. Remarkably so. Thus it is not hard for me to believe his friends are truthful when they speak of his elevated character and his bravery. That should not be considered excusing his past deeds.

    Indeed it is possible–happens frequently–that a person who is sinful and vile comes to God and his very nature is changed.

    Again, thank you for your comments. I respect you for making them, and welcome you to my site.

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  5. Shirley, I think all sin must be confessed to God, as soon as we are aware that it is sin, which is usually but not always soon after the deed has occurred. Confessing to others is a bit different.

    Inman was convinced by the older pastor to confess and turn himself in, so at first glance it looks as though he was “talked into” confessing something he might not otherwise have done. While this is possible, I think there is more to it than that. Inman must have told the senior pastore about the killing. How else would the senior pastor know. I think Inman felt a need to make this right to the extent that he could.

    Now obviously, he cannot give the man his life back, but the man who owned the store had a name that sounded (although I cannot be sure) as though he might be Muslim. What a powerful witness to these people who can now put closure to the man’s death due to the confession of a Christian man. You see where I am going.

    This is not the same thing as a man who becomes a Christian and now feels guilty for all the groceries he stole as a teenager. In this case, the old grocer may be dead and an apartment building stand where the grocer once was in a city where the man no longer lives. To whom, other than God, should this man confess? Maybe to other Christians, if doing so can lead others away from similar actions. But why on earth would be go to a city in another state to look for the relatives of an old man to pay $58.00 back?

    I think should be made always to God and to people when the confession will make a difference. When in doubt, pray for guidance.

    Helen, I appreciate the couple of pertinent points you made here: No. 1 “When in doubt, pray for guidance.” Prayer, sincerely made, is such a dynamic and useful tool. We must never forget to just take some of these things to God…asking Him for direction. Thank you for that reminder.

    The second great point you made is that our admitting sin and wrongdoing, especially when no one else knows about it, is such a great witness, both to believers and unbelievers alike.

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  6. Unfaithfulness in some instances does not need to be revealed if it had happened many years ago, and was no longer a part of the partner’s makeup. It would destroy a family. However, if this type of sin resurfaces after years of restored faithfulness then it is a different story. Unfortunately, because it was repented and forgiven the first time, it makes some easily believe that they can have that privilege again, without any repercussions. A repeat of the offense means that the partner has already destroyed the family, even though it is not made public. What is the worth of a wife or husband or children in this case? Do they deserve to be defiled? I know this is not true in every case, so that is why it is good to let God do the judging.

    I agree with what you are saying here. I’m so glad God is the one who judges us.

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  7. Many times I have heard men of God preach that sins don’t come in various sizes – and that we must ask forgiveness of each one. However, if a true Christian we be, we must handle our sins as the Lord would have us do, even if it means being revealed. We are a society of cover-ups. We just need go to our news to see what a mess the kept secrets have become. Hiding sin, erodes our thinking and then destroys us.

    Good morning, Karen. Thank you for your comments. There is no question–absolutely none–about repenting of our sins and asking God to forgive us. We must do that, no matter what the sin. And certainly, secret sins and wrong doing has brought disgrace to our country and to our world.

    I’m trying to form my own opinion about the wisdom, though, of revealing every sin to human beings. In particular, if a man has been unfaithful to his wife many years ago, she never suspected, he has repented and is now a faithful husband, does it do the marriage any good for him to tell his wife of that occasion?

    Arguments for such revealing are: honesty in the relationship and a healing of his own guilt.

    Arguments against such revealing in my own mind are: Horrendous grief to the wife of which she could be spared, and possible mistrust wedging into the marriage.

    I’m interested in hearing more of your thinking.

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  8. Esther

    You asked in your comments, should a person reveil everything he has done wrong? I think it really depends on what the “wrong” was. A murder, yes, how he waited for 13 years is hard to understand. But, so many other things that someone might have done (even against the law, like stealing) I think (if one has not done the wrong again after 13 years) could remain between the person and God. Really depends on the crime. Just my opinion.

    Good morning, Esther. I agree with you that some things are better left unconfessed. Some confessions would devastate families and friends……and would serve no good purpose. I’m thinking especially of sexual sins…..infidelities…..etc.

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  9. Zarian

    I admire this man greatly for the great confession he has made. I understand the thoughts of going along with his life, being that in 13 years he has probably asked for forgiveness countless amounts of times. However, when God’s plans weighs on your heart as much as this must have for Calvin, there must be a greater reasoning. Think of the great outcome and benifits of his testimony. People will hopefully have their lives changed in a great way, because of the confession that Calvin made so publicly.

    Good morning, Zarian. Thank you for being here and for your thoughtful comments. You’re no doubt right that Calvin’s actions will have a positive influence on many people. Can you imagine the mental grief experienced by a person who has committed such a deed, and who has subsequently found God, and inculcated His principles into their lives. What anguish of soul must be there.

    What comfort it is to recognize God’s redeeming love and His forgiveness. I cherish His grace and mercy, for without them, I would have no hope.

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