In the comments section of my post, “Asperger’s and Religion”, “Grandma Jay” asked for my advice on an issue she’s encountered, and I requested her permission to write a special post on it. This is something I need your help on! Here’s the post.

Grandma Jay has a 9-year-old grandson with Asperger’s Syndrome. She is concerned about his religious upbringing, since his parents are ultra-conservative fundamentalists. She said that her grandson sees the rapture as a real event, and she is concerned about how that will affect him down the road. When I responded that believing in the rapture is not a bad thing and can actually provide comfort, she replied:

“I believe it is taught as a belief in something fearful, as in ‘if you’re not good enough, you won’t be ‘raptured’.’ I also believe it’s nonsense. Christ clearly taught that you would not know the time and place. Why speculate? Concentration on the ‘end times’ robs us of living Christ-like in the present.”

You can click on the “Asperger’s and Religion” link to see the full discussion. What I need from my diverse readers is advice for Grandma Jay as to how she should go about this situation.

My readers are various. Many of them are recovering from an apocalyptic religion, be it Armstrongism or fundamentalist Christianity. I also have readers who believe in the rapture and end-times prophecy, but they’ve found a way to hold on to those beliefs while leading a mature life, at peace with God, others, and themselves. And some are atheists or non-Christians, who may have insight into how to interact with people who have radically different beliefs from their own.

We’ll see where this goes! Thanks in advance for your comments.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Asperger's, Autism, Church, Life, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Help!

  1. steph says:

    As a non Christian and someone with no experience of Asperger’s Syndrome, my only knowledge being from previous posts and links posted by James, I am not the respondent she is looking for. However in my own teaching experience with children of vast ranging abilities, backgrounds and religions my object was to make them feel good about who they were as individuals with constant positive reinforcement and love. I don’t think a grandparent can interfere in the way this child is being brought up but could she influence his own feelings of self worth and value with praise and love? Reassurance for her could be that James has Asperger’s Syndrome and is conservative religiously (I think) but he’s come out all right as a young adult.


  2. James Pate says:

    Thanks for your comment, Steph. It brought in a lot of practical wisdom, based on your own experience with kids and your realistic assessment of the situation.


  3. Looney says:

    I am not sure what to say either, except that acceptance of Jesus as our personal savior is our only source of comfort. The Bible does not give us any alternative, except to trust and hope in God.


  4. James Pate says:

    That’s a good point, Looney. Even though the Bible presents some scary stuff about God, at it’s base, it portrays God as merciful, loving, and compassionate.


  5. Russell Miller says:

    Looney, I’m not going to say whether your advice is good or bad, but it most definitely isn’t *practical*.


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