Family member turned skeptic/ atheist? How to convert him back to the catholic faith?

So has anyone experienced something similar and how do proceed with this situation. The person is also sharing very anti-catholic links to shatter my faith.

Tell them to stop sending you the anti-Catholic stuff. The best thing is to pray for them. Also look into getting a green scapular which is suppose to help in conversion. You do not to be harassed.

Well, my husband and I have asked my dad pointed questions why he’s rejected God and the church because simply sharing our faith gets scoffed at. However, that has softened him up over the years. Now we are targeting his reasons, which boil down to his experience in the war. Why did God let that happen. So are working on showing him God’s mercy, the fact that this is a fallen world and there is only hope in Him.

I think you should, in love, find the reason your family member has rejected his faith.

People have this idea that questioning faith is wrong, but it’s not. I’ve found that I’ve gotten more out of my faith by questioning and fighting it than blindly accepting it and just going along.

In the end, everyone is responsible for their own salvation.

Be patient. Pray. Love this person.

Answer questions in love, not in “debate mode”.

Also, a lot of people have personal issues that they need to work out before they can really believe.

For instance, I know a guy who has a really hard time with the idea that his Father in heaven really loves him because his earthly father wasn’t a loving father. Instead, this father was very abusive and just an awful person. That’s not something you can just debate and resolve with logic and reason. This person simply doesn’t trust God (or most people). I tend to think he believes more than he’s willing to let on; however, only God really knows what is in anyone’s heart.

So, do you know what triggered his anti-Catholicism? This kind of thing doesn’t happen overnight. Usually, it is a process. What reasons does he give you? Are they emotional, theological, both?

Also, let the Holy Spirit work in his life. Don’t assume that the more you talk, the more he’ll listen. Usually, it works the opposite way. Say what you’ve got to say, but let the Holy Spirit do the rest of the work.

Good luck.

The fact that each of us is unique is a mixed blessing–it means there is no single solution to help all of us.
Can you “clarify skeptic/atheist?”
-atheists deny that God exists and do not worship. Your best response is to refute or sympathize depending on circumstances. First try to understand what is their primary objection. It is logically impossible to prove there is no God (or anything else) so atheists are basically illogical, usually angry about something or intensely self-centered. Most often they have some specific objection(s) to church teaching or practice–find this/these and try to resolve (most significant first).
-agnostics say they are uncertain about God. Some worship based on fear rather than love.
-lapsed Catholics withdraw from Church and some aspects of worship. Many seek a more “comfortable” denomination or religion. They may also be called schismatics (if they continue worship by breaking away from the Church), or heretics (if they remain in Church but advocate doctrines which are refuted by the Church.
-skeptics-Almost every Catholic I know is a bit of a skeptic. Some lapse, most don’t. God gave us minds and consciences and encourages us to develop and use them. These last three types of people usually have also have some objection(s), so again its best to try to understand and address them, one at a time, worst first.
God bless you and all of us who are hoping and trying to help others.
I see those emails as an invitation to discuss/refute/evangelize depending on the circumstances–they are almost an invitation, maybe even a semi-conscious cry for help.
I don’t encourage you to post links here to atheist or other nonsense, but if you want help addressing them I think you’ll get lots of help from people here if you just tell us his issue (best addressed one post at a time).

I am wondering how old this person is? I have heard several times that people from the age of 16 - 24 question their faith and question the existence of God. I know I did. Also, there is a lot of atheist talk all over the internet and on television today. It is hard for people not to hear it and I think it is causing a lot of people to have doubts.

I would learn the answers to the questions they have so when they talk the atheist talk you have answers. I am saying this because I have a similar situation and have found that atheists have the same arguments over and over and there are answers for their arguments against God, very solid logical arguments…

Even on the video page here of Catholic Answers, Trent Horn has a lot of answers.
Another great person to get good arguments to answer atheism is from William Lane Craig.

Also, the rosary is the best weapon against satan’s attacks.

God bless and I will pray for you and your family.

I would say just pray for the person. There were many years that I did not go to church at all and explored other religions, new age stuff, etc. If someone would have kept bringing up Catholic stuff to me during that time I would have been very angry, told them to mind their own business and other unprintable words.

He lost is faith around that age and its been a while now. He’s been giving me links about the evolution / creation debate that took place in feburary and using those arguments such as how could noah’s ark hold all those animals etc

He believes the bible is fallible, since it is written by humans ( there are a lot of contradictions in the bible - this happens a lot if you read in the literal sense) and apparently the fund we all provide at church is used to support child predators etc

It’s a very difficult situation. I decided not to answer the questions cos it seems he was very angry and passionate about his arguments. The bible supports the idea of slavery and we are all meant to be slaves, it’s against women etc

I also believe the church’s teaching on contraception and his belief that the UN’s agenda to distribute contraception is helping the case over there to reduce HIV.** I know this is a myth**

The other arguments against the church is inquisition, crusades, forced conversions etc

Lot’s of other stuff but these are the main points.

I’m pretty sure the arguments are from a certain website, but I’m not able to figure out which one.

Yes, these are all the arguments I have heard too. Always the same arguments. I was very confused when I first started hearing them, but they are all myths. I was surprised even the Inquisition is false. BBC has a great youtube video out on the fallacies behind the inquisition, called the Black Myth. These arguments are everywhere today and it is hard for youth not to stumble into it. They are all based on myths.

I had to search out and find the answers to these things and many of them I found from Trent Horn’s or Patrick Madrid’s videos. Trent Horn has a great book out right now called “Answering Atheism.” He goes through each of these arguments and gives answers on how to respond. Scott Hahn also has a book and some youtube videos, Answering the New Atheism. It is good to have answers to these things if he is sending you links and webpages that put down Christianity, not just for him but so that when you read or see these things it doesn’t destroy or hurt your faith. If you are able to answer and know these answers it will make you stronger in your faith.

I think you are right about being careful in answering him, if he is angry and upset. People don’t listen too well when they are angry.

I know I said this before but the rosary is the best weapon (prayer), I believe. I say that because I am a revert and that is the weapon (prayers) my father used to pray me home. Many times my father tried to convince me with arguments but I wouldn’t listen. It was God working through other means and circumstances in my life that brought me home, which were the answers to my father’s prayers.

God bless and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Love him and give him space

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.