Renouncing faith

Read somewhere that an atheist asked his mother that if a person were to grab him and put a gun to his head and say “Reject Jesus or I will kill him”, the mom would say that she would not do it.

It got me thinking, if you do not reject him, he will be killed. There is a high chance that he might not be saved. So as a mother, you would want to ensure your son does not die, let alone go to hell. If you renounce your faith, there is a possibility that both of you will die (either way).

I know this rarely happens, but stuff like this happens to others (middle east, africa, some parts of asis). Just wondering what would be the best course of action. I know technically it’s to hold firm to your faith + hope God will save your son, but I’m unsure if it’s more complicated than that.

One may never renounce ones faith. Or encourage others to.

One can though encourage them to Love the Lord and turn to him.

Turn to the Lord and he can bring one beyond physical death to eternal life.

Also we should really not be thinking “what if’s” like this - for one is not in that moment- there is absent the grace of the Lord given only in the moment. One should rather simply make an act of faith and love and hope and leave any possible future events to Him.

One may never renounce ones faith.

(Also we should really not be thinking “what if’s” like this - for one is *not *in that moment- there is absent the grace of the Lord given only in the moment. One should rather simply make an act of faith and love and hope and leave any possible future events to Him.)

We live by faith and in hope - praying for our Children, proclaiming Jesus to them, forming them and commending them to God and Our Lady and their Angels.

And note too that God can do more in an instant than we can imagine…

Simply stating you renounce your faith when you do not actually renounce it in your heart when someones life is on the line is a different situation i believe. If it isyour own life, do not renounce it but if it is someone elses you should tell the killer you renounce it when in reality you do not.

I think I should like to remind everyone that if your free will is impeded in any way that you may not be morally culpable; as for myself I’d rather die a martyr

That is a very important point to consider in discussions like these. :thumbsup:

Easy to say when you neck’s not on the headblock.

Martyrdom is a grace, and nobody can know if he or she will be given it.


If someone is in this position, God will give them the grace to remain loyal to Him and not renounce the Faith.

Culpability *may *be reduced by *some *circumstances. Constantly reiterating that one must have 1000% consent and 1000% full knowledge just lets people think that, hey, they’re good. After, they’ve been committing this sin for years, so their consent is weakened by addiction or habit. Well, no, we are supposed to fight against temptation. Are we in that process but falling, or are we resting on the idea that what we do probably doesn’t really count as a mortsl sin? Are we going to confession every week to strengthen ourselves for the battle, do we have a plan of defense, do we ask for advice? Do we not go up to receive the Eucharist if we have committed the sin, if we have not received advice otherwise?

As to the topic of this thread, we pray “give us this day our daily bread:” give us the grace we need for what we will enounter today.

Maybe the son would be so moved by his mother’s trust in Jesus that he would renounce his atheism, but her infidelity would cost him his soul.


In fact, one of the important schisms in the early church was over whether to re-admit those who had denied the faith (under pain of death) to the Church or not. In the end, the Church decided in their favour after a period of penance, and the schismatics, like all schismatics, eventually vanished into the dust of history. That’s a lesson that continues to be relevant to this very day.

Not to impugn anyone’s courage, but it’s one thing to sit in front of one’s computer and type about martyrdom; facing it “in the flesh” is another thing altogether.

I can’t imagine anyone’s having the courage without a huge amount of grace from God!

Me neither! “What do you have, that you were not given?” :thumbsup:

This is difficult. I do remember reading in a book about St. Thomas Aquinas about the crusaders that were captured by Jihadists. They were required to convert or die.

To convert to Islam, one says the shahada or islamic creed in Arabic: I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Apostle"; in Arabic “Ash’hadu n la ilaha ilallah, wa ash’du wa Muhammadar Rasul’ulah”

So the crusaders would say in unison the first part “there is no God but God” but in the second part would mumble jibberish that sounded like the phrase “Muhammadar Rasul” but wasnt and then say the last part “LULAH!” very loudly.

Essentially, they lied that they had renounced the faith.

The Romans knew to catch Christians not just by asking them to make statements that would mean renouncing their faith, which many did verbally and then later repented, but by having them insult and curse Christ himself.

They figured out that no one who truly believed that Christ was divine could bring themselves, at least not easily, to curse him, while very many could easily pretend to renounce their faith just to escape death. They caught many Christians this way.

Of course many must have still cursed Christ, but can you imagine how difficult it is for someone that believes in Christ to hurl curses at him? It is easier to simply lie and say “I don’t believe in him” like St. Peter did, out of fear of death. But having a true Christian hurl pervated or other unspeakable curses at Christ is difficult even for an average Christian, they don’t have to be saintly. Those Romans were very cunning.

Aint that the truth!

One person even swore in protest, “Wherever you go, Lord, I will follow: to prison, even death!” about 8 hours before he swore he had never met Christ in his life !:smiley:

It is as SIMPLE as one must NEVER renounce one’s faith for ANY reason!

That would not be correct.

That would be rather renouncing your Faith.

Jesus is very serious about this matter.

I would not put really that way…

For mortal sin there needs to be grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent.

And yes God will judge.

But also remember that the very nature of this sin is rather different than others.

Again one is not really to be thinking about this sort of thing…for we do NOT have the grace here and now - but only in the moment.

Instead cling fast in faith to Jesus (in whom is true life) and pray and entrust yourself and your loved ones to God.

One is also not to allow innocent people to die.

Christ was very serious about THAT matter too,

One is not causing their death. The persons evil action against them is doing that.

One may not renounce ones faith to save another’s life -period.

One cannot do that great evil to keep another from death.

The end does not justify the means.

(And again one really not ought even be thinking about such unlikely speculative events -for one does not have the grace here and now - one only has the grace then at that moment.)

Hasn’t anyone seen the new Scorsese movie “Silence” that deals with this theme in 1640s Japan?

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