Thursday, October 27, 2005

confirmation again

I have been doing some on going thinking and research on why this has lost it's value in our region.
Several things strike me:
Firstly it only seems to have value when coupled with relationships - a program is a tool for doing the class but it is the level of relationships that exist between the young people and the church that they are being asked to be confirmed into that seems to be the issue. Notice I say Church and not faith, because although many leave the Church at this time they do not always seem to loose their faith. When this is coupled with the confirmation being done by a bishop who probably has no relationship with the young person it seems to be quite odd. When Jesus said i am the way the truth and the light i am not convinced that he was jsut saying here is the truth take it, but rather come and follow me, spend time with me get to know me and you will see that I am the Truth.....
Second believers baptism seems to be a more meaningful option. In my time as a baptist pastor i think i did around 20 baptism's of teenagers who were making a confession of faith. More often that not it was accompanied by testimony not only to the gathered Christians but to none christian friends and relatives. One that particuarly struck me was a young girl who had by chance wondered into our church and liked what she heard and decided very quickly Jesus was what she was missing. Her baptism was very powerful. While I think we cam often mistake power for hype it strikes me that believers baptism seems to be more attractive and seems to help encourage a young person faith more than confirmation.
I still think confirmation has something to offer but maybe a reaffirmation and reenactment of baptism vows would offer more. Not only because it takes time and is therefore a more public celebratory event, but also because it is done normally by a person who is in relationship (hopefully) with the young person.

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