The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Confirmation: Should it be changed?

Tweak? Overhaul? Leave alone?

An enthusiastic high-five to Rob Zahn for his “Change confirmation” (May, "My View"). I believe Zahn is right — confirmation doesn’t work. Already confirmed, academically awarded honor students ask such questions as: How do I know if I am really saved? Is Jesus Christ God? Which is the true church? So I’m compelled to suggest the ELCA consider a major overhaul of confirmation. Let’s lighten up a bit on historic tradition — and instead serve our young people an extra heavy dose of Jesus and who he is in and for us ... today.

Jim Roberts
La Mirada, Calif.

A done deal

The questions Rob Zahn asks have already been asked—and answered. Rather than complaining, he should investigate some of the substantial changes already made and build on them. Confirmation, for most people, represents the most intense theological education they’ll ever undertake. It occurs at a time when they’re the most receptive to getting to know the God who created and continues to love them.

Patricia Caley
Quincy, Ill.

Getting the mind to class

My wife is a nurse, and we saw confirmation class as similar to the informed consent you deal with in hospitals. We thought our daughter didn’t have to be confirmed, but she should at least go to the classes so she’d understand what she was saying she didn’t believe — and also so she’d be better armed when she ran into some airport tract-waver. But there’s nothing you can do when the kid already has made up her mind that she’s not interested and not buying it. You can get their bodies in the room, but getting their minds there is tougher.

Keith E. Gatling
Liverpool, N.Y.

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