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What would be the consequences for a teenage child of committed Australian Anglican parents who chose to refuse confirmation?

The confirmation may be refused either before the ceremony, i.e. refusing to attend, or during the ceremony.

I'm interested in what church doctrine would say as to how to deal with such a person.

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    It might be better to ask what the official doctrine would be rather than how certain people might react. – Narnian Sep 25 '14 at 17:03
  • I agree with Narnian; do consider editing the question to phrase it in terms of the doctrine of the Australian Anglican Church. That sort of question is really the only kind we can answer here. – Matt Gutting Sep 25 '14 at 17:33
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    Are you asking this because it reflects your personal situation? – DJClayworth Sep 25 '14 at 18:31
  • Let us know how it goes. – ShemSeger Sep 25 '14 at 19:43
  • @DJClayworth, No, this is not a personal situation, I'm doing story research, and being an atheist and not personally knowing anyone who could answer the question... – Monty Wild Sep 25 '14 at 23:35
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Most(?) Anglican churches probably run confirmation classes. If anyone had solid reasons to not want to be confirmed those reasons would arise during the classes, so if they changed their mind right before the confirmation itself then that would be an impulsive decision, so I don't think there's much point looking for any regularities about that.

What about if you express your desire to not be confirmed earlier? Well Anglicanism is very diverse. Some churches will make a big deal out of confirmation, others less of one. Some churches will think of it as a rite that everyone goes through, others will not. Some will pressure the youth into doing it, others will wait for their youth to ask to be confirmed.

As someone who attends an evangelical Anglican church, I think it would actually be a good sign that someone did not want to be confirmed: it is very unhealthy for churches to confirm people who really have no true faith and confidence in God. To say "I shouldn't do this" is a good thing to say. Whether they are having doubts or are a firm atheist, it is much better to not be confirmed than to confirm people who aren't true Christians.

If someone is willing to talk through these issues with the leaders of their church there is unlikely to be any long term consequences. Many dioceses however will not let you do certain things in church services without being confirmed, but if you don't want to be confirmed it's unlikely your church leaders will want you to service lead etc anyway.

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  • Thanks, this is useful. However, what sorts of things would a diocese not allow an unconfirmed person to do in a church service? Lead a service? Play the organ? Hand out pamphlets? Also, what does Anglican doctrine say about the state of the soul of a person who refused confirmation? – Monty Wild Sep 26 '14 at 0:42
  • Depends on the church and diocese. And what do you mean by 'Anglican doctrine'? But I don't think it would say anything about the soul of such a person. – curiousdannii Sep 26 '14 at 0:53
  • So, it would likely be up to the vicar and/or bishop? What I was asking is if Anglicans would believe that the soul of a person who had rejected confirmation was bound for hell? – Monty Wild Sep 26 '14 at 1:26
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    Confirmation is just a public declaration that someone is claiming to be a Christian, which is only needed because they can't use baptism for that purpose because they baptise infants. It doesn't determine anything itself. – curiousdannii Sep 26 '14 at 1:39

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