We have a little problem with our youngest daughter. Her three older siblings are all grown up and gone. All four of our kids were baptized as infants and the older three went through the process of confirmation at church. Our youngest, however, has been a bit of a special case. She has not started the confirmation process, which is three years long, and is now two years behind the other kids in her grade.
Part of the fault is mine. I refused to put her under the instruction and influence of a man I consider one of the worst false teachers I have ever run into.
But our daughter has also been having other problems, socially and emotionally. She feels that all the kids in her grade at church hate her. She refuses to go to Sunday School or confirmation with those kids. Perhaps we should have forced her to go, perhaps not. We haven’t forced her, anyway.
So the situation now is that she is two years behind the other kids her age, and would almost certainly have to start at the beginning of the three-year program with the 7th graders. We have been in contact with the pastor of another near-by UM church, who is willing to take our daughter into his class and confirm her after his one-year program. It’s also OK with our new pastor.
My problem with all of this is that it’s main purpose will be to have our daughter confirmed as a member of the UMC at the same age as the rest of the kids in her grade, and to be just like our other three kids. But what does that matter?
It seems to me that the most biblically correct solution to this would be for her to be taught the scriptures, and Christian and church history, reach a point where she “owns” the “Faith once delivered” as her own faith, and then joins the church by professing her faith in Jesus as Lord.
But if she goes through the confirmation process, she will be no different from her brother and sisters, and no different from the other kids her age. She may, or may not, own the Faith.
For me, the easy way out would be to just go along with the plan to confirm her at the other church. But it doesn’t have to be either/or. If that’s what happens, I must make sure she gets the instruction she needs to make her decision to turn in faith to Christ, and then to walk as a child of God the rest of her life. God won’t let her go, neither must I.