The Gospel Centered Autism Awareness Movement
GCAAM is a new initiative that is being formed as a network that can help anyone who struggles with Asperger’s come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior and to find healthy church families that will welcome them in. The initiative will also help educate churches on how to interact with anyone who struggles with Asperger’s and to be patient and compassionate towards them on the condition that they are holding firm to the Gospel without compromise.
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
In the 1940’s, Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician noticed young boys who had difficulty socializing and communicating with other people. Even with this setback, these boys were very smart and you could imagine their IQ exceeding even your everyday scientists in labs for lack of better term. Because these symptoms were also considered symptoms of Autism, psychiatrists, psychologists and other professionals believed that it was more of a form of High Functioning Autism. That probably explains why Asperger’s syndrome is a part of the autism spectrum. You could imagine people like Thomas Jefferson, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein or even fictional characters such as Sherlock Holmes as people who might have had Asperger’s.
If you would like more information about Autism and Asperger’s, you can look at the link below from the Autism Society.
We still don’t know what causes Autism (especially Asperger’s), but rather than trying to cure it my hope and prayer for you as you browse through this website is that you are encouraged and that you and your child can find hope in the Gospel like I have.
What is the Gospel?
You’ve probably heard people tell you “I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.” The Gospel is no different. The Bad news is that because of the fall after creation (Genesis 3) we were born with flaws and we make mistakes every single day and we deserve to be put in hell for eternity, I sure as heck do. (Romans 3:10-12; Ephesians 2:1-3: Hebrews 9:27). BUT…The GOOD NEWS is that God doesn’t want you to (frankly, I wouldn’t either. The thought of being there would give me nightmares). Instead he wants to give you something that you won’t find anywhere else…a personal relationship with Jesus. Another thing that might surprise you is that the word “Gospel” literally means “Good News” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
We also cannot earn favor from God because of our sinful nature (Ephesians 2:8-10). Rather than waste your time trying to earn your salvation or be accepted by people, all you have to do is remember that Yeshua, Jesus accepts you, he loves you and he can use you to use the gifts that he’s given you BECAUSE he loves you! Here’s the best part, my identity is NOT in my Autism, my identity is in Christ! Autism is just something that I struggle with. My hope and prayer is that you’ll keep that in mind for your own life too!
Now if you’re reading this and feel as if you don’t deserve to be saved by Him or feel strong enough, that’s alright. There’s no need to stress about it. It’s people like you and me that he wants to use for his Glory. (Exodus 15:2; Joshua 1:9; Matthew 5:17-20; John 3:16-17) He used so many people in the Old and New Testaments such as David, Elijah, Joshua, Moses, The Apostle Paul, Peter, the list goes on and on. None of these men were perfect, nor felt perfect. But God used them for his glory regardless. Jesus wants to give you the same spiritual heart surgery I got on February 6th, 2015, which is a new heart and a new spirit that he will put within you (Ezekiel 36:25-26).
The Gospel is “The good news of who Jesus was and what He accomplished for us in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father. We don’t have to prove or save ourselves. He did it.” – The VCC website
What Churches do you recommend that I try?
We have several recommendations. Currently, we recommend one church community per specific area.
Valley Community Church Pleasanton, CA
3Crosses Castro Valley, CA
Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Berkeley, CA
East Valley Church San Jose, CA
Venture Christian Church Los Gatos, CA