Is this the call for a confused Atheist?

I apologize for the length of this piece, but I feel it to be extremely important.

Hello, everyone. For awhile now I have been an Atheist, a fact which is unknown to all but my closest friends. My family consists of devoted Presbyterians on my mother’s side, and that is about as far as religion in my family goes.

From the very beginning, I have always felt hopelessly dissastisfied with my current Church, and other Presbyterian Churches I’ve attended on vacation. They seemed to be a case of lots of flash but no substance, and I never could feel any connection. Their inability to reconcile evolution with faith made me want to scream, and also pulled me away.

Yet, I have always felt strangely drawn to the Catholic Church, for reasons I cannot explain, or understand. After doing much research, I have found that I agree with the Church on many issues, like abortion, which I opposed fervently even as an Atheist.

However, I am worried about my family’s reaction. I am only 15, and my only experience in Catholic Churches are Weddings and Funerals. My sunday school teachers have always been wary of me when I expressed some Catholic ideas that I didn’t realize were Catholic(The body as a temple, for example.)

Any way, I finally gave in and decided to pray to God again, this time under the guise of a Catholic framework. After much soul-searching, I have decided I want to abandon my Atheist identity and become a Catholic…I am unsure how to do this at this time in my life, as I am supposed to respect my family. However, I cannot in good conscience participate in my Church, which seems completely devoid of the sincere worshipping experience I crave.

Has anyone ever had a similar situation? Any advice?

You’ll probably get a lot of responses on this thread :slight_smile:

I’ve not been in your situation, but I have a suggestion. Attend a daily Mass a few times. By that I mean, a Monday through Friday Mass. My own Catholic experience is that it is actually difficult sometimes to see or hear the beauty of Mass on Sundays because so many distractions (crying children, etc) are present. Most daily masses are sparsely attended, but this provides the opportunity to look, listen, and learn.

BTW - when people go up for communion, as a non-Catholic, you should remain in your seat.

If this seems like the place you want to worship, then contact the parish office and ask about the RCIA program.

May God bless you on you faith journey!

Your age would be a big concern, if your family is of another faith then that is going to be your biggest obstical but im sure they would be happy to hear your no longer an atheist…

First of all, my hat is off to you. You sure don’t sound like an atheist, but a seeker…a seeker of truth. I say to you…pray. Pray for wisdom and discernment. There are plenty of materials to study out there. Scott Hahn for example. Rome Sweet Home. Dr. Hahn was also a Prebyterian…and a good one at that!
As for your family, honor your father and mother. Be obedient to them…even if they ask you to go to church with them. God knows what is in your heart and He will honor your search for truth. Also, let your parents know what is going on in your heart. Be open with them. I am a convert to the Catholic church. I was a Protestant for 18 yrs. So feel free to pick my brain with any questions you might have. I hope I will be able to help.
God be with you my friend.

In Christ,
Tom

JamesBond, perhaps your parents won’t respond as negatively as you think. What have your discussions been like before?

Keep studying and praying.

I understand where you’re coming from. Protestant churches feel empty to me, too. I remember that there were times that I could feel the Holy Spirit; however, since having come into full communion I’ve realized that what we have here is far greater than what I used to have. I don’t think that I seriously would’ve died for what protestantism taught me, but I honestly can say that given the Grace to do so we may very well be able to die for this Catholic faith.

Be aware that your journey into the Church may take longer than you ever thought it could. It took me right around a decade, and a couple of RCIA classes. Sometimes coming home takes time. For you, it may have to wait until your parents consent or you become a legal adult, I’m honestly not sure which. What I would do in your position is go talk to your local Priest. He is your best source of information.

Most Priests really are holy men, but don’t be disheartened if you happen across one that is seriously flawed (keep him in your prayers). Just look for one that stands in union with the Church and you should be fine.

…and don’t ever give up hope, no matter how long it may take.

Ah, and finally, the Rosary is a powerful weapon against sin. Use it daily. :wink:

Hey, I’m 15 too! That’s pretty cool. :wink:

You’ve clearly put much thought into your decision to become Catholic. That’s good. It shows sincerity on your part and a genuine desire for truth. Despite the obstacles you face in becoming Catholic, rest assured, things will get better in time… God would never give anyone a taste of the truth and prevent them from pursuing it fully.

My advice to you would be to talk to your parents if you think they’d be open to you joining the Chuch. If not, three years isn’t very long in comparison to the rest of your life. You could use that time to prepare and to pray. Pray as if you were a Catholic already. If you have to wait until you’re 18, you’ll get frustrated, no question. But take it in stride, remember why you’re doing this, and the time will pass more quickly. You also won’t feel as if you “wasted” three years of your life by simply waiting.

Keep reading Catholic Articles like the ones on this site. Keep learning. God won’t mind if you have to wait a little. You also need not worry about abandoning your Atheist identity, because it looks like you already have.

God Bless :slight_smile:

Welcome! You seemed to have gotten some advice already - good advice. I hope you stick around. :thumbsup:

:angel1:

My heart feels heavy when I think about athiests. But last week or so, the Church feequently prayed for those that are seeking the truth and who have an absent belief of a Creator, and look at this now. God showed me today that everything is possible through Him!

Keep praying my friend, be sure not to ignore history of the Church and other important things. Im pretty sure youll have a good faith journey.

May God Bless you and your family.

You do realize that evolution is an unproven theory, don’t you? You like movies? “Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed” is available to rent now and a nice start to learning the truth. Or ask your science teacher to name ONE species that has evolved into another species. Or where the original origin of life CAME from. Or check at Science Magazine’s 25 most Unanswered questions of the Century, and right at the top you’ll find “How does a single somatic cell becomes a whole plant?”.

While you’re praying about the situation, why not pick up His Word and start reading from the Book of John on. It’s the biggest way that God communicates with us. He wants to have a relationship with you.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
~Hebrews 11:6

You are in my prayers, confuzzeled one. :slight_smile:

But all of that is irrelevant. The point is that God created everything, and saw that it was good. It doesn’t matter whether he used evolution to do that or not.

For most kids I would say 15 is too young to make these sorts of decisions independent of your parents. Reading the OP I can say you’re no atheist … you’re entertaining too much doubt (and you lean toward the Christian faith in one form or the other).

I would advise the young man to make an informed decision. Talk about this with your parents, discuss it with your Presbyterian Pastor, perhaps even explore the Presbyterian faith more in depth (most Presbyterian denominations are also very pro-life, and just as conservative as the CC). If you’re still intent on exploring the CC then go for it, but tread slowly and understand what you’re getting yourself into.

If you read my short profile on this forum I can identify with you pretty well, except that I’m older than you, I’ve earned my college degrees, and I studied theology for years. After gaining the insight I now have into theology; my intellect drove to me to the my current position on faith. However, I was raised Catholic, and when I was a devoted Christian I became a fan of John Calvin (the theological inspiration of the Presbyterian church).

I became an atheist because I concluded that god (at least as framed by religion) just doesn’t exist. However, that’s not a decision anyone should make before they gain some notches on their belt and intellectual fortitude, which requires time, experience, and study. Even if you commit to something now … it’s not to say you won’t change your mind again, because you most likely will (just keep that in mind as you proceed, religion isn’t the Army … you can up and leave if you want to).

There is no point in joining any kind of church, catholic, or protestant, just for the sake of it.
’‘Ye must be born again.’’ You need to repent and trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save you from your sins. No ‘‘church’’ can save you, there is not one true church as in denomination. The Church is sadly spread through lots of different denominations. I am part of the bride of Christ and so is Joe the baptist and Tony the free P. All truely born again Christians are the Church.
Trust Christ today, he is the only way.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36.
God bless you. :slight_smile:

a young earth creationist huh? Well, evolution is more than mere theory. While there are some gaps in our understanding of how life evolved, we do know it evolved. Moreover, we know (we don’t just think) the earth is roughly 4 billions years old, and the universe around 14 billion years old.

I guess you guys think the devil slips himself into those carbon dating devices and skews the numbers so it looks like the earth is older than 6,000 years (or whatever bizarre way you explain away the piles of scientific data we have on this topic). The truth is you guys are making the same mistake the Catholic Church made during the Galileo era. You believe in a literal reading of scripture, while the bible is designed to be understood largely in a figurative way (Calvin explained this well).

You YEC types are just wrong, and science has proven it!

Obviously, as a Christian, I do not believe evolution.
But, while we are arguing about it, satan is laughing.
It’s just another ploy of the devil to take us away from the fact that we all need to be saved.
While you are arguing for evolution, you are slipping ever closer to eternity without the Saviour.
I believe the world is about 6000 years old, but for arguments sake, say the earth was millions or billions of years old, that would not mean God didn’t Create it, all those many moons ago, now does it.

If you die in your sins, you will go to hell, it’s that simple.

The simplest advice to give you is this: keep on praying, God will tell you what you need to do.

A Christian can die in his sins as well. and go to hell, it’s that simple.

yeah yeah yeah … I heard it all before. None of the scare tactics that ancient mythology can drum up will gain any reception with me. It’s all nonsense, IT’S THAT SIMPLE! :slight_smile:

Don’t you mean a Catholic can die in his sins and go to hell?

Because the Word of God (the Bible), which Christians believe, says that Jesus died for ALL our sins.

A typical response when faced with the fallacies of evolution - change the subject. ;)Perhaps you will enlighten us to any species that has been proven to have evolved into another species. As your religion, you should be able to defend it, right?

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