Christian, newly reformed, Aspergers, and My Insights

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Christian Teegardin

Puritan Board Freshman
I have to admit that I will be talking about a lot of random things, but I hope it gives you an idea of who I am and what I am like.

My name is Christian. I am 19 years old, and will be 20 in a few months! Hoo-rah, the big 2-0!

Well, most of this article about me will be about my conversion from Arminianism to Calvinism, and changes, a couple of them, that I went through as a Calvinist. The second part will be talking about my Asperger's syndrome and how it played, and plays, a part in my Reformed faith.

From Arminianism (Typical nowadays Christian) to Calvinism (Reformed theology)

I will show you the five points of my pre-Calvinistic viewpoint. [Not pure Arminianism. In no way am I promoting this.]

A: Partial Depravity (that man, with enough will, can come to Christ of his volition)
B: Man Elects Himself to Salvation, by Asking Christ Into His Heart (heresy, as I know now)
C: Unlimited Atonement (as says)
D: Resistible Grace (ditto)
E: Preservation of the Saints (A less robust version of the P on the Calvinistic TULIP)

My viewpoints were pretty close to typical Methodism, except without the perfectionism doctrine. I was pretty much a typical Fellowship Christian. I do think I was regenerated then, but I was ignorant. I was definitely ignorant.

I continued like that for a long time. No real change happened over about 6 years or so, from about 13 to earlier this year, freshly 19 years old. Then I stumbled across Calvinistic theology.

It scared me to death. My ego was wounded for sure. Yet, I compared it to Scripture and I paled even further, realizing that I couldn't deny the doctrines of grace much longer. I resisted. I tried to find evidence against it, reading Arminian arguments against Calvinism, but lo and behold, the Arminian arguments sounded childish and rebellious, an attitude that I didn't approve of, and instrumental to my Reformation.

I eventually settled on a mild Calvinism, which I still consider Biblical except for a couple points, in which I'll note. I'll give you the five points of 'Calminianism.'

1. Mostly Depraved (In between Arminianism and Calvinism) [Unbiblical]
2. Conditional Election (God foreseeing the faith of others) [Unbiblical]
3. Unlimited Atonement (In an Amyraldian sense, the paradoxical stance, which isn't technically unbiblical but a little irrational) [Paradoxically biblical]
4. Extremely Hard to Resist Grace (Approaching Calvinism) [Weak theology, not explicitly unbiblical]
5. Perseverance of the Saints (Identical to Calvinism) [Biblical]

I was in that rut for at least a few months. I was pretty sure of my election then, because of the hope I had, despite the terrible struggles with lust that I confront quite often. I was on my way to complete Calvinism. Pray for me on that one, so I won't lose the next battle.

Then I realized... I am a Calvinist. For fun, I will show you my 'new' 5 point system. By the way, HARDLY new.

1. Total Depravity (Total inability)
2. Unconditional Election (God chooses based on His good will)
3. Limited Atonement (Limited to the elect, unlimited in scope)
4. Irresistible Grace (I can testify to that, which I will do further down)
5. Perseverance of the Saints (Same as last list)

As you can see, TULIP!

Asperger's Syndrome

I am not antisocial, so I do not secretly plot others' demises. I am rather asocial though. Social situations stress me out a lot. I find that studying theology by myself is one of the most satisfactory activities I can do on a normal day, except for some days where I and my family go out of town to shop, in which I peer around to see if I can find any really rare crossword puzzle magazines.

I do not drive, and will not have a license for awhile yet, because of my anxiety. I will have to practice for up to four times as long as an average person, just like riding a bike, which it took me a LONG time to learn how (at 8 years old), and even LONGER to learn how to swim (at 13 years old).

I cannot read typical social cues, in which I can thank our Sovereign Lord for 'cursing' me with the inability to be a 'normal' person. The 'curse' is in fact a blessing because peer pressure is not even a problem in my life. I was never really wooed by peer pressure, more irritated by it. I never could understand why people did all these social things. Going to bars together, alcohol, smoking... Never interested me one bit. I could never understand why others wanted acceptance so much that they sacrificed their own identity to become like their peers. Sad.

I still tend to be a solitary person. I tend to relate with people a generation older than me, instead of my 'peers.' While at youth groups, I would tend to talk to the adults save for a few of my crushes I had over the time I went to such groups. (I still was attracted to the opposite gender. Asperger's doesn't make me genderless.)

About the irresistible grace, I want to say that it felt like a 'whoosh.' I felt empowered by God's truth radiating in my heart. Now I know that it was Christ laying the staircase down in my life so I could finally access God. No, this is not some mystical union between I and God. I am staunchly against mystical 'encounters' with 'God.'

I then went through a very dark and iniquitous time in my life, in which I have recanted of last month, remembering God's grace in my life, and letting Him get me running the race for the Christian life again. :amen:

The staircase, Jacob's Ladder, is an illustration I learned from Derek Levendusky when I was at the 'X-Factor' men's retreat just recently. I do not agree with his Charismatic leanings theologically but the whole conference was theologically sound. I learned that Jacob's Ladder is an image for Christ in our lives. He described it as a staircase with angels coming up and down it, and God coming down to Jacob. It signified how we can access God when His sovereign grace is upon our lives. Truly moving.

I was with two Arminian brothers and another person who was probably half-way Arminian and half-way Calvinist. My talks with him were the best, of course, because he fully understood my staunch Reformed standpoint. I disagreed with the two Arminian brothers, which one is really awesome in my opinion, in a very friendly and cordial fashion. We are still friends, duh. I knew all three of them loved the LORD and that was the main point. I prayed over him as well, citing Calvinistic doctrine, like God's decree in his life, that my friend would discover God's story written for him. He chuckled at my statement, but I was pretty serious about it. (I believed exactly what I said.)

My Introspective Tendencies

Because I am very socially handicapped, I coped by trying to understand myself better, the reasons why I did certain things the way I did, and how God brought me to Reformed theology.

While at the Men's retreat, after making a ton of jokes about false teachers, citing Rodney Howard Browne because I made the whole cabin laugh a riot, I got up out of bed and, about 3:30 AM, went through the fully-lit conference building, very deep in thought. As you can see, I would probably be fit to be a philosopher, a Reformed philosopher, of course. I tend to peer into words of wisdom quite a bit, gleaning truth from Christian AND worldly thinkers, like how Paul quoted Greek poets to teach the Epicureans and the Stoics about the UNKNOWN GOD while on the Areopagus. (Correct me if I am mistaken.)

This is not intended to praise these groups, just showing an example...There are a lot of statements that Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Charismatics, Muslims, etc. say, that are true in of themselves, but first I'd have to separate the truth from the error, and that's quite an arduous task. Like, I obviously agree with the Jehovah's Witnesses about the idiocy of evolution. (Of course I disagree with them about the deity of Christ, for example. They teach a heresy there.) E.g. A handful of what Buddha says is 100% accurate. It's not like non-Christians can't be wise, but what they lack is Christ's wisdom. The wisdom of Jesus outweighs the wisdom of everyone else, by an infinite shot.

Now, the wisdom of people like Luther, Calvin, Edwards, etc... is beyond the wisdom of those who are unregenerate. The unregenerate have only a limited scope of wisdom they can convey, and it usually has nothing to do with a deity, of if it does, it is not the God we all know. None of the Christian theologians are perfect per se, but I believe God ordained these reformers to be His foothold for future Christianity. As always, God decreed everything, so it will pass.

I will give a list of points that convey my fledgling understanding of true Christianity. (Feel free to correct me if I make a mistake or something. I am not God.)

1. God is the ultimate decree maker.
2. God is in the driver's seat, ultimately.
3. Our free will is God's decree itself.
4. God knows our every choice through the free will He has decreed upon our lives.
5. Christ is the bridge between us and God.
6. Without Christ, God is absolutely inaccessible.
7. There is no such thing as prevenient grace but as the Gospel is being delivered, irresistible grace regenerates the elect in Christ. Therefore, those chosen to be sons of God are to experience irresistible grace sometime in their lives.
8. It is not God's fault that unregenerate people are at fault for their sin. God passed over the unregenerate, leaving them incapable to see into the counsel of the Most High God. They see themselves as God, ultimately. They see their needs as sovereign, not selfless reverence and worship of the LORD.
9. This is not an excuse to sit around on a chair and think of oneself higher than the other because of one's election to be a Son of God. This is the time to consider that, being saved by unmerited grace, the person should bow down before God and give limitless thanks. The person should be exceedingly full of gratitude.
10. To decrease the seriousness of this article, we, the elect, are not to act like a club. We might feel inclined to be like that, but pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. We need to be careful. :think:

I hope I wasn't TOO excessive, which I probably was, but I was just wanting to get this off my chest, and had no idea where to post it, other than to introduce myself.

God be blessed, and may He bless His elect without refrain.
 

BGF

Puritan Board Sophomore
Pleasure to meet you, Bobzilla. I see many parallels between you and my 15 year old aspergian son. I appreciate you sharing from your perspective as it helps me see into his mind a little. He hasn't quite found a way to express these things yet.
 

Christian Teegardin

Puritan Board Freshman
I just got in contact with a church member from a second church I attend, and he's going to give my e-mail to a lady he knows, who is Reformed.
 

Christian Teegardin

Puritan Board Freshman
God be with you. I am interested in talking about theology in particular with someone. Theology fascinates me. As I am a staunch Calvinist, seeing the Christ of Arminianism to be weak and incapable, therefore not omnipotent, I should be of no bother to the PB.
 
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