Confirmation hoax

Growing up, my five older sisters and I were all indoctrinated into the Roman Catholicfir religion. We all attended Catholic parochial school and high school. I was baptized as an infant and participated in my first confession and first communion in the first grade and was confirmed as a Roman Catholic in fifth grade. Of all the Catholic sacraments, confirmation is probably the least prominent. The Roman church defines confirmation as follows:

“Confirmation is a true sacrament instituted by Christ and different from baptism. It is administered by laying-on of hands and anointing with chrism accompanied by prayer. The chrism is blessed by the bishop and the bishop administers the sacrament. All baptized persons can and should be confirmed. The effect of the sacrament of confirmation is to give strength in faith and for the confession of faith and to impress an indelible character.”
http://www.catholic.org/prayers/sacrament.php?id=3

With confirmation, the Catholic is supposedly declaring, “I was baptized as an infant without my consent, but I continue forward as a Catholic by choice.” However, confirmation wasn’t really a choice for any of us. It was something my classmates and I were required to do as part of our religious indoctrination. We were only ten or eleven-years-old and none of us had ever heard the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone up to that point or throughout all of our years in Catholicism.

The nuns and priests told us it was required that we go to confession prior to being confirmed. Going to confession was definitely not one of my favorite things to do and I hadn’t gone in quite a long time. Catholics are taught they must confess their “mortal” sins to a priest and they must go to confession at least once a year or incur another mortal sin. Yet, Catholic research shows only 12 percent of Catholics go to confession at least yearly. The notion of recalling a year’s worth of sins is absolutely preposterous to a believer.

I figured I better obey the nuns so I went to confession on the Saturday prior to Confirmation. I entered the dark, tri-part confessional and waited for the priest to finish up with the penitent on the other side. Boy, I was nervous and my hands were sweating profusely. The priest finally slid open the small panel to my booth and I began my rote confession.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been a month since my last confession.” I lied. It had actually been a couple of years since my last confession but I was embarrassed and afraid to admit that. I then proceeded with my obligatory list of sins. It went something like, “I lied to my mother five times. I yelled at my sisters ten times. I disobeyed my father three times. I cheated on a test in school.” I had no idea how many times I had actually committed these sins so I tried to come up with a believable number.

I continued, “I was mean to a younger kid in the neighborhood….”

“Stop!” Father Lynch had cut me off mid-sentence. My eyes turned as BIG as Kennedy half-dollars. Sounding more than a little exasperated, he blurted out, “You’re wasting my time and yours!” What? I was one shocked and confused ten-year-old boy. Tears welled up in my eyes. I was only doing what I had been ordered to do and this is what happens? Father gave me some perfunctory Hail Marys and Our Fathers to pray as penance for my annoying venial sins and quickly dismissed me. I couldn’t get out fast enough and I resolved that moment to never enter a confessional booth ever again as long as I lived.

We all went through the confirmation ceremony the following week. Bishop Hogan prayed over each of us and applied some blessed holy oil to our foreheads. None of us children knew Jesus Christ as our Savior. It was all empty ritual. Afterwards, my family and my first cousin, Rick, my chosen confirmation sponsor, went out to dinner to celebrate the big event. I received several gifts from my family but neither myself or anyone else knew Jesus Christ.

Seventeen years later, through God’s Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. Praise God! Religious ceremonies and rituals do not save. All of my five sisters, who went through confirmation just as I did, are now self-proclaimed agnostics or atheists. They never knew Christ. As a child of God through Jesus Christ, I can now come boldly to the throne of grace to confess my sins. A sinful man cannot be a mediator between God and myself. Jesus Christ is the only Mediator. Thank you Lord that I can come directly to You any hour of the day or night. I know You’ll never turn me away.

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5

Likewise, it’s the Holy Spirit Who seals all genuine believers, it’s not a ritualistic sacrament imparted by a sinful man.

“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” – 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

Thank you, Lord, for leading me out of religious legalism and saving me!

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12 thoughts on “Confirmation hoax

  1. I too was raised a Catholic and never knew Jesus. I am now a born again Christian and know God and the Bible. I do still enjoy the pageantry of the Catholic Church however and continue to follow the Pope and the Catholic church even though I am no longer a practicing Catholic.

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    1. Praise God that you accepted Christ! I follow Catholic news for the purposes of this blog. Yes, the ostentatious pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholicism is designed to appeal to people’s carnality. But Jesus Christ had no place to lay His head.

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      1. Thanks, Tom. In our era of high-tech razzle dazzle, perhaps the shimmer of the Catholic pageantry doesn’t have the appeal it once did but many people are still drawn to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Tom, unfortunately I must take exception to your claim regarding the “appeal to carnality.” This does not represent the Catholic Church correctly. The Catholic faith is extremely physical and beautiful on purpose: the physical world is good and beautiful. We are not gnostics who shun the physical world or believe it is bad. It is good, and our bodies will be resurrected again after we die. We won’t just discard them forever. The Pope is the placeholder for Christ when he returns, like the steward of Gondor holding the place of, and maintaining the kingdom for, the king. It is fitting that he should represent that office in an appropriate manner.

    In regards to the problem of people not knowing Christ as Catholics, such a problem is not a feature of the Catholic faith. It is a defect in what or how they were taught. A relationship with Jesus Christ was rightfully yours as a Catholic.

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    1. The pope and the Catholic church declare that people all of religions and even atheists can merit heaven if they “follow the light they’ve been given” and are “good.” The problem with that is no one is good except for God, which is why Jesus had to die on the cross. If salvation were a matter of being relatively “good,” then Christ died in vain. You infer that you know Christ but as a Catholic you must work at meriting your salvation right up until the day of your death. That is not “knowing Christ.” How much merit is enough and how much is not enough? A Catholic can never be sure. If you’re serious about examining Roman Catholicism, read James McCarthy’s, “The Gospel According to Rome.”

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      1. Catholics declare it’s all about grace but then proceed to attempt to merit their justification. “Cooperating with grace” is schizophrenic sophistry.

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      1. Can’t tell you how glad I am to have found your blog. There will be many more “reblogs” from yours to my own in the days and weeks ahead I’m sure. No one can tell the story better than someone who’s come out of the Catholic Church, from darkness into the glorious freedom in the Lord Jesus Christ, our true Savior and Redeemer.
        May He multiple His grace and peace to you abundantly.
        Scarlett

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much, Scarlett! Lord bless you as well! In our current era, when compromise and betrayal have become the norm in our churches it’s encouraging that other sisters and brothers continue to stand on the Word!!! We should be gracious in our secondary differences but uncompromising in upholding the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone.

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