need help - my 17 yo is an atheist

Rosemary Lynn - posted on 05/07/2015 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My son was expelled from a "catholic" high school for throwing eggs at a persons house. I know - that is really bad, but I also believe in the gospel of forgiveness and reconciliation. All four kids had to move schools. Now my son is an atheist, and nothing against atheists, but the story of Jesus Christ is simply true. My son is also losing weight- 12 pounds in the last few months...i need people to pray for him.....

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Jodi - posted on 05/07/2015

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The story of Jesus Christ is only truth to Christians. Which makes it a "belief". Religion is based on belief - that belief may or may not be truth and there is evidence both for and against. That's what religion is about - belief, not absolute truth. Many cultures have their own versions of the story - this doesn't make them truth, this makes it a belief about something that may have happened.

I don't understand why you had to move all of your children from the school - this sounds like a choice you made, not a choice the school made. Any school that punishes all siblings for the sins of one is not really a school I'd want my kids in anyway.

Can I just say that when you phrases something as "I am not against......, BUT......" it's a bit of an oxymoron. You clearly ARE against atheists.

If your child chooses different beliefs, then that is his choice. He is still your son. You should respect his wishes. He is 17 - he is old enough to have made a decision about what he believes. Just as you are old enough to have made a decision about what you believe. And I use the term believe, because the truth is actually a personal thing, not a fact. You don't have sufficient evidence to say that either version of belief is fact. There is no absolute scientific proof that God exists....just as that there is no proof that He doesn't. Therefore, no-one has the right to say it is fact.

Becky - posted on 05/07/2015

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Sound like he is reaching out for attention. 17 year Olds are the hardest to talk to cause they "know" everything. My heart goes out to you. My ex husband was turning my two oldest boys away from my Christian faith but I just f aught back with non aggressive daily lessons and testimonials. Like if my son was helping me cook dinner we would just talk about things, I would listen to his views and let him get it out, then would just ask open ended questions to support his actions. Then I would just tell him more about God and Jesus and 9 times out of 10 he would say he never thought of it that way. Now he was not turning him to atheism but I would imagine it might work the same. Kids have to wonder their own path to be able to find what is right for them. Just hear him out with an opened mind which trust me it's very hard cause once he sees there is no judgement he will be more open to you. Then the truth will come out. Also give it to the Lord he will help you and your son. It's like all of these opportunities just flopped into my lap and I never made it preachy just casual conversation and it's been about 2 years and I'm not 100% back to how things were but nearly there and I'm ok that it's different now cause my son's have taught me things too. But try to get him talking and find what interests him and try to find any common ground to lift his spirits.

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Sarah - posted on 05/09/2015

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IMO the problem is not faith related. Let's look at the behaviors your son is exhibiting. Expulsion does not happen for one act of vandalism. My kids go to an ultra strict Catholic school and would NEVER get kicked out for a one time bad act. So I am going to presume there has been more than one incident. Rejecting family values, like religion, rules and boundaries. Finally, extreme weight loss. Put those three together and I suspect a substance issue. I'd start with a drug screen rule that out first. I may be jumping to conclusions, but as a school nurse, I see this sort of behavior frequently.

Raye - posted on 05/08/2015

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There has to be more to this story if the son was expelled and the other kids also changed schools.

Gena - posted on 05/08/2015

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I am an atheist and not a bad person. I am less hypocritical then ALOT of Christians I know. At 17 he should be allowed to believe in what he wants. You can't force anybody to believe in what you do.

Michelle - posted on 05/07/2015

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I agree with Raye, just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean they are a bad person.
Like the other ladies have said, you need to address the weight loss first.

Lisa - posted on 05/07/2015

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We will definitely be praying for your son and for your family. I am sorry that he was expelled and yes forgiveness is really important, especially to model to our kids. I agree with the pps that you should address the weight loss. Maybe his behavior is a result of some kind of frustration. Here is a good article on Teen Discipline Strategies: http://bit.ly/1ITddSb. I love the overall attitude of grace in dealing with our teens. Hugs mama!
#notautomatic-

Raye - posted on 05/07/2015

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Atheists can still have morals and values. I am an atheist. I believe the bible has some good stories and can teach valuable lessons, but I put the bible on the same level as Aesop's Fables. Work on teaching your son to be a good person, no matter what his religious choice may be.

Monica is right about the weight loss. You should have him checked out by a doctor.

And BTW, throwing eggs at a persons house in normal teen behavior. I know a lot of people who did that at least once in their childhood. Not the worst thing in the world. And if it happened outside of school, why was he expelled?

Monica - posted on 05/07/2015

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I'll certainly send prayers your way. A crisis in faith is something many have been through and I hope, in gentle time, it comes to reconciliation.

You'll want to address his physical needs a little more urgently. If your son has lost 12lbs in the last few months (and wasn't overweight to begin with), you'll want to consult his pediatrician for advice. Random weight loss can be a signal for a variety of issues (some serious, some not) and you'll want to ensure the physical health of your son, even as you minister to his spiritual health.

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