Brother-In-Law Leaving the Faith


#1

Hello! I'm new to this forum and I needed some advice. I'm not sure where else this post would go, but I thought I'd try it here. :)

My brother-in-law, Tom, has always been Catholic. He started dating this girl, Deb. Deb is Baptist and she doesn't like Catholics, and yet she is dating one. The family can see that Deb is manipulating Tom into leaving them and the Faith. The family asked me to write some e-mails explaining the faith since I know a lot about it. I tried to answer his questions about the Faith (Why priests can't marry, the Transubstantiation, Why pray to Mary, etc.), but I know he never even read the e-mails. Deb has all of these ideas on what Catholics believe and it is totally not true (We are cannibals, We worship statues, etc.) Deb is also trying to convince Tom to move far away. Tom is not mature yet. It seems like Deb is doing Tom's thinking for him and not letting him make his own decisions. This is really upsetting my husband and his family.

I guess I was needing some advice on what to do now. I certainly don't want him to leave the Catholic church, and I don't know what else to say to him. He was Catholic and went to church every Sunday before he met Deb. I don't think he goes to mass anymore, but rather goes to Deb's church. I just don't want to force him into it; I just want to show him what he would be leaving if he were to convert, but he just doesn't seem to grasp it. Thank you for any responses! It is greatly appreciated. God bless!


#2

Thank you for coming here and sharing your story. I am sorry for all of the pain that your family is going through, please be assured of my prayers. I highlighted the quote above from your post to ask a question. Are you really concerned about forcing him into something? I hope you know, and you probably do, that you cannot possibly “force” your brother-in-law into accepting the Catholic Faith. Please know this because while you can encourage him, his faith life is not your responsibility.

The task at hand is a diffucult one. I know you are trying and your husband’s family is willing to try anything at this point…but if he loves and cares about this woman do you beleive a few emails from you will make much difference? Love and attraction can be highly powerful you know this already. Even if you sent an email message that was brilliantly worded it won’t make a difference if his heart isn’t open.

Invite the two of them over for dinner! Don’t discuss religion at all. Meet the two of them together and show them love, love and more love. Be kind, cordial, ask her about her life and be interested in her. Get to know her, be a friend. Although your family probably dislikes her it seems (from your post) that she really hasn’t done anything wrong. She is a woman who is strong in her faith and she is sharing that with the man she cares about, perfectly natural.

I would steer clear from the emails about Church doctrine and instead show them love. It seems as if he is seeking out something, maybe his faith wasn’t that strong to begin with for him to abandon it so quickly. Maybe he was incredibly lonely and she is filling that void. Either way I would try love and warmth to keep them close and stop the messages. Hope this helps a little. God bles.


#3

Inviting them over to dinner is a great idea. Overall though you need to remember that mature or not he was mature enough to make his Sacraments and therefore has made the age of reason and discernment. Answer his questions but remember he has free will. We must be called to love him regardless of his choices and teach him what his responsibilities are as well. It is a fine tough line to walk.


#4

I think the best thing you can do is pray for both of them and let God do the rest.
Put them in your rosary intentions. Hand the problem over to our Blessed Mother and put your trust in her.


#5

[quote="drummergirl, post:1, topic:249565"]
Hello! I'm new to this forum and I needed some advice. I'm not sure where else this post would go, but I thought I'd try it here. :)

My brother-in-law, Tom, has always been Catholic. He started dating this girl, Deb. Deb is Baptist and she doesn't like Catholics, and yet she is dating one. The family can see that Deb is manipulating Tom into leaving them and the Faith. The family asked me to write some e-mails explaining the faith since I know a lot about it. I tried to answer his questions about the Faith (Why priests can't marry, the Transubstantiation, Why pray to Mary, etc.), but I know he never even read the e-mails. Deb has all of these ideas on what Catholics believe and it is totally not true (We are cannibals, We worship statues, etc.) Deb is also trying to convince Tom to move far away. Tom is not mature yet. It seems like Deb is doing Tom's thinking for him and not letting him make his own decisions. This is really upsetting my husband and his family.

I guess I was needing some advice on what to do now. I certainly don't want him to leave the Catholic church, and I don't know what else to say to him. He was Catholic and went to church every Sunday before he met Deb. I don't think he goes to mass anymore, but rather goes to Deb's church. I just don't want to force him into it; I just want to show him what he would be leaving if he were to convert, but he just doesn't seem to grasp it. Thank you for any responses! It is greatly appreciated. God bless!

[/quote]

First, let me point something out to you: Deb is a whore. Not in the sense of sex for money, but in the sense that she is selling herself into a relationship with someone she isn't REALLY interested in, in order to get him to pay back by converting away from the faith based on her false witness against the church. You might tell her that using her body to entice someone away from the church other than for licit reasons to enter a relationship is morally degenerate. She's no different than any other man or woman that uses their body to get what they want.

Second, your brother in law... is he going to mass? Is he going on retreats? Has he listened to anything by Tim Staples or Scott Hahn or other apologists on why they, prominent baptists/pentecostals/etc turned away from the same false witness as this "Deb" is promoting?

I would encourage your brother with this: he needs to be ABSOLUTELY certain before he leaves the church. He needs to investigate her claims resolutely. It's entirely possible that he will convert, she'll break up with him (having earned what she wanted out of the "relationship") and he'll realize that she was a lying harlot all along... then after his return to the faith of the church he will have to accept the fact that at one point he sold out God's church for a pair of legs.

(and before I get guff, I have been through no less than two relationships where I was told upon being dumped that "I didn't convert fast enough" (the first) and the second "she had only dated me because she thought she could convert me" (the second). It happens, some sects and denominations encourage their members to proselytize through getting involved in relationships. It's disgusting and immoral if you ask me)


#6

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.