I remember the first time I found the website Christian Pedophile. I was on a lunch break at work, and simply Googled the words “christian pedophile.” I needed answers, and I needed help. I had not been doing very well lately; I was struggling with a porn addiction that seemed to come and go but was never gone for long. I had recently finished a five-year therapy program, but with mixed results, and more than a little cynicism on my part. I was thinking about suicide frequently. Where was God?!
I was elated when I found this site, and articles that explained and bridged the gap between my sexual desires and my relationship with God. For many years previous to that, I had not understood how to accept God’s love for me. I believed conceptually that he loved me and died in my place – but I believed I had lost that chance, and that he had turned away from me. But through this site, I realized that there were other Christians with the same temptations, and I learned useful strategies for how to manage my life and the challenges I was facing. More importantly, I learned how to surrender my heart to God’s love.
I thought pedophilia was the one insurmountable thing separating me from God, but that was never actually true. Over time, as I continued reading the articles and began conversing with Michel Greenwood, I started to hear and feel the Holy Spirit leading me to join in and write about my own experiences. It has been a long and difficult road to get to this point I’m at today, and it’s still an ongoing process. I’m still healing and growing. And the temptations are still there; my sin-nature still desires to lust after children. But those desires are slowly becoming less relevant, as my relationship with God grows stronger and deeper. Talking to Michel, Trent, Pedro, and Alma has been a huge help and support in all this, and I am deeply grateful to them.
With that said, I want to share some passages from the Bible and contemporary songs that have shaped my perspective. God has used these to guide and inspire me.
“It all just seems to change;
When you see it as a life to save…
So would you save a life?
If it was do or die,
Would you save a soul,
Even if it’s not your own?
If you’re the hands and the arms that reach,
Would you save a life from drowning?”
-Manic Drive, Save A Life
“And I’m filled with a deep compassion
That my Father’s given me.
I will always preach the gospel;
To the ends of the earth-
‘Till everyone has heard- Jesus is the way
To a Heaven-bound train.”
-The Kry, Heavenbound Train
“We will abandon it all, for the sake of the call.
No other reason at all, but the sake of the call.
Wholly devoted to live and to die, for the sake of the call.”
-Steven Curtis Chapman, For the Sake of the Call
My life is not my own; I gave it to God. I know that I am not doomed to abuse more children, nor am I doomed to an empty and miserable life, devoid of relationships. I know that God loves me; he genuinely loves every person who has ever lived. Even though many people will reject him, his desire is that none would live and die without knowing and accepting his love. But I can say from first-hand experience that very few people in this world are interested in sharing the Good News of his love – demonstrated in Jesus – with pedophiles. And I am not content with that status quo. I will stand up and be a voice. I will choose to love my neighbor. I will open my heart, even though I know some people will attack it. I will warn of the damnation that God will pronounce on all who reject the sacrifice of Jesus. I will both declare forgiveness and redemption, and decry the evil of sexual abuse. Justice and mercy are not mutually exclusive. This is what all followers of Jesus are called to do.
I don’t know how many men and women in churches all over the world carry this shameful secret that they hide from everyone else, including God, but it’s a lot more than zero. I don’t know how many people think about suicide on a regular basis because of this, but it’s enough to matter; enough for me to stand up and say “I can help.” I don’t know how many men and women are sure God hates them because they’ve looked at child porn, but it’s enough. I don’t know how many victims of sexual abuse wish their abuser had sought out help instead of crossing that line, but it’s enough. I don’t know how many prisoners would give anything to go back and choose a different path, but it’s enough. I deeply wish a resource like Christian Pedophile been available to me when I was an adolescent; I probably would not have abused my brother during that time, had I known how to manage my sexual desires, and repent of sexual sin. I don’t know what impact I’ll ever have in all of this, but I know that “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents,” (Luke 15:10). I don’t know where God will lead me as I share the Gospel and my testimony, but “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them,” (James 4-17).
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.” -Isaiah 52:7-10
This was originally written as Hebrew poetry. My imagination can’t do justice to what it must have been like for those who heard it read aloud for the first time; it must have given them chills and inspired tears. This really is good news – that we, even though we experience pedophilia, can receive pardon for our guilt, live in peace with God and our neighbors, and shout for joy. We are redeemed (bought back) to our creator; our God who reigns!
Several months ago, I was having dinner with some friends, including a boy around the age of fourteen. The next day, it occurred to me that he might be starting to realize that he’s attracted to younger kids. It’s statistically unlikely, I know, but it’s possible. It’s certainly not possible to guarantee that he won’t be. His family and community love and care for him, and it would be a tragedy if he were to abuse a child at some point, or disbelieve in God’s love for him, on account of being attracted to kids. If he is starting to experience pedophilia, I hope he finds this site. I knew something was wrong with me when I was his age.
“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house, you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” -Esther 4:13-14
I can’t change my past, but I can, with God’s help, use it to support my future, and the futures of others. Perhaps my writing and sharing will convince someone of God’s love for them. Perhaps it will encourage and inspire someone to resist the temptation to abuse a child, or the humility and courage to confess to and desist from abusing a child, if that has already occurred. Those are noble aspirations. They are worth the effort and sacrifice.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”