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  #1  
Old Dec 5, '10, 12:22 pm
middleagedman middleagedman is offline
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Default My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

My son has renounced his faith in God and no longer believes in it. What can I do to convince his otherwise. He is 14 and is always going on the internet and back then he used to be into the bible but now he is talking about how ridiculous the bible is and how funny it all sounds and is saying blastphemies from scientists and tv shows and its really uncompfortable for me. I love him but I don't want him to burn in hell for an eternity and I am starting to get upset at him for saying such mean things about the lord who created us all in the first place! What can I do to convert him back thank you and god bless you for all of your help!
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  #2  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:00 pm
Observer3 Observer3 is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Your son might be your son, but he's got his own head and heart. Why would want to push your beliefs on anyone? I guarantee it is impossible to "make" someone believe what you want - that has to come from within them. He is on his own path.
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  #3  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:10 pm
middleagedman middleagedman is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

I understand what you are saying but it says explicitly in the bible that if he does not believe in jesus he will not go to heaven. I don't want him to burn in hell because I love him I would rather proselytize him, while it would hurt in this world I'm sure in the spiritual world we would be together in heaven
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  #4  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:11 pm
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Your first step should always be to pray for him. Pray consistantly and let him know you are praying (but don't make him pray with you or listen to you pray.) If your church has Adoration, commit time every week to be there -- even if just for 1/2 hour.

My son is also 14 and while he is no where near renouncing him faith, he does have lots of questions. Do not be afraid to discuss science and religion with your son. They are not opposites and you should be sure he knows about great scientists who were also faithful Catholics. There are quite a few Catholic scientists today -- the vatican has a science office and the vatican observatory is one of the oldest.

He may also be interested to read the "Prove it" series written for teens. Or, if he refuses, you may find them helpful as sources that give you teen-centered language to speak with. "Did Adam and Eve have Belly Buttons" is another good book that discusses science and religion. Catholic Answers has some great stuff on this website also.

The Bible is not a science book and isn't meant to give us a scientific orientation to the world. Microevolution (changes to animals and plants withing species), string theory, genetics, etc are all perfectly consistent with a world created by God. Macroevolution (all animals and people evolved from one type of creature) is not, but then, it has also been pretty well discarded by the scientific community anyway.

But really, global warming, whether or how dolphins communicate, and most of the rest of the hot scientific topics these days should not affect one's faith. If anything, they point to a creator who is grander and more powerful than we sometimes acknolwedge.

Finally, if your parish (or a nearby one) has a good youth group, try to get him involved. It may be that he just wants to fit in with friends who are not religious and introducing him to other teens who are not afraid to live their faih can help a lot. He may be too young for World Youth Day this summer, but a conference at Stubenville University or other retreats local to you may be another good idea.
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  #5  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:11 pm
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Rascalking Rascalking is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Whatever you do, do NOT force it down his throat, preach to him all the time, and yell bible verses/catechism quotes. That will alienate him even more. I've been where you son is. When my mother did the above to me, it just repulsed me further and further from the faith.
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  #6  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:15 pm
broconsul broconsul is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Take this opportunity to learn about the faith and its theological underpinnings. Educate yourself about what he's telling you. Learn about why he's chosen not to believe anymore and counter what he has to say with the truth. Be confident with your answers. There is no argument against God that hasn't been answered already by many smart theologians and apologists. Be sure not to use the Bible as evidence, though! It's great for believers, but because your son isn't a believer anymore, you'll probably have to start lower with arguments for God.

Don't allow the false dichotomy between science and Catholicism to form! He might have the idea that religion is for people who don't have the answers, and who aren't as smart as he is. Prove that not to be the case.

You won't convince him overnight. But just stay confident.
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  #7  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:17 pm
middleagedman middleagedman is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Its becoming very hard to tolerate he says such mean things like that god is a murderer and is responsible for all the deaths and famines and bad things like that and keeps saying that the bible tolerates slavery and gender inequality and homophobia and I just don't know how to respond to these questions i was just told this is that from the bible you know and I did the right thing and listened.
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  #8  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:20 pm
rskempf rskempf is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

If he is living in your house, he has a duty to obey his parents. You have a duty to teach him how to survive, materially in this world and for eternity in heaven. Do your best.

If there is too much TV in the house. Get rid of all TV's and cut the cable. We do not even watch TV anymore. Did you know Brokeback Mountain was on national TV last week - ugh!

Get outside in the good weather and go for hikes, canoeing, forest trail bike rides, ... anything to get out of the house.

Go on ocassion to the great catholic churches in the area and observe the artwork. This makes it pretty clear that we are in a dull time today where the fine arts have lost their meaning. It might help.

Finally and most importantly, pray a lot and keep growing in the faith. Find good faith resources. There are a lot that are filled with nonsense and heresy. You will be able to spot these more quickly as time goes on.
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  #9  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:22 pm
broconsul broconsul is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Quote:
Originally Posted by middleagedman View Post
Its becoming very hard to tolerate he says such mean things like that god is a murderer and is responsible for all the deaths and famines and bad things like that and keeps saying that the bible tolerates slavery and gender inequality and homophobia and I just don't know how to respond to these questions i was just told this is that from the bible you know and I did the right thing and listened.
Ask him how he arrived at these conclusions.

More and more, it's seeming like this is a great opportunity for you to educate yourself.

Don't allow yourself to be stumped. Tell him you'll get an answer to his questions and get back to him.
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  #10  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:27 pm
middleagedman middleagedman is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Quote:
Originally Posted by rskempf View Post
If he is living in your house, he has a duty to obey his parents. You have a duty to teach him how to survive, materially in this world and for eternity in heaven. Do your best.

If there is too much TV in the house. Get rid of all TV's and cut the cable. We do not even watch TV anymore. Did you know Brokeback Mountain was on national TV last week - ugh!

Get outside in the good weather and go for hikes, canoeing, forest trail bike rides, ... anything to get out of the house.

Go on ocassion to the great catholic churches in the area and observe the artwork. This makes it pretty clear that we are in a dull time today where the fine arts have lost their meaning. It might help.

Finally and most importantly, pray a lot and keep growing in the faith. Find good faith resources. There are a lot that are filled with nonsense and heresy. You will be able to spot these more quickly as time goes on.
when I think about it, I do recall him watching this show called south park and a show called (appalingly) Bulls***
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  #11  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:27 pm
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ZDHayden ZDHayden is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Please be calm. I was in your son's situation myself, once. I was, however, Southern Baptist when I left, and when I returned to Christianity, I found the fullness of it!

Please recognize these from my own experience:
-You cannot force him into faith - it will simply drive him away.
-You can try to appeal to his reason when he says something that bothers you, but since you are Parent and he is 14, he may ignore you.
-You need to pray always for him
-You must be patient and merciful -- but not lax. It took me four long and hard years before I returned to Christ, and it would have taken me longer if my mother had not disciplined me as much as she did.
-Do not discipline your son when he has stated something simply disagreeable, but discipline him when he has done wrong.
-If he needs someone, be that someone.
-always be honest with him
-and lastly, do NOT be afraid!

My mother, who once had to put up with me and my self-proclaimed atheism and hostility to religion, now says that I am far more religious than she is. This, after four years of doing the above.
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  #12  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:30 pm
middleagedman middleagedman is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Quote:
Originally Posted by broconsul View Post
Ask him how he arrived at these conclusions.

More and more, it's seeming like this is a great opportunity for you to educate yourself.

Don't allow yourself to be stumped. Tell him you'll get an answer to his questions and get back to him.
he gets it from the bible and from television and the internet. I dont usually go to such places cause its so morally apprehensible. I turned on the tv a week ago and saw a tv show with a gay couple- and they adopted a child. The nerve of them!!!!

Should i ban him from media? or limit him. I gotta do somethin right? we didnt have all this trash when i was a kid!!!
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  #13  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:30 pm
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joandarc2008 joandarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

The Volume 4 of the CAF Apologetic series is pretty good though -you can't force him but if you tell him that it is something that you are trying to work with him on and since you recognize he is growing in intelligence he should see both sides of arguments.
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  #14  
Old Dec 5, '10, 1:39 pm
broconsul broconsul is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Quote:
Originally Posted by middleagedman View Post
he gets it from the bible and from television and the internet. I dont usually go to such places cause its so morally apprehensible. I turned on the tv a week ago and saw a tv show with a gay couple- and they adopted a child. The nerve of them!!!!

Should i ban him from media? or limit him. I gotta do somethin right? we didnt have all this trash when i was a kid!!!
You might not have had those things when you were a kid, but the world changes!

Though you're called not to be OF this world, you still have to live in it. Ignorance of it rarely helps anyone.

Edited to add:

How do you design a bulletproof vest without knowing how a gun works?
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  #15  
Old Dec 5, '10, 2:01 pm
Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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Default Re: My son has renounced his faith, what do I do???

Quote:
Originally Posted by middleagedman View Post
My son has renounced his faith in God and no longer believes in it. What can I do to convince his otherwise. He is 14 and is always going on the internet and back then he used to be into the bible but now he is talking about how ridiculous the bible is and how funny it all sounds and is saying blastphemies from scientists and tv shows and its really uncompfortable for me. I love him but I don't want him to burn in hell for an eternity and I am starting to get upset at him for saying such mean things about the lord who created us all in the first place! What can I do to convert him back thank you and god bless you for all of your help!
Send him here to the Catholic Answers Forums and let us help.

As for what you can do offline (which is more important), you need to start from square one and prove the existence of God (see my profile, 4th or 5th post down) and work your way up the spiral argument with your son. I also recommend this book from San Juan Catholic Seminars, which Catholic Answers sells here.

And above all, PRAY. That should go without saying, but pray and go full throttle on your own reception of the Sacraments, all with the intention of helping your son.
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