Why I Said, “Don’t Make Fun of the Retards” to TeamPyro

I want to preface this post by apologizing to any who might be offended by the use of that word, “Retard”,  a word that still stings me, as I grew up with a brother who was deaf and developmentally delayed, and  I worked with severely autistic and Downs children as an adult.  I am trying to redeem that label from the culture, by applying it in fresh new ways.  I am deeply sorry if the attempt failed, and you remain offended.

I have to speak up one last time for the Retards–those like me, those escaping Charismania, who through a lengthy period of having our minds continually offended so that our hearts might be revealed, are thus a little delayed in our critical thinking skills.  We are also, unfortunately, usually overfond of rhetoric.

We come with a deep distrust of cessationists, and have been trained to think of them as heartless whitewashed Pharisees, who love their doctrines more than the actual people of God.  TeamPyro seems to delight in skewering our logical deficiencies but does nothing to erase the caricatures we have already formed about you all.  The focus here  seems to be all about who is going to score FTW, but with your curt dismissals and rude behavior to those without your theological training and vast reasoning skills, you  sometimes seem to have actually forgotten the most important thing.   It is edification.

I forgot this myself yesterday, and I insulted Mr. Turk, so I know how hard this can be, but I have repented, realizing that it isn’t a word game I am playing but that actual hearts and minds are being affected. Please do not forget that some may actually be in dangerous mind-control cults, like IHOP, the 24/7 prayer movement.  All kinds of people come to this blog. It seems like you all forget this is not playing a game, but this is for real. Forget about  who scores the winning goal. Win your reader’s  hearts. Teach them what a wonderful and exciting thing it is to adore the Lord Our God with all of their mind.

Again, I seek only the highest and best for all of you at Pyromaniacs.  That you would have, in Kevin DeYoungs wonderful words,  at your core “the blazing hot center …. what God has already done for us in Christ”, and I would add only a blessing,  that the love of Christ constrains you as you press on for the prize.

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9 Comments on “Why I Said, “Don’t Make Fun of the Retards” to TeamPyro”

  1. Dave Carpenter Says:

    Karen, Your point has been made, and it is time to let it go and see if any change comes from it.

    Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

    • Karen Butler Says:

      Dave,

      I wholeheartedly agree with you, it is time to give this tussle up, and that is why I posted this comment on the original thread, Letter to John Piper, and pasted it to the comments on my own open letter:

      “I am going to get out of the way here, and simply pray for the Holy Spirit to do His work. I have been writing about this for
      too long, and I am testing my family’s patience. Some of us bloggers like our anonymity, and the comfortable hum of our blog statistics….”

      I dread pride and grandstanding most of all, and would greatly appreciate helpful exhortations where it would be warranted. I posted “Why I Said, “Don’t Make Fun of the Retards….” because I was increasingly concerned with all the increased attention that word would get out to the disabled community that I had used that term so noxious to them. I still do respite care with autistic kids, and hope to work with them full-time again someday.

      In addition, there was some questioning of my own motives. I did this for the alienated former Charismatics like me who would like their questions answered helpfully and not in the unhealthy–excuse me, I mean sinful, environment of the Pyro comments meta. This has never been about achieving notoriety for my blog. I like a quiet life, and actually need it, as there is much healing that needs to take place in my family, and that happens best when an undistracted mom can give her kids the nuturing they deserve.

      So I am quite relieved to be relieved of my duty, except as a cheerful contributor to the discussions at Pyro, as time and the Spirit allow. Thank you for expressing your interest in my spiritual welfare.


  2. […] post started out as a comment to another post. While assembling links to include, it becomes clear that there is enough material for a stand alone […]

  3. chamblee54 Says:

    Karen. I started a comment, and quickly got out of control. I am going to put up a post at chamblee54 incorporating this comment. If you get tired of the text, you can always look at the pictures. As you may know, I post using colored fonts. As an experiment, I am including the code in this comment.

    “I have to speak up one last time for the Retards–those like me, those escaping Charismania, who through a lengthy period of having our minds continually offended so that our hearts might be revealed, are thus a little delayed in our critical thinking skills.” This is also true for those who were raised in a Christian tradition, but decided that they do not agree. It can be a painful process, and you can expect little sympathy or support.
    “We are also, unfortunately, usually overfond of rhetoric.” There is a difference between wisdom and a clever phrase. It is good to know the difference.
    “We come with a deep distrust of cessationists, and have been trained to think of them as heartless whitewashed Pharisees, who love their doctrines more than the actual people of God. TeamPyro seems to delight in skewering our logical deficiencies but does nothing to erase the caricatures we have already formed about you all. The focus here seems to be all about who is going to score FTW, but with your curt dismissals and rude behavior to those without your theological training and vast reasoning skills, you sometimes seem to have… forgotten the most important thing. It is edification.”
    There are several issues here. As for cessationist/charismatic, that is inside baseball. When you see your religion as a fight for victory, you forget that there are going to be losers, and that these losers are just as much G-d’s children as you are. And, when you have scored your rhetorical victory over this loser, you create ill will, both for yourself, and for Jesus. The production of trust and goodwill should be the most important thing, not edification. When you place edification ahead of good will, you are playing the same game as the doctrine happy folks.
    “Please do not forget that some may actually be in dangerous mind-control cults, like IHOP.” You might want to remember that many people see IHOP and think of pancakes.
    “Forget about who scores the winning goal. Win your reader’s hearts. Teach them what a wonderful and exciting thing it is to adore the Lord Our God with all of their mind.” Amen.

    • Karen Butler Says:

      Thank you, Chamblees for your helpful critique. I will make some changes, emending the text to explain IHOP for example. But I think edification is a loving thing to do and when it is done well, it produces the utmost goodwill and trust. The free dictionary says it is ” Intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement; enlightenment.”

      But it does have a stuffy Victorian religious feeling to it doesn’t it? It is definitely an inside baseball sort of term…maybe we can edify? edification. Maybe it has to go from this text too.

      I am off to go stuff 300 enchiladas, and refry some beans and steam some Spanish Rice. All for some more of God’s Prodigal children. Never made these before so this will be a challenge! I’ll look at your blog when I get back.

  4. Petra Hefner Says:

    I come out of a dangerous mind control cult and have learned a few very important lessons. I was forced to look at why I got wrapped up in it to begin with. I can’t just blame and point and… The search light hit home, and it was filthy!

    The next lesson came a bit slower but nonetheless. Exclusive, cliquish, sugarcoated we’ve-got-it-all-figured-out and abrasive you-can-either-agree-or-be-stoned attitudes are not limited to those who have doctrine all wrong!

    I followed one of the open letter comment threads you’ve mentioned and thought, what would happen if Jesus commented in favor of the sinner under attack? Would they each drop their stones? According to my observations, I’m afraid they’d keep flying, aimed at the head!

    But the truth matters! It sure does, all of it! But taking a closer look at what is being defended, I see mostly someone’s pride under the guise of truth! I see lots of pats on the back for those who pick the right side, while others get bruised!

    Spurgeon once said, “Scripture is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose; it will defend itself.” I think he’s right, but even more important than defending the truth is that we guard it! “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2 Tim. 1:14) Guard the good deposit (gospel truth within us) with the help of the Holy Spirit! and put the rocks away!

    Blessings!

    • Karen Butler Says:

      I love that quote by Spurgeon. That’s one of the things that got me to stop arguing and just get on my knees and pray for good soil for God’s seed with its power of an indestructible life. I hate all this Open Lettering and I hope Pyros don’t feel that I threw rocks, understood that I was seeking only their best, and in a language they fully understood. Sarcasm.

      Thank you for your blessing, Petra, and now I’ve got to go help the second grader learn to count dollars.

      • Petra Hefner Says:

        You’re welcome! Have fun with your little student! I used to homeschool and miss it! 🙂

        Your reply made me think of Proverbs 26:4 & 5. These 2 verses were most puzzling to me at first glance, but then I began to see Jesus’ examples of both. If all followed His examples, comment threads would be very short! 🙂

      • Karen Butler Says:

        Sorry not to answer you right away, Petra. But I’m sure you remember the normal hectic pace of the homeschooling life. And then there was stomach flu.
        What an insightful comment you made. You picked up on these verses that guided me,

        Answer not a fool according to his folly,
        lest you be like him yourself.
        5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
        lest he be wise in his own eyes.

        They were always in the back of my mind, writing these posts, and especially the comments I made on the blog, where I found myself in the trap of the first proverb. It is always a tricky and fine line to walk, but if the goal is restoration, and the whole is guided by love, the sarcastic rebuker remains safe. And humility, of course above all, as Dave pointed out!


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