The Pedophile’s Deception

**Trigger warning for sex abuse survivors: discussion of pedophile apologia and tactics**

Recently, my post “Ministering to Pedophiles” was picked up by The Aquila Report, a conservative Christian news blog. Since then, the post has been circulated widely, and several people (some of them Reformed ministers) came to the blog to comment.

I was also approached on Twitter by a group of pedophile apologists.

I’m writing this follow-up piece to talk about what I learned from that conversation. Because the biggest complaint that I received, both from the pedophiles and the Reformed ministers, was about my statement that true repentance is rare for a pedophile. My position on that statement has not changed. If anything, since these conversations, it’s become stronger.

First, a caveat. 

I do believe there are repentant and celibate pedophiles in the world. These are individuals who have an erotic attraction to children but understand that any sexual contact with them would be amoral and damaging. Many of them have never touched a child or viewed child porn. These individuals feel just as sickened and upset at reports of child molestation as the rest of us.

I also understand that some make a distinction between “pedophile” and “child molester.” A child molester is someone who has actually abused a child sexually, whether or not he or she has an erotic attraction to children. While many people (including myself) use “pedophile” and “child molester” interchangeably, not all people who label themselves pedophiles are child molesters, and not all child molesters are pedophiles.

To be clear, my earlier post was referring specifically to pedophiles who have molested children.

However, pedophiles who molest children or desire to molest children are, at their core, abusers. Abusers feel entitlement rather than empathy. They want people to feel sorry for them, but they feel sorrow for no one else. They will do anything they can to hold onto their position of power in their community or church so they can continue to feed off of their victims, unopposed.

One of the main ways abusers do this is by co-opting language. They take common words and phrases used by empathetic people and assign their own meanings so that it sounds like they are agreeing with the community. A closer examination is required to uncover the deception.

For example, the first pedophile apologist who contacted me on Twitter said that the low recidivism rate for convicted pedophiles proved that true repentance was possible and common. Repentance = no repeat offense. But there is more to repentance than simply not repeating the behavior. Has the offender owned his crimes? Has he acknowledged his victims’ pain? Is he contrite? Has he offered restitution? Is he being accountable and avoiding temptation? Is he getting treatment that will help prevent his acting out again? All of these things are involved with repentance.

Also, recidivism rates for pedophiles vary widely–between 10 and 50 percent, depending on the study. Why? It depends on how you measure the data. Do you count recidivism by accusations, arrests or convictions? Over 5 years, 15 years, or 25 years? All sex crimes committed by pedophiles or just child molestation? Only molestation of children under 13, or all children under the legal age of consent?

Not to mention, the vast majority of child sex crimes go unreported. Repentance must be judged biblically, on a case-by-case basis. 

Abusers like to define other words as well. They’ll say “forgiveness” when they mean “exoneration.” They’ll label their victims’ pain “a lack of forgiveness.” They’ll call restrictions on their behavior “being judged” and “a lack of trust.” They’re only “reoffending” if they get caught. Abusers often know scripture very well and will twist it to their benefit–anything that gets them off the hook and lets them maintain access to victims.

They’ll also avoid using the language that defines their crimes: molestation, rape, abuse, etc.

It soon became apparent that the group of pedophiles conversing with me on Twitter were not the repentant kind. When I said that even non-offending pedophiles in the church should have limitations placed upon them for the safety of children, one responded with, “Our lives all have equal worth.” True. But equal worth does not mean equal privilege in all cases. Just as you wouldn’t appoint someone struggling with kleptomania to oversee the church’s valuables, you don’t let a pedophile have access to the nursery. A repentant pedophile wouldn’t want such access anyway. That’s my point.  

“What limitations would you put on us?” Whatever was necessary to keep children safe. Because that’s your concern, too, right? To keep children safe??

“But if the pedophile was himself a victim of child sex abuse, that adds complexity to the situation.” No, it doesn’t. Past victimization is not an excuse to abuse. I was abused and I don’t molest kids. An offender is an offender is an offender.

“By failing to distinguish between pedophiles and child molesters, you’re perpetuating negative stereotypes about non-offenders.” You mean, stereotypes like this one?


Actual tweet by a pedophile apologist

Or how about the fact that the one who started the conversation had an article in his timeline on how to legally navigate the age of consent laws between states.

This is my point. Most pedophiles aren’t operating from the same frame of reference as the rest of us. It’s not really “abuse” if the child experiences sexual pleasure or arousal. It’s not “molestation” if it’s gentle or if the child agreed to it. It’s not “recidivism” or “pedophilia” if he seduces your 16-year-old daughter in Georgia.

And these men know which churches to target. They flock to the ones that teach there are no “true victims,” that people invite abuse by sinning in some way. They look for the ones engaged in “sin leveling,” telling parishioners that all sins are equal in both God’s eyes and the church, and will be treated the same way. They feel at home in churches that distrust civil authorities and strive to handle offenses “in-house.” If they’re really lucky, they’ll find a church that will make victims apologize to them!

This is why it is absolutely imperative that pastors and churches understand the nature of abuse and the deceiving tactics of abusers. This is why Christians need to return to evaluating the fruit of repentance. This is why churches need to have a clear plan in place for dealing with these types of offenders. This is why we need to get back to good theology.

Make no mistake: endangering the church’s most vulnerable members to prove a point about redemption is a serious faith issue. Sexual abuse causes a spiritual crisis for many victims, especially for those who are not believed and shunned by their leadership. For those who are molested in church, the church is no longer a safe place for them. This ought not to be so! Churches should be havens for the hurting and houses of overturned tables for abusers.

Jesus said it would be better for those who cause children to stumble to have a millstone hung around their necks and drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 18:6).

Pastors, elders, parishioners: Do not be deceived. Evaluate the fruit of repentance. Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” is a harmless sheep.

48 responses to “The Pedophile’s Deception

  1. Pingback: » The Pedophile’s Deception

  2. Great post, April. Scary some of the tactics that are used. I’m a firm believer that the Church needs to do a much better job in handling claims of abuse. In Australia, (nationwide I think), there were talks of a mandatory registration and they’ll become mandatory reporters of abuse. I hope and pray this happens. Accountability, PROPER accountability needs to come back to the Church. Not only because it’s what God requires, but because it’s made Christianity Tge biggest unfunny joke in the West.

    Rant over. I feel real strongly about this.

  3. Spot on, April. That’s an excellent reply to these wolves. Thank you. I am curious about the responses, and more importantly the exposure of this article to clear the ‘fog’. Please keep writing.
    God bless you and yours and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Wow. I am stunned. I shouldn’t be, I suppose, but I am. The photo you posted here, the one with the tweet is appalling. “Child sexual pleasure?!” What in the ever loving…?

    Thank you for reminding us that we must constantly ask the Lord to grant us wisdom and discernment. We need to have eyes to see through the sheep costumes and kick the wolves to the curb.

  5. Just wondering if the supposed low rate of repeat offenders can also be attributed to these abusers becoming more crafty with their deception vs true repentance. Repentance is certainly possible and it is not more theology to present the unfortunate evidence that this is not always the case. This continues to be a vital subject for the Church to come to grips with and we need to come to grips with the millstones dragging down the purity of our devotion to Christ
    . Thank you for wadding through all the flawed logic and presenting a Biblical response.

    • An interview with Dr. Anna Salter on Corrections One/Tier Talk, a professional organization for the corrections industry, about
      sex offenders and how they work. This interview is in 5 parts.

    • Pastor Jimmy Hinton’s 2+ hour training about pedophiles in the church.
      Jimmy is the pastor of PA church that has been around for about 100 years and is in the Church of Christ denomination. Jimmy turned in his own father, also a pastor at the same church, for sexually abusing children in the church. Jimmy’s father is now serving a life sentence in prison. Jimmy’s mother Clara Hinton has an awesome blog called Finding a Healing Place with great resources under the Resources tab (books, this video, etc.). Their family did the right thing in handling a pedophile in their own family, when so many families and churches get it wrong. They are brave, decent people. Kudos to them!

  6. “Pastors, elders, parishioners: Do not be deceived. Evaluate the fruit of repentance. Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” is a harmless sheep.”

    In the light of The Word, James 3:13-18, you might re-consider referencing “A Cry For Justice” and re-consider some of your attitudes about “abuse”. “A Cry for Justice” in particular, is taken in by the writings of charlatan abuse “expert” Lundy Bancroft.

    Lundy Bancroft is a self announced cult founder of his own cult, per the following link to his cult site.

    “I have decided to found a new spiritual community and spiritual movement, which I am calling Nature’s Temple. I call the belief system Nature Mysticism. I have included the principles (there are quite a few) below. I hope you enjoy reading them.

    The core beliefs of Nature’s Temple:
    1) The human being is an animal. We are no more different from other animals than they are from each other. We are not a race apart. All the creatures of the earth are our sisters and brothers. ”

    His “research” is illegitimate per this link.

    Lundy Bancroft is a person who has found that in the context of fear about abuse, just about anything said about “abuse” will be accepted by some. Lundy Bancroft’s “wisdom” does not come down from heaven.
    Christians should always consider where their “wisdom” comes from.

    James 3:13-18
    Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

    17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

    • Reconsider my attitude toward abuse? You mean the attitude that abuse is evil? That it exists? That it is inappropriate for people claiming to be Christian? That it should be dealt with in a firm, unwavering manner that demands true biblical repentance and accountability? You mean THAT attitude?

      How might I reconsider that?

      Just for the record, I’ve never read Bancroft. But if I had, I wouldn’t dismiss his work solely on the word of a group that denies the existence of domestic violence and wants to remove legal protections of battered women.

      I will not be the kind of “peacemaker” that makes peace with evil in the church. What fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14) Expel the wicked person from among you. (1 Cor 5:13)

      • Matthew 18
        15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

        April, Jesus tells the world, in Matthew 18, how to speak to wrongdoing, although, if the sin involved is a crime, which abuse is, an arrest and v. 15 often coincide, or should.

        The Word of God is what I want people to consider, especially compared to the word of a cult founder. Bancroft’s word about abuse should be dissmissed based on his own word alone.

        I have children too. My comments have noting to do with minimizing sin or crime. They have to do with participating in Justice God’s way, not man’s way or a cult founders way.

        Your reply to “chaplain” was more the response I had hoped for.

        Justice and mercy are happening to both of us and most other folks right now. ; – )

        All hearts need to be transformed.

        Here is a view of Bancroft from a woman’s point of view.

      • JFS,

        Why are you claiming to know Scripture and twisting it to suit your own ends? Jesus specifically said it would be better that a millstone be tied around a person’s neck and that they be drowned in the deepest sea than that they harm a child. Jesus didn’t mince words. Why are you?

    • JFS,

      You have repeatedly criticized Lundy Bancroft all over the internet. Everyone who reads gets the point that you don’t like Bancroft. What, pray tell, does that have to do with that abuse is wrong, un-Biblical and criminal? A Cry For Justice’s blog with Jeff and Barbara don’t even need Lundy’s work to “get this” about abuse. You seem to be unable to see the forest through the trees. So what if you don’t care for one particular person and their beliefs. It doesn’t mean that everything they believe – including that abuse is wrong – is untrue.

      Your lack of sound reasoning doesn’t make them look bad, it makes you look bad. Do you have anyone in your life to tell you point blank about your blind spot here? Are you planning on listening?

      • Sorry Velour, you have the Blind spot.

        Matthew 18

        18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

        2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.

        3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

        4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

        Jesus held out the child a visual example of childlike faith. The kind we are supposed to have. When deceivers and blind guides like Lundy Bancroft mis-guide God’s children, the deceivers are in big trouble.
        Bancroft should be worried. Christians should be exposing his fruitless deeds of darkness.

        I am.

        Please help expose him more.

      • @JFS,

        The Lord has always condemned child sexual abuse everywhere in Scripture and punished it with the death penalty. It’s shocking to me that you can articulate that and you skirt the issue.

        Your personal quibbles with someone that you don’t care for – Bancroft – have no place on this board or others and don’t have anything to do with the topic at hand: child sexual abuse and domestic violence are wrong, criminal and un-Biblical.

        • Micah 6:
          8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

          Velor, we have no disagreement that all sexual abuse is wrong and a sin. I am not minimizing that at all and do not skirt the issue.

          I am speaking against an unjust mob mentality with regard to abuse accusations.

          Lundy Bancroft is a national level source of bad information about “abuse”, as was Susan J. Kelly, the fake “expert” who coerced false testimony from toddlers in the Fells Acers false prosecution case.

          I am reminding all that the biblical and legal presumption of innocence, for all crimes, including abuse is also a critical requirement.

          I don’t deny there are true abuse accusations,

          I also know there are false abuse accusations.

  7. While an abuser is not a victim, can he/she not be hurting as well? In your anger, you do not offer solutions – only warnings and judgments (which have their place, but we are ministers of both justice AND mercy). I had to rebuke an inmate the other day who less than 1 week after I baptized him was found to be watching a “Christian” movie and rewinding some parts that showed children in a state of partial undress. Not in a pornographic sense, but as portrayed in an arid climate. We talked, and he admitted his sin and continuing struggle and desire for repentance. We prayed together after I counseled him and it’s going to take continued work and vigilance to help this brother. While I would never let him babysit my kids, I do consider him a brother in Christ – I see his sin and that he struggles with it. He’s not content with it, but he strives against it. I can’t bring myself to be as cynical as you are, otherwise I should just give up this ministry and give up on the power of the Holy Spirit. Call me naïve, if you want.

    I liked the beginning of your 9/12 article and thought “This woman has some wisdom.” I still believe that’s true, but you also have a chip on your shoulder and some edginess that has to be tempered with grace. That said, I am grateful for your witness and your stand.

    • Forgive me if I seem edgy when a “repentant” pedophile says he wants to redefine abuse in the context of child sexual pleasure. I am only a mother with young children after all.

      Yes, some pedophiles can be hurting and striving for true repentance. Yes, we can and should minister to them. But we have to be sure that effort is sincere and not an act. If we’re trying to administer mercy to someone who, in reality, needs justice, we endanger children. The group that contacted me on Twitter the other day wanted me to believe that they were safe and deserving of mercy, but the truth of their hearts was quickly revealed.

      Remember, a pedophile’s success in accessing children depends on convincing others that he is safe, and “finding religion” can be a means to that end. I say this not to make you cynical, but wary.

      I appreciate the work you are doing in prison ministry. It is greatly needed. And I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to transform hearts.

    • Chaplain,
      You seem to be very naïve about child sexual abuse. There is an epidemic of it in the conservative evangelical church according to Church Mutual, the largest insurer of churches in the United States, and Richard Hammer, attorney at Church Law & Tax. Mr. Hammer studies more than 10,000 lawsuits per year against churches. Every year, year after year, he releases the top 5 reasons that churches were sued the prior year. Every single year for years on end the Sexual Abuse of Minors is the No. 1 reason that churches get sued.

      The epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church is so serious that it exceeds that of the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse cases (the RCC has had to change its ways due to decades of arrests and convictions, and lawsuits). Many insurance companies are pulling out of the church insurance market altogether since the financial risk is too high and most churches are simply too irresponsible.

      Here is a good 2+ hour training video about child sexual abuse by Pastor Jimmy Hinton, a pastor in a church that has been around for about 100 years in PA and is in the Church of Christ denomination. Jimmy turned in his own father, also a pastor in the same church, for sexually abusing children in their church. His father is serving a life sentence in prison. Jimmy’s mom Clara Hinton has the Finding a Healing Place blog. Their family now advocates for victims. (Check out the Resources tab on Clara’s blog. It is excellent.)

      Please get educated.

  8. You know April, I came to your blog to tell you I’d written a short story based on the post you did for Jory Micah’s blog and that I even used it in one of my shows recently and wanted to send a copy to you to show you my appreciation.

    But now, I’m sitting here FLABBERGASTED at some of these comments I’m seeing from well meaning people who aren’t GETTING what you’re saying. I’m shocked at the fact there’s an ARGUMENT about how safe our children should be. You’re much more elegant than I am on the subject but my goodness! I’m all for people seeking repentance and I’m all for those who are truly sincere but c’mon. These are our CHILDREN! Why did people get into an uproar over a lion getting shot for sport and we’re sitting here debating about how much we should protect our CHILDREN so someone won’t FEEL bad. You gotta be kidding me. This is SAD!

    Yes, there is redemption for the offender and your criteria of making that assurance that repentance is real is spot on. You can’t go on someone’s word all the time.

    There’s another lady I know who is advocating for children of sexual abuse in communities like the Amish, Mennonite and so forth and so on. She mentioned how an offender came forward but said something to the equivalent of, “This FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD seemed to want it.” And because he was SO SORRY, the community forgave him. And when he does it again, what then?

    Girl, I’m just floored. I can’t believe this issue is debatable. I just can’t! Especially that clip of that disgusting tweet that literally made me ILL. I want to thank you for this post and whenever you want to come on my show and talk about this, just let me know. Jory has my info so you can get it from her.

    • Parker J,
      Good for you for advocating for our children’s safety! I am with you and April, and others.
      I was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned from my church of 8+ years just last year for opposing the pastors/elders bringing their friend a Megan’s List sex offender to church (nobody else was told and I discovered him on Megan’s List while doing a separate legal project for an attorney), giving him membership, a position of leadership and access to all children and events, and not telling all adults. They said he was coming off Megan’s List. His supervising law enforcement agency called that all lies and total lies. The pastors/elders said he was safe. His supervising law enforcement agency said he’s not.

      And we wonder why there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church that exceeds that of the Catholic Church according to insurance companies like Church Mutual and attorneys like Richard Hammer at Church Law & Tax….

  9. “Or how about the fact that the one who started the conversation had an article in his timeline on how to legally navigate the age of consent laws between states.”

    This is not a fact. It is one of many distortions in this article.

    The author of the article in question, @securityconcern , has always supported an age of consent (AOC) of 16, for the reason that this is generally the age of potential emancipation when young people become legally enabled, at least under certain circumstances, to take over their own lives. This means that they can no longer be obliged to comply with adult wishes simply because they are children. If they remain living with their parents and comply with their wishes and house rules, this is because they are being cooperative young adults, not because they are expected and obliged to comply as juveniles. Their release from childhood compliance also empowers them to refuse sexual offers with authority – all the more so if they are correctly taught an understanding of this power. (Threats of rape are not implied here).

    Not understanding this logic related to the age of consent, people have tried to supply a great diversity of superstitious concepts, misinterpreted neuroscience, sentimental-romanticist effluvium and other nonsense to justify the AOC. None of this is helpful in any way; in fact, it brings the administration of justice into disrepute as a purveyor of false science and unrestrained emotionality.

    If April Kelsey had read the piece instead of simply looking at the AOC map of the US that was supplied as an illustration by the article’s publisher, she would not have produced the distortion she did. But her aversion for humanity as seen in the minor-attracted is so profound that she can only deal with snippets that gratify her prior prejudices, and has no desire to read her way to reality.

    In this queasiness that blocks apprehension beyond prejudice, she remains unrepentant.

    • So a self-proclaimed minor-attracted adult cares about the legal emancipation of 16-yr-olds so they can be sufficiently empowered to REFUSE sexual advances.

      How naive do you think my readers are?

      • I don’t expect all your readers to share your extreme filtering bias that turns all straightforward, honest discourse into a home-made conspiracy theory.

        If you possessed the spiritual gift of knowledge, as famously listed by the apostle Paul in the Christian gospels, you would sense the truth, which is that I do not support extramarital sex (‘zina’ as defined in the Quran) and have never been involved with anyone under 19, even in my youth. I do, however, support committed same-sex relationships as justified by reasonable ijtihad (reformed interpretation of scripture) and have spoken to many people who, at 16+, were caused to suffer not because of their boyfriend relationships but because of legal interference with them. Such as this snippet I remember from a casual conversation with a 20-something at an LGBT event (he was talking about events that happened in his later teen years, 17-ish): “My boyfriend was arrested and I was forced to see a psychologist for months afterward supposedly to counsel my trauma … I couldn’t stand it … I would just sit there and sweat buckets the whole time … I didn’t want to talk to her …”

        As anyone knows who’s ever had a random person up and decide on the street that they’re doing something wrong with their dog or their baby, would-be rescuers can sometimes be the most obnoxious people. We forgive them, but their interposition of their frantic fantasies is sometimes very much not called for, morally or practically.

    • Kamil,

      Nonsense! I work in law and you are totally off base.
      “it brings the administration of justice into disrepute as a purveyor of false science and unrestrained emotionality.”

      16 year olds are children, are immature, need protection and guidance, and no they don’t know what is *best* for them and do need protection from child sexual predators.

      • Velour, I’m afraid that in terms of the laws of Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, most of the rest of Europe, Canada, Washington State, Alaska, Montana, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Arkansas, Alabama, Hawaii, and many other states, YOU are totally off base. Sixteen year olds are NOT innocent children in need of protection in those states. Now, if you want to accuse all those jurisdictions of facilitating some new version of pedophilia that preys on people of traditionally maritable ages, then you may soon have your chance to write to President Trump and see if he, if no one else, is mad enough to go along with you.

        That doesn’t mean that 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds, 19-year-olds and 26-year olds, not to mention 64-year-olds, may not be naive, bewildered, inexperienced, often in need of good advice and sometimes in need of protection. It only means that the law has granted them the right to be free of anyone attempting to subject them to protection via a forcible prohibition.

        I personally believe that modern post-Victorian Romanticism, worshipping cute animals, young people and sometimes indigenous peoples, has transformed proper respect and awe for these loveable creations of God into an idolatrous religion that casts these entities as superstitious icons. Their characters become transformed to absolute innocence as the ‘gold’ of this Manichaean religion, while anyone questioning this idolatry becomes cast as the dark demons, the ‘dross’ of the same dualism.

        Teenagers of various ages are in various grades of transition, some far ahead, some lagging behind, and the law’s attempt to arbitrate a rule of thumb, alas, cannot be set to wait for the last of the laggards to catch up. Some may never do so, no matter how long they live. Yes, there may be 16 year olds who are completely dumbfounded by the world, but those of us who were and are in command of our faculties at that age must also be respected, or else the law will be thrown into disrepute as a hover-parental state monstrosity that jails and psychoterrorizes people for being mature.

        I saw one of April’s correspondents say that ‘children are not sexual.’ I certainly agree that children, especially prepubescents, do not have the adult approach to sexuality and neither want (for the most part, pace ‘Summer of 42’) nor need sex with adults, but to tell those of us who grew up male that we had those epic wet-dreams or masturbated vividly day after day in our early teens without being sexual is beyond preposterous. We are humans, not porcelain dolls with painted cheeks, at that age.

        Humans cannot serve as your idols of innocence in this new-age religion. Direct your apostasies to stone, or wood, or crystals.

  10. Forgiveness vs. Absolution/exoneration
    These defense mechanisms or manipulations are taken straight from the narcissist personality disorder’s play book. They say they want forgiveness, but in truth, they want absolution- their sin stricken from the books, with no repentance on their part.

    The victims must not offer Forgiveness. Period. Society must not offer Forgiveness. Period. Forgiveness Enables the Sinner to repeat that sin indefinitely, because -in the eyes of pedophiles- Forgiveness is the Victim’s Permission to do so. That is how we must explain this to those who truly do not understand the psychopathology.

    This is so much like an Addiction; where their compulsive behaviors must be constantly squashed. It is a minute by minute chore, because it never goes away. Folks around an Addict must set firm boundaries with the Addict, so too, must we set boundaries and detailed behaviors from all pedophiles. We must not tolerate ANY deviation from the established boundaries.

    but Forgiveness is for the Victim’s soul, sanity. No. The victim must Accept this sin is not their’s to carry. The sins of others do not define them. The victim must embrace that the Judgement and Punishment is beyond their control; and relinquish the emotional burden of that sin against them. The victim has no control in this situation, and they must relinquish that control to higher authorities: both heavenly and earth bound [justice system,]

    Oh, FYI, Prison stats prove that pedophilia has the Highest Recidivism rate. When I discuss this with folks, I use that figure, because that offers the veracity of the court’s needing ‘proof beyond a reasonable doubt.’

    Thank you for your efforts in combating this problem

  11. Angela, pedophilia as defined scientifically (the normal definition before newspapers appropriated the term in the 90s) is not an action, which is why no state or country has a law on the books with the word ‘pedophilia’ in it.

    There ARE people of all sexual orientations, indeed, all population groups, who are manipulative and can be thought of as narcissists. To take an entire biological group, though, and conceive of ALL of them as self-centered and manipulative is an old trick of prejudice, and has recurred throughout history in stereotypes of devious Jews, recalcitrant, thieving blacks, indolent aboriginals, frivolous, primping homosexuals and relentlessly stalking, grooming pedophiles. Each of these stereotypes could be ‘supported’ by a number of concrete examples but was, and is, nonetheless wrong, and a deception born of a flaw in the human mind. (We are predisposed to suspect that anyone who is different from us, in a way we don’t understand, must be secretly turned against us.)

    So to filter an entire group as narcissistic is, in its own way, narcissistic. Conspiracy theories and paranoias are always inwardly turned.

    Anyone who finds herself imagining that any of the above in some way justifies or excuses sexual assault of children should realize that their mind is taking them down this wrong track.

      • Velour,

        I have not been accused or convicted of any crime, sexually related or otherwise, nor have I incurred a traffic offense. I do not disclose identifying information such as my place of residence.

        What does your criminal history, if any, consist of?

  12. The biggest problem in conservative churches in dealing with pedophiles – or any other source of offense and scandal – is confusion over Matthew 18 ( as demonstrated above) and confusion of repentance with status quo ante. Mt 18 is for private offenses; ie you were offended by a brother’s words or actions. This has nothing to do with public action, esp a fama clamosa like child molestation. As for the status quo ante, not everything broken in this life can or will be fixed in it, and forgiveness doesn’t mean that broken trust has been restored. This may never happen this side of glory, and there is no command in Scripture entitling offenders to trust.

    • Kirky,
      Since I think I am the only one who has mentioned Matthew 18:15-17 here, I have not demonstrated any confusion about it.
      “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.”

      Jesus is talking about all sin here, not just “private offenses” as you wrongly state. The progression of speaking to sin in this scripture starts private and ends public if it needs to go that far.
      Jesus, Lord of the universe said something similar in Deuteronomy 19:

      “15 One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

      16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime, 17 the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, 19 then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid,”

      Where we do have some agreement is in matters of crime. In Deuteronomy 19, the church and the state were the same entity. In 2015 in the United States, the church and the state are not the same entity.

      For instance, if I saw a fellow christian driving a stolen car, in the act of a crime, I would call the police first, to stop the crime, and talk to the fellow christian about his sin and crime after that.

      With sexual abuse, child or otherwise, pastors, if not any Christian are as obligated to go to the lawfull civil authorities to report a witnessed or confessed crime, as thay are to speak to the alleged criminal’s sin.

      Generally stated, christians should speak first individually with another christain about sin. If the sin is also a crime like child sexual abuse where reporting is required, and is supported by witness or evidence, civil authorities are to be notified. It may even be appropriate to report strong suspicions.

      Finally, people trusting other people happens as an individual option. We don’t have to like or trust others, even if their fruit appears to be good. On this earth we can’t expect that all relationships can or should be deep and trusting.

      • 1 Tim 5:20 suggests that public sins are to be publicly rebuked “that others may fear.” Matthew’s passage then speaks to offences done in private, for otherwise there would be no need to take a matter further as it is already a public matter hence witnesses would already be informed of the matter. Further, we are not to make private matters into public ones before giving the accused a chance to make things right with the offended party; this can’t happen with a public offence.

        • Kriky,
          While 1 Tim 5:20 is specifically about Elders, we are not far apart re: speaking to sin compared to speaking to crime in a Word grounded fashion.

          Speaking to sin that is not crime should start privately,
          but may progress to more public dialogue.

          Speaking to sin that is crime may have to start in a more public fashion.

        • It’s not an issue of “may” in many states, but “must under penalty of law.” In my profession (medical), failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is punishable. Church insurers, seeing a spike in sexual abuse in children, are insisting – along with the civil magistrate in many cases – on clearcut policies for churches on reporting these cases. Natalie Rose Greenfield, the girl Jamin Wight groomed and molested in Doug Wilson’s church, blogs about her (ongoing) experience with the church which can’t/won’t admit to any fault in its coverup and victim-blaming in her case; not pleasant reading, but reblogged at Homeschoolers Anonymous; many a comment pointed out the incompetence of churches in dealing with sins which are also crimes, and how churches must stock to their areas of competence while leaving the civil magistrate to deal with what matters are rightfully his.

          The big challenge to Scripture in all of this is the presumed guilt of the accused and seeming lack of disincentive to report false accusations. The accused, if exonerated, gets a lot less press after the exoneration than he did before it, and went through needless hell in the meanwhile; what sanctioning does the accused get? Case in point is Tawana Brawley and Attorney Pegues.

  13. Kriky,
    As I had mentioned:
    “Generally stated, christians should speak first individually with another christain about sin. If the sin is also a crime like child sexual abuse where reporting is required, and is supported by witness or evidence, civil authorities are to be notified. It may even be appropriate to report strong suspicions.”

    As far as the Wilson /Greenfield issue goes, I believe the record shows that the sex abuse crimes in question were reported by Wilson and /or the involved churches immeidately. Hence they behaved in submission to The Word and the law. I don’t see that there was any cover up in those cases, but ministry to the casualties and the perpetrators, even up to this minute.

    One of my motivations in commenting on these blogs is that church and state “authorities” are not as authoritative as they think they are. Lundy Bancroft, an alleged “abuse expert”, is in reality, a cult founder and charlatan per the links in my first comment above.
    A church in my area, Boston, has a Lundy Bancroft based “abuse” ministry that has made false accusations against innocent people, their falsehoods have broken up faimilies.

    Lundy Bancroft got his start with an endoresement by Scott Harshbarger, the corrupt district attorney of the Fells Acres false prosecution:

    In the end, Christians must obey the Word and the law and insist on witness and evidence in these problems, and trust God to provide the truth, witness, confessions and evidence an abusive event happens.

    I think we are in essential agreement!

    • @JFS,
      You are legally incorrect. All states have legally mandated reporters, and many of them are clergy and church staff. To not report is a crime that can land the clergy person facing arrest, prosecution and jail or prison time.

      There is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church that exceeds that of the Catholic Church according to insurance companies like Church Mutual and attorneys like Richard Hammer at Church Law & Tax.

      Child Sexual Abuse is the No. 1 reason that churches get sued every single year, and it’s been that way for years on end, according to Mr. Hammer’s yearly study of more than 10,000 lawsuits per year that are filed against churches.

      • Velour,
        I am not incorrect, we are saying the same thing with regard to mandated reporting of child abuse, it is required of mandated reporters.

        Conversely, if a pastor is dealing with a drug addict, it may not be required to report the addict for the crime of buying illegal drugs.

      • JFS,
        This statement that you made ” and is supported by witness or evidence” is legally incorrect. That is not the criteria that mandates reporting. Receiving a report mandates reporting; it is not the job of clergy to find out witnesses or evidence.

        • Velor,
          If a child tells you something strange happened to them, that is witness.

          Depending on what the witness is a mandated reporter is obligated to report.

          Here in Massachusetts, a family that ran a day care center got sent to jail because a man who worked at the center, changed a kid’s wet pants.
          Pseudo experts fabricated a child abuse charge against the family, when the man only did his job, by changing a kids wet pants.

          Common sense and due diligence is the job of everyone.
          Is it not?