I feel like I should sew up a few loose ends from that last post before I try to move on to the more typical Axis II disorders that we might run into in a typical church setting (more typical than a psychopathic murderer).
Item 1; Truth, Why is it important?
One question that I alluded to, and picked up in the comments, is the whole idea of why is truth important. Once again, I’m not talking about the “truth” that I use to talk about, meaning religious dogma. When I was an Evangelical, theological truth was our driving force. We had to have all our theological “t”s crossed and our “i”s dotted. We knew exactly how the end times would come and even when. We knew what Revelations meant, which church was the right one and etc.
I’m talking about this point brought up that if, David Berkowitz is preaching Jesus, who cares if his testimony is true or not?
I think it comes back to the principle that if we are serving the true God, the creator of the universe, then we should be brokers of truth . . . because he is truth. This means raw truth at all levels. It means emotional, historical, political, personal and psychological truth . . . truth in every part of how we live.
Do we say that if someone is living a lie, but serving God in the meantime, then we should look the other way? Then it ends up being like Jack Peirce, our Sunday school director when I was a kid. He was a wonderful Christian man, hard church worker, beautiful voice and great choir leader. The fact that he was habitually sexually molesting young boys at my church (including my brother) was over-looked by those good Baptists because of his other attributes.
This is where I think that kind of reasoning gets us. If we ignore the lying TV evangelist under the auspice of “who am I to judge” then the face of God to the world (which doesn’t know him) becomes the face of a clown . . . if not worse . . . the face of a con man and fool. Is this approach of being tolerant of lies within the church, but intolerant of those (for whatever reason, gays, whores, democrats) outside the church doesn’t seem to be working for us. Christianity is on the decline in the West. It is still true that 80% of the young people raised in Evangelical churches, don’t stay involved in church of any kind once they are emancipated from their parents. I doubt if any of Jack’s victims considers themselves Christians today.
Item 2; Is redemption possible for the psychopaths?
Are these, Axis II (especially the socio and psychopaths) people redeemable? That may sound like a strange question and the knee-jerk response would be something like, “in Jesus all things are possible.”
But I will touch on a few possibilities.
A. These people are not redeemable. They were so touched by the Fall that the best they can do is play games with the little minds of the Christians but never accept Christ sincerely. At first glance, this might sound really strange and cruel. However, this is really what the Calvinists have taught for 500 years. Simply stated, that some people were born without any hope of redemption.
B. They are redeemable but must be contained . . . until they get a new body in the new earth. In this example, I would put them in the same category my friend L. who goes to my church. He is a paranoid schizophrenic (not an Axis II problem). I believe in all my heart that L. is a true Christian. But he must be “contained.” It takes a lot of care and a lot of medications to keep L. on track. He can only handle a little responsibility. So we love him . . . but we must contain him . . . until God gives him a new body in glory.
So, the way that this possibility applies to a psychopath murderer is that they would be redeemable but must be contained . . . probability in a prison cell for the rest of their lives . . . until they get their new bodies in glory. But given the chance to run free within a church, they will cause great mischief, and are truly dangerous.
C. (this is the one that most Evangelicals believe about David Berkowitz) These people are not only redeemable, but, in Christ, they are new creatures. The Holy Spirit has erased all the bad stuff and everything is brand spanking new. The born again pedophile can now be trusted with your kids while you are out of town on vacation . . . for a month.
Item 3;The True Fall
The last concept, which I think relates to this topic indirectly, is my premise that the dualist-Evangelicals don’t understand the depth of the Fall of Adam on the world. They talk about depravity of man . . . the rottenness of the world . . . but they really don’t grasp the depth of the evil.
The dualists, by definition, see every important thing as spiritual (and fluid). The physical is inconsequential. This is why they can see David, a man who stalked and viciously murdered six people, as easily fixable. His problem is purely spiritual. Actually, he had the worst kind of the spiritual fall . . . . DEMONS! That’s as bad as it gets for a dualist. But demons can be cast out and presto, the damage is gone.
But as a monist, believing that all of creation is very important and created by a good God—but fallen—I see the worst of the fall in the physical. Demons and witches (which Evangelicals love to talk about) are so insignificant (maybe immaterial would be a better term . . . pun intended) when compared to effects of the Fall within the physical realm. Demons scare the crap out of Evangelicals . . . yet the really dangerous things aren’t even on their maps.
For example, me personally, I would rather spend the night in a house with the girl from The Exorcist than with the guy from the Bates Hotel. The girl might scream, her head spin around, vomit on my carpet and masturbate with a crucifix . . . but the guy, might slip into my room while I’m sleeping, dissect me and eat me while I’m watching.
The former is the worst of the fall, the most evil of evil, in the eyes of the Evangelical who sees through dualistic eyes. The later is not supernatural in any way . . . but he’s a psychopath. Psychopaths, sociopaths, people with borderline or narcissistic personalities scare the shit out of me.
But that’s only touching the tip of the horrors of the fall in the physical realm. I will describe a few more of the horrors . . . worse than demons, Ouija Boards, animal sacrifices . . . which concern the dualist.
These are all real consequences of the fall in the physical world:
A loving mother of four little girls, at age 30, discovers a large lump in her breast. Those little girls, who adore their mother, watch her slowly become sicker and sicker, wasting away and dying. Then they stand alone, confused, on the grave side . . . mommy gone forever (as far as this earth is concerned). That’s horror, real horror.
A sixteen year old boy, full of life and hope, looses control of his car, strikes a tree and his head is caved in, leaving him as a baby, who never speaks or opens his eyes for the next thirty years. In the eyes of his parents, this is horror.
You are a 12 year old girl living in your village in Sudan where your family works 16 hours a day to scrape out enough food to survive on. One day a group of rebels come tearing into your village donning machetes. They chase down you father, in the cornfield. You watch as they cut off his arms, then his legs as he screams for mercy . . . then his head. Then they grab your mother. They hold her down while ten men rape her, then they gouge out her eyes and chop off her head. They slaughter you little brother right before your eyes. Then they grab you. One man after another rapes you . . . to the point you are left for dead. Eventually, after days, you have the strength to start walking and looking for help. After another two days on the dusty road, you find an army convoy and you feel safe. They give you some bread, some water to help you regain your strength . . . so they can start the raping all over again. Solider after solider, after solider rapes you until you are thrown in the weeds as trash . . . now HIV positive trash. From the eyes of this little girl . . . this is hat the fall looks like. She would trade that experience for a rendezvous with the Exorcist girl in a millisecond
The young woman finds her prince charming. They have a huge church wedding. All her little girl dreams are unfolding, just like a Cinderella story. Then, slowly and insidiously, her prince starts to beat the hell out of her. This is the fall in this woman’s eyes. All the dreams transfigured into an awful nightmare.