Church surveys consistently reveal the greatest need in the body of Christ is acceptance, fellowship, and inclusion! This means include and accept everyone.
Quoting a neurotypical’s observation (from Joni and Friends, Part 2: Truth for the Church; section 18:15), “If someone comes to me with poor social skills and I reject them, I’ve sinned – they didn’t. So, if the Lord needs to bring people into my life who are somewhat incompetent, who in terms of communication wise are not the greatest, in order to teach me how to be more accepting of people, then that could potentially also be another benefit.”
What makes someone think it’s Aspies who are incompetent? The neurotypical majority’s opinion? What exactly is incompetent about a neuro-A-typical individual? Wouldn’t the incompetent one be the person who doesn’t know what to do or how to think?
Teddy & Chiliswoman answer the question, “Why do some NT’s find people with Asperger’s so unlikeable or annoying?” quite accurately by saying, “…they (NTs) do become annoyed – at them self because now they don’t know what to say or do. They have to think about how to converse with you (the Aspie). It is no longer natural and ordinary. Some people are so uncomfortable with that that they cannot continue the conversation, others muddle through, and some excel.”
Many accuse adult Aspies of creating their own problems. This thought places the blame of rejection on the victim. It is no different than telling a woman who was raped she must have somehow asked for it.
It’s commonly said people with Aspergers are anti-social. This perpetuates the notion that Aspies are to blame for lacking fellowship among the church’s congregation. Expressing a desire for a prayer partner for an Aspie can result in being told, “There are Christians persecuted in other countries who don’t have a prayer partner.” A pastor may also say, “Aspergers is something psychologists made up.” Yes, they made the label up. However, things don’t need a label in order to exist. Labels are a communication tool.
The church needs Aspies as much as Aspies need the church. God created man in His own image and we are all one in Christ Jesus. The body of Christ is not complete if it does not fellowship with the believers who are a social discomfort. Social discomfort is a two-way street.
The American Association of Christian Counselors includes the post Asperger’s Syndrome and Spirituality. In it, Rev. Stephanie C. Holmes, M.A. recalls a time in her daughter’s life when she was not drawn toward the church or Christians. The reality of many Aspies’ experience with religious hypocrisy grieves her. She explains why individuals with Aspergers need the church to BE the body of Christ.
It is hypocritical to think Asperger individuals are the only ones with poor social skills. What worse social skill is there than to reject a person simply because she may take you out of your comfort zone?