Hello everyone. Today I’m going to speak on another topic which revolves around sexuality. I have mentioned it before, and God has placed it on my heart (very heavily) to work against the condemnation that is heaped onto these individuals. I want to work with Jesus to break this spirit of condemnation that so many Christians feel is okay and even righteous in this particular situation. I’m talking about pedophilia and child molestation. Yes, I mean it.
If you’ve read my previous posts all the way back to my earliest ones, then you should know that I have experienced sexual abuse in my childhood. So, I am speaking from experience here. As Christians it is not okay for us to condemn pedophiles and child molesters. I know this will probably shock a lot of readers (if not everyone who reads this). For people who have children I acknowledge that your love for your children is very strong and that even the thought of somebody doing something evil to them is likely revolting to you. However, this does not mean that it is okay to condemn anyone who does such things. Here is why I say this:
I believe that it is important for us to be careful not to encourage our children to withhold forgiveness from others because of how they see us treating those who hurt them. That could prevent them from finding peace and cause their suffering to last throughout their entire lives. In my struggle with homosexuality, sexual abuse and lust, I have found that people look at sexual abuse/immorality/impurity as reason to cast judgement and condemnation on others. This is not righteousness. I would like to point out Romans 12:17-21. It is not our job to take vengeance. It is our job to operate under the new covenant of Jesus Christ, under which there is no condemnation. Romans 8:1 Now, probably those who molest children are not in Christ Jesus (Although we cannot be certain. Who among us can say that we who are in Christ Jesus do not commit sins any more?), but we must still be kind to our enemies. “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
I have found that there are still many people who allow their emotional reactions to such things to control what they say and do. I once saw a picture on Facebook with a vicious dog in the top cut, and a man in an orange jumpsuit sitting between two lawyers in the bottom cut. The text on this picture read: “When a dog attacks a child and scars them for life the dog is put to sleep. Shouldn’t we do the same to Pedophiles?”, and in the comment section I see message after message of “Yes!” and even “Amen!” I then see message after message of “Torture them first” or “Make them feel what they made the kids feel!” I honestly believe that this is a very selfish standpoint. I believe this is a mindset that places one’s own desire to have immediate satisfaction in terms of justice and revenge as a higher priority than a child’s complete healing so that they may one day gain permanent psychological well-being. If we cannot forgive, we cannot forget. If we cannot forget, we cannot move on. I still remember what happened to me, but thanks be to God I have long forgotten the pain and confusion that was a result of the abuse. God has let me forget my troubles. (We actually got a dog from my uncle who was named Manasseh, which is what Joseph named one of his sons because “God [made him] forget all [his] trouble…” Genesis 41:51. I think that’s pretty cool.)
I have seen a few people quote Matthew 18:6 to support their desire to kill and even torture those who molest children. Well, here’s what I have to say to that. If we cause a child to withhold forgiveness because of how they see us treating those who hurt them, aren’t we causing them to stumble, too? If this is true, then any child caught in such a situation would be caused to stumble twice over the same matter. This is not progress. It’s actually a step backwards. I sometimes wonder if perhaps we stopped condemning pedophiles, but instead taught our children to forgive them, we might see a generation rise up that feels totally clean and pure even if they’ve experienced sexual abuse. For it was when I forgave that the end of my suffering and confusion began. It was when I truly forgave, not only in my heart but through confession of my lips as well, that I was able to begin the deeper healing process with Jesus. Allowing a child to begin deeper healing with Jesus is a higher priority than justice through vengeance in my books. I could be wrong, but if we can teach a child to forgive and walk with Jesus in their pain and suffering, than nothing in this life can hold them down even if they are made to stumble.
I was once bitter and unforgiving against the one who abused me. However, God was not pleased with my bitter and unforgiving heart, nor did he approve when my desire to take justice and vengeance into my own hands rose up in my heart. I realized that because Jesus does not bind me to my sin, I have no right to bind anyone to theirs, no matter how it might offend my human sensibilities (which are probably flawed). Not even I have any right to condemn a pedophile or child molester.
Jesus came to save ANYONE who would believe in him, right? Anyone. No matter what they’ve done. What message are we sending to pedophiles in this day and age? Most of us send the message that they cannot be saved, and they cannot be forgiven. What then will Jesus say when we are standing before him? Will he ask us, “Why did you place a stumbling block for those people? Why did you speak in a way that stopped them from being saved? Do you not know that I died for them, too? Does my sacrifice mean so little to you? Do you not know that my blood was shed for them just as much as it was shed for you?” Do we have so little respect for Christ’s suffering that we do not care that his wounds were for pedophiles, too?
As Christians, it is our duty to continue Christ’s ministry, and open a way for the Holy Spirit to impart truth to the world. We have really nailed in the truth that they have sinned, but have we balanced it with the truth that they can be forgiven? Not with pedophiles we haven’t. With pedophiles all we say is that they have sinned. Very few are willing to say that they can be forgiven. Is that what we wish for? Do we wish for those who have molested children not to be forgiven? I believe that is selfish. I believe that dishonours Christ’s suffering. As much as many of us don’t want to think about it, they were made in the image of God, too. Just like us.
God loves them, too.
So, what message will we send to pedophiles the next time an opportunity to speak on the topic comes? Will we use partial, worldly, and even demonic wisdom to satisfy our own (often perverse) desire for justice? Or will we be quiet in spirit, and wait for the Holy Spirit to prompt us to open a way for them to hear the gospel. They can be forgiven, perhaps we should let them know. The blood of Christ can cleans us, and it can cleanse them, too.
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16 All things includes all things, which includes pedophiles. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and it’s not up to us to rank who fell farther. It’s up to us to help each other find our way back, and to do so under the authority of Jesus. Let’s stop robbing Jesus of the people he died for because of our own selfish ambitions and bitterness. How about we speak life to everyone, even when it’s hard to? That’s what Jesus came to do.
And for those that say pedophiles cannot change, perhaps remember Matthew 19:26,
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” (Again I will say, all things includes all things.)
And Proverbs 3:5-6,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
How much faith do we put in Jesus, and how much faith do we put in our own understanding?
Well, that’s all I have to say for now. Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂