Losing Faith...

One of the people who I like and respect very much and who brought me back to God has recently become very enamored with the Mormon Church. He is not a declared Mormon, but basically believes in their church. And a lot of the reason for that is their devotion to family life, moral values and the like.

Now personally I have some significant reservations about some of the history and teachings of the CJCLDS. But I would never go after Joseph Smith or the Mormons with my friend and try to attack his faith.

Most of the people I know who lost faith in a religion that they had developed a relationship with God, once they lose that faith, they also lose their faith in God. So when we attack someone’s religion, and succeed in destroying their faith in it, it is very likely we are sending someone on a path to unbelief and sometimes even to anti-theism and hostility towards all religion.

I think when religions attack one another and try to prove one another wrong, and especially when they start devil-hunting in others beliefs, we end up driving more and more people away from God and truth and Jesus Christ and love. I can’t tell you how many atheists have said that the squabbling and condemnations which people of different religious beliefs throw against one another is proof that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care about us.

Hi Matthew, if you spend much time over a period of time here in CAF you will find many non-Catholic Christians have left their faith to become Catholic, so what you propose isn’t a foregone conclusion, just as Catholics have left their faith to become Protestant, evangelical, and even Muslim or Baha’i.

However, yes we always need to be respectful and charitable in dealing with any one of any faith.
I knew a priest, who whilst studying for the priesthood had a terrible experience with a young man whom he was trying to bring to God. The boy was ill, in hospital, and his faith was centered in science fiction. The seminarian assured him that science fiction wasn’t in fact reality and the boy needed to seek love, strength, and comfort in God, heavenly Father.
What the seminarian didn’t know was that the boy had a cruel father, that his experience of fatherhood was horrible, and the boy committed suicide.

We always must treat each other with respect and kindness and without presumption even when we may perhaps try to lead another to what we accept is truth.

Matthew,

Speak the truth in love, and pray for them. Ask the Lord to provide opportunities for you to speak truth.

Gentle truthfulness helps!

Be not afraid…always pray beforehand and the Holy Spirit will be your guide.

Friend you have written Truth here…I can unite with you on this.

Very well said, Matthew. And this needs to be said, more than once.

It’s entirely possible to explain one’s own faith without trying to undermine the faith of the person in conversation with us.

And it’s extremely arrogant to assume that if you succeed to making a person doubt their own faith, they will convert to yours. I’ve really struggled with maintaining a firm intellectual belief in Christianity for nearly 18 years, after an Orthodox Jewish friend gave me a series of tapes by a well-known but polemical Jewish apologist. He made some very good points that Christians seem unable to address. But, I didn’t convert to Judaism; instead I was basically a wistful agnostic with just a shred of faith for a number of years. I’ve come back to a firmer Christian faith, but still have areas of intellectual questions that seem unanswerable this side of Judgment Day. Converting to a Catholic or Orthodox form of Christianity would just cause more trouble with my particular questions.

Speak the truth with love. Usually when I’ve grown most in my faith is when its been questioned. “The unexamined life…” and so forth. It’s so cliché, but faith is a journey, and there’s no saying an atheist won’t return to God, when someone who believes in Him may end up denying him. I don’t know anything about Baha’i, pardon my ignorance, but in my religion I think of Judas.

Hi Matthew,

I had mistakenly thought you were a Catholic and responded to your post from my view of what I would do.

Another response from me would be that we should all be seeking total Truth! As you and others already know, Catholics believe it is the total truth of all that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ gave to us. Catholics are all in different stages on their journey of what they should be in Christ.

I do not disrespect the dignity of others who do not share what I believe…but I do pray that all be one in the Lord. I must try, with the help of the grace of the Lord, to follow Him more closely and allow Him to change me. If someone attacks my faith I need to develop a thick skin and look to the Lord to give me the right words to say in response. If they don’t want to discuss it, they just have to let me know that.

Peace,

Dorothy

I agree Matthew, what is the point in succeeding in helping someone to see error in their faith if they are left with nothing. We have to look at our own motives when embarking upon a path of what to that person would be destruction. As has been said, prayer and charity are the keys here

So, what are you going to so?

  1. Do not point out the errors for the sake of not seeming “too attacking” and lose him.
  2. In a charitable way point out the errors and let the Holy Spirit take over.

I am confused about your post. Either we evangelize or we do not. What are you suggesting we do?

I didn’t think its so much pointing out error as this would suggest their faith is error or how they understand their faith and god is incorrect.

I go with the OT Prophets on this with an understanding everyone doesn’t follow Christianity. As to the question of evil, we know evil by those who do evil, and regardless where they are in the Only Kingdom of the Lord.

Identification of evil then becomes a further dialogue as some do not follow Gods law or have issues and different understandings of it. So the very question of God and monotheism comes into question, and further theism and deism, and so forth.

Pray, see God in these people without fear which encourages your own prejudice…

Accompanied advancement of souls towards their Creator.

That is our duty on this earth.

I often fail by falling into arguments, but the key is that I learn from these mistakes, and strive to offer opportunities to “do good” together with others. When a small act of service is carried out with a soul, opportunities always arise to grow arm-in-arm serving our Lord.

That is true faith. It is not found in words, but in deeds…

God bless you Matthew :slight_smile:

.

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.