The Pedophilia and Christianity FAQ
1. What is pedophilia?
Pedophilia can be described as an attraction certain people exhibit towards pre-pubescent children. This attraction includes a sexual element, but it is often much more than just sexual. Pedophiles tend to feel a deep love and affection for children and desire above all else to please them and make them happy. This desire to make children happy is the reason that most pedophiles struggle to control their sexual desires and never allow them to surface. Pedophilia generally manifests itself in two major forms, boylove (those who feel attracted to young boys) and girllove (those who feel attracted to young girls).
There is no one answer to this question. No one can claim to know for sure what causes pedophilia. Indeed, the answer may vary from individual to individual. It is common for victims of abuse to become pedophiles, although it is not understood why this is. However, many pedophiles weren't victims of abuse, and likewise, many victims of abuse are not pedophiles.
NO. God hates sin, and pedophilia is not a sin.
Pedophilia is not a sin any more than alcoholism or addiction are sins. While it may be sinful to drink to excess or smoke cigarettes, it is not a sin to feel the desire to drink or smoke and then struggle to control those impulses. In the same manner, it may be a sin to act out your sexual impulses (whatever they may be), but it is not sinful to feel sexual desires and struggle to control them.
Pedophilia is NOT a choice. No one chooses to be a pedophile (who would willingly choose to belong to the most hated minority in the world?). The Bible tells us clearly what we need to be saved. John 3:16 (NIV): "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." Matt. 12:50 (NIV): "For whosoever shall do the will of my father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." 1 John 4:15 (NIV): "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God." Acts 2:21 (NIV): "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
All of those verses say the same thing. All we need to do to be saved (and be a Christian) is to call on the name of the Lord. The Bible does not say that we need to free ourselves from temptations, or that we need to be perfect, or free from sin, or of a clear conscience to be saved. The only thing it says is that we must call on the name of the Lord. God does not require us to change before coming to him; after we come to him, he will help us change whatever it is in our life that needs to be changed, but God does not require anyone to change or do anything else in order to be saved. The only requirement (as is proven in the above verses) is that you accept the Lord as your saviour.
Here is what the bible has to say. Matt. 19:22 (NIV): "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Mark 9:23 (NIV): "'If you can?', said Jesus. 'Everything is possible for him who believes.' Matt. 19:21 (NIV): "Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done."
The Bible seems to be very optimistic in this sense; the truth is that God can heal anything, just as it says in the verse, "everything is possible to him who believes". However, sometimes God allows us to continue to struggle with afflictions, even after we ask him to heal us, we cannot always understand why this is; even Paul was faced with this dilemma. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NIV): "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness that Christ's power may rest on me."
No one said that the Christian life was easy; it is a life full of hardships just like everyone else's and Christians struggle with many difficulties. 2 Corinthians 11:25 (NIV): "Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea." The thing that should separate Christians is not the lack of afflictions, but the fact that they remain strong in Christ throughout it all. The Bible gives us authority over many things, and gives us the hope of God's healing, but it does not say that the road will be an easy one or that we will be free from all afflictions. In David's time of need, he felt many things, and even mentions the welcoming of death (something pedophiles many times ponder upon), yet in the end he still kept hope in God.
Psalm 13 (NIV):
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Oh Lord my God.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
The answer to this question varies from person to person. It is clear that it is sinful to participate in sex out of wedlock. It is also clear that in today's society, participating in a sexual relation can be very damaging to a child psychologically (due in a great part to society's fear and disapproval of childhood sexuality). So the question of whether it is okay to have a relationship depends on the amount of control that the pedophile has over his feelings. For most pedophiles, it is not difficult to control their impulses, and they feel confident in their ability to keep themselves from acting them out. For others, temptation is a more difficult struggle. If the individual has complete control over his impulses, and trusts himself around children, then there is no basis (biblical or sociological) to say that the individual may not engage in a non-sexual friendship with a child. For those who have less control over their feelings, or who do not trust themselves in that environment, it is not worth risking the well-being of a child and their own freedom and well being in order to participate in a friendship.
© 1998 [Drifter]