Explanations?


#1

First off I am new to this forum. I am not here to start huge arguments but would rather like to here some answers from Catholics to a number of questions. I grew up in a very conservative home and have just recently left. While at home I was raised Catholic but in no way consider myself a member of this faith. I told my family members (parents, namely) of my views and they were actually angry, I think. I'm not sure why they, two practicing Catholics, do exactly what they claim to be against: judgment. They always told me to treat everyone with respect but now that I am "different" I no longer deserve that same respect? I have grown increasingly frustrated that they just "know" they're right. I feel like religion has become the unfortunate vehicle by which people go about shaping others' minds.


#2

It is hard for parents to see their children abandoning their faith. And it's hard for them to see you abandoning it when you were raised with a good foundation. Their mercy and "non judgment" was likely extended to those who didn't have a good foundation.

They don't "know" they are right, they BELIEVE. They have put their trust in religion. It's more than just knowing. Faith is the belief in things not seen. They likely don't know. As my father once told my brother, "You're really smart you graduated from a top UNI and could get your masters, I am a dumb guy who barly got through 2 years of tech school and was lucky to find a great IT job and learned along the way. But you're SMART. You can research and understand all these ideas. I can't understand them but I have learned to believe...I don't need to be smart to believe" (My dad was REALLY being humble when he said this beucase he's a really smart IT programmer with very few people who could do his job) Point being...the logic stuff was too much for him...but faith was what he put his faith in...not Nostradamus or Atheiests'r'us.

On the other hand you don't believe, you have your own facts. You have had all these earth shattering revelations and you told them. Give them time to grieve and accept...maybe a few weeks, maybe a few years.


#3

[quote="AWguitar007, post:1, topic:229187"]
. I told my family members (parents, namely) of my views and they were actually angry, I think. I'm not sure why they, two practicing Catholics, do exactly what they claim to be against: judgment. .

[/quote]

your parents gave you the most precious gift, after the gift of life, they have, their Catholic Faith in Jesus Christ. You rejected, and made a point to inform them of that rejection, the most precious thing, the most essential part of their identity. Yet they have no right to be angry. Why? You reject them and all they hold dear, all their values, yet they are not supposed ot react? does this make sense? As a parent and grandparent I have experienced the untimely death of a child, and I have experienced the grief of a child turning away from Christ and choosing the opposite. The latter is harder to bear because you have to see the pain and destruction daily, not deal with a one-time loss.


#4

OP stated that there were a number of questions. I was looking for a list :confused:

Regarding the lack of respect from his parents, all that I can say is that parents are different than everyone else on the planet. Parents have a unique responsibility to children. A parent's primary responsibility in connection with their state in life is to raise their children in accordance with their faith.

If your parents do not respect your contrary beliefs, it is because they are not supposed to. They have an obligation to you which makes their relationship with you different than any other. It is their duty, remission from which is sinful, to do everything possible to insure that your soul reaches heaven. This duty is called love.


#5

Well, first off, if it is a family thing, be sure it has to do with more than religion. Look into that, as you go through life. I don’t know what you’ll learn, but the self-knowledge will be valuable.

If you’re baptised, you’re Catholic. It’s kind of like being born in the United States. You could move somewhere else, but the fact of being naturally born in the United States doesn’t go away. In the case of being Catholic, if you were to come back, you wouldn’t be re-baptised. So keep in mind that your parents will probably always consider you to be Catholic, no matter what else you say. If you think about how you would feel if your child renounced the United States, or how a Frenchman would feel if his child renounced France, you’ll see what I mean. If you renounce your mother country, in some sense that is going to be taken as renouncing Mom, too. The hurt and anger should not have surprised you. I doubt that you had any intention of hurting your parents, but I hope that if you look at it that way, your parents reaction will not hurt you so much.

The last thing I’d point out is that there are some untenable ideas out there concerning this business of judgement.

Avoiding judgment does not mean that you cannot believe someone to be objectively wrong in their opinions. That doesn’t even make sense, when you think about it. While there are things in this world that are difficult to get our minds around, some things are true and other things are false, including some substantial things that speak to very core of the values that guide our actions, and it is silly to expect people to pretend that it is otherwise.

It is not judgmental to regard and treat people according to their demonstrated character. Avoiding judgement does not mean that you are bound to put trust in people who haven’t earned it or ought to impute character traits to a person who does not have them. It is not judgmental to recognize that one person is habitually kind and another is habitually cruel, or that one has a mature view of the world while another has an immature sentiments. It is not judgemental to recognize merit or to penalize crime. Avoiding judgement does not mean that it is immoral to allow another person’s words or actions to arouse anger in you.

Avoiding judgment means that you do not draw conclusions about a person’s dignity as a person or their intrinsic worth because of what they think or what they’ve done. You can see that this is different thing than what is normally meant by “being non-judgmental”. I hope you can see that the other meanings given to that phrase are either fuzzy or else untenable, in the end. If your parents have said or done things that seem judgmental in the true sense, then by all means call them on that. Otherwise, don’t expect them to accept anything you may choose to do as something they ought to not only accept serenely but approve of without question or comment. It isn’t realistic…and you don’t do it, either.


#6

[quote="EasterJoy, post:5, topic:229187"]
Well, first off, if it is a family thing, be sure it has to do with more than religion. Look into that, as you go through life. I don't know what you'll learn, but the self-knowledge will be valuable.

If you're baptised, you're Catholic. It's kind of like being born in the United States. You could move somewhere else, but the fact of being naturally born in the United States doesn't go away. In the case of being Catholic, if you were to come back, you wouldn't be re-baptised. So keep in mind that your parents will probably always consider you to be Catholic, no matter what else you say. If you think about how you would feel if your child renounced the United States, or how a Frenchman would feel if his child renounced France, you'll see what I mean. If you renounce your mother country, in some sense that is going to be taken as renouncing Mom, too. The hurt and anger should not have surprised you. I doubt that you had any intention of hurting your parents, but I hope that if you look at it that way, your parents reaction will not hurt you so much.

The last thing I'd point out is that there are some untenable ideas out there concerning this business of judgement.

Avoiding judgment does not mean that you cannot believe someone to be objectively wrong in their opinions. That doesn't even make sense, when you think about it. While there are things in this world that are difficult to get our minds around, some things are true and other things are false, including some substantial things that speak to very core of the values that guide our actions, and it is silly to expect people to pretend that it is otherwise.

It is not judgmental to regard and treat people according to their demonstrated character. Avoiding judgement does not mean that you are bound to put trust in people who haven't earned it or ought to impute character traits to a person who does not have them. It is not judgmental to recognize that one person is habitually kind and another is habitually cruel, or that one has a mature view of the world while another has an immature sentiments. It is not judgemental to recognize merit or to penalize crime. Avoiding judgement does not mean that it is immoral to allow another person's words or actions to arouse anger in you.

Avoiding judgment means that you do not draw conclusions about a person's dignity as a person or their intrinsic worth because of what they think or what they've done. You can see that this is different thing than what is normally meant by "being non-judgmental". I hope you can see that the other meanings given to that phrase are either fuzzy or else untenable, in the end. If your parents have said or done things that seem judgmental in the true sense, then by all means call them on that. Otherwise, don't expect them to accept anything you may choose to do as something they ought to not only accept serenely but approve of without question or comment. It isn't realistic....and you don't do it, either.

[/quote]

And note, we aren't admonished NOT to judge. We are told "judge not, lest you be judged." That is, if you are willing to judge, then you need to be willing to be judged. It's really just an extension of the Golden Rule.

When Christ was asked the two most important commandments he said: "Love your neighbor as yourself." and "Love God with all your heart, your soul, your strength, and your mind." He noted that all other commandments flow from these two.

Note that He includes "and mind." You are RIGHT to ask questions. God wants us to ask questions. The TRUTH stands up to questions. The harder you look, the better the truth looks.

Oh and also note - "Love your neighbor as yourself" implies that you love yourself. If that rule is in force, no one wants to be loved by a masochist. It is important to care about yourself. Not to the exclusion of others. But reasonably in relation to them (equal-ish).

Glad to have you here asking questions.


#7

[quote="AWguitar007, post:1, topic:229187"]
First off I am new to this forum. I am not here to start huge arguments but would rather like to here some answers from Catholics to a number of questions. I grew up in a very conservative home and have just recently left. While at home I was raised Catholic but in no way consider myself a member of this faith. I told my family members (parents, namely) of my views and they were actually angry, I think. I'm not sure why they, two practicing Catholics, do exactly what they claim to be against: judgment. They always told me to treat everyone with respect but now that I am "different" I no longer deserve that same respect? I have grown increasingly frustrated that they just "know" they're right. I feel like religion has become the unfortunate vehicle by which people go about shaping others' minds.

[/quote]

If I may be so forward, does your reason for leaving the Church revolve around your unwillingness to practice chastity?

Many Catholic children leave the faith after highschool - so that in their denial of it -they can become sexual active.

(You're not wrong - the Catholic Church is - or God is).

Free sex, (contraception and abortion if required) drugs, alcohol etc. are the here and now; that spirituality and that remaining connected to Jesus will impede on your experimentations.

I've been down the road you're about to travel upon. It took me 30 years to make my way back to the Church. You'll imagine that you are happy and you'll bury your soul with all the "things" that take more importance (there will be multiple numbers).

The "story" of the Prodigal Son (s) will become an integral part of your life.

You have my prayers but not my blessing.


#8

Me too…I was wondering what all these questions were. Sounds to me like someone is simply rebelling because he/she can


#9

Welcome to the forums! :)

I hope you stick around and keep an open mind. I pray that you will find the answers you seek.


#10

[quote="Barbkw, post:7, topic:229187"]
If I may be so forward, does your reason for leaving the Church revolve around your unwillingness to practice chastity?

Many Catholic children leave the faith after highschool - so that in their denial of it -they can become sexual active.

(You're not wrong - the Catholic Church is - or God is).

Free sex, (contraception and abortion if required) drugs, alcohol etc. are the here and now; that spirituality and that remaining connected to Jesus will impede on your experimentations.

I've been down the road you're about to travel upon. It took me 30 years to make my way back to the Church. You'll imagine that you are happy and you'll bury your soul with all the "things" that take more importance (there will be multiple numbers).

The "story" of the Prodigal Son (s) will become an integral part of your life.

You have my prayers but not my blessing.

[/quote]

:clapping::sad_yes:

That's just what I was thinking. My son quit going to church around the time he and his then girlfriend took things too far. He hasn't returned. He will say the meal-time blessing with us now, and he's told me that he confessed, which is good if it's true. He said for a while that he wasn't Catholic any more. I just smiled and said, "You are a Catholic, you can't stop being a Catholic." I am not about to let him just get away with leaving without giving him a heck of a lot of pushback. He does take communion at Mass at his school, and I hope he's not in mortal sin while he does that. Only God can know the condition of his soul.

I did what you did - and I was looking everywhere for God, when He was walking with me the whole time...I just had to open my spiritual eyes and see Him.

And for the record, I was never truly happy. There was always something missing...something just around the corner...something I couldn't quite make out in the distance...a yearning, an ache. That was the Holy Spirit crying to me to come home.


#11

[quote="AWguitar007, post:1, topic:229187"]
First off I am new to this forum. I am not here to start huge arguments but would rather like to here some answers from Catholics to a number of questions. I grew up in a very conservative home and have just recently left. While at home I was raised Catholic but in no way consider myself a member of this faith. I told my family members (parents, namely) of my views and they were actually angry, I think. I'm not sure why they, two practicing Catholics, do exactly what they claim to be against: judgment. They always told me to treat everyone with respect but now that I am "different" I no longer deserve that same respect? I have grown increasingly frustrated that they just "know" they're right. I feel like religion has become the unfortunate vehicle by which people go about shaping others' minds.

[/quote]

Well I am not going to give you any arguments. I think it's a shame that you didn't discuss these things with your parents. Did you have any teaching of Catholicism at all while growing up? You don't say you were baptized - were you?

Everything in life shapes your mind. Do you resent the education you've had? Because that has certainly shaped your mind. What about the media? That's probably shaped your mind at least as much as your parents have.


#12

[quote="puzzleannie, post:3, topic:229187"]
your parents gave you the most precious gift, after the gift of life, they have, their Catholic Faith in Jesus Christ. You rejected, and made a point to inform them of that rejection, the most precious thing, the most essential part of their identity. Yet they have no right to be angry. Why? You reject them and all they hold dear, all their values, yet they are not supposed ot react? does this make sense? As a parent and grandparent I have experienced the untimely death of a child, and I have experienced the grief of a child turning away from Christ and choosing the opposite. The latter is harder to bear because you have to see the pain and destruction daily, not deal with a one-time loss.

[/quote]

This is exactly where I am. My oldest daughter has left the church to follow another church that teaches almost the opposite of what we believe. The only thing that is the same is that Jesus died for us. Otherwise their views on baptism, praying to the saints, confession, etc., are the opposite of what we have always tried to teach her. She spent most of her life away at school, so we did not have the influence on her as much as our other children. She even got baptized in this church even though she was baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church. This has cause tremendous heartache for me & her father. We feel her very soul is at stake. A parent does not want to see their child follow a path that could damage their soul. While we will always love her & pray always for her to come back, we can not accept & condone what she has chosen to do. It doesn't mean we don't love her. We still talk, but she moved out in a very bad way which caused even more problems. It is very hard for us to get past what she did. She likes to just pretend she did nothing wrong & thinks we should do the same. I will never ever stop praying for her to return to the Catholic Church. This is our faith. This is what matters most to us. To see our children follow the path to Heaven. Nothing matters more to me than that.


#13

I think that far too many of the posts in this thread spend too much time with an accusatory tone, rather than a listening tone.

The concept of people leaving the Catholic Church and struggling with some of its beliefs is clearly not an unusual concept. It may be worthwhile to listen a little in order to have a good conversation.

I was struck by the parents who said their daughter (who joined another faith) pretends she did nothing wrong. Well, she truly believes this, and until you accept this, you won’t have a good conversation with her.

As someone who was raised and studied several protestant traditions, its easy to see many potential objections to raise with the Catholic Church’s approach. The most fundamental of which is the fact that Christ established a personal relationship with us; this seems to be accepted by the Catholic Church, and yet many Church “underpinnings” seem in direct conflict with this fundamental concept. You raised intelligent children. They ask questions. The answer to those questions is NOT an appeal to force (we are the only correct Church and you’ll go to hell if you leave). The ANSWER is to search for, understand, and explain the truth.

I hope no one is offended by these statements. My point is simply if you aren’t willing to look to yourself, and consider yourself, then how will someone consider what you have to say to be Truth?

I’m open to having good conversations on this topic.


#14

Since this post was directed at me I will answer. When I said she feels she did nothing wrong it was not about leaving the Church. It was about the way she left home. How she was disrespectful to us, the way she talked to us, how she pretended not to hear us when we talked to her, calling the police to have them pick up her clothes because she didn’t want to talk to us. We were allowing her to go to the church she attends now. All we told her was she had to attend mass as long as she lived in our house. We never told her she would go to hell. This is the rule in our house for all of our children. This is a Catholic house & as long as our children live here they will attend mass. If they don’t like it, they can move. She didn’t like it & she has moved. Her choice.
As fas as Church goes, she would/will not even sit down with us to discuss the Catholic faith or her faith. She does not want to hear any explanations for anything. So it is rather frustrating when someone won’t even listen. Hard to have a conversation with someone that will not talk. We have asked her to explain her beliefs & she won’t even do that. She just says she doesn’t want to talk about religion with us. This is very hurtful since our faith is the center of our life. So we just pray.


#15

[quote="MrsWendyW, post:14, topic:229187"]
Since this post was directed at me I will answer. When I said she feels she did nothing wrong it was not about leaving the Church. It was about the way she left home. How she was disrespectful to us, the way she talked to us, how she pretended not to hear us when we talked to her, calling the police to have them pick up her clothes because she didn't want to talk to us. We were allowing her to go to the church she attends now. All we told her was she had to attend mass as long as she lived in our house. We never told her she would go to hell. This is the rule in our house for all of our children. This is a Catholic house & as long as our children live here they will attend mass. If they don't like it, they can move. She didn't like it & she has moved. Her choice.
As fas as Church goes, she would/will not even sit down with us to discuss the Catholic faith or her faith. She does not want to hear any explanations for anything. So it is rather frustrating when someone won't even listen. Hard to have a conversation with someone that will not talk. We have asked her to explain her beliefs & she won't even do that. She just says she doesn't want to talk about religion with us. This is very hurtful since our faith is the center of our life. So we just pray.

[/quote]

I hear what you have to say above, but ask you to listen even more. For example: "We never told her she would go to hell" yet in an earlier post " We feel her very soul is at stake." It sounds like you raised a bright daughter. Surely she knows that if you feel her soul is at stake she knows that this means.

I find it difficult to believe that practically overnight you went from having open discussions about life and faith, to not being able to discuss it.

In my experience, the police do not randomly pick up clothes for someone because they don't want to talk to you. She must have expressed concern about her physical safety for them to become involved.

The more I hear about this, the more it feels like only a small part of the story is being told.

But my initial post, while pulling an example from the thread, was actually directed at the entire thread.


#16

[quote="kbachler, post:15, topic:229187"]
I hear what you have to say above, but ask you to listen even more. For example: "We never told her she would go to hell" yet in an earlier post " We feel her very soul is at stake." It sounds like you raised a bright daughter. Surely she knows that if you feel her soul is at stake she knows that this means.

I find it difficult to believe that practically overnight you went from having open discussions about life and faith, to not being able to discuss it.

In my experience, the police do not randomly pick up clothes for someone because they don't want to talk to you. She must have expressed concern about her physical safety for them to become involved.

The more I hear about this, the more it feels like only a small part of the story is being told.

But my initial post, while pulling an example from the thread, was actually directed at the entire thread.

[/quote]

There is another thread about this prodigal daughter, indeed. The situation is and it sounds as if it continues to be, very painful for the parents. You can look up the other thread and read more about it if you wish to.


#17

And in eternity it will never cease, the new song for the Lamb on the Throne.

Dear OP.
Your parents don't judge you. They are worried sick about you because you think you can live without God and be true to your nature, when in fact He is the one who made your nature and you are in His Image. Only when we live in His ways to we become whole.

However, I am not about to agree with others here that your parents gave you a solid foundation. The only solid foundation for any religious person is a personal relationship with Jesus, and once you have really met Him you can never leave Him.

I grew up in what some people would call a serious Christian home, and my parents always took for granted that none of their kids would become atheists or something, but they didn't pray with us, answer life's big questions to us, or most importantly, share their own testimonies with us children.

I grew up thinking I was the boss of my life. When I did stupid things against my own dignity I was at a loss to explain my agony because I didn't realise that who I really am. A child of God created to be with the holy King forever.
At 21 I met the living Christ and I realised that I had merely existed until then, whereas now I started to live. The veil fell from my eyes.. its pure GRACE. He has given me everything I have, my deep and meaningful friendships with people who dont go out and get messed up in the weekends, role models of functioning families, authentic joy, dignity, humor and fun without vulgarity.
For the first time I met people who were not just struggling humans.. they had something extra. The power of the Holy Spirit was in them and I thought; I wanna have what they have.

So nah.. I'd say you didnt leave your faith, you are just a young kid who has to go your own way towards the Truth, who by the way is not a church or a book but a Person (hope I didn't schock anyone;)..,.. each human being has to do that, and parents can't take the responsibility off our shoulders.

Just to remember: Our thoughts become actions, actions shape our destiny and character. What you do today cannot be undone tomorrow. So live well, and don't forget the Christian ethic-code because its the only one that works.. Even if you have not yet recognised the Messiah who holds you every moment of your existence.

God keep you.


#18

[quote="AWguitar007, post:1, topic:229187"]
I told my family members (parents, namely) of my views and they were actually angry, I think. I'm not sure why they, two practicing Catholics, do exactly what they claim to be against: judgment. They always told me to treat everyone with respect but now that I am "different" I no longer deserve that same respect? I have grown increasingly frustrated that they just "know" they're right.

[/quote]

Welcome to the forum. I hope you can handle the answers you have been given so far because they are right. I just wanted to add a couple of things that popped into my head as I read your post and the responses you have received.

First, of course they were angry. They have tried to give you the gift of faith and you have rejected it. As others have noted, you are not alone. You are at an age (I'm assuming late teens, early twenties based on the fact that you are just leaving the house) that a lot of people do the same thing. Unfortunately, you don't seem to understand that they love AND respect you. That is why they are angry. Don't fool yourself into thinking that love and respect means that anger is never appropriate. If they didn't love and respect you, they wouldn't care and would wish you a happy life.

Second, they understand what you are doing and it is frustrating to not be able to make you understand your mistake. You see, they have been your age and have experienced the same feelings you have. You have never been their age and you don't have the life experience to understand why they react as they do. You just blame it on judgmentalism and miss that it is based on love for you. You may be frustrated that they just "know" that they are right, but you really don't have the experience yet to understand that they ARE right.

I feel like religion has become the unfortunate vehicle by which people go about shaping others' minds.

Of course you do. That is how you justify doing whatever you want. Again, I have been there and done that. Are there any other things that you reject because they are shaping your mind? How about the stuff you see on TV or in movies? How about music? Radio? Books? Anything? Rejecting religion simply because it shapes minds is like saying that you reject reading because it shapes other's minds.

I understand where you are coming from. I really do. But I want to challenge you. Try to not be so judgemental of your parents. They love you.

Peace

Tim


#19

[quote="GraceDK, post:17, topic:229187"]
And in eternity it will never cease, the new song for the Lamb on the Throne.

Dear OP.
Your parents don't judge you. They are worried sick about you because you think you can live without God and be true to your nature, when in fact He is the one who made your nature and you are in His Image. Only when we live in His ways to we become whole.

However, I am not about to agree with others here that your parents gave you a solid foundation. The only solid foundation for any religious person is a personal relationship with Jesus, and once you have really met Him you can never leave Him.

I grew up in what some people would call a serious Christian home, and my parents always took for granted that none of their kids would become atheists or something, but they didn't pray with us, answer life's big questions to us, or most importantly, share their own testimonies with us children.

I grew up thinking I was the boss of my life. When I did stupid things against my own dignity I was at a loss to explain my agony because I didn't realise that who I really am. A child of God created to be with the holy King forever.
At 21 I met the living Christ and I realised that I had merely existed until then, whereas now I started to live. The veil fell from my eyes.. its pure GRACE. He has given me everything I have, my deep and meaningful friendships with people who dont go out and get messed up in the weekends, role models of functioning families, authentic joy, dignity, humor and fun without vulgarity.
For the first time I met people who were not just struggling humans.. they had something extra. The power of the Holy Spirit was in them and I thought; I wanna have what they have.

So nah.. I'd say you didnt leave your faith, you are just a young kid who has to go your own way towards the Truth, who by the way is not a church or a book but a Person (hope I didn't schock anyone;)..,.. each human being has to do that, and parents can't take the responsibility off our shoulders.

Just to remember: Our thoughts become actions, actions shape our destiny and character. What you do today cannot be undone tomorrow. So live well, and don't forget the Christian ethic-code because its the only one that works.. Even if you have not yet recognised the Messiah who holds you every moment of your existence.

God keep you.

[/quote]

Your testimony is awesome. I wish I had seen what you saw when I was only 21. I would have done much less damage to myself and others. Great post!

:thumbsup::clapping:


#20

TY, though it still leaves many unanswered questions, no reason to dwell on them within this thread.


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