Friday, June 13, 2008

My poor friend in the pool

I look forward to seeing my friend in the pool these days. He's gotten less shy and more willing to talk about things that really matter to him. But today I think I blew him away. He made a small comment about developmentally disabled adults having "a free ticket to heaven" and I let him have it with both barrels. Now I didn't want to blow him away ... I just have a raw nerve when one is talking about the salvation of people with cognitive or mental disabilities.

I am a Christian today partly because I was brought to church by people with developmental disabilities. I was even baptized in a pool WITH a disabled woman because I had to stay in the water to hold her helmet. And I've known d.d. adults long enough and well enough to know they are sinners in need of salvation just like the rest of us. Someone saying that someone is "child-like" is simply wrong ... and doesn't know the mind of children very well either.

So I've challenged my fellow swimmer to come up with the Biblical reference. He currently insists that there's a verse about God protecting the feeble minded. Using BibleGateway, I haven't found it.

I guess this mindset angers me so much because it allows folks to forget the cognitively challenged. It also perpetuates the primary importance of being intellectually and theologically correct in one's religious point of view. I take great comfort in knowing that I am saved by Christ even though I'm theologically muddle headed.

BTW we got on the topic because I was saying that I judged a person's character on whether or not the developmentally disabled or the mentally ill in the congregation felt comfortable speaking with them. If I saw B... or T... avoid someone, no matter how sweet the person seemed to be, I figured B or T knew who was genuinely approachable.


Julie said...

You are absolutely correct. I love this post.

"Someone saying that someone is 'child-like' is simply wrong ... and doesn't know the mind of children very well either" is dead on. It's very frustrating that the media, the community,and the church do not understand this concept.

Perhaps, there are some with very profound cognitive disabilities who cannot make the choice for Him (PERHAPS, only God knows), but I am certain that most can and must for salvation.

The only passage I'm aware of that uses the word feebleminded is 1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV, which says, "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."

Comforting those with disabilities and excusing them from sin are, of course, two different things.

I judge a person's character based on the response of those with developmental disabilities, too. :)

Christopher said...

Not sure about the Pool boy's :) claim as for God protecting the feeble minded myself but, Mark 10:18 has this to say which seems to support your POV:

Mark 10:18
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone.

Grace and peace be with you

cathy b. said...

Julie, I used to cringe when people said my concern for developmentally disabled people was "a gift". But I've come to understand that it really IS a gift. Judging from your blogging, it looks like you have a gift as well.

Christopher, Thanks for the reference! It's one I'd missed.