The Testimony Of David Wood, A Psychopath Turned Christian

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Ken Anderson, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    This is the well-produced testimony of David Wood, who tells of his transformation from a psychopath and an atheist to a Christian.

    I think most anyone would find it interesting, regardless of your faith or lack of it. I'm not saying you will be persuaded by it, but I don't think you'd find it boring.

     
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  2. Joseph Carl

    Joseph Carl Active Member
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    It's hard to understand the messed up minds and actions of some people, but it is a great story to see them transformed into something right. This a good and interesting testimony.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I love the use of symbolism throughout his presentation.
     
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  4. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Very Well-Known Member
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    This is the second time I've watched this pair of videos. For the second time I was impressed by the production values in the walk-through of the subway - the narrative in tune with Woods' testimony just as he speaks about finally coming to Christianity as he ( not accidentally ) emerges into the world above the subway. That was either rehearsed carefully or simply occurred by itself. I don't know which.

    I had a question about the restorative power of faith, Ken or to whoever wants to reply. How did a genetic-origin psychopath, born without the physical brain capacity to have a conscience, develop that conscience?

    The regions of his brain that processed moral values simply didn't function. Did his conversion physically fix his faulty brain? Does God repair his faithful in such a fundamental way? To me, that would be akin to breaking down in your car, miles from anywhere, praying for God to fix the car ( or fill the empty tank ) and God doing just that.

    It seems more a mechanical process than a spiritual one. If that happened so this one time, why would not God heal blind people, replace other's missing limbs, reverse their advanced cancers or do other radical healing? I observe that not everyone who converts to Christianity returns to perfect health as a consequence. I hope I'm explaining my question and conundrum well enough.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    You make some good points. I believe the video was very closely choreographed. When he speaks of things that led him further away from that which is good, he went down to a lower depth, and when he spoke of things that were positive, he went upwards, emerging onto the surface as he finds God. Even to the background, where he was speaking of the way that bricks lined up, there was a wall with bricks. Yes, I think it was choreographed. It was also powerful, and his message lines up with what is known about him.

    As for psychopathy and healing, I raised a boy who was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder. With DSM 5, I believe that reactive attachment disorder has been somewhat redefined and since he is now an adult, and doing fine, I haven't kept up with any of the new stuff. While he was with us, I had a website on the subject which, at the time, was #1 in Google on searches for "reactive attachment disorder." It is no longer maintained, but here is an archive of the site.

    Most people who are later diagnosed as sociopaths or pscyhopaths are those who suffered from reactive attachment disorder as children, although they may not have been diagnosed or treated for it. While I strongly believe that God should be a part of that particular healing process, there are secular treatments for it as well, and some kids would grow out of it without treatment, while others would grow up to be serial killers.

    In other words, they have the capacity for empathy but it does not come natural to them and, for some, they are never as naturally emphatic as those who did not suffer from reactive attachment disorder. Many never get there however, and there are those who merely learn to fake it well enough to be able to live a productive life. That process begins with learning cause and effect, and that there are consequences to things that are said and done.

    I believe the chances of success are greater with God.
     
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  6. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Very Well-Known Member
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    These aren't simple issues. I much appreciate your opinions and may want to hear more of them in the future.
     
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  7. Joseph Carl

    Joseph Carl Active Member
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    Dwight, I agree with yours and Ken's notice of the good symbolic choreography of the film. I was surprised though that he could speak so boldly and loudly throughout the public place with people constantly walking by, and not have more of them making stupid gestures or yelling rude comments.

    I'd like to, if I may, address your first question: "How did a genetic-origin psychopath, born without the physical brain capacity to have a conscience, develop that conscience?" From a Christian perspective, we are born with a conscience, though it does change as we grow throughout life. Even from a secular standpoint, there is no medical or scientific evidence tying our conscience to any physiological part of the body - just as the human mind has not been tied to any specific region of the brain. Neither mind nor conscience can be physically isolated or separated from the body. In effect, they are supernatural properties of human beings. This is in fact one of the most powerful evidences for creationism over evolution. Creationism attributes the human mind and conscience to being made in the image of God. Evolution has no rational explanation though, since naturalistic physical chemical processes cannot reasonably cause supernatural properties. Such would be a self refuting contradiction.

    Your latter questions assume that "The regions of his brain that processed moral values simply didn't function." But, since moral values come from one's conscience, they certainly can't be tied to any region in the brain if you accept the Christian viewpoint above - which is the most rational position consistent with the evidence to date.

    How then do we explain violent or sick people that are controlled or helped through drug therapy or other medical means? That suggests that the body's physiological processes are affecting the person's actions. I'll agree, but that doesn't necessarily tie the consciousness to the physiological processes. Again, I think the Christian apologist would maintain that the human conscience and mind are unique properties tied to one's body but somehow physically detached from it. Essentially, it's a combination of supernatural spirit and natural body. I won't pretend to understand the infinitely complex relationship between the two of how one affects the other. But I will give a helpful computer analogy: our body is hardware - a temporary, decaying house for our 80 years or so of life here in this world; our spirit is software - consisting of our mind and conscience that will inherit new eternal bodies in the future. Thus, I suspect that the spirit, one's real self, guides the natural body's actions; not the other way around.

    While I've tried to refute some of your naturalistic assumptions with Christian apologetic rationale, your final point and paragraph poses too many difficult questions to address here and now. You're starting to get into free will, God's level of power and control in the world and ones' lives, the reason and causes for pain and suffering, predestination, and other controversial, complicated issues. In summary though, consider man as body and spirit, not just body, and that may lead you to different questions and answers than where you're at now.
     
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  8. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm going to reply at length to you, Joseph. It might take me a day to put my answer together. I think I'm already one down in that I had some too simplistic assumptions about 'regions' of the brain being the seat of moral values, which you were probably correct in challenging.
     
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Many are the times when I have been asked why I didn’t wish to pastor a church instead of working in the Rescue Mission Ministry.
    My answer was and is always the same: Because a Rescue Mission is a place of miracles and I like miracles.

    People from every walk of life with so many physical and mental maladies would come in for a time and leave as whole people and ready to make their way in society. From people doing the thorazine shuffle to a man who couldn’t hear from birth suddenly hear for the 1st time during a chapel service, I am convinced without a shadow of any doubt that miracles still occur and who is responsible for those miracles.
    One man was wheelchair bound because the cartilage in his spine had eroded to such a point that he couldn’t walk. I grew to know him much better after he was healed and when he made his route to the stores to collect dated bread and then load, by himself, all the bread he got into the mission kitchen.
    I’ve seen hardened criminals who wouldn’t bat an eye before beating someone to death turn their lives around in an instant. One such man was a major gangland figure in Atlanta and one day he disappeared from the streets and no one knew what happened to him. After about a week he suddenly showed up in my mission kitchen, clean and dressed in a suit. He said he was standing outside the chapel during service one night whilst I was giving the message and that’s when he did the 180 degree turn which is why he came to see me personally. The last I heard of him was that he was a deacon in his church.

    I have seen times when there wasn’t enough food to feed everyone and someone would knock on the back door and deliver everything I needed.
    One time I knew that there was no way I had enough to feed around 300 meals but a wedding was canceled and hot food was delivered whilst we were struggling to serve what little we did have for lunch.
    At a mission in Winston Salem, I was, for a very short time, the brunt of some criticism because I told my kitchen staff not to worry because God was sending food. He did and on time, every time. The criticism stopped and my staff not only started believing in miracles but expected them.

    Now, why some people are healed whilst others are not? I do not know of any scripture that really covers that in detail. Maybe it falls somewhere between “it rains on the just and the unjust” or “God will show mercy upon whom He wishes or harden the hearts of anyone He wishes.” (Rom 9;18)
    Or, perhaps when Jesus told his disciples, “Whomever shall tell the mountain to be removed and it shall be removed,” it wasn’t just hyperbole. (ref Mark 11:23)
    When my atheist dad was given less than a week to live because of cancer and he was healed, he became a one man Bible thumping machine and told his story every day to someone until he died a few years later. Maybe God simply knew that my dad was going to pass the message on thereby glorifying God and creating new believers. Dunno.

    It is written that God hardened the heart of the Pharoah when Moses told him what God had instructed. Why? Probably because all of the pestilence that occurred after that was to show the Israelites And the Egyptians who was at the helm and no one would have any doubts about why the Israelites were set free. It wasn’t an act of man, but of God.
     
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