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Non-Catholics Section: Confirmation

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Non-Catholics Section:

The Sacrament of Confirmation

Sources: Various

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How Can Confirmation be a Sacrament Since the Word 'Confirmation' is Not in the Bible?

Isn't the Practice of Confirmation an Invention of the Catholic Church?

Does Confirmation Cause the Imparting of the Holy Spirit?

Why Were Early Confirmations Accompanied by Extraordinary Occurrences (e.g. Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy)?

Question

Comments

How Can Confirmation be a Sacrament Since the Word 'Confirmation' is Not in the Bible?

Consider:

* The word 'bible' is also not in the bible, yet you use that term, do you not?

* While the word 'Confirmation' is not in the bible, the actual sacrament of Confirmation may be seen clearly in Holy Scripture (e.g. see Acts 8:14-17 & 19:5-6).

Isn't the Practice of Confirmation an Invention of the Catholic Church?

Consider:

* The Catholic Church has no power to invent Sacraments, but only to administer those that were instituted by Christ.

* The Sacrament of Confirmation may be seen clearly in Holy Scripture.

* How can one reject Confirmation when Scripture clearly refers to this Sacrament? For example, consider the following passages (emphasis added):

Act 8:14-17: Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:1-6: While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and came (down) to Ephesus where he found some disciples. He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They answered him, "We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." He said, "How were you baptized?" They replied, "With the baptism of John." Paul then said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid (his) hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

* How is it that one can deny that Confirmation has always been considered a Sacrament when numerous early quotations refer to this Sacrament? For example, consider these ancient references to Confirmation (emphasis added):

"Baptism itself is a corporal act by which we are plunged in water, while its effect is spiritual, and that we are freed from sins. After this, the hand is imposed for a blessing, invoking and inviting the Holy Spirit." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 200 A.D.]

"As [Novatian] seemed about to die, he received Baptism in the bed where he lay, by pouring - if, indeed, such a man can be said to have received it at all. And when he recovered from his illness he did not receive the other things which, in accord with the law of the Church, it is necessary to have; nor was he sealed by the bishop. And since this was not done, how could he have the Holy Spirit?" (Pope St. Cornelius I, 251 A.D.)

Does Confirmation Cause the Imparting of the Holy Spirit?

Consider:

* As is clear from Holy Scripture, the Sacrament of Confirmation actually does cause the imparting of the Holy Spirit. For example, consider the following Scripture passages:

Acts 8:17: Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:6: And when Paul laid (his) hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

* Scripture clearly shows that only certain persons (bishops) have the power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation. For example, consider this passage: 

Acts 8:18-19: When Simon saw that the Spirit was conferred by the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me this power too, so that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."

Note: Today's Catholic bishops are the direct successors to the apostles.

Why Were Early Confirmations Accompanied by Extraordinary Occurrences (e.g. Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy)?

Consider:

* As Holy Scripture indicates, certain phenomena occurred in the early Church in order to grow the Church (see 1 Cor. 14:5, 14:12). These phenomena were a gift of God to the infant Church and died out early on after the Church began to grow. Although such phenomena could continue to occur if God chose to continue them, they are not necessary to the Sacrament. In fact, later manifestations of such phenomena may even be tied to evil spirits. Remember that when God permits extraordinary phenomena such as may be seen in the early Church, there is a good reason for such occurrences (e.g. growth of the Church) - God does not grant such extraordinary phenomena merely to "dazzle" audiences or make people "feel spiritual".

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