(2nd in a series on trust in relation to Reactive Attachment Disorder)
Children labeled with RAD are known for not trusting others. Some psychologists even propose that they cannot trust, that they have a “profound inability” to form a trusting relationship. The basis for this belief is the unproven theory of developmentalism, that because experiences shape the brain each stage of human development is dependent upon the previous one. Therefore, if babies do not learn in infancy to trust, then the brain does not develop the neurons necessary for trust. The child has no brain capacity for trust.
What is the ultimate implication of the hypothesis that, due to the construction of one’s brain, a person cannot trust? Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” In this context, “believe” means “trust in.” So if the child has a profound inability to trust others then he has a profound impossibility to trust Christ for salvation. He is bound for hell based upon physiological inability to exercise faith, not upon willful refusal to repent. This is tantamount to saying that a physical inability overrides the redemptive work of Christ.
Remember that according to the DSM-IV, the child under discussion does not have some medically diagnosable brain damage or disease. The symptoms used by many for diagnosis are not autoimmune responses; they are behavioral. Not fever and rashes, but fighting and rage. The behaviors are not innocuous; they are immoral– lying, stealing, manipulation, slander, outbursts of anger, cruelty, rejection, and rebellion. This is not disorder; it is disobedience. The alienated child falls under the same category as every other unbeliever for whom salvation is possible as God draws him and grants him faith to believe (John 6:44; Eph. 2:8-9). The child labeled RAD can be granted no special category by which to stand before God and claim, “My brain kept me from believing You.”
The belief that a person old enough to know the truth is unable to trust removes personal responsibility and provides no way to obtain peace with God and no eternal hope. Thanks be to the Lord that His Word holds the truth that provides essential hope because it can set free those who heed it. The call to salvation by grace through faith is proclaimed to all.