By Brad Harrub, Ph.D.
On May 5, 2018, medical student Mirjam Heine, gave a TEDx talk at the University of Wurtzberg in Germany. TED is a nonprofit organization that produces short powerful talks that originally focused on technology, entertainment, and design (though TEDx events are organized independently from the main annual TED conference). Today these popular “TED talk” videos cover everything from science, law, history, education, technology, etc. Mirjam Heine’s talk was extremely different than most TED videos.
Heine’s 13:30 minute speech focused on a person named Jonas, a pedophile who preferred girls aged 6-12. She goes on to proclaim, “anyone could be born a pedophile.” She argued that pedophilia “is an unchangeable sexual orientation, just like, for example heterosexuality.” Her TED talk was all about how the general population should change our view and offer support to those who are pedophiles. She stated: “Just like pedophiles, we are not responsible for our feelings.” She continued by asserting, “We do not choose them…but it is our responsibility to…overcome our negative feelings about pedophiles and to treat them with the same respect we treat other people with.”
Two months later, on July 28, 2018 a poster was placed on a telephone pole near Willamette primary school in Oregon City that read, “Pedophiles are People Too. Because Love is Love.” The poster had a picture of an adult holding hands with a toddler, both of them featuring a big red heart in the center of their chests. The argument given is that as long as it doesn’t hurt the child then “love is love.” Make no mistake about it, normalization of pedophilia has begun in America.
In what can only be viewed as ironic, the LGBT community has come out against the pedophile posters, and many homosexual activists are upset that people might use these posters to discredit the LGBT community. However, one does not have to look far back in our history to recall the homosexual community declaring that it was their “right” to be able to marry someone of the same sex. “It’s my right…” has become the mantra that individuals now use to defend any type of behavior.
So now what prevents pedophiles from riding the coattails of homosexuals, declaring that it is their right to have sexual relationships with children? Answer: Nothing. In September 2015, Selwyn Duke wrote an article for The New American titled “Shocking Times: Movement for Pedophile “Rights” Marches On” in which he pointed out this very movement has already begun.
Again, let me be clear—the normalization process for pedophilia is already underway. For instance, pedophile activists have already begun asking the media to stop using the term pedophilia and instead refer to their community as “Minor attracted persons.” And the normalization will continue. For many people, their gut instinct when they hear about pedophilia is revulsion. They can’t believe that this crime against children would ever be allowed in a civil society.
However, in an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times in 2004, Margo Kaplan declared that pedophilia was “a disorder and not a crime.” Therefore it should be treated and not punished. Also, consider that decades ago homosexuality was viewed with the same type of revulsion in America. Today it has been normalized to the point that our culture feels comfortable promoting homosexual behavior in television shows.
So what is the Christian response? I’ll agree that there is no direct mention of pedophilia in the Bible. However, there is not a direct mention of a lot of things in God’s Word. That does not alter the fact that this behavior is indeed discussed in Scripture. The Greek word porneia (where we get our English word pornography) is used to describe all types of immoral sexual behavior that would include pedophilia. In his letter to the Christians in Galatia, Paul uses this word porneia (fornication) in his description of the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-21).
Notice Paul does not say it is a person’s “right” to behave in this fashion. No. Instead, he points out that people who commit these acts will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. So one of the things Christians must realize is that if we allow or condone this behavior we are in essence condemning those who participate to hell. These people need the Truth about sin and the blood of Jesus—just like all sinners.
In Ezekiel chapter 16 God uses a metaphor about His love for Jerusalem and His relationship with the children of Israel. In that description He starts out talking about their birth (verse 3). He then talks about them growing up, struggling in their own blood and God making them thrive (verses 6-7). He says, “I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare” (verse 7).
Only after this maturation and having gone through puberty did God acknowledge they were ready for love. We read, “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness.” (verse 8). In Ruth 1:12-13 we find Naomi distraught after the death of her sons and she tells her daughters-in-law, “Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown?” (emp. added.).
Consider also, the first command God gave Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiple (Genesis 1:28)—the indication being that they were already able to have children. Nowhere in Scripture do we read of God condoning sexual relationships between children and adults. Paul on two different occasions wrote about things being “without natural affection” (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:2). The implication is that there are things that God views as natural affection and things that God views as unnatural.
One of the arguments that is used to justify pedophilia is when Jesus said, “Let the children come unto me” (Matthew 19:14; Luke 18:16). However, this passage has nothing to do with sexual attraction and is being used grossly out of context. People were bringing their children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and the disciples were rebuking the parents and holding the children back.
Notice one chapter earlier Jesus, speaking about children, warned: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
Normalization is happening. Our children and grandchildren will be indoctrinated with the idea that they should be tolerant of pedophilia—just like they have been successfully indoctrinated with the idea that sodomy is an alternative lifestyle that should be tolerated. And yet, sin is still sin. Now more than ever parents need to study God’s Word and instill His precepts deeply into the hearts and minds of the next generation.