Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile

Every time a news story breaks about a new case of child sexual abuse or a child porn user, a slew of people rush to the comments section to declare their thoughts about the criminal.

“Scum of the earth…”

“Bring back the death penalty…”

“Let him stay with the general population in prison, see how he likes that…”

In one sense, I can relate. Nothing sickens me more than the thought of people hurting and abusing children, especially since I’ve had kids of my own. At times, I’ve read details of these horrific cases and felt a burst of rage, and contemplated what justice might look like for that person.

 

Justice.

We all want justice, don’t we?

We all want to see these vile offenders pay for the wrong they have done and the harm they have caused.

So we put ourselves firmly in the seat of Judge, and we mete out what we would consider Justice. I have to laugh at the incongruity here, given one of the maxims of our day is “don’t judge”…

“Don’t judge” – unless the person you’re judging is a paedophile.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s someone who is clearly way worse than you.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s publicly acceptable to do so.

 

Do you think you’re better than a paedophile?

That’s not a trick question.

Are you a better person than a paedophile?

 

Have a read of what Jesus has to say in Luke 18:9-14:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Don’t trust in yourself that you are righteous. Fall on your knees before God.

Ask for His mercy.

Because He can see inside your heart, and He knows you aren’t righteous.

He saw every time you lied. Every time you kindled the fire of hatred against another human being. Every time you lashed out in anger, whether with words or with hands. Every time you ignored Him. Every time you put someone else before Him. Every time you satisfied your lust. Every time you put desire for things above love for people. Every time you clamoured to get more than you need. Every time you deliberately deceived someone.

There is no one righteous, not even one.

Step out of the Judge’s seat, and onto the floor with the sinners.

I promise there is enough mercy to go around.

 

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12 thoughts on “Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile

  1. Just wanted to say this is a great post. If anyone is a sinner, I am the worst of all, is something we need to keep in front of our eyes every single day. And I want to give you my support. May we all speak with our dying breath, the words, “Oh Lord, Who had no mercy on Yourself, be merciful to me, the greatest of sinners.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Bible tells us that all sins condemn equally, but the Bible does not tell us that all sins are equal. If they were, there would be one earthly punishment for all crimes. Clearly, that is not the case. The theft of a pair of gloves and the sexual abuse of a minor by an adult both condemn equally, but there is a HUGE difference between the two crimes. The young man who stole my winter gloves on the train in Chicago did far less damage to me than the pedophile who repeatedly abused me over the course of a year when I was nine years old. The first gave me a lesson in trust and security in public, and a mildly funny story to tell years later. The second damaged me significantly. It took forty years of hard work to undo the damage that man did to me. It took forty years before I could pray that I meet my pedophile in Heaven. That he be forgiven. That was the moment when I forgave him – when I could tell God that I wanted my pedophile to be in Heaven. What he did to me was heinous, but by far the most difficult part of the experience was testifying in court. It was far more damaging to me than anything that man did. But, I would testify all over again if it meant that he remained behind bars and never again had the opportunity to damage another child. Is that judgement? You bet. He was a sick man with evil tendencies who deserved earthly punishment if for no other than reason than to protect other children. I get the point that you are trying to make, but in making that point you must assume that people reacting to heinous crimes are not saved, and do not appreciate that they too are sinners. These positions are not mutually exclusive. Am I a sinner? Yes. Do I need Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection to save me? Yes, I do. Am I better than a pedophile? YES I AM. Am I better than the glove thief? Probably not. I gave myself a few five finger discounts in my youth. It is completely possible to recognize the seriousness of a crime without praying like the Pharisee in the parable. You need to remember that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your comment, Richard.
    I’m so sorry for what happened to you when you were younger. How amazing that you were able to pray for his forgiveness and salvation! I’m praising God for his amazing work in your heart!
    Sadly, some of those very close to me have also been badly affected by pedophiles.
    The question of whether pedophiles deserve earthly punishment/imprisonment is outside the scope of what I covered in this article. I completely agree that they should be imprisoned and kept away from children, lest they do more damage.
    What I was talking about in this article was a heart attitude which wants to appeal to God based on our own goodness, compared to others we see as worse. You could insert any other type of sin which is seen as especially irredeemable to make the same point.
    “Thank you God that I am not like this cop killer”
    “Thank you God that I am not like this used car salesman”
    Etc.
    There will be no hope for the one who, on Judgement Day, can only appeal to their own goodness to get into heaven. There is only hope for the one who will, like Paul, declare all their good deeds as “dirty rags”, and lean fully on the mercy of God, given to us in Christ.
    I am so thankful for this mercy, because I know I am equally deserving of hell as any pedophile.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Richard, I didn’t get the impression from the article that the OP was suggesting that paedophiles (& their ilk) should not be punished/incarcerated, or that they should be allowed to roam around freely. Rather I felt the blog deals with our sense of being ‘good/better’ or at least ‘not as bad’ as others and hence our propensity to feel justified and deserving of heaven & righteousness (despite Romans 3:10).

    At no stage does the bible say that earthly legal systems are inappropriate – paedophiles should be incarcerated! Prisons, law courts, police, locked doors etc, are all necessary as long as sin exists. In fact there are different punishments for different infractions in the bible – stoning versus paying damages. There is, however, a big difference between going before an earthly judge and the Heavenly Judge – and that is the distinction I felt the OP was aiming for, not an attack on the legal system or the rights of victims to have their persecutors punished whilst on earth.

    Bravo to you Richard for finding the strength to get through the obviously harrowing event of testifying against evil before an audience. May the Lord’s peace always be with you – especially when past rears its ugly head.
    Thanks too to the OP for the article!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Are you REALLY better than a Mass Murderer? | All Things Bright and Beautiful

  6. A good Scripture that helps to clarify this is the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. I am really surprised that those who seem to be up in arms about this post and are so upset about it can’t see that…..this is simply a post which reiterates that parable and that was Jesus Christ talking. Read the Pharisee and the publican again and you’ll see that this is precisely what SeriouslyServing is talking about.

    I suspect that those who are so angry about it have some major sin issues in their own lives that they do not want to address, and this touches a nerve they don’t want touched….just MHO, just sayin’….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw this post negatively referenced on a few different blogs, but i know enough about those bloggers to refrain from judgment until I read the original source. 🙂 I also had my husband read it and he and I felt exactly the same. I know this is an old post, but I wanted to leave a little comment-love since you’ve seen enough vile ugliness from others.

    Coming from a victim (gosh I hate that word) of child molestation, I think the sane among us can tell that this post was grossly misquoted and points to a difficult and sometimes painful truth. James tells us that if we’ve broken the law in one point, we’ve broken it in all. I don’t have to like that, but I do have to accept it as truth.

    I think spending one’s life trying to prove we’re better than a select group of ‘others’ (something modern Christianity is very good at) is a pretty tragically awful way to live. And certainly missing the entire point of our being put on this earth. As a general group, Christians have lost their love for the unsaved. It’s possible to want someone to be kept away from those they can harm, but also to see them as someone who needs Jesus. It’s wise to see them as who we may very well be if it weren’t for Jesus. It’s a requirement from God that we try. If the only thing people feel for lost sinners is ‘holy bloodshed’, that’s honestly quite sad. And certainly convicting for me at times, but sad just the same.

    And while I honestly don’t think this post was about pedophilia so much as it was about making the general point about our response to sinners, if Christians really were serious about protecting children and fighting molesters, they’d take a good hard look at some church leaders, conservative politicians, and some self-avowed righteous men and women in our community, rather than defending them and acting all crazy over this post. Oh well, the harpies had to unite over something.

    Keep your chin up! Jesus described truth as a double-edged sword. People are gonna cut themselves on it occasionally. And honestly, having certain people disagree with you is sometimes a sign that you’re on the right path…………

    Liked by 3 people

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