What should I do about my (adult) son joining a protestant ministry?


#1

My baptized catholic (adult)son has joined a protestant ministry called Destiny House (in long beach, ca). He took me to dinner for fathers day and was responding to a question I had asked him in which I said I didn't even know which church he went to and that - that was sad and that I blame myself and told him that. His mother and I were never married and after some years of tension and arguments between her and I - I had stopped talking about his catholic faith to him - for my part I was only intermittently going to mass myself. I am married now for 11 years and have 3 other smaller children whom are the joy of my life and who I talk to often about their faith ( i'm trying to keep this short but it seems to keep getting longer). Anyways - I didn't say anything at dinner - I only listened- when he described his experience (emotionally based on a particular experience of his at one of their services), and thus his reason for joining - thank goodness he wants God in his life it could be a lot worse, - but what do i do now ??


#2

First pray for him.

Continue to keep him in your life. Talk to him now about faith as you do your younger children. Especially since he is involved in a faith-based organization, it will come up in conversation naturally. You'll find much common ground in the Church's social teaching.

Invite him to your church regularly. Especially if for special Holy Days or commemorations his church doesn't celebrate. Son, come to Mass for Corpus Cristi, we are having a procession. We'll go out to luch after."

Talk to your parish youth minister or young adult coordinator (or call your diocese). Ask about events for his age group. Around here the "Theology on Tap" program is orthodox and very popular.

You can offer him all these things, but don't push. Most important is to keep him close in your life and to pray for him. Ask your wife and younger children to pray for him too!


#3

I'm not sure what you can do other than (a) pray for him and (b) keep the lines of communication open. You can tell him how happy you are that he wants God to be a focal point in his life. You can admit to your own shortcomings in the past and assure him of your prayers that he won't suffer the same.

Sometimes, people take the Protestant road to Catholicism. Trust the Holy Spirit to guide him.


#4

Personally I would be thankful. Given the background, I don't think you should have expected a more Catholic outcome. Be thankful, and be happy for him. It could obviously be much worse. Keep the lines of communication open and educate yourself about the differences between Catholic and his church, and lovingly discuss the differences. (With hopes but no guarantees that he will return to the Catholic church, which could take years, if ever.)


#5

NOTHING.

I am very irratated by parents who are "disappointed" that their kids aren't Catholic, even when they "raised the kid right". Kids aren't carbon copies but individuals with their own feelings, desires and needs. Many young adults go through a time where they need to break out on your own.

So, not only is there that there is also the fact that by your own admission you didn't put much weight on Catholocism in his youth.

Let him live his life. He has some seriously deep wounds, especally since HIS daddy met a woman and made a new family. It must hurt him so much that the family he was supposed to have (a loving 2-parent home) is bestowed upon someone else. If he's willing to give you the time of day after you did that to him then be grateful for every moment.


#6

[quote="purplesunshine, post:5, topic:245846"]
NOTHING.

I am very irratated by parents who are "disappointed" that their kids aren't Catholic, even when they "raised the kid right". Kids aren't carbon copies but individuals with their own feelings, desires and needs. Many young adults go through a time where they need to break out on your own.

So, not only is there that there is also the fact that by your own admission you didn't put much weight on Catholocism in his youth.

Let him live his life. He has some seriously deep wounds, especally since HIS daddy met a woman and made a new family. It must hurt him so much that the family he was supposed to have (a loving 2-parent home) is bestowed upon someone else. If he's willing to give you the time of day after you did that to him then be grateful for every moment.

[/quote]

Holy cow, judgment. The OP didn't say anything about his son's emotional state, so how can you say he has "deep wounds"? And the OP didn't say anything about how the son thinks about the new family. Next time you should refrain from such uncharitable and judgmental statements when you don't have all the facts. And no one cares what bugs you, he asked what he could do. He didn't ask for your holier-than-thou feelings.


#7

[quote="dswearin, post:6, topic:245846"]
Holy cow, judgment. The OP didn't say anything about his son's emotional state, so how can you say he has "deep wounds"? And the OP didn't say anything about how the son thinks about the new family. Next time you should refrain from such uncharitable and judgmental statements when you don't have all the facts. And no one cares what bugs you, he asked what he could do. He didn't ask for your holier-than-thou feelings.

[/quote]

Wow?

A child who comes from a split family is going to have wounds. NO MATTER WHAT!

This father is expressing sadness his son is a protestant, when in my opion he should be down on his knees the guy is even talking to him.


#8

[quote="purplesunshine, post:5, topic:245846"]
NOTHING.

I am very irratated by parents who are "disappointed" that their kids aren't Catholic, even when they "raised the kid right". Kids aren't carbon copies but individuals with their own feelings, desires and needs. Many young adults go through a time where they need to break out on your own.

So, not only is there that there is also the fact that by your own admission you didn't put much weight on Catholocism in his youth.

Let him live his life. He has some seriously deep wounds, especally since HIS daddy met a woman and made a new family. It must hurt him so much that the family he was supposed to have (a loving 2-parent home) is bestowed upon someone else. If he's willing to give you the time of day after you did that to him then be grateful for every moment.

[/quote]

WOW, well i'm very irritated by people who write poorly. how about that? this man has come to a good source for an good answer to a legitimate question and instead he finds you. what a bummer, hopefully he'll see past your hate, prejudice, and malice, and pray for you anyway. if you can't help, don't help.


#9

[quote="BRUTEFORCE, post:8, topic:245846"]
WOW, well i'm very irritated by people who write poorly. how about that? this man has come to a good source for an good answer to a legitimate question and instead he finds you. what a bummer, hopefully he'll see past your hate, prejudice, and malice, and pray for you anyway. if you can't help, don't help.

[/quote]

I'm not writing poorly.
Yes, he came to CAF for an answer. I, however, answered that he should not mourn that his son is a protestant.

Other people have stated that the outcome could of been worse. I went further and stated that the OP should simply be grateful for his son and the relationship. Changing religions dosn't happen overnight. I don't think that Catholocism should enter into the discussion for alot of time...years or even never.

The OP was right to listen and not comment. He should stick to that


#10

[quote="purplesunshine, post:7, topic:245846"]
Wow?

A child who comes from a split family is going to have wounds. NO MATTER WHAT!

This father is expressing sadness his son is a protestant, when in my opion he should be down on his knees the guy is even talking to him.

[/quote]

I know that he has suffered greatly through my own fault and I am not going to go into all the details of that part of my life as I have confessed and re- confessed sins and beat myself up pretty bad on some of the horrible decisions I have made. I was literally "down on my knees" this morning again - doing penance from my last confession and worry daily about my past sins and failings including the failings toward my son. I didnt expect him to remain a catholic but I was hopeful and will continue to be hopeful that he will return to Christ's Church. My failings of the past do not relieve me of my reponsibility in the present to guide him (and all of my children) in a loving and parental way toward an eternal and loving union with Christ. My question was simply put " what do I do now?" and I think "making him a victim" of my (by the way mine - but not all decisons regarding his upbringing were mine alone to make) failures doesn't bring him home to the Church faster but would impede that - I hope people pray for his return - I do and will continue to do so but I don't know if I should talk to him directly about it. I don't want him to grow angry with me and shut me out - but maybe I should do that?? - I am most concerned with his being in paradise with Christ - more than even my own relationship with him (which is loving and he and I love each other) - but I am willing to do what it takes because I could not bear for any of my children to suffer eternal loss - I would not put any of them on eternal time-out no matter what they did and could not allow them to fall headlong through the gates of hell without doing what it takes to stop them. -please help me


#11

[quote="purplesunshine, post:9, topic:245846"]
I'm not writing poorly.
Yes, he came to CAF for an answer. I, however, answered that he should not mourn that his son is a protestant.

Other people have stated that the outcome could of been worse. I went further and stated that the OP should simply be grateful for his son and the relationship. Changing religions dosn't happen overnight. I don't think that Catholocism should enter into the discussion for alot of time...years or even never.

The OP was right to listen and not comment. He should stick to that

[/quote]

I am grateful every day for him and all my blessings - praise God I have so much to be thankful for and I deserve all that you say and more - I only pray God forgives me before I pass from this life - peace


#12

[quote="Mrs_Sally, post:2, topic:245846"]
First pray for him.

Continue to keep him in your life. Talk to him now about faith as you do your younger children. Especially since he is involved in a faith-based organization, it will come up in conversation naturally. You'll find much common ground in the Church's social teaching.

Invite him to your church regularly. Especially if for special Holy Days or commemorations his church doesn't celebrate. Son, come to Mass for Corpus Cristi, we are having a procession. We'll go out to luch after."

Talk to your parish youth minister or young adult coordinator (or call your diocese). Ask about events for his age group. Around here the "Theology on Tap" program is orthodox and very popular.

You can offer him all these things, but don't push. Most important is to keep him close in your life and to pray for him. Ask your wife and younger children to pray for him too!

[/quote]

I will invite him to mass - thank you for the idea


#13

My question was simply put " what do I do now?" and I think "making him a victim" of my (by the way mine - but not all decisons regarding his upbringing were mine alone to make) failures doesn't bring him home to the Church faster but would impede that - I hope people pray for his return - I do and will continue to do so but I don't know if I should talk to him directly about it. I don't want him to grow angry with me and shut me out - but maybe I should do that?? - I am most concerned with his being in paradise with Christ - more than even my own relationship with him (which is loving and he and I love each other) - but I am willing to do what it takes because I could not bear for any of my children to suffer eternal loss - I would not put any of them on eternal time-out no matter what they did and could not allow them to fall headlong through the gates of hell without doing what it takes to stop them. -please help me

We are only responsible to God for what we KNOW. I do not believe anyone, including your son, can be heald accountible for knowing Catholic princibles when they were not taught to him.

In that respect you're should be careful to keep the dialogue open. Forcing Catholocism may make him hate all religion, and that would be far more devisitating than simply not being Catholic. In my opinion (and what is backed up by many scholors) Catholocism is not the only way to God but the best way. On his own your son has found God. God will meet him where he's at.

Remember, that here on Earth most of our view of God comes from our natural father. The more you love selflessly the more you give the more you build him up with utmost paticence (note: not dormat) the more he will learn what God is saying. When you do make a rule he will see that it is in love. In that way you can build the bond to talk about religion, God and the way you see things. But it can't be a confrontation. And you have to realize that God has already done a great work in your son. Your son is NOT doomed because he's not Catholic.


#14
  • to clear up any confusion he is 19 and works at a good job and lives on his own - I don't have any parental authority to make any rules about his life (except as to how he affects the rest of the family but that is not an issue as he is loving and respectful)

#15

[quote="purplesunshine, post:13, topic:245846"]
We are only responsible to God for what we KNOW. I do not believe anyone, including your son, can be heald accountible for knowing Catholic princibles when they were not taught to him.

In that respect you're should be careful to keep the dialogue open. Forcing Catholocism may make him hate all religion, and that would be far more devisitating than simply not being Catholic. In my opinion (and what is backed up by many scholors) Catholocism is not the only way to God but the best way. On his own your son has found God. God will meet him where he's at.

Remember, that here on Earth most of our view of God comes from our natural father. The more you love selflessly the more you give the more you build him up with utmost paticence (note: not dormat) the more he will learn what God is saying. When you do make a rule he will see that it is in love. In that way you can build the bond to talk about religion, God and the way you see things. But it can't be a confrontation. And you have to realize that God has already done a great work in your son. Your son is NOT doomed because he's not Catholic.

[/quote]

You assert many things which seem to be based on your interpretation of church teaching (sources please?) - I also am left wary of accepting your advice since it seems to be oriented most toward him feeling good right now as opposed to what is truly good for him (an eternal union with Christ in paradise). You said:

Catholocism is not the only way to God but the best way

but typically this is for someone who has been deprived of the knowledge of Christ and His teachings as handed down through His Church. This does not describe my son - he was baptized received communion, went to confesions for many years when he was attending 8 years of catholic school. It was only until later that he and his mother decided he would not be attending the necessary classes needed to be confirmed in high school. She would not back me up on it and so he was not confirmed. But to say Catholicism is only the best way to God doesn't seem to apply in his case but I think the bigger issue is that you have no dog in the fight - he is not your son! if he is not saved I am not convinced this would in all honesty bother you to much - not once have you suggested to pray for him which is definitely what he really needs - you seem to be saying alot of psycho mumbo jumbo "keep dialogue open" - "don't force him" -

I refuse to keep telling him how great he is and how is on the right path and walk with him all the way to the gates of hell and turn around and leave him there


#16

[quote="soccerdad57, post:15, topic:245846"]
You assert many things which seem to be based on your interpretation of church teaching (sources please?) - I also am left wary of accepting your advice since it seems to be oriented most toward him feeling good right now as opposed to what is truly good for him (an eternal union with Christ in paradise). You said:

Catholocism is not the *only* way to God but the best way

but typically this is for someone who has been deprived of the knowledge of Christ and His teachings as handed down through His Church. This does not describe my son - he was baptized received communion, went to confesions for many years when he was attending 8 years of catholic school. It was only until later that he and his mother decided he would not be attending the necessary classes needed to be confirmed in high school. She would not back me up on it and so he was not confirmed. But to say Catholicism is only the best way to God doesn't seem to apply in his case but I think the bigger issue is that you have no dog in the fight - he is not your son! if he is not saved I am not convinced this would in all honesty bother you to much - not once have you suggested to pray for him which is definitely what he really needs - you seem to be saying alot of psycho mumbo jumbo "keep dialogue open" - "don't force him" -

I refuse to keep telling him how great he is and how is on the right path and walk with him all the way to the gates of hell and turn around and leave him there

[/quote]

No, he's not my son.

But I have a friend. My best female friend in the world. She was aged 9 when the DR diagnosed her with a fatal, congenital, heart condition. They guessed she had 4-8 years to live. Until that time she had been raised catholic. At the end of the year her mother gave up on faith and pulled her out of Catholic School.

I met her at age 18 in college. She was a wiccan. My roomate a Jack-Chick passing, Bible Thumping, earth is only 4000 years old creationist Baptist told her that they could be friends but believed she was hellbound.

I told her that I was happy to be her friend, I didn't agree with her spiritual beliefs, but could live with them if she agreed to have open dialogue.

It turned out she just needed some truth. Even though she has had to deal with cruel priests and parents who believe that God must hate them, she has slowly come back first to God, then to Jesus and ever slowly back to Catholocism.

Same with two of my three brothers. He was catechized as well as any average American. An even occured in our family that shook it to the core, and caused alot of pain and anger towards the Catholic Church. I could of told him that it was a sin to abandon the Church over the sins of a few (or even an entire diocean staff and many parishes) insted I kept an open dialoge as he explored everything from Angelican to Zoorastianism and EVERYTHING in between. Today, years later his heart grows softer especally as he's now married.

My other brother decided that he believed in God and Jesus but deeply, deeply mistrusts orginzations. However, he will come to Church with me and slowly is seeing how God can work well to aid many with it, and how it is MUCH easier to live in a community than be singled out.

So, no, I don't have a son involved. But I do know what turns people off and what turns them on. There is so much condemnation.

If you feel that not forcing your viewpoint will lead your son to hell, then you will turn into an angry, frightened, bitter person. You very will likely separate yourself from God's compassion and love. You could also imbue on him a bad model of the Church and create a hate that cannot be undone on this earth.

CS Lewis in the story "The Last Battle" has a wonderful allegory of the Telemarine that came to Asland, even though he worshiped the "pagan" god. In the same way the sinner on the Cross who asked for Christ's mercy would of done well to follow Christ in this world. How much BETTER for this man's body and soul if he'd followed natural law? Astoundingly better. But he still came to Jesus.

Again, what I say is not "psyco mumbo jumbo" and it's not leading him to Hell. In my opinion turning his faith journey into a bad thing, teaching him to resent you and Catholocism is the only way you could do that.

Remeber. Hell is not a place. Hell is the ABSENCE of God, and right now your son is very much persuing God.


#17

look purple sunshine - I am not " trying to force him or anyone" - you are the one who originally brought that up - I merely take issue with your pretty much do nothing approach to making sure my son makes it to heaven - I know this has become an issue where you insist on being right about something that you have little knowledge about (my son - his life - and our relationship) and despite what new information I have given you about his catholic upbringing you have chosen to ignore all that to ramrod a point of view all the while ironically telling ME not to force anything on other people (my son) -which I never said I would in the first place - nor could I as he is a grown adult! having said all this I can see things a little more clearly but from several of the other posts


#18

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