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Notice The ministries featured in this section of TheologyWeb are guests of this site and in some cases not bargaining for the rough and tumble world of debate forums, though sometimes they are. Additionally, this area is frequented and highlighted for guests who also very often are not acclimated to debate fora. As such, the rules of conduct here will be more strict than in the general forum. This will be something within the discretion of the Moderators and the Ministry Representative, but we simply ask that you conduct yourselves in a manner considerate of the fact that these ministries are our invited guests. You can always feel free to start a related thread in general forum without such extra restrictions. Thank you.

Deeper Waters is founded on the belief that the Christian community has long been in the shallow end of Christianity while there are treasures of the deep waiting to be discovered. Too many in the shallow end are not prepared when they go out beyond those waters and are quickly devoured by sharks. We wish to aid Christians to equip them to navigate the deeper waters of the ocean of truth and come up with treasure in the end.

We also wish to give special aid to those often neglected, that is, the disabled community. This is especially so since our founders are both on the autism spectrum and have a special desire to reach those on that spectrum. While they are a special emphasis, we seek to help others with any disability realize that God can use them and that they are as the Psalmist says, fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Autism Awareness Month Introduction

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  • #46
    Nick I have to add, I do not evangelize at all. Not with my mouth, I figure people should be able to see Jesus in the way I live before I speak. If I say some thing wrong or arrogant than I have to live up to it. More often than not I have positive interactions with non Christians and we have deep philosophical debates later. (FYI I am also with you on the small talk. Nope. I would rather have deep discussions )
    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
    George Bernard Shaw

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    • #47
      The internet has given a new voice to many on the spectrum.

      Link

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      What difference does the internet make for us? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

      Yesterday, I was in the membership class at my church and we talked about evangelism. It was discussed how it’s a mistake today to think the goal of the Christian is to get someone to go to church and then let the pastor handle everything from that point on. Every Christian needs to know what it takes to lead someone in the path of salvation and yes, that could include basic apologetics.

      We also agreed that that is not just done through face-to-face communication, which I have indicated previously in another post. I know that Hugh Ross, also on the spectrum, has said he would rather talk to 100 people than to one. I am of that same opinion. I am much more comfortable addressing a crowd than I am going up and engaging with one stranger one-on-one.

      Thankfully, this is the age of the internet. Now, such communication is no longer the only way to speak. I can instead speak to several people every day and engage in many conversations that sadly, most Christians will never engage in.

      This doesn’t mean that I am open with everyone. I know someone else who has given this rule on Facebook and I tend to hold to it as well. If you message me out of the blue and I don’t know you and you just say hello or ask me how I’m doing or something like that, I will most likely ignore you. I do not know who you are and on the internet, you can’t be too careful. Message me something specific and you are much more likely to get a response. (See anything I have written on small talk and saying “How are you?”) The same applies even when I play Words With Friends. If someone messages me saying I did good on a play, I say thank you. If someone just says hi, I ignore. After all, many of these conversations turn into attempts to sell me something.

      That’s great for those of us who are high-functioning and able to speak, but what about others? Turns out, they have also found a voice. There have been people who are non-verbal on the spectrum and have been put in front of a computer and found their voice there. The internet has been a special blessing to these people and many parents have been quite happy with the results.

      Of course, we still might not know all the rules of communication on the internet, but it is a step forward. Even here on the net, we have to be on guard against interpreting messages literally, for example. Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with body language and anything else that confuses us.

      For those who are not on the spectrum, keep in mind someone you are communicating with on the net could be on the spectrum. Those of us are who are more aware than some might be also need to be on guard, especially parents, since there are several predators on the internet. Do your part to make the internet a safe place for people on the spectrum.

      In Christ,
      Nick Peters
      (And I affirm the virgin birth)

      Comment


      • #48
        Emotions really don't make sense.

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        How do we handle emotions? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

        It’s really difficult on the spectrum to make sense of emotions. When I am debating with an atheist who tells me I am a Christian for emotional reasons, I know not to take them seriously. If anything, when I get really emotional, that is when I am most often wrestling with emotional doubt.

        Emotions are difficult for someone like me to understand. I wonder what I am supposed to feel in such and such a circumstance. I have heard also that if there is any emotion that a man can really understand and most often experiences, it’s anger. I do not consider myself an outsider on this.

        I think it’s also common for men on the spectrum. In the movie Adam, when the main character, an aspie, finds out that he has been tricked by the girl he is dating, he explodes in a barrage of anger and hostility. I have been told that as a small child, if my Mom moved one of my matchbox cars during the night, I would be angry until things were put back.

        I suspect this might be because we on the spectrum tend to live in a world of order. We want things to be as close to orderly as possible and fit into their place. When something goes against that, we have a hard time processing it. This is one reason small talk irritates me so much. When you call and engage in small talk, that means that time we could be spending on dealing with what we are meant to dealt with is wasted going through this routine behavior.

        Consider this especially with when I have to call a place of business for technical service and have to hear the script that they read. I’m sitting there telling them I know all of this already and could quote it to me. Can we please just move on and deal with the problem?

        Sometimes however, we can be very unemotional. This is especially important in a religious context. If you are trying to get someone on the spectrum to the point of feeling in religious discussion, then you could be wasting your time.

        This is also why I struggle when I hear people telling me when I am struggling with something to do what you feel like God is leading you to do or what God is telling you. First off, I don’t see that kind of language in Scripture. Second, how can anyone tell what feelings come from God and what feelings don’t?

        I have seen this go on at many churches. I have heard Protestant Churches talk about what God has done in their fundraising drives and I have seen an Orthodox Church do the same. I always wonder “How do you know God is behind this?” Suppose the fundraising drive didn’t work out well. Would that mean God was against you? I don’t think this is really a denominational thing. I think it’s more of an American thing.

        When I am talking with someone about something, it’s really hard to see something from their perspective. I can know someone is in a lot of pain, and yet feeling it is extremely difficult for me. If you come to me for a counseling situation and expect me to resonate with your feelings, you’ll likely be disappointed. I will stick to talking about the problem at hand and what to do about it.

        I even remember in the past a friend told me that they thought the world of me, but if they had a problem, Allie was better at helping them with it because of her better listening skills. I wouldn’t dispute that. I don’t claim to be a therapist. It doesn’t mean I can’t do it, but it does mean that I will not be what you expect.

        Now you might be specifically wondering about love. Is an Aspie capable of love? I think unless something comes up, I will tackle that tomorrow.

        In Christ,
        Nick Peters
        (And I affirm the virgin birth)

        Comment


        • #49
          What is love?

          Link

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          Can someone on the spectrum love? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

          What does it mean to love? Sadly, love is one of the most meaningless words we have in our society today. This is not to downgrade love, but love is something that everyone says and very few people bother to define. The other word that comes to mind like that is God, and I’m certainly not one who disbelieves in God so consider the parallel.

          The problem is we have so many different ideas all contained in one word of love. We can say we love pizza, a TV show, a video game, a sports team, a neighbor, a spouse, and God, and we use the same word for all of them. I certainly hope that you don’t love your family the same way you love pizza.

          Meanwhile, when two people have sex, we often say that they are “making love.” I find this terminology strange, but not totally false since for a married couple definitely, the marital act is to build up love. Unfortunately, in our society, we also think that sex equals love, a trap especially young girls fall into thinking if a boy has sex with them, it means he loves them. No. The boy could really just be wanting to have sex.

          But today, we’re asking if someone on the spectrum is capable of love. The answer to this is an unequivocal yes. Those on the spectrum can love, but it might look different from other people.

          For me, love can have emotional highs, but those are the exception. I have more of a reality in my mind about the importance of the person. For a spouse, it’s a covenant relationship with them. For friends, it’s my willingness to do what I can to help them when they are in need.

          Sometimes, this is difficult still as being on the spectrum, to a degree that could be higher than for others, it is often difficult to step outside of myself and see things from the perspective of the other. I don’t think we’re alone in that, but I think the degree for us is far more intense.

          However, for many of us, loyalty remains something very special. I often think I would fit in wonderfully in the biblical world with honor and shame as this is how I examine my relationships with others. If someone betrays me or wrongs me in a great way, it is hard for me to ever trust them again. By contrast, if someone treats me right, I always want to honor my personal debt to them and show loyalty to them.

          To return to love, something to keep in mind is that love is not an emotion. It can result in strong emotions, but it is not that. Just because someone has strong emotions does not mean that they have strong love. Love is shown in the actions someone does. I think it was Lewis who said it is your reactions that will show who you are more than your actions.

          Love is seeking the good of the other for the sake of the other and if you truly love someone, you have to ask yourself regularly if you are seeking their good or not. There are times that letting go can be for someone else’s good. If you base it on an emotion, the emotion by nature cannot last forever and it will fade.

          If you are in a relationship with someone on the spectrum, be it family, friendship, or romantic, be assured that they can love. Someone on the spectrum can also be hurt so watch how you treat them as well. We may not respond the same way as you, but the ways that we are similar are greater than the ways that we are different.

          In Christ,
          Nick Peters
          (And I affirm the virgin birth)

          Comment


          • #50
            What about a cure?

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            What would happen if there was a cure for Autism? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

            This one will be my opinion in many ways. There are many fine organizations researching Autism and looking for a cure. I have no problem with this. However, I have for years now had the same opinion about the matter.

            I don’t doubt there are plenty of people that have extremely difficult cases of Autism such that it is hard if not impossible for them to function. For such people, it would be a great thing if a cure came along. For me, I don’t go that route. If there was a cure today, I would not take it.

            I compare it to when the third movie of the original X-Men trilogy came out. Some mutants wanted a cure for their mutation, like Rogue, who wanted to be able to experience human contact without worrying about killing someone. Others would not want it at all because they saw their mutation as helpful.

            I would be in the latter group. If someone came up with a cure for Aspergers, I would not be interested in getting it. I consider the benefits that I experience greater than the costs, and there very much are real costs. When I go to a social gathering at someone’s home involving food, it can be a reminder of how I am different in a way I don’t care for.

            Despite that, I prefer the benefits. I regularly use multi-tasking and memorization and traits like that. I like the way my mind works. I have even gone so far as to speculate that even in eternity, I could still be an Aspie. I am sure there won’t be any negatives at that point, but I do consider it an important part of my identity. If God takes it from me, then He knows what is best, but I would understand if He didn’t.

            Now if you are on the spectrum or know someone who is and want a cure, this is nothing against you. This is just my opinion on my personal situation. If you want that cure and you are sure you will be better for it, God bless you, and I am not at all telling those in research to stop looking. I am also open to anything that improves my life overall.

            Whatever side we are on with regards to a cure, whether we want one personally or not, we can all do something to raise awareness about Autism and make life better for those of us on the spectrum.

            In Christ,
            Nick Peters
            (And I affirm the virgin birth)

            Comment


            • #51
              Let's wrap it up.

              Link

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              What is the conclusion? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

              Okay. One final example first. It looks like WordPress apparently independently decided to change my font and I am not sure how to change it back. My Aspie side is internally screaming at this. I realize others not on the spectrum could be the same way, but I definitely am being on it.

              But for now, until I get that fixed, let’s discuss the heart of the matter. We’ve been looking all this month at life on the spectrum. Today, it has come to an end. By the way, as I said on Facebook, while I have every now and then seen something about Autism in an ad on a website or a commercial, it is nowhere near the celebration when it comes to identity politics. I find that interesting.

              So in the end, what is the goal of all of this? It’s to help those on the outside to understand. It is not to justify any sort of bad behavior. I always say that our Autism is an explanation, but it is not a justification, which only applies if we are doing something wrong or inappropriate. I am not asking for special treatment. I just ask for understanding.

              After all, who are we? We are your neighbors. We are your family. We are your friends. We are the people you see at the grocery store. We are the people who are serving you at the bank. You worship with us in a church service. You sit next to us at the DMV. We are in the halls of your schools. You befriend us, love us, and marry us.

              We are different from you, but in many ways, we are also people just like you. We can be hurt emotionally, physically, verbally, mentally, and in every other way. Rejection can hit very hard for us. We really do know what it’s like to be on the outside.

              Like you, deep down, we all want to be loved. We want to matter to someone else. We want to have friends. I even consider myself more of a loner, but I would not want to go through life without having friends.

              The difference is that we do not have our disability out there for everyone to see. If you see someone in a wheelchair, you don’t challenge them to a footrace. Nothing in us explicitly screams “Autism” even if you can tell something is different. Today, I do wear an autism awareness bracelet. Part of it is my hope that someone will notice and at least ask me about the bracelet.

              Seek to understand first. I know sometimes when I do something people don’t understand in a public place, I can hear people talking about me and thinking I can’t hear. I can. It doesn’t bother me like it used to, but that’s only after years of studying and learning all that I can. Many others on the spectrum could be less equipped.

              Then, show some kindness. Be gentle. We want to know if we are doing something wrong and we don’t like it if we receive mixed messages on that. Life is confusing for all of us and we have an extra layer of that confusion.

              However, if you come to know us, we are people who want to be a blessing in your life and we can be. We can be your friend and if you marry us, we can even be a lover to you. Of course, there are varying degrees of capability, but many of us strive to be all that we can be. Personally, that is my own philosophy. Life is a gift and I want to live it and appreciate all that I can of what God gave.

              When the month ends, you may not be aware of people on the spectrum that same way. I am aware of it all year long. I am thankful there is a month that people can recognize us, but I wish society would take it more seriously. We are special people as well who can contribute to our world just as much as anyone else can.

              Thank you for reading this month. Please be aware.

              In Christ,
              Nick Peters
              (And I affirm the virgin birth)

              Comment


              • #52
                I hope your font wasn't changed to one called Digestive. It makes me sick to even look at a page using it. Only look up that font at your own risk.

                Comment


                • #53
                  on SNL last week Elon Musk said that he has Asperger's. (it was not a joke)


                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                    on SNL last week Elon Musk said that he has Asperger's. (it was not a joke)
                    Yeah, he is one among many famous people with Asperer's/ASD. Anthony Hopkins, and Dan Aykroyd are two actors who have it. Jerry Seinfeld has self diagnosed himself as having it. Then there are fictional characters that are famous that show a lot of traits, or are flat out written to be autistic.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Elon Musk doesn't surprise me a bit.

                      The guy who invented Pokemon also has it.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                        Then there are fictional characters that are famous that show a lot of traits, or are flat out written to be autistic.
                        Sheldon Cooper. To my eye, his existence seems like a slap in the face to the autistic community. The show creators claim that he wasn't created with that in mind, but I don't believe that for a moment.
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                          Sheldon Cooper. To my eye, his existence seems like a slap in the face to the autistic community. The show creators claim that he wasn't created with that in mind, but I don't believe that for a moment.
                          Now that I know more about autism I'll agree he seems to have been created as a character with that in mind. Both me and my mom find him very relatable, make of that what you will.

                          The following two examples are often just thought of as "quirky" by those who don't know much about autism, but that is true of people who actually have autism and are not yet diagnosed. They are also female, which even in real life are often not realized to be autistic until very late if at all unless they also have a learning disability.

                          As for some characters that display some autistic traits. Ariel from The Little Mermaid. She is obsessed with the human world to the point of ignoring her daily life. In fact she has an collection of everything she can find from the human world. She is extremely talented when it comes to singing. She so desperately wants to be part of the human world that she is willing to give up her amazing talent. I've seen people suggest that her giving up her voice in order to be with Prince Erik could be an allegory for selective mutism. Given Hans Christian Andersen is thought to be autistic himself it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that he would/could write a character with traits like that.

                          Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I don't know anything about the author here, but the way she was portrayed in the Disney movie version has her display an obsession with books. Extremely brutal honesty to Gaston, and the Beast. The whole town thinks of her as really strange, and she doesn't really care much. Much of the opening song is the townspeople saying how strange she is, but she's pretty so they don't care as much. It tends to run in families, and her father is pretty much the eccentric genius stereotype you can often find with characters who are written as autistic.

                          Some more commonly cited examples are Sherlock Holmes, Adrian Monk, and the main character from The Good Doctor.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                            Now that I know more about autism I'll agree he seems to have been created as a character with that in mind. Both me and my mom find him very relatable, make of that what you will.

                            The following two examples are often just thought of as "quirky" by those who don't know much about autism, but that is true of people who actually have autism and are not yet diagnosed. They are also female, which even in real life are often not realized to be autistic until very late if at all unless they also have a learning disability.

                            As for some characters that display some autistic traits. Ariel from The Little Mermaid. She is obsessed with the human world to the point of ignoring her daily life. In fact she has an collection of everything she can find from the human world. She is extremely talented when it comes to singing. She so desperately wants to be part of the human world that she is willing to give up her amazing talent. I've seen people suggest that her giving up her voice in order to be with Prince Erik could be an allegory for selective mutism. Given Hans Christian Andersen is thought to be autistic himself it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that he would/could write a character with traits like that.

                            Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I don't know anything about the author here, but the way she was portrayed in the Disney movie version has her display an obsession with books. Extremely brutal honesty to Gaston, and the Beast. The whole town thinks of her as really strange, and she doesn't really care much. Much of the opening song is the townspeople saying how strange she is, but she's pretty so they don't care as much. It tends to run in families, and her father is pretty much the eccentric genius stereotype you can often find with characters who are written as autistic.

                            Some more commonly cited examples are Sherlock Holmes, Adrian Monk, and the main character from The Good Doctor.
                            OCD <> Autism

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                              OCD <> Autism
                              No, they don't equal each other. However they do have some overlap, and are often comorbid. Only one on my list with definite OCD is Monk.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                I don't see Sheldon as a slap in the face. He's the character that is most loved on the show even if at times the most annoying, but he's also the one with the greatest character development up to the very end of the show.

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