Sunday, June 1, 2008

Disability and Church Issue: Autistic

What to do with a child that once struck a child during mass, nearly knocks elderly parishioners over when he hastily exits the church, spits and sometimes urinates in church and fights when he is being restrained? A Minnesota Catholic church has filed a restraining order against a family that was attending their church in an effort to stop the parents from bringing their "extremely disruptive and dangerous" autistic son to church.

People with disabilities make up one of the largest minority group in the country, especially withing Christian Churches. The Bible also teaches us to bear the burdens of someone with a disability fulfills a command of scripture (Galatians 6:2). 2 Samuel 9:3-4 tells the story of David’s kindness to Mephibosheth, the lame son of Jonathan, modeling the way the church should minister. Many churches often treats disabilities, especially with the deaf community as 2nd or 3rd class citizens. A disabled Christian believer can enrich in a Christian community, Christians with disabilities – especially those in positions of leadership can serve as God's best examples of His power being made perfect in weakness.

Now...there are two major issues: safety and focus on God during church services. Of disruptions causing people losing focus on their worship and safety issues among the congregation, we have to consider them as well. When we look in the mirror, we are the part of the spiritual Church. That if we have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make our joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1-2). People who accept and respect a person's refusal to submit must have strong influences to make things change without negative affect.

Through my own family, we have been looking for certain churches that we can fit in and there are NOT MANY out there. I was born with deafness and later in life I was diagnosed with MS. My step-daughter was born with cerebral palsy as well as mild retardation due to seizures when she was a child. My blood daughter have bipolar and personality disorder disabilities. We will try Upper Arlington Lutheran Church and go from there. We just want a special needs service for my daughter who has cerebral palsy with low IQ. Many of the Church's members are volunteers and by no means they are expected to be experts on certain issues. They are simply "Helpers", 1 Corinthians 12:28 is amplified in Romans 12:7,8 by the gifts of contributing, giving aid, showing mercy and perhaps also rendering service. This gift is the most common and perhaps very important because Peter encourages those who render service to do it "with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 4:11).

Sometime families with disabilities are stuck and often stay home rather than dealing with issues with each local churches.

1 comment:

Merelyme said...

we are lucky to have found a church who has special services for the disabled. church is very important for my son who has autism.