The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has just issued a major study of the doctrine and practice of confession and absolution. The report by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations establishes the Biblical and theological basis for confessing your sins to a pastor and receiving forgiveness from his words of absolution.
This may sound strange to you Protestants who are not Lutherans. What do you do with John 20:21-22? “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.’”