Beginning a Dialogue Between Minor-Attracted Christians and Christians Who are Not Attracted to Minors

    A Statement from the Christian Consultation 1999




    THE NEED FOR DIALOGUE

    1. The gospel is meant for all people. When church and society deny that God can be with men and women who are attracted to minors, they are promoting a belief that comes from darkness, not light. The result is that minor-attracted adults abandon Christianity or become hostile to it, and their potential gifts to the church are never realized.

    2. Silence is counterproductive. When minor-attracted adults must remain secretive, they have no opportunity to discuss how to live responsible lives. All people, regardless of their sexuality, need guidelines and accountability for managing their sexuality and developing life-giving relationships. Honesty is a prerequisite to achieving such accountability.

    BEGINNING THE DIALOGUE

    1. Dialogue begins from recognizing commonalities between Christians who are and are not attracted to minors. As Christians, we are all lovers of God and have faith in the redemptive and sacrificial act of Jesus on the cross. Both minor-attracted adults and those who are not attracted to minors wish to express God's love in all human relationships.

    2. We need to recognize fears on both sides as well as the power of love to overcome those fears. Minor-attracted adults fear rejection and condemnation, while those who are not attracted to minors fear they will be expected to condone harmful behavior. Both need to love the other as Jesus commands. 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear," and 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Love involves mutual trust and mutual acceptance of responsibility. Minor-attracted adults need to trust pastors and others they tell about their sexuality, and members of the church need to trust that minor-attracted adults will behave responsibly. Minor-attracted adults must accept the responsibility of expressing their feelings in ways that are beneficial to others, and those who are not attracted to minors must accept their responsibility to be in fellowship with people who are different from themselves. Grace is needed on the part of both sides. People who are not attracted to minors need to be willing to listen, learn, and set aside preconceptions. Minor-attracted adults need to be patient with them as they attempt to do so.

    3. Dialogue begins best at the personal level. It is less threatening when adults who are and are not attracted to minors get to know each other as people. Face-to-face interaction promotes trust and acceptance. One approach that has met with success is to establish a support and accountability circle that will walk alongside the minor-attracted adult. Members of such a group have found the experience to be spiritually enriching, and have learned more about their own sexuality.

    This statement was compiled at the first annual gathering of the Christian Consultation on Adult Attraction to minors, which met in Montreal, Quebec, on June 11, 1999. Some of the participents in the meeting were attracted to minors, while others were not.

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