Monday, July 25, 2011

Autism and Christianity

Public opinion seems to be that those with autism can't be Christian or GOD can't get through to them because of the disability. That people with autism are unable to understand and learn the Bible at all and unable to seek GOD and have a relationship with Him. I have to say that well... YOUR WRONG!! Here is why. First off thinking that GOD can't do anything is stupid. He's GOD He created the universe and everything and everyone in it. Nothing is to hard for GOD...Second off well no one seeks GOD. Psalm 14:2-3 says "The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek GOD. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one." So why do you expect people with autism to be any different?? GOD reaches out to us because we as human beings can never understand the infinite. So unless GOD reveals Himself we will never learn anything about Him. This goes for every single human being on this earth disabled or not. Philippians 2:13 says "For it is GOD who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." So again its GOD who really does the work not us. But still we need to tell people with autism about the Gospel. And don't worry if at first they don't understand just keep trying and pray for them. Also keep in mind Isiah 54:13 "All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace." So GOD will also be teaching them in His own way on His own time. So people with autism can believe, learn, and understand the Bible. People with autism can love GOD. After all I have mild autism and I believe and am learning and day by day gaining understand of the Bible and yes I do love GOD. Its possible because GOD is really doing the work. It takes GOD to know GOD. It takes GOD to understand GOD. It takes GOD to love GOD. But you still need to teach people with autism the Bible. People with autism need help because we think differently so the Bible is harder for us to learn and understand but it is not impossible. Anything is possible with GOD. So what will you do then?? Will you just walk past and ignore us?? Will you turn and look at us with pity and then walk away?? Or will you help us and bandage out wounds and pay for our care?? Because we have wounds. The world doesn't treat us very well. Many of us have been bullied very severely. Many of us are outcasts and are just not accepted. Does any of this sound familiar?? It should. Jesus when He came to this earth was an outcast. He was also badly beaten. The world didn't and still doesn't accept Him. Some of you though though might say "well autistic people don't know the difference between good and bad and therefore unable to do good cause they dunno any better." Well guess what you also unable to do good as well. Romans 7:18 says "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." Remember from the Psalm I quoted earlier that there is no one that does good not even one. No one is good except GOD alone.... So again you need to help autistic people learn and understand the Bible but also make us feel welcome in the Church. One way to do that is to set up a special needs ministry if there already isn't one at your Church. Have small classrooms for children with autism to have Sunday school in. One on one teachers. Visual aids. Lots of music. No distractions such as paintings all over the walls. Please when teaching the Bible to those with autism please keep it simple and straight to the point. Also make sure that the adults with autism have a place in your Church's Celebrate Recovery if your Church has one. I think the Celebrate Recovery's need to have pan flits for learning how to deal with autism and for getting out of denial of autism. And depending where on the spectrum the adults with autism are you might wanna set up there own Celebrate Recovery but do try to integrate them with everyone else first. Make sure the CR is well structured and has a set routine. Now as for Sunday morning services again try to help the adults with autism to integrate with everyone else. Make sure they are able to handle the service. I would recommend starting off with Traditional or Contemporary services. Please be available for them after services if they have any questions. Also ask them about the service and what they learned even days later just to make sure they learned and that it stuck in there heads. And if there is no special needs ministry at your Church and you don't start one yourself let me just ask you something. Do you have any idea what you are saying to autistic people if you have no special needs ministry?? To those who are autistic it seems as if your Church is saying "Your not welcome here. There is no place for you. GOD doesn't love you. You don't belong in His Church." Even if your Church is not tryin to say that intentionally that is in fact what your Church is saying. Don't give me any excuses either. Such as "we can't afford it, we have no room, well lets wait and see, we dunno how to do that or get that started." If your Church believes in prayer at all then just lift all that to GOD and pray until something happens... To those who are autistic who are reading this. GOD loves you and He is proud of you and He will use your autism for His glory. If you haven't let Jesus Christ into your heart yet please say the following prayer. "GOD, I'm sorry for my sin. I turn from it right now. I thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sin. Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart, and life right now. Be my Lord, Savior and friend. Help me to follow You all the days of my life as Your disciple.Thank You for forgiving and receiving me right now. Thank You that my sin is forgiven and that I am going to heaven in Jesus name I pray, amen." I know some of you with autism don't understand what amen means. Amen basically means "it is true" or "I am finished." If you have been a Christian but have walked away and wanna come back please say the following prayer. "GOD, I am sorry for my sin. I am sorry that I have strayed from You. I ask You to forgive me now as I repent of my sin. I don;t want to live like a prodigal any longer. Renew and revive me as I once again follow You as my GOD. Thank You for Your forgiveness. In Jesus name I pray, amen." ... Now there are many autistic people out there who haven't read this blog or have and need help learning and understanding the Bible... What are you gonna do about it??


Samantha said...

Amazing wow and wow again

Briane P said...

Very nicely written.

Is there anything you can recommend for younger kids to begin learning the Bible? My boys will turn 5 in September and have autism.

Jenny Penny said...

Briane P I can only suggest to you what worked for me. I suggest a picture Bible that uses small sentences like "the fat cat sat on a mat." Short and simple and straight to the point. One thing though that I know for sure will help is that you pray about it first. Ask GOD to lead you to which one is best cause only He really knows for sure what is best. I hope this helps you. GOD bless you and your family.

sarahbear91 said...

Hi, my name is Sarah. I have a younger brother who has high functioning autism, he is now 12 years old. This was an issue that our church dealt with and I think in some ways still doesn't always know what to do with. John is very interested in learning, and gets very engrossed in the details of the stories that he is being taught. He can probably tell you more stories from the Bible than I can. But I think where he struggles and the people teaching him is with how he always wants to be able to ask his questions right at the moment. Sometimes the teacher/youth leader makes it known to him that there will be a time that he can ask questions, but often I think he (well both of them) forget about that and it seems as though John is causing a distraction to the other people because he can go off on tangents.

Thank you for speaking up for that and making more people aware of what you think people and the church in general can and should be doing to help individuals with autism.


craig beckerman said...

I love this and YES we can embrace christ as well as anyone can. I recently returned to christ- 2 years a- at the time I could not be around people because of my autism- I literally found christ on the bottom of a bathroom floor- we have a special place and he forgives us for when we fail him- NEVER give up on someone because of their autism, we can accomplish a LOT- I have been to passuion two years in a row thats right a conference with 60k people-I have a hard time being around people I dont know because of my autism- but when I am ready to give up G-D told me go help the other outcasts- so I helped the homeless in Atlanta- Never give up G-D can do miracles through us.