Faith, Aspergers and God

I was asked one day, “if you see everything so black and white, how can you believe in God?” My answer dumbfounded the inquiring person : I said “because everything IS black and white, how could I NOT believe in God?”

Yes I live in a literal world. No doubt that I do not work in subtleties. So I can understand asking how can I have faith. Isn’t faith believing in something you can’t see?

To me faith in God as related to Aspergers has three elements: logic, hope and acceptance.

Let me insert my honest disclaimer here before we begin. I am not one of those self-righteous people who thinks I am better than everyone just because of my faith. I am actually quite the sinner. I can cuss a sailor out of the room, I smoke, I am FAR from perfect. This post isn’t about how you should save your souls (although I hope you do!) It is about the perceived conflicts between having Aspergers and having faith in Jesus Christ.

Being an Aspie, there is a down side to my faith; I don’t communicate my emotions well. You won’t find me jumping up and down screaming Praise God and Amen in church. That used to bother me. I just couldn’t be like that. Did that make me less o a Christian? Now I am comfortable with how God made me. Now I know how my Aspergers works. So its no big deal to me.

My faith in Jesus has always been easy because I CAN see things logically. I think it is my logical brain that helps me see better than most NT’s. When I see payers get answered I don’t try to second guess if it was really an answered prayer or coincidence. I watch NT’s do that a lot.

As an Aspie, there are questions that can only be answered with God. Watch a baby come into this world. A billion things had to happen to get to the point of birth. How can something that complex happen by accident?
I love when people argue the Big Bang theory. They can be so passionate about their believe of the creation of the universe. For the record I believe in the Big Bang as well. However they can’t explain what made the Big Bang happen. I can; God.
Evolution? What about dinosaurs? I say what about them? Noah didn’t bring any on the ark. Duh (sic).
Then people go after the big question: ‘where did God come from?’ I like to pick this apart. The people who ask that question are the same ones who love science fiction stories of space and worm holes and time travel, but refuse to admit that God is not bound by time as we understand it.
To my Aspie Brian, that is the only logical answer.
There is so much LOGIC to God. Let me give a few examples-
If the dinosaurs didn’t die we would not have oil. Logical.
The intricate process of the food chain. That delicate balance can’t mathematically happen by chance.
There is almost a mathematical formula to everything. Even to following the bible. When I gladly pay my tithe, I have no money troubles. When I don’t pay my tithe thus keeping that extra money, it seems I always have money trouble.
So logically looking at the odds, the bible is right.

What is faith if it isn’t hope?
As an Aspie, I take comfort in my faith. I have hope for a future and my place in this life. I hear some Aspies saying they don’t fit in. Why me? Whine and cry… I never really feel that way. God gave me gifts. I have this gift to see things clearly. I tend to be smarter than most people. I don’t panic. And most importantly I have hope; I know I have a purpose to my life.
I am so thankful for all that I am! Thankful for all that I have. Thankful for hope. Life as an Aspie is awesome.

If you can say the universe is just one big accident, then you can say that I am just an accident. And if I am nothing more than an accident, I serve no purpose. In the words of Spock “illogical”.

Then there are my personal selfish reasons for my faith. I like to feel loved and accepted. Who doesn’t? Yes, we Aspies spend most of our life being judged and misunderstood by NT’s. Yet I am never judged by my ‘church friends’ they always accept me for who I am. We don’t always agree, but I am always accepted. I love that feeling of acceptance and I always have.

If you are the parent of an Aspie child, consider ways to give him or her that hope and acceptance.

The question isn’t How can I have faith? The question is How can I not?!?

32 comments on “Faith, Aspergers and God

  1. Simon says:

    A well written and interesting post.

    With all this, there is no right or wrong as the existence of God, Gods etc cannot be proven beyond a doubt, it’s not based on science or photographic evidence etc, it’s people’s beliefs, stories, experiences. Either way, It’s purely down to ones’ own belief, reached by many differing factors. That’s what religion is anyway, beliefs & non-beliefs.

    For me, as the existence cannot be proven, I cannot believe as I see it to be too far fetched to be possible. Not saying I’m right, just saying that’s my belief, that I don’t believe.

    If one day there is actual real evidence that’s beyond any doubt then of course I would believe in whatever it was, lets say God for the sake of this. However until then, I in my mind cannot accept that anything almighty is there, here, wherever.

    Hope, dreams, aspirations, thanks, leading a good life… can all be had without any specific religion. I guess having a religion to put it into some sort of context & reasoning makes a happy life for many. Some, like myself, and happy with doing & being all that without anything religious behind it.

    • aspiewarrior says:

      Very interesting point Simon. If there was ‘real evidence’ wouldn’t that remove the element of faith? Thus making it too easy and removing any value gained by having faith?
      To me the ‘proof’ comes from seeing his hand at work. To many things cannot be explained otherwise…

      • simoncullum says:

        Indeed it would remove an element of faith, though not faith altogether.

        For example, my family exist, there is proof of that. Yet I can still have faith in that they will be there for me when I need them. They might not be, or only sometimes, though I have the faith that they will be.

        You’re right, too many things cannot be explained. The world of science cannot explain far more than what it can explain (I’m not a Scientologist or a Scientist by the way). So the only way to really be able to deal and put perspective and meaning on things that cannot be explained is to have belief, views and faith, or not. :-)

  2. Christopher H. says:

    Hey, finally another Aspie theist (that is Christian theist). I’m glad that you think faith is indeed logical.

    I have no idea where you fall theologically, but I think a book you might enjoy is Cornelius Van Til’s “Defense of the Faith”. It is an apologetic/philosophy book that seeks to give ground to Christian theistic beliefs in the terms of philosophy.

    But thank’s for the encouragement. It seems like other aspies are all claiming that atheism is the only logical belief.

  3. Juls says:

    Was wondering what some might think of this:

  4. Bryan the moped geek says:

    Stumbled upon this through God’s timing, so to say. I’ve just gone through the latest bout of faith crisis and wondering if God is just a special interest, as all believers; NT or spectrum, are wont to do from time to time.

    Just really wanted to bring up how soothing it is to discover I Am Not Alone In This unique position – even more so than standard ‘social’ environments it often feels as ‘we’ get an extra dose of invalidation from both sides; one arena holding the extreme view of seeing us as demon-possessed, to being cordially welcomed and tolerated (just don’t let your mask slip)
    while the other community has a prevalent ‘Do what thou wilt’ mentality from what I observe.

    While God doesn’t directly cause my checking account to overflow as a result of tithing I do notice a strong pattern of getting blessings from service (according to my current church’s Spiritual Gift profile I have a major in Discernment and a close second in Service). For one, it establishes a good routine and it’s not all that socially taxing; it gives me something productive to fill that time with and helps me pull out of thought looping, plus I think a lot to myself that if newcomers can see they let someone like me around helping out, that this church is a place they can genuinely feel welcome[/ramble]

    Glad to find the site, I can relate to a lot of the same shortcomings, keep the posts coming!

  5. How can an Aspie-or anyone else-not believe in God? You might like this video. It’s called Autism in the Bible – Does God Care About Autism Part 1

  6. Curtis says:

    As an atheist, an aspie and a firm believer in the message of hope for substantive change that Jesus left us with his deeds and his death and knowing that we aspies for the most part, share many common character traits-I proudly display a wooden cross in my car as a reminder to myself of the accomplishments of probably the most respected and influential aspie is history; as a reminder to myself that my thoughts and ideologies though not mainstream are sound, honest and directed not for personal gain, but rather to teach that select few that relish in their lucrative slices of goods and services and damn the rest of us, that we are watching and we care; that we are as capable as him that came before us to fight for what is logical truth and logical right. Jesus the man, the aspie set the example for us to follow. For once you begin to follow, you then begin to lead.

  7. Sharon Rose says:

    As an Aspie man who generally takes things literally and logically, do you find that you have difficulty using your imagination? I’m an Aspie woman, and I feel like my imagination is OVER-charged.

  8. Nancy Ewin says:

    Your article was a wonderful testimony. I have not been diagnosed. I am a 54 year old divorced mother of five and I think exactly like you do. Amen sister.

  9. Kelly says:

    As a christian aspie myself, I feel totally useless and inadequate. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me. The bible says to take up your cross and follow Jesus daily and to go out and make disciples of people. The problem is, I am terrified of people. I have gone through so much growing. I was picked on and belittled. I have very poor self esteem of myself. I am worried that if I don’t do what the bible says, I won’t have eternal life.

    • aspiewarrior says:

      The Bible does not say salvation is conditional on doing good works. Salvation comes from faith. Through daily reading of Scripture and prayer, God will lead you to what you need to do. Just keep living your life as an example of God’s love, be the light on top of the hill. Set the example.
      Remember, you may not go and seek out other people, but you do interact with a few people every day. You may even the only Bible some of those people ever read.

    • Sharon Rose says:

      “But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them gave He the power to become the sons of God [salvation], even to them that believe on his name.’ Gospel of John.

      My advice is to keep practicing on making friends who are already Christians and who can encourage you without picking on you. Then, later, you will learn the confidence to reach out to unbelievers. Also, you can always PRAY for people! That is so important, too.

      My dad is an Aspie, and after his fiancee broke up with him, he felt useless too. He ended up being a missionary to Japan for over 20 years. Don’t ever believe that you are useless. There is no such thing as a wasted life. God loves you personally.

      My husband, also an Aspie like me, talked to nobody but his coworkers and customers for years, and he went skiing every opportunity he got. He literally did not have any friends. But when he met me (through, he – for lack of a better word – BLOOMING. All he was waiting for was someone to accept his love, and I was the one!

      I hope this encourages you, Kelli. Please check out my blog – Thank you!

  10. Spencer says:

    I don’t know if you run this blog anymore, but I certainly hope you do. I’m sick and tired of getting this feeling that all of my fellow Aspies are agnostics, at best, like being a Christian is just IMPOSSIBLE. That’s so stupid. I mean, I never actually literally heard this, but I quickly realized that although there are plenty of Aspies and plenty of Christians, the two don’t always overlap. Or they do but there aren’t any near me where I live. And sometimes, my condition and my faith have to be addressed within the context of each other, but no one seems to do that. There are books on how to live your life for God, and books on how to life live with Asperger’s, but none that discuss both! Christian parents are starting to work with their AS children, but even so, we Aspies ourselves are still in the dark. I, for example, have trouble distinguishing my social issues with sinful behavior. What is a sin and what is not? No one will tell me, and an NT Christian would just give a misunderstanding “Yes!”

    The church really needs to understand us Aspies more. It would probably help if people in the church just knew what it was! I was raised Christian, but unfortunately no church establishment helped me come to Christ–I was too shy and awkward in church, and I didn’t really get to know anyone since there was too much social interaction expected of me. Instead God sort of called me to Him at a low moment, and while sometimes life begins to look better than it used to I can’t help but look back at all of my fellow Aspies who are lost and have led the world and failed social interactions make them bitter. Yeah, I was one of the “whiners” :P

    I think the main reason is that today’s Aspies are into things that the church finds to be “idols” or “sinful” like Pokémon or something (nothing sinful about Pokémon that I remember!), and churches have basically become these social clubs. I don’t go to church for that stuff, as an Aspie, I go to learn about God and get new insight into the Christian life!

    But I really think Aspies can benefit from being Christians. They can find a purpose in their lives that doesn’t relate to some obsession, and they can finally feel the love and acceptance that they’ve been looking for. Once I came to Christ I finally realized what the Bible meant by being a “slave to Christ” (I took it literally, of course) and hating one’s parents in comparison for love for the Lord. Aspies just need to know that even if the world doesn’t “get” them (and it never will), God does because He made them that way.

    I don’t think Aspies are any more or less likely to join the faith, though. I think it just has to do with Christians being more loving and understanding like they’re supposed to be, and reminding people that Christ can remove their sin. One thing I have to remind myself is that God doesn’t condemn me every time I “mess up” socially, and He made me the way He did for His own reasons. He’s forgiven me of my sins, even though I quite honestly didn’t deserve them forgiven. Aspies can sin, too, but we’re no less or more sinners in God’s eyes than anyone else. And just like everybody else, we need to feel God’s love and to let Him take control so that he can enhance the good things about Asperger’s and diminish the bad things.

    • aspiewarrior says:

      Yes, I still run the blog, I just haven’t had anything to post in a while. I agree that a lot of churches don’t understand Aspies. I was lucky to find a good pastor shortly after I learned I had Aspergers. We aren’t all so lucky. Live to please Christ, don’t worry about those in this world who try to derail your faith. Feel free to email me any time to talk more.

      • Spencer says:

        Thanks. I’d love to keep in touch with you, since I have yet to meet a lot of people who just so happen to be Christians AND Aspies. I’m sure you have tons of advice I could benefit from :)

      • aspiewarrior says:

        ,I don’t know how much advice I have, but I’m always happy to chat.

  11. meridethb says:

    Hello. I came upon your blog during my search for an answer about loving God. I hope you can help…

    I am a Christian and believe the Bible because history and common sense logic prove it is true. I study the Bible almost daily, try to apply what I learn to my life, pray, etc. But I have a recurring problem: I don’t “feel” love for God. It’s difficult even to type that admission because I know God command me to “love [Him] with all my heart, mind and soul.”

    At times, I despair that my faith must not be real, since I don’t feel my relationship with God/Jesus. Other times, I think love is not an emotion, but a commitment, so I’m ok. But the doubt (not about God’s existence or about the truth of God’s Word, but about whether I actually do have salvation and a personal relationship with Him) keeps coming back.

    I don’t remember when I first believed and asked Jesus to be my Lord: I think I’ve always believed and I ask for forgiveness and salvation almost every week, just in case, but I’ve never felt different or changed. I’m never overwhelmed by a feeling of love. I really want to feel that like other people seem to…

    Do you actually feel love for/from Jesus? If so, do you know how I can?

    • aspiewarrior says:

      As I had to explain to my wife; just because I don’t get all lovey dovey, and I don’t SAY I love you, doesn’t mean that I don’t. For me I show my love by my actions. Are you’re actions done out of a desire to please God, or out of a desire to better understand God? If so, I would call that love…

    • Spencer says:

      Hey, I know how you feel. I used to think I literally couldn’t feel God’s love, as an Aspie. Like we just could not feel something if it wasn’t physical. But in the pit of my despair, I DID feel Him, reaching out to me and telling me I was loved despite my struggles.

      Now I feel His love very frequently, whenever I am having a moment of depression or anxiety. After I felt it once, I recognized it and now I can do nothing to forget what that feels like. And if you pray earnestly for that connection, I beleive God will give it to you. It came to me once I realized my sin and that I needed Him.

  12. Shannon says:

    Faith in Jesus is indeed logical. Noah’s ark, isn’t. At least not how it’s portrayed in the Bible.

    By the way, I’m a Christian Aspie too.

  13. Edgy Spirit says:

    Thanks for the post. I hope you find some more to write about soon.

    I’m trying to blog to fill the gap between Christian on one hand and aspie on the other.

    Church is more than waving hands in the air and shouting ‘ praise the Lord’
    I hope to tackle Merideth’s question about love too at some point. Love isn’t all about emotions!

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