The Church

To be honest, although I generally view myself as a Christian and am generally viewed as such by my peers (my apologies to the Christian community in general for that), I’ve never enjoyed church. When I was younger, the only thing I did in church was really to sit there and draw pictures of random things that had nothing whatsoever to do with the message being taught.

Don’t get me wrong, I still try and hold to Christianity and try to listen to/apply the messages, it’s just difficult. I’ve never really been much for listening to directions and applying them, especially after the fact and as anyone who’s ever had a serious go at following Christ knows it ain’t exactly what you’d call easy. But that’s not what I’m here to discuss. My dad’s in the Special Needs Ministry section at our church (for the life of me I can’t imagine why) on the staff and asked me to write this post for a meeting, so I’m going to talk about how I deal with actual church services.

For starters, I hate standing during worship. So I don’t. It’s that simple and frankly I don’t understand why anyone would make a huge deal out of it.

Second, I don’t particularly like when I’m told to greet the people standing around me. I don’t know these people. Why am I supposed to act like I have an interest in what’s going on in their lives? That would be lying – as I recall that’s a sin. I’m nothing if not brutally and savagely honest whenever possible. Yes, I get that people are expected to show an interest in the lives of others. But I’ve got enough on my own plate, thanks, so deal with it. I’ll shake your hand and say good morning but that’s it.

Thirdly, I sit in the same place every time I go to church. In the back row of the balcony. It’s a comforting feeling knowing nobody’s staring at the back of your head, to be honest. And I’ve always loved balconies. The vantage point is such that one doesn’t have to worry about people sitting in your line of sight and far enough away from the stage that you don’t go deaf during worship. Thus, when our worship leader started talking about people sitting in the same places every week, I told myself “if he tells me to get up and sit somewhere different I will walk down the aisle and beat him to death with his microphone.” He wasn’t, actually. He was talking about how people should get to know the others who sit in the same section.

Which in turn is odd. Granted I’ve never ever paid much attention to the people sitting around me, but I don’t think the same group sits up in my balcony all the time. I’ve seen that my family sits there (since I pick the seats) and that a family who’s friends with ours (if I recall their oldest is also an Aspie) sits there often if we go to the eleven o’clock service, but that’s it. Though it’s worth emphasizing that I’m not liable to pick up on this sort of thing. I mind my own business.

Then there are my issues with the Bible itself – no, I’m not reiterating my frustration with my parents’ claims to complete authority. But once I was on a forum for gifted children and someone started a thread where people shared their religious beliefs. Most of them were atheist/agnostic (they had an entire debate on the difference), one was a Zen Buddhist, and then I posted saying I’m a Christian. Whereupon I immediately got hit in the face with “I DUN WANNA BELIEVE IN A GOD WHO SAYS GAYS GO TO HELL.”

Um. What. 

Leaving out the entirety of that particular theological cluster bomb, they then proceeded to try and prove the Bible is fake because it says pi equals three. Part of me says, “okay, you’re nitpicking, and I make that into a lifestyle choice so when I tell you you’re going overboard…yeah.” The rest goes off on a tangent and wants to know why this doesn’t apply. I still believe in the Bible being correct. That’s not likely to change. But I’d like some of my nitpicks addressed in ways other than “that isn’t important and you’re nitpicking,” because that’s dodging the question. I feel like I’d benefit from a class on the logic of the Bible or something (insofar as the Bible can be squared with logic, there’s a point where the two diverge).

Anyway, this post having to do with religion I hope I didn’t offend anybody I didn’t mean to.

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9 thoughts on “The Church

  1. I continue to love reading your posts! As a matter of fact, whenever I get a notice of a new message in my inbox, if it is Aimlessly Shamless, I inevitably stop whatever I’m doing at work and read it! I do have a question about today’s post. You mention that you do believe the bible to be true. Can you explain why this is? I only ask because my Aspie son has decided that it is all hog wash despite being raised in a christian home his whole life. I guess I’m wondering if what you are asking for in your post (a class on where logic and the bible converge) would benefit him as well. It is so frustrating to be a parent worrying about his salvation and desperately wanting him to go to heaven and him not having any faith in Jesus Christ. No pressure to respond but if you have any thoughts about how your faith came to be it may shed some light on what may help him understand. Thanks for all your insight!

    • This probably isn’t going to be as helpful as you’d like, but I was simply raised that way and by the time I was old enough to question it, I found enough weight in it that I kept on with it. The key for me seemed to be that scientific proof of God’s existence doesn’t really work – science deals with things that can be laid out, measured, dissected and so on, and God flies in the face of all of that. It’s a more spiritual matter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Aspies end up having trouble dealing with that; Lord knows I have. It comes down to trusting your gut/heart/instincts, and that’s not something I’m comfortable dealing with a lot.

      Hope this helps you out.

      • Yes I believe it will help me with working to understand his rationale for not believing in God. Thanks!

  2. Greetings,
    I am going to give you a script (scene). In it are excellent and logical arguments for the Christian faith. I hope they will help you.
    An example of using Logic to defeat a non-believer

    Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

    Student : Yes, sir.

    Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

    Student : Absolutely, sir.

    Professor : Is GOD good ?

    Student : Sure.

    Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

    (Student was silent.)

    Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor: Is Satan good ?

    Student : No.

    Professor: Where does Satan come from ?

    Student : From … GOD …

    Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

    Student :Yes

    Professor: So who created evil ?

    (Student did not answer.)

    Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

    Student : Yes, sir.

    Professor: So, who created them ?

    (Student had no answer.)

    Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

    Student : No, sir.

    Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

    Student : No , sir.

    Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smell your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

    Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

    Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

    Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

    Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

    Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

    Professor: Yes.

    Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

    Professor: Yes.

    Student : No, sir. There isn’t.

    (The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

    Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

    (There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

    Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

    Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

    Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

    Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

    Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

    Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

    Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

    Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

    Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

    Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

    (The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

    Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

    (The class was in uproar.)

    Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?

    (The class broke out into laughter. )

    Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

    (The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

    Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

    Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

  3. Thank you for this post. We have not been to church for awhile as we have had a very difficult time with finding a place for our Aspie son. Before we ever knew he was an Aspie, we were judged on his behavior. We were not parenting right. Our marriage wasn’t right. And on and on. I try to help my son understand the Bible and God to the best of my ability and pray.

    As far as pie being 3 in the Bible, people like that don’t look at the full context of what they are saying is wrong. I can’t remember it all exactly right now, but it has to do with the bath in the temple if I remember right. What I do remember is that the dimensions are given for the inner rim and then the circumference ends up coming out to pi=3, however, it does mention the thickness of the bowl and if you go out to the outer edge to measure the circumference instead of the inner rim, then pi=3.14…….

    I agree there needs to be more of this taught in churches. There is a rich history, plenty of logic, beautiful poetry, and much more in the Bible. It is not just spiritual.

    • And also to begin with, people did think that pi equalled three, because we didn’t know as much as we do now. It was estimated to 3, then 3.14, then worked out to the point it’s at today. So in those times, yes, it would be 3.

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