This is not about family courts, nor gun control. This is about something much uglier, much more dangerous to the unwary.
Let me irritate, shock, disgust and also help you understand something so you’ll be able to defang the Devil. One of his favorite weapons is fear. You don’t walk away from fear; you get close enough to understand it and see through it to the truth. Fear is always a lie. That doesn’t mean people won’t do horrible things to you, but that you need not let that get in the way of your mission. I assume here my audience are those who follow a spiritual drive in their lives and are working through the very human limitations. I’m sharing something I have experienced first hand. I warn you: If you start understanding this well enough to talk about it, you’ll probably catch serious flack from those who like to believe they follow Christ, but don’t know Him very well.
One of the few good things to come from my years in the Military Police was seeing such a shocking array of human evil. I have scars on my soul, but that’s because those who helped me grow up didn’t do enough to prepare me for reality. They lied an awful lot about what I should expect, what was real. Not because they hated me and wanted to do evil, but someone lied to them and they simply didn’t have what it took to break out. I don’t want people going through life so crippled they are hurt by learning the truth. People can think up some of the most incredibly filthy stuff to do; none of it should surprise you. A tiny few really intend to be evil, but most simply have this one thing they can’t leave alone, and it takes them farther and farther into madness.
Here’s your first shocker: Raping a child is pretty tame compared to some of the crap I’ve seen. The biggest problem with child molestation is the panicky reaction from everyone around the child, so certain this will cause lasting horrifying psychic scars that they actually make it worse than it is. Most of the trauma is not the act itself, but the conditioning the victim experiences during the recovery. People who go nuts over this will make the child go nuts. The bigger crime is not the rape of the body, but the massive mind screwing that follows. Maybe it would take a book to make this clear enough for most people, but I assure you this is God’s truth on the matter.
The panicky reaction is fundamental to our dominant middle class materialism. We worship youth because aging means dying and death is a fearful prospect when this life is all you have. The Bible is Hebrew literature which shares none of that petty fear, but sees this life as one huge deception. So in the Bible, there really is no discussion of child sexual molestation as a really big crime. They didn’t love their kids any less than you do, but they also didn’t live in a childish fear of the unknown. Deconstruct the fear and you realize they faced this a whole lot better, with far more realism because it was God’s own viewpoint on the matter. “Primitive” my butt — our “modern” civilization denies Christ so fundamentally we can’t even comprehend His message. The whole business of pedophilia is built into our Western Civilization. Ours is the civilization which worships childhood like a heathen god.
Let’s get some definitions. Pedophilia is the desire to have sex with children. It’s a basic flaw of human nature filtered through our peculiar cultural lens. We make it a huge evil, bigger than almost everything else, when it really should surprise no one at all. What makes it honestly wrong is the child has no hope of meaningful participation. If you think kids can’t find it fun, you don’t understand anything at all, but that’s not the point. Sex has a purpose in God’s creation and sex with children avoids all the righteous obligations God put with it. Adults already have enough trouble with it; kids have no business being sucked into it. So the desire is not the issue; it’s the act. If you don’t understand how so very many great and fine men and women of God walk around fighting this urge every day of their lives, you don’t understand anything in the Bible. If you don’t understand how this is just one of a thousand other sinful urges of the flesh, that God measures them differently than we do, it’s because you have rejected God’s truth. Does it shock you to realize the character traits that give rise to pedophilia are the same ones making someone talented at teaching and showing children how to walk in Christ? Satan is a pervert; he doesn’t create, but twists what God has made. You should be more surprised to think your church children’s ministry is not loaded with pedophiles.
That they never molest shows how God works. Put this in the wider perspective of fallen nature. Restricting people from activity simply because some part of them is sinful means you stay in your bed and die, because you are no better. Without facing risks of human failure, including this risk of having your children in the company of people who suffer the fallen desires of pedophilia, means an isolation which kills your mission. It means you don’t trust God enough to obey Him and get out there in the fallen world of work with His broken people.
Already I’ve seen the mindless panic about child molestation used as a political weapon. The one thing you need to understand about things like the Franklin Scandal is this is how evil works to rule. The people who were screwing those kids are the same people working so hard to keep the hysteria going. This is how they enjoy the perks of power, by enjoying all the things they want you to fear. Once that hysteria is strong enough, it becomes a most effective weapon. It becomes the single most devastating tool for destroying someone they decide not to kill outright. The authorities can plant evidence and have you arrested — I was a cop; yes, they do that. Having you arrested for child porn or having someone accuse you of molestation is about as terrorizing as it gets. It can silence a whole raft of whistle-blowing. It’s effective in part because our culture has made such a demigod out of children.
Look for more of this. If you are the least bit effective for the Kingdom of God, stuff like this will be used against you. Sometimes the Lord takes you through that for His glory, but more often it is likely He will protect you. Participate in that protection by understanding how it works; know His Laws and how obedience reaps power and glory in this fallen world. Participate actively in His glory and power by being aware. Look at your own kids, grandkids, etc., and realize the real problem is not their vulnerability, which God knows how to handle, but your own vulnerability about them. God can heal anything anyone does to you and to them. Trust Him, not any human construct designed to protect them. People will fail you; expect it.
The real problem is that you aren’t cynical enough, because cynicism about fallen men is the wisdom of God.