It is widely accepted in the Church, that those with mental disabilities are covered under the atonement, just as a child that never reached the age of accountability is covered by the grace of Christ.
Those special individuals have a mental deficiency that prevents their spirit, their true self, from being made manifest, through there physical bodies into the temporal world.
This same phenomena is made clear in individuals that have undergone significant brain trauma or surgery. Family members or spouses commonly report that, “they just aren’t the same”.
Are these people judged or condemned for this?
No, they are usually given a “pass” on their behaviors, even praised for being the choice souls that they are, and rightly so. After all, their condition had nothing to do with their choices.
Christ himself healed a man that was disabled from birth, he said the man was not this way because he was a sinner, or because his parents were sinners. The sole purpose of this man’s affliction was to show the world the power that the Son of God has to heal.
Brains are not fully developed until early to mid 20’s. Children are exposed to pornography at horribly early ages ( I was 9) with no parents to openly talk to or process that exposure with, or to properly educate them about it. These children are thrown into the shame filled world of behavioral based chemical addiction that atrophies the developing frontal cortex and down regulates sensitive dopamine receptors in the limbic part of the brain.
The logical, decision making part of their brain is physically, visibly (can be seen on scans) damaged! And the spirit in that body is incapable of being made fully manifest into the physical world, because of the physical limitations now placed upon the medium of expression, the brain.
The onset of this impairment is often in early youth, even prepubescent youth. Initially it is either a childlike curiosity, or an older child or adult introduces the material, or it pops up while searching for school related material, at no real fault of the child being exposed. These children don’t have the mental capacity to fully grasp the lifelong consequences that will inevitably happen because of the “choices” they are making.
How different is this from a genetic or chromosomal disorder that impairs the brain?
If God is truly “No respecter of persons”, isn’t my spirit just as choice, in his eyes, as a spirit chosen to face temporal existence with Down’s Syndrome?
So, why do we praise those with one form of brain damage and damn the other?
Addiction to food, soda, caffeine, nicotine, coffee, tobacco, narcotics, prescription drugs, alcoholism, sporting events, gambling, sex, pornography, bulimia, anorexia, extreme exercise (this list goes on and on) damages the brain in similar ways.
Yes, there are some that choose these substances as a method of coping or rebellion and suffer the sad consequences of enslavement. But some are raised in environments that predispose children to these types of behavioral addictions. Can you tell the difference? You may not know it, but odds are, you would be judging them through a flawed or damaged lens of reality, by way of the physical limitations placed upon your own brain!
When behavioral addictions are fully considered it is likely that we are all, to some degree, quite literally suffering from a form of brain damage or deficiency. This, perhaps, transcends the many addictions there are and could even be summed up in the condition of mortality itself. After all, don’t we all want to be more than we are capable of being while in this life? Don’t we all know, that inside, we are more than we are able to be or express on the outside? Even the varying degrees of brain disorders or conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc, are all malfunctions of brain. Do those conditions define our soul? Do those conditions really allow us to express who we truly are on the inside? Does mortality?
The more I learn about myself and life in general, the less judgmental I become. Who are we to judge anothers’ condition? It may be that, in God’s infinite wisdom, the soul purpose of my being exposed to pornography at age 9 and having to suffer through 20+ years of addiction was so that Christ could show someone that He has the power to heal. Are you wiser than Him?
Judge not my friends.