In one well-known medical textbook of Pediatrics, written in the 1970s, there is a shocking statement that reads, “Children with Down syndrome are usually institutionalized.” While this may have been the prevailing state of medical care at that time, I can proudly attest this is no longer the case. My son, who has Down Syndrome, attends a public high school, participates in basketball and cross country, and has filled our home with numerous ceramic pieces which he has created. Institutionalized? Our family and our world are richer because of the heroic efforts of many brave advocates and champions of children and adults with Down Syndrome who have tirelessly worked to dispel negative stereotypes.
Sadly, the stereotypes still persist, particularly amongst older individuals who were influenced by the words of this pediatric textbook and other pundits of the day. Just before my son was born, several people, of an older generation, discreetly approached me and asked me if my wife and I were considering institutionalizing our son, or even considering putting him up for adoption. The audacity and insensitivity of these statements still astound me, yet my anger was tempered by the realization they were only repeating what they had read or heard from others of their generation.
Written words have a powerful influence on people’s beliefs, especially when it is published in what is regarded as a reliable source of information. Many people quote the Bible, regardless of whether they believe in God or Jesus Christ. Some believe it may lend credibility to their argument, others do it only to curry favor with those who profess Christianity as their religion, and a few quote selected verses because they believe there is an embedded inherent Truth found in the Words, like any great work of religious literature like the Talmud or Bhagavad Gita. Why should the Bible be any different from anything else we read today?
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 (ESV)
Words have the power to move and influence people and when it is from the Bible, it is much more. It is the living Jesus Christ, God incarnate. No other religious work and no scholarly article or book ever make this claim. Jesus Christ proved it by coming to earth as a man, living a perfect sinless life, and crucified on the Cross. Three days later, God raised Him from the dead proving that everyone who places their faith and trust in Him and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will have salvation and eternal life.
Jesus Christ said He is the Living Word of God. The Bible is God’s Word. It is the only book that we can completely believe and trust.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.