God is in control

Recently we had to do some child safety training for our job, Tim Challies shared that he doesn’t allow sleepovers, and I’ve seen a lot of discussion on pedophiles on Facebook. All of this has made me realize and think about a number of things.

First, I’m very thankful for the environment in which I grew up. There’s some truth to the phrasing blissfully ignorant when you have no experience or knowledge of some kinds of depravity. I don’t know if that’s because of vigilance on the part of my parents, other parents and the church as I grew up or if God was just particularly merciful to me and the people around me, but I am thankful that, so far as I know, those I know haven’t suffered those kinds of violence.

I’ve come across a few reactions to this particular sin. By far the most common is: trust no one, especially men, especially if they get along well with kids. For me, that comes with an upside: men aren’t allowed to change diapers at our church. But other than that I think it just results in an increase in the general paranoia that seems awfully prevalent in today’s parenting. If you can’t trust uncles, Christian families, or the babysitter what will you do? Never let them out of your sight? (Except for when you send them to those bastions of moral purity, public schools, right?)

It also seems like this is a sin that people consider to be something people could never overcome, as if the grace of Christ couldn’t sanctify this particular heart sickness. However, there’s an awful list of sins in the Bible, followed by “and such were some of you.” (1 Cor 6:11) I am inclined to believe this means the Jesus can overcome any sinful tendencies in our hearts, no matter how awful. Pedophilia isn’t harder for Jesus than gossip. Hand-in-hand with this is sort of a feeling that it is an unpardonable sin. But can we hold over our brethren’s heads those sins that Jesus has forgiven? Some have advocated excluding former pedophiles from the corporate worship service, but after Paul rebuked the Corinthians for tolerating the sexual immorality of a man sleeping with his mother, he also commanded them to welcome him back into full fellowship as a brother after he repented.

So, why? Perhaps it’s because we are grasping for control, letting our fear dominate where our trust in God’s control should reign supreme. Let’s welcome the repentant and help them walk in holiness.


(I am not suggesting someone go from prison for pedophilia to your church nursery.)

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