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Christian Apologetics A forum to discuss the systematic defense of the Christian belief system with other Christians.

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Unread 18th August 2011, 02:45 AM
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Sociopathy and Salvation

I apologize if I placed this in the wrong forum.


Before we begin, I need to define Sociopathy:


Originally Posted by Sociopath
A person affected with an antisocial personality disorder.
To put it simply, the person in question has little to no emotional response. Hannibal Lecter is a good example, as he was a cold, calculating person (though fictitious).

Now that we have that out of the way, I've been wondering about this for a while but I'd like to hear what you think about it as I cannot come up with a satisfactory conclusion.

A sociopath is an emotionless machine, they can't feel emotions the same way other people do. Some realize this, while others never really notice. Love is a foreign concept, so loving God would prove difficult for anyone affected with this disorder. Even if a sociopath never turned into a heartless killing machine, would they be eligible for salvation?
Sociopathy isn't a choice, so God made the person with this disorder. If they can't partake of salvation, what does that mean on a grand scale?
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  #2  
Unread 18th August 2011, 10:17 AM
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Interesting question. I have three answers. One is cruel, one is scientific, and one is theological.

First, the cruel answer. Read Romans 9. Who are we to say "why did you make me to be a sinner?" God is the potter, and we are the clay. If God made someone that way, who are we to question Him? Even if that person goes to Hell, who are we to question it?

Second, we have the scientific answer: we aren't quite sure what people are (or are not) born with when it comes to mental disorders. This is the classic "nurture vs nature". There are hot-button issues (like being born gay) that science is quick to come down and make a statement, but the actual science and study behind it is much less clear. If someone is a sociopath, is it possible they were born that way? Yes, it's possible, but we've discovered that our brain can physically change. The old caution of "you'll never grow new brain cells" is 100% false. Our brains can change and grow and shrink and wither. A person can develop brain disorders even if they weren't born with those disorders. So, that's something to think about: how much of this is being "born with it" and how much comes from the environment?

Now, the theological answer: love is not a warm, happy, emotional belief that you feel in your heart and it sends you to Heaven. You don't go to Heaven simply because you "love" God. We are saved by faith, but faith is a combination of belief (which includes love) and action (works). So, if a loveless, sociopathic person can still have faith in the mercy of Christ and the sociopath learns to live his/her life for Christ, then they will be saved, plain and simple. They might never feel that warm, gooey "love" feeling in their heart, but that isn't a requirement for being saved.
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