Social Media Musings Vol 3: Praying for Modern Untouchables
This is crazy, if you had told me a few weeks ago I was doing this I would have growled at you and called you insane, a liar, or worse. I might have spit at you (okay not really, but I would have been grossly offended). But then God shared something with me that I, as a teacher of children, could not ignore. It is almost futile to just sit around hating child molesters while knowing that they aren’t going away, that it is a generational sin, and if I am not part of the solution then I am part of the problem. Most will never be caught. If they were, the prisons aren’t big enough. God isn’t going to just kill them all en masse – even if I wish sometimes that He would. Since the Cross, God has dealt with evil primarily one way – by transforming it through the power of the Cross. The exile from the garden didn’t wipe it out, even the flood just limited it for a while. So, what did He ask me to do that was so unthinkable? That I need to explain step by step. If you would like, you can start out by listening to this interview on the power of radical forgiveness that unexpectedly segued into this unexpected topic – but if you don’t want to spend the time (hour and a half), you can read the daily journal below. And by the way, I am moderating ALL comments now. So if your comment is incendiary or insulting, it won’t see the light of day – and I won’t read very much of it.
January 1, 2018
This is a risky thing to say because people might not read the whole thing and get offended – but when has that ever stopped me before? This year I am going to spend a lot of time praying for the repentance and salvation of child molesters. Yes, I know, you want them dead and in my heart of hearts, I sympathize. I have prayed for God to kill them all at once, only to retract it, thinking of how many car accidents, plane crashes, whatever – would happen all at once. It’s the old “you have three wishes” scenario where people end up destroying the world based on good intentions.
We all know that God is not going to kill every child molester any more than He is going to strike down every malicious gossip, or any other kind of murderer. So what’s the alternative? Do we want their eternal condemnation so badly that we want them to die in their sins? Do we really understand the consequences of that? Their eventual eternal condemnation means only one thing – more victims. More children molested, bottom line. More child sex slaves. More child porn. That’s the price of their not repenting and coming to salvation.
About 17 years ago, as a new Christian, God challenged me on this and it has taken all this time to even begin to get my head screwed on straight about it. I pray for their repentance and salvation because I love children more than I hate them. I would have every single one on earth saved before I would have even one more child violated.
A lot of times, we don’t understand the justice of God. He is more concerned with eradicating evil than He is in condemning sinners. Evil is only eradicated one way in the post-cross world, and that is through repentance. Repentance leads to salvation. Salvation leads to transformation and reconciliation. And that is a tough pill to swallow – it is why radical forgiveness is so offensive to our flesh. We want people like this to burn forever, right? I am on record as wishing the US Government would have the death penalty for child molestation and rape, just as it is in the Bible, but that’s not our reality.
We have to deal with reality. Reality is: no repentance leads to more victims. Eternal vengeance vs salvation is really going to be measured in a higher victim count.
Will any repent? I don’t know. But if I am not praying for that, and none repent, what will be my culpability in the victim count? I believe that prayers work – and even if only one, only one repents, there will be untold children saved.
So, that’s my big goal for 2018 – to strive to protect children by focusing my prayers on the salvation of their greatest enemies. Truly, if we want child molesters to suffer – I imagine that the suffering they would endure as believers, having to face their sins and hopefully, make restitution and confession, would be pretty terrible.
After a long, agonizing, and prayerful day today spent searching my heart, I have decided to fast and pray for 40 days. It won’t be my first time, and I fast relatively often for various amounts of time without ever saying anything about it. But some things I have been reading about in “A Chance to Die” have me thinking a lot about my calling to teach children, and although I have prayed often that God would allow me to impact every child on earth for His Messiah – it occurs to me that I would like to pull back for a while and pray for the spiritual bondage to be broken in the lives of those who victimize them. Some demons can only go out with prayer and fasting, and I imagine that anything that could override a human’s natural protectiveness over children for the sake of a moment’s pleasure has to be something akin to that. I posted about why I have been praying for these people this morning and did a radio interview where I talked about it last week (I will post it in the comments) but I feel a seriousness about this. I plan to ask God for a soul on the first day, two on the second, four on the third, and so on. As things stand now, I am not able to ask for the sake of the molesters, but for the sake of the present and future victims they will continue to harm if they are not delivered. If we, as a people, do not protect our children then our love has grown colder than cold.
I am letting you know this because I am planning on journaling through this process on my wall, day by day. Also, if you all know about it, I won’t succumb to the day 20+ boredom and decide to start eating again. Yes, I know when my weak spot is – when I am no longer hungry but bored to death. Eating is more entertaining than you might imagine – even to someone who fasts quite often and even for extended periods. The only reason I will seriously consider stopping is if I start having TIA’s or strokes again, and I have been okay since December 7, so I ask prayer support on that so I will be able to do it.
I just feel so strongly like I need to do this. I don’t even begin to understand this.
January 2, 2018
Day 1 – The Reluctant Missionary – 128.2 lbs
Although it is hard to believe now – the great missionary to India’s children, Amy Carmichael, did not enjoy wide support back home for her efforts. Can you believe there were actually people who were angry with her? She should have stayed home with the D.O.M (Dear Old Man) who had effectively adopted her to come and live with his family. He would die of a broken heart without her, after all (he did not). She should have stayed closer to home. She should have continued working with the poor back home. She should have…and the should have’s tragically kept people from praying for her efforts.
The call of God rarely sounds sane to those who have not heard the precise instructions. We are quick to judge, and even quicker to condemn and dismiss – but only time will tell what God has and has not instructed.
Sometime between 17 and 19 years ago, as a new Christian, God issued a challenge that provoked me to lash out at Him in anger:
I was listening to a local radio show in a small, southern Idaho town, and the hosts were talking about homosexuals. I remember the one host said that he would like it is God would put “them” all on a boat in the middle of an ocean and then put a hole in it so they would all drown. I was outraged – where was his decency, any sense of mercy? I quickly shot off an email to him and went back to my work in the lab. As I was muttering to myself, I heard God respond in what I call His “loud inside voice.”
“I can’t believe anyone would have that kind of hatred in their heart!” I muttered.
“You mean like your hatred for child molesters?”
The message was in so quickly– my defenses had been down because my offense was up. I heard what I heard clear as a bell, and I was angry about it for a long time. As with every incidence in my life of hearing this particular voice, it has always left me without argument. I also can’t just dismiss it or ignore it, The voice has always been right, painfully right, even if I didn’t understand why. I disagreed with and resented the unspoken message, and I still do, but I knew then it was right as I know it now.
Yes, I hated child molesters, and much of me still does. I am not going to detail my own story here, or the things in my life that have happened since that day in the lab. Some of the story is mine to tell, and other parts belong to others – I cannot tell their story and to tell mine would be counterproductive.
If God was merely pointing out and congratulating my hatred for child molesters with a divine “high five”, I wouldn’t have been the slightest bit offended. But there is always a message within the message – and, in this case, the message was terrible:
“You hate them with such an intensity that you want them all dead and condemned, AT ANY PRICE.”
Right after the Biblical Feast of Sukkot, I began studying the reality of evil and radical forgiveness. Nothing I have ever studied has been more excruciating. I have been shaken to the core – and yet, my mind has also been eased by learning about what forgiveness is and is not.
Two weeks ago, God showed me the reality behind my fantasies of revenge and retaliation – they weren’t going to ever happen. I may be a murderer in my heart and mind, but my hands are not willing, despite my verbal bravado. God also showed me that He has no intention of killing every single child molester on the planet. And we know that the justice system will not be incarcerating them all, and even if they did – they would not remain safely locked up. There are not enough jails in the world to hold them, and the Biblical penalty of death in such cases is not being implemented. That is our reality.
So what power do we have? Prayer.
So, do I simply pray for an ever-growing number of victims? Will that do anything to stop the abuse, to stop there from being more and more victims every single day? No, the victim count will rise and I will simply have more victims to pray for, every day more and more. That isn’t acceptable to me – I don’t want my prayers to simply be a trauma ward after the fact. It seems like admitting defeat, “We can’t stop them all so let’s just pray for their victims.”
We have to remember that, in much of the world, this behavior isn’t even illegal. Do we just write off those kids? Pray for them after the damage is done and irrevocable? That isn’t acceptable to me either. I can no longer justify ONLY praying for the victims.
As I see it now, the only recourse is to pray for those who are victimizing the children in the first place. Worldy methods just don’t work – people just go back and offend and offend again and again. I believe the only hope for the children of the world is for their abusers to come to Yeshua/Jesus, and for that to happen I believe the demonic stranglehold of this unfathomable evil has to be broken in their lives. Yes, I want them to suffer, and I want to sit back and comfortably hate them and abandon them to the devil – but that comes with too great a price tag–more and more victims.
How many more children should be sacrificed on the altar of my revenge, just because the thought of them being forgiven is too terrible for me to bear?
And so today I begin 40 days of fasting and praying for the salvation of the people who, if they do not repent and come to salvation, will victimize more and more and more. I am so conflicted. I want to do this for the sake of future victims. I want to do this for the sake of the children whose molestation would stop now, today even, if salvation comes to their attackers. I want revenge – but more than revenge I want to evil to end.
I suppose that if such a person comes to Messiah, that they will suffer as they contemplate their sins – as I suffer when I contemplate the times I have hurt people. But salvation has always been about this – about someone not getting the punishment they deserve, right? Faith is about trusting that although there will never be true justice in this world, that we will know it in the world to come. And so I am called to this bizarre mission field – but unlike other missionaries, I am reluctant. Today I will ask the Lord for the salvation and deliverance of one child molester – something that up until now has been unthinkable to me. I even do it knowing that this might make me the most hated woman on earth. But what if? What if a father, one who was molested himself, stopped before he even began? What if even one child trafficker had a salvation experience and turned him/herself in. What if someone else refused to kidnap or purchase a child today? What if?
I have seen amazing things come from prayer – I believe that God works miracles through prayer. Yeshua/Jesus told His disciples that they would do greater things than He did while on earth – what could be greater than to save children? Are we willing to pay the price? It is high.
A word of caution on the comments – this is a sensitive and emotional subject, for all of us. I have friends who have been molested, whose children have been molested, some people’s children have committed suicide after molestation, others go on to commit these terrible crimes themselves. No matter what has happened, there are victims on every side, hurting in different, and violently painful ways. I ask that everyone just extend grace to one another. I won’t allow any victim bashing – assume that if someone is lashing out, that they are frustrated and hurting. It will be hard for me to endure because I am hurting too, but if I can endure it, then I ask everyone else to be patient and loving as well. Our personal situation is not the same as everyone else’s – but we tend to only see our own side of it and want everyone else to as well. That’s natural. What I will not allow, and have never allowed on this page, is personal attacks, cheap shots, any demeaning of anyone else on this wall – no naming of names – this has always been a rule here. I don’t even allow my enemies to be slandered here. We can’t fight evil by doing evil.
January 3, 2018
Day 2 – The Man Who Stood in my Grey Zone. –
If you haven’t read the last few posts, you might want to before reading this. The stuff I am writing about right now is going to be disturbing to folks – especially without the context of the posts that have come before.
He wasn’t totally in my gray zone, mind you. A lot of him stood in the zone I reserve for the blackest of the black – at least I presume he did. I really don’t know.
In the early 1990’s, NAMBLA (the North American Man-Boy Love Association) got outed for holding their monthly meetings in the San Francisco public library, one floor above their children’s section, so the news reports went. No one was happy – not parents, not non-parents, not the well established gay community of the city. My gay friends at work and in the neighborhood (I was working at an Aerospace company in Berkeley, right across the bay) were outraged. Christian/non-Christian – you name it, people had their torches and pitchforks out and frankly, that was good and right. NAMBLA is set on the legalization of pedophilia and is probably the most hated group in the US.
While watching the news one night, brows furrowed and mouth pursed angrily, muttering obscenities (hey, I was NOT saved at that point, okay? Honesty time here), they interviewed a guy that made everyone watching catch their breath in horror.
“I am just grateful that my grandfather loved me enough to allow me to play Doctor with him when I was a little boy.”
The kid looked like he was in his 20’s, my age at the time, or that’s how I remember him. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I don’t know if this young man ever had, or ever did, molest anyone – but he equated the act itself with love. His grandfather had twisted his little boy trust into believing that violation was some form of familial nurturing. I have always imagined that was the only way his mind could deal with the molestation – to turn it into something special instead of acknowledging the horrific nature of it. I wonder if he was even interested in molesting anyone himself, or if he just joined the group as some unconscious attempt to normalize what had happened to him – to make it okay.
Do I believe that God can heal that kind of twisting? I have to. Does that twisting excuse abuse? No. It better explains it but doesn’t justify it, doesn’t make it any less wrong, doesn’t make it an inevitable outcome, and certainly doesn’t give anyone a free pass on consequences.
All day yesterday, praying for people I don’t want to pray for – I spent a lot of time walking because only while walking would my mind quiet down, only then could I just pray. Sometimes I just loudly groaned because praying was hurting me in areas that I hadn’t felt in a long time. My flesh, in this, is hostile towards God. I obey, but with no joy, with no sense of holiness or righteousness. I pray because I have been given that burden. My flesh is screaming, “foul.”
I am not a great prayer warrior, and never have been, so this is difficult on a number of levels. My prayers are not from the heart, each syllable forced from my lips. I make a rather pathetic spectacle as I retreat to the treadmill (I don’t want to wear out my carpets), groaning and protesting from a place deep inside me.
It is what it is, and that is why I don’t ask anyone to join me, or expect anyone to understand, or approve of, what I am doing. I don’t quite approve of it, not yet. I am not asking anyone not to hate, not to want these people dead. I am not telling anyone what to do or judging anyone. All I am doing is sharing this insane thing I know God has asked me to do, for whatever reason. Maybe not one will come to faith – maybe this is about breaking me completely by having me do the unthinkable for 40 days. Reluctant is my new middle name, and I just hope that my grudging prayers count for something. Maybe salvation for someone who is tormented by demonic thoughts but has never offended yet, maybe my prayers are strong enough for that, but it will be many days, I think, before I can do this without feeling like this.
But the children. Each offender (or potential offender) who turns towards God and is delivered – I think I once saw a statistic that the average molester will hurt 100 children. I have trouble, still, wanting to pray for people who have crossed that line, but right now I can, absolutely, focus my prayers on the people who have not yet. I just think of that NAMBLA kid, and it does make it easier. I pray he got help, and I pray he is okay now.
Yes, if we were under Torah they would be killed – the ones who got caught, anyway. But we are in exile. Exile means we do not live under Torah. Exile means no easy answers. For years I have said, “Well, if we only lived by Torah…” but we don’t. So it’s either (1) continue to lament about what should be, (2) become a politician and change the laws, (3) become a vigilante, (4) or pray in the only way I can think of to keep this from happening in the first place. The cycle has to be broken – this is the only path I see available to me. I wish we lived in the fantasy land where the laws were correct on this, but instead, we live in a real world that we need to face and deal with according to the weapons of God and not the weapons of this world.
Jan 4, 2018
Day 3 – Do I Love a God Who Can Forgive and Restore Nazis? – 124.0
Today I have the privilege of telling you about two heroes of mine.
I once listened to a popular radio talk show host, a conservative Jew, whose mother was Catholic and whose father was Jewish and she stated quite frankly that she couldn’t accept Christianity because of the forgiveness factor. She simply couldn’t accept a Jesus who would forgive the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
Eva Mozes Kor, on the other hand, was a “Mengele twin” from Auschwitz, who did forgive, and found great freedom – without ever condoning the Holocaust, she forgave. Her video is viral out there on youtube, and I recommend everyone watch it.
Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie were imprisoned for hiding Jews during the Holocaust and then sent to the Herzogenbusch and Ravensbruck concentration camps. It was the dead of winter and frail Betsie was generally sick, yet unfailingly taught from the Bible she had smuggled into the camp. Betsie’s eventual death was tragic and made it all the harder after the war for Corrie to forgive the perpetrators of the Nazi madness. At a speaking engagement years after the war, she was greeting people afterward, when, standing a few people before her, she caught sight of an SS guard that she recognized from the camp. How could she shake his hand, how could she keep from lashing out and scratching his eyes out? She was in a torment – until he came forward in repentance, freely confessing his past sins, and told her he was now a Christian. He asked if she could accept him as a brother in Christ, and the love of God swept through her and allowed her to take his hand – with great joy.
Just want to be clear here that Joseph Mengele died, as far as we know, never repenting. Eva Mendez Kor’s decision to forgive was a personal one, which didn’t involve any sort of reconciliation – it was a true, free gift. One she has been widely criticized and hated for within the Jewish community – BUT, she had the absolute right to do it or not do it. I am posting a few videos and articles about her in the comments – I hope you will watch this incredible woman and hear her story.
Anyway, last night I wrestled all night. I didn’t sleep much, and what dreams I had were scattered and unhappy. I felt very lost and stuck. How can He forgive and restore people who came to their senses after the Holocaust? According to the words of our Messiah in John 6:44, the Father had to actually draw them first. Nazis. I knew one, in my youth. By the time I met him, Jerry was older than I am now. I only learned years later that he had been a Nazi – he seemed like the most normal person on earth, really nice. I don’t know what he did in the war, where he was stationed, any of that. Gosh, he was so normal. A couple of years ago, while I was still homeschooling, we read a book called The Wave – and since then I have never questioned how “nice people” can descend into depravity and violence so quickly. It was remarkable how quickly and easily people’s minds can be warped to the point where right seems wrong, and wrong seems justified. We see it in the aftermath of revolutions all the time.
I want to agree with the Jewish radio talk show host – I really do. I want to believe that there are crimes, ones that fall short of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (slandering/lying about the witness of the Spirit in any way – whether it be to attribute divine miracles to Beelzebub (Matt 12:27) or for a believer to call the inner witness that Yeshua is Messiah a lie (John 15:26, Hebrews 6)) that are just beyond God’s ability to forgive. I want to think that an evil person is evil forever – it makes me feel better about hating them. I want them in that big evil box I keep stored safely away where no one can jostle it.
I want for so much more to be unforgiveable. So much more. The agony of thinking that so many other things are forgivable is just constant. I feel it like a great, heavy, ache in my chest.
Yesterday was not a fruitful day in prayer, though I did pray. I was reading Romans, Amy Carmichael’s biography (we have come to the point where she has rescued a young temple prostitute – praise God!), and a book that a couple of friends just read that would probably start a riot if I admitted it. The guy has a lot of wrong to say, but when he says something right – it is right at a very disturbingly deep level. Ah well, we all have a piece of the puzzle, right?
My prayers – begging God to break the cycle of child sexual abuse. I can still do little more than pray for those who are offenders in their minds but who have not yet harmed a child. When I think of praying for anyone who has actually transgressed in the flesh, and when sometimes I am able to reach beyond myself and do it, I want nothing more than to pound my fists on the floor and throw things. In the night, I want to scream for not understanding. How can He ask this of me? How can I refuse? I used to write internet porn stories on the old boards – a child could have found them, and read them. Maybe I am a molester too because of that. Maybe everyone who has ever left a magazine laying around for their kids or babysitter to find, or took their kids to the store only to have them walk by explicit women’s magazine covers, maybe we are all guilty in one way or another. I don’t know. Where does God draw the line on what it is to violate a child? I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.
I know what God has asked me to do. I guess I would rather be Jonah and wait on the hillside, under a green plant, for their destruction. But I know that God, from beginning to end, deals with sin not generally by massive destruction (which doesn’t work in eliminating sin), but through redeeming and transforming sinners – like me.
Jan 5, 2018
Day 4 – God is so totally not interested in my suggestion box comments
I am such an idolater. I constantly judge Him for not being more like me. I resent His independence from my feelings about how I think things should be.
My ideas about justice and what is right and wrong are so incredibly temporal and tied up with my emotions. I want Him to make sense to me. I want Him to agree with me, hate what I hate, be as unforgiving and unbending as I am, and yet love what I love and be as flexible as I can be when it suits me.
So I rail at Him when He asks me to do something that I find offensive, mostly because I can’t find a single Scripture backing me up and I resent that, a lot. I want to at least have a horse in this race, a non-flesh argument on my side – even one. That’s the worst part. Understanding that He is right and yet still not agreeing with Him. It’s just messed up.
As soon as I came to peace with that – my being messed up and needing to be dealt with – I got this burst of energy yesterday. I can pray now. I still disagree with Him, but am at peace with the fact that – well, that it’s my problem and He doesn’t need to hear about it 24/7. I cannot, however, promise that He has heard the last of it.
We really, rarely believe that He is God and we are just the created, the servants, the slaves, the children – whatever. However we put it, we are still unwise, subordinate, fleshy, and totally committed to seeing things from our own point of view. We don’t take the long view because, in some ways, it is unfathomable to us. We cannot imagine a future where just will look like no more tears, no more desire for revenge, no more betrayals, where we won’t care about what was done to us anymore.
Did you know that love and hate in the bible are not emotional words, but instead covenant terms? Emotions are kinda wild, and they lead us astray way too often. But chesed translated instead as Covenant loyalty – that will get us through the long, dark night of our doubts and times when we wonder about the legitimacy of all this. When hatred becomes a lack of preference, a non-Covenant status, the unchosen, and not necessarily the hatred that drives our flesh to murder, gossip, and every other evil work – we are called suddenly to a much higher level of our following of Yeshua/Jesus. It isn’t about what we feel, understand, or agree with – it is what the Master calls us to do in response to what He has done.
So I am done fighting, maybe. Maybe. For now. Asked God for four sexual predators converted and transformed yesterday. I prayed that God would violently break into their consciousness and show them His heart and His truth. I asked that they won’t even be able to enjoy thoughts of violating any child. More than anything, I plead for the cycle to stop, because we will never catch them all, not even most of them. God most effectively deals with evil by changing people. In a world where they can manipulate and hide for a lifetime, and even go to other countries legally to violate, when it is so hard to prove charges – oh God, please. Stop them. Stop them because kids don’t usually tell what happened. Stop them because I can’t. And then, let them be moved to face their consequences and do right by their victims, who deserve to be acknowledged as having been desperately wronged.
No update tomorrow, want to focus on worship and this is not Sabbathy material.
Jan 7, 2018
Day 6 – The God who has mercy on whom He will have mercy
First of all, answering a concern. If you have no concerns, then skip ahead. Why am I fasting publicly? Am I looking for attention? Well, honestly, I fast like very often and I have never mentioned it in the past 7 years I have been on facebook. I have fasted 40 days in the past without a peep out of me. I routinely fast from between 3-5 days, again, no one ever knows. I am fasting for my own spiritual growth so why would I say anything? But, like Esther, who fasted publicly and told people about it – sometimes there are situations so serious that we need folks to come alongside us. Unlike Esther, I can’t and won’t command anyone to join me. But I do appreciate the prayer support. As for journalling it – you guys know I journal through everything I am going through. Same old same old. What I am praying for is just too big for me, like it was too big for Esther – I can’t do this without support. This isn’t about me this time, it is about other people. Though God is strong enough, I am not.
Am I going to keep oiling my head and appearing happy – well, yeah – the only pains I have talked about have been my wrestlings with God, and those hurt just as bad whether I am eating or not, and you are all used to me doing it. What fasting does is really make me more pliable, and my defenses against what He wants a lot weaker – and so this is good.
My health: is awesome, actually. Haven’t had one of my warning headaches, but if I do, I will re-evaluate. My option on the table is a vegetable and water fast, but I hate those with the intensity of a thousand red hot suns, so I prefer to just water fast. You need to understand, when God has me fasting, I literally cannot swallow what I put in my mouth. It’s abhorrent to me. I would have to do it willfully. I wouldn’t be able to eat a pizza right now, gross, and you guys know how much I love pizza. Extra cheese, turkey pepperoni, maybe some mushrooms, artichoke hearts, olives – but as long as there is extra cheese, I am not picky. And the crust brushed with butter and rubbed with garlic.
So, back to what I wanted to write about:
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
Got told last week that what I am doing (praying for the salvation of sexual predators in order to save future victims from being violated) was dangerous and leading people astray. I accept that it is distasteful, and it certainly was to me at first. Hardest thing I have ever prayed for. But we are wrong if we look at God as though He can be manipulated into an injustice. Truly, only God really knows what true justice and injustice looks like, and so He has undoubtedly hardened some offenders – of that I have no doubt. Just as Eichmann and Mengele went to their graves without regret, there are pedophiles out there who are hardened beyond salvation. I don’t ask God for those, although I do wish for their speedy deaths or at least permanent incarceration.
I can’t ask for and receive, anything in prayer that God does not desire – that’s a fact. He isn’t a pagan god who can be manipulated by my using the correct pronunciation of his one true name (like Isis did to Ra), and forced into doing what I want. No, He can only comply with His own nature.
The more I do this, the more hope I have for the cycle to be broken among the young – especially those who have not offended yet. God doesn’t want a single child molested, not even one. He also doesn’t want them to become pedophiles themselves. God hates injustice.
Interesting side effect of all this, it has put all other small slights (and compared to this, they are pretty much all small) into a radically realistic perspective. We really want everything done to us to be a damning offense, right? But the big stuff is coming into perspective as well. Not only am I coming to forgive the evil that was done to me, but also, the evil done to someone else whom I love more than my own life. It is their violation that torments me, not my own. I realize that in praying this, I am praying for them as well – that they will not offend. My love for them alone, will not keep them from doing this to someone else. I am praying not only for their life, but the lives of what children they might have or come in contact with. I hadn’t really thought of it before because I was too consumed with agony. I don’t share their story because it is not mine to tell, and no one should be exposed and violated simply for being a victim. Their story isn’t inspiration or outrage fodder for others – not unless they choose that.
God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and He will render without hope, those whom he chooses. Or else we wouldn’t be here, right? No one deserves what He did for us, How He redeemed us at the Cross and then began the New Creation in each of us, transforming us – making us into His image-bearers. We don’t deserve any of that – no one does. So we pray for everyone, and He will decide which prayers to honor and which to ignore – but there is no danger in praying, in blessing those who persecute us, just as long as we hold to what is good and reject what is evil (Ro 12:14)
Jan 8, 2018
Day 7 – The Mormon technicality (I have since been informed by different ex-Mormons in my sphere that the view of Mary’s actual impregnation that I was exposed to was regional, but that the rest remains uncontested)
I have lived in predominantly Mormon communities for 11 of my last 23 years. The town I live in now has 120 Mormon churches in it for a town of 56,000. That’s one Mormon church for roughly every 450 people – plus we have a Temple here. The first Mormon town I lived in, for ten of those years, was a small town of 10,000 in southern Idaho and, if anything, it was a lot more Mormon than this one. You were either a Mormon, or a jack-Mormon (unobservant yet loyal). If you were a Christian running for office, it had to be as a Democrat because you would not be allowed to run as a Republican – the church had that tied up. They also had the police force firmly under wraps.
The one thing I learned early on, after coming to Christ, was that molestation of girls by their fathers and stepfathers was epidemic and protected by the church. Why? Because of their belief that Heavenly Father, Elohim, physically came to earth and impregnated his literal daughter, Mary. Their god is in heaven making babies like gangbusters and, as a 12-year-old Mormon girl once told me, so this is not second-hand gossip, “Heavenly Father saw that Mary was the most beautiful girl who had ever lived and couldn’t help himself.” Honestly, I wanted to go home and bathe in bleach after she told me that. I mean, someone actually told that to a 12-year-old girl, or maybe she was a lot younger when she heard it. I really don’t want to think about it.
So, in this we have a conundrum. A god with no self-control who had sex with his own daughter to make Jesus, who would someday become a god by living according to the tenants of Mormonism.
My neighbor came to me, upset about a write up of Mormonism in like Time magazine or something, right before the 2002 Olympics in SLC. “Why don’t they think we are Christians?” I laid out before her that Christians, besides believing that becoming gods ourselves was Lucifer’s sin, don’t believe in a carnal god who impregnated his own daughter. She quickly and nervously jumped in, “Well, no one knows for sure what happened.” But she didn’t deny it.
Although these beliefs are not well known in the larger Mormon empire, they are very common in Utah and Idaho, which are more traditional than the moderate Mormonism elsewhere. And don’t get me going on their views of evil angels and people being reincarnated black.
So, we have a belief that their god is carnal and had sexual relations with his daughter. Although most Mormon men would never consider the ramifications of that, much less ever do such a thing, too many men in these more rural Mormon–dominated communities do – they hold more to the old ways of Mormonism that are more deeply tied to the doctrines of their prophet Joseph Smith than their modern-day politically-minded prophets. I know a lot of women who escaped Mormonism out of such communities, and they tell tales of their own molestation at the hand of fathers and stepfathers while their mothers stood by – not knowing what to do because they won’t get called into heaven if their husbands are displeased with them. I have been told of meetings with a Bishop (or something, can’t remember) where his advice to distraught mothers was, “Get a deadbolt for the inside of her door.” In Mormon homes, “Temple worthy” homes, as long as a man is observing the laws externally, and tithing according to the dictates of the church accountants, he will not be acted against. The Mormon father is, in some ways, a god in his own home and not just a man. As I said, you find this in the more ancient and traditional communities that stretch back to the 1800’s.
So, today, I didn’t know exactly what to pray for – but I wanted to put the plight of these precious girls in your hearts. It is one thing to pray for the salvation of someone who believes that he/she is still just a mere man, but someone who believes that they practically already are, and will, in fact, be a god? I pray that God will rid them of this arrogant notion and convict them of their abominations. I pray for the strength of these girls, as they grow up, that they will not be intimidated by religion and promises of glory, but instead ruled by love and compassion when it comes to dealing with their own daughters and husband. Their minds are being twisted, and it isn’t their fault. My heart is sick with grief for them.