Is it wrong to judge a Pedophile?

Does the Bible forbid us as Christians from feeling “a burst of rage” when we hear about cases of pedophiles molesting, raping or killing children? Are we putting ourselves in the “Judge’s seat” when we feel such special anger and rage toward people who would do such things to children?

A Christian blogger calling herself “SeriouslyServing” answers both of these questions with a firm “YES”.  In her view Christians are forbidden from feeling a burst of rage or anger or feeling any differently toward cases of child molestation than any other sin.

In her post “Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile” SeriouslyServing writes:

“Every time a news story breaks about a new case of child sexual abuse or a child porn user, a slew of people rush to the comments section to declare their thoughts about the criminal.

“Scum of the earth…”

“Bring back the death penalty…”

“Let him stay with the general population in prison, see how he likes that…”

In one sense, I can relate. Nothing sickens me more than the thought of people hurting and abusing children, especially since I’ve had kids of my own. At times, I’ve read details of these horrific cases and felt a burst of rage, and contemplated what justice might look like for that person.

So we put ourselves firmly in the seat of Judge, and we mete out what we would consider Justice. I have to laugh at the incongruity here, given one of the maxims of our day is “don’t judge”…

“Don’t judge” – unless the person you’re judging is a paedophile.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s someone who is clearly way worse than you.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s publicly acceptable to do so.”

To be clear, SeriouslyServing, is admitting she has struggled with reacting to the actions of pedophiles differently than any other sin.  The rest of the article is her telling herself and us why she thinks she was wrong for feeling that way and why we should feel wrong as well.

And just a note – the different spelling of “Paedophile” has to do with the fact that SeriouslyServing is using the British spelling of the word.  The American spelling is “pedophile” so that is what I am using.

SeriouslyServing bases her premise that we are wrong to feel a burst of rage or any differently about what pedophiles do to children on this passage from the Gospel of Luke:

“9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 (KJV)

SeriouslyServing has completely misinterpreted the meaning of Christ’s parable that we have just read.  The emphasis was not on judging sin, but on a person, being self-righteous.

Christ said this in another part of the Gospels:

“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Mark 2:17 (KJV)

Jesus was saying here that unless we see ourselves as sinners in need of the great physician which is Christ we cannot be saved.  This is the same message Christ was giving in Luke 18:9-14.  The Pharisee who thanked God “that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” was showing God he did not see himself as a sinner before God.  He thought his good outweighed any bad he did and that his works made him righteous before God.

Luke 18:9-14 is actually a beautiful picture of what it takes for us to be saved.  I have used it many times in sharing the Gospel.  We cannot look at the good we do or compare ourselves to others and think because we do more good than some others that we are saved.  We cannot think that because we don’t do certain things others do that we are saved.  Each us must do what the Publican did and pray “God be merciful to me a sinner”.  This is the only way we can be saved.

Does God view all sins of equally?

Is it wrong for us to feel a special rage toward those who harm children or should we have no burst of rage or anger toward such sins and regard them as no different than someone getting a speeding ticket?

It is absolutely true that all sin condemns us to hell.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

Romans 5:12 (KJV)

Whether we sin little, or sin much the smallest sin will condemn us to hell.  But just because all sin equally condemns us to hell – this does not make all sin equally heinous before God.  The Scriptures show that God views some sins as more heinous than others.

When the Jews said that Jesus did his miracles by the power of Satan he said:

“31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

Matthew 12:31-32 (KJV)

So, as we can see ascribing the miracles of God to Satan is something especially heinous to God and is set apart from other sins.

Jesus in speaking to Pilate said:

“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

John 19:11 (KJV)

Christ was saying if Pilate sentenced him to death that would be a sin against God in that he would be sentencing an innocent man to death.  But the “greater sin” was committed by the Jewish leaders who handed him over to Pilate for death.  They were rejecting Christ as their Messiah and calling Jesus who was the sinless son of God a sinner worthy of death.  Theirs was truly the greater sin.

Again, in the New Testament Paul has a warning for those who are teachers of God’s Word:

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

James 3:1 (KJV)

If a person sins because they have been wrongly taught that it is ok to do something they will still be judged by God.  But God judges the teachers who taught others to do such things with a greater condemnation than those who simply followed the wrong teaching.

Here we see God specially targets sexual sin:

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

So, as we can see from the Scriptures – all sins condemn us to hell but not all sins are judged equally by God. Some sins receive a greater condemnation than others.

Is it wrong to judge?

But what about judging? Doesn’t the Bible say we should never judge others sin?

A lot of Christians and non-Christians alike misunderstand what Christ said about judging below:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

If you look at the passage in its context Christ is condemning hypocritical judging, not all judging.  If we are doing the same things or worse things than what someone else is doing we have no business passing judgement on what they have done.

Besides hypocritical judging there is one other type of judging the Bible condemns as seen in the passage below:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

Romans 14:1-2 (KJV)

We are not to pass judgement on our brothers regarding disputable matters.  There are some things in which we must seek the Lord’s will for personal decisions in our lives.  As Christians we may come to different conclusions on some matters and we must do what we believe is right before the Lord based on searching the Scriptures and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

So, as we have shown from the Scriptures God condemns two types of judging – hypocritical judging and judging on disputable matters or matters of conscience.

But we are in fact commanded to judge righteously as opposed to judging hypocritically or in matters of conscience as seen in the Scriptures below:

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Leviticus 19:15 (KJV)

“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Proverbs 31:9 (KJV)

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

John 7:24 (KJV)

Too many Christians and non-Christians alike believe that no one can say anything against their sin. They say “the Bible says judge not lest ye be judged!” But they are absolutely wrong in their assertions of what the Bible says.  The Bible tells us not judge unjustly.  It tells us not to judge hypocritically.  It tells us not judge in matters of conscience.  But where God speaks clearly and we are not guilty of such things ourselves we are commanded by God to “in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor”.

This means that Christians can and must speak out against things like murder (including the murder of the unborn) rape and fornication including one of the most wicked and heinous forms of fornication which is child molestation.

Is it always wrong to get angry?

Like in the matter of judging, many Christians and non-Christians alike believe the Bible condemns all forms of anger or hatred based on passages like this one below:

“43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)

Was Christ condemning all forms of anger or hatred? The answer is no.  We can see from Christ himself that he acted in anger:

“13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

John 2:13–17 (KJV)

Like judging, not all anger is according to the Scriptures.   The New Testament tells there is a righteous form of anger:

“26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV)

If we look back to the Old Testament we can understand what kind of anger is actually righteous in God’s sight:

“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Psalm 97:10 (KJV)

“21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”

Psalm 139:21-22 (KJV)

 

Many good men who had righteous anger toward wicked things that happen in our world have allowed their righteous anger to be turned into sinful bitterness and this is something we should always guard against in our lives as Christians.

However, there is a zeal, an anger or hatred for evil that is in fact righteous before God.  Christ demonstrated such righteous anger when he put a whip together and drove the money changers out of the temple.

So, if Christ was not condemning all forms of hatred in Matthew 5:43-45 what was he condemning? To find the answer to this question we must look to another of Christ’s statements later in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

Matthew 24:9 (KJV)

Christ was saying that if we are hated for being Christians we would should use that as a way to minister toward our spiritual enemies. We should love those who hate us for being Christians and show them the love of Christ.  But this was not a condemnation of us being angry at evil or hating evil acts against innocents.

Christ had a special hatred for those who would harm children

In the same way that Christ had a zeal for those would abuse his father’s house he also had a righteous hatred toward those who would harm children:

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18:1-6 (KJV)

Several times in the Gospels Christ told his disciples that in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven they needed to become as little children.  He was using children as a symbol of innocence.  Children are trusting.  Child place their dependence on others for their provision and protection.  Only if we humble ourselves as a child seeing ourselves in need of God’s forgiveness and grace can we be saved.

Christ then gives a stern warning against those who would offend (or harm or lead astray) one of these “little ones”.  He says it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the see than to commit wickedness against one of these “little ones”.

This warning has multiple applications of course.  In its most literal sense as Christ holds a child in his arms he is talking about those who would commit wickedness against the innocence of a child. But he is also using this in the spiritual sense of those false teachers who would come along and lead believers astray with false doctrines.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated from the Scriptures some very important principles.

Luke 18:9-14 rather than being a condemnation of us being angered by the wickedness that others do is a condemnation of having a self-righteous attitude toward God in the matter of salvation.  We can only be saved when we see ourselves as wicked sinners and we must not think because we don’t do certain things or do certain things that this provides the justification for our salvation.

While Romans 5:12 shows us that all men have sinned and all sin equally condemns men to hell, other passages like John 19:11 and James 3:1 show us that there are in fact greater and lesser sins in God’s eyes.

On the subject of judging in the Scriptures we read that we are actually commanded to judge righteously (Leviticus 19:15 & John 7:24) while at the same time we are forbidden from judging from a place of hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5) or from judging other Christians in matters of conscious (Romans 14:1-2).

The Bible actually commands us to be angry at sin and hate evil acts (Ephesians 4:26-27, Psalm 97:10, Psalm 139:21-22).  Jesus Christ acted in zealous and righteous anger in whipping the money changers and driving them from the temple (John 2:13–17).  The Bible warns us against allowing our righteous anger to turn into bitterness.  Christ commands us to show love toward those who hate us for his name’s sake.

Finally, we showed that Christ did single out those who would commit wicked acts against the innocence of children.

So, we can rightly say using the principles that Christ laid out that it would be better for a man to have a large stone hung around his neck than for him to commit wicked acts against the innocence of a child.

It is absolutely true that God offers forgiveness, mercy and grace towards sinners including murders, rapists and yes even pedophiles. But God also commands us to judge from a righteous position these heinous acts.  Just because God offers forgiveness and grace does not mean he is not filled with anger and hatred toward such acts and he commands us to be “Be ye angry, and sin not”.

There is a reason that social workers, police officers and soldiers feel “a burst of rage” and a different kind of hatred when they find children having been abused, molested, raped or murdered. There is a reason that even the hardest of criminals feel this way toward pedophiles.  It is because children are one of God’s greatest symbols of innocence and when their innocence is violated in these heinous ways it should evoke a righteous anger and hatred in all of us, if it doesn’t that is the problem.

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Women Should NOT be Married at Age 10

It has been brought to my attention that a woman going by the name “Dana” has been attacking other Christian bloggers that support this blog falsely claiming that I am “the man who thinks it’s fine to marry off young girls as early as ten years old- just cause bleeding and boobs” and calls this blog the “Pedophile blog“.

Let me unequivocally state that this is FAKE NEWS and is more than that – it is libel.

Anyone can examine my writings and you will NEVER see me advocating for women to marry at age 10.  Here is an excerpt from a previous post I wrote entitled “Women’s ovaries don’t agree with Feminism” that Dana has twisted and maligned into trying to say I said something I did not:

“We hear people say things like, “we have to let children be children”, which basically means that our children have little to no real life responsibility until they reach 18, besides keeping up with their schooling in most cases. Even then we extend the childhood years with college, where they can party and have more fun for about 4 years before they graduate at 22 and are forced for the first time in their life to take on the full responsibilities of being an adult.

In pre-modern times, the idea of a child hood experience with absolutely no responsibility was a very short period. By the time children were 6 or 7 they were being taught the realities of life.

Boys hunted with their dads at a very young age, and girls learned to cook and make clothing at a very young age. By the time most children reached the age of 10, they knew what a hard day’s work was, the boys knew about hunting, farming and fighting, and the girls knew about caring for infants (helping their mother, or cousins or aunts) and they had seen many births. These girls were excited about the day when they would have their first period, and they were excited about when they would be able to marry and have children (usually around 13 or 14).”

So as anyone can clearly see I was having a discussion about the fact that children in premodern times had to grow up and take responsibilities in life far earlier than what we have children do today.  In many families we don’t make our children take responsibilities for their lives until they are in their early 20’s.

I talked about by “the age of 10” that boys had been learning hunting, fishing and farming and girls knew about caring for infants and had seen many births by that point. And yes these young 10 year old girls were looking forward to in just a few years them being betrothed and being married.  These were the priorities they were raised with.

But notice I did NOT say these girls were married at 10, but “usually around 13 or 14“.

So no never once on this blog have I ever advocated for 10-year-olds to be married.

What if a Girl has her First Period at 10 or Younger?

This is the logic Dana and perhaps some others have been following.  They reason that if I think that girls should be automatically married after their first period then what if she has her first period at 9 or 10 or even some girls might have it earlier?

The answer is that a girl’s first period was only ONE indicator of her being of allowable age for marriage.  If you look at previous articles I have written I have said these are all factors for deciding at what age a girl may marry:

  1. Ezekial 16:7-8 indicates that the girl must have outward indicators of puberty such as developed breasts and pubic hair to indicate it is “the time of love for her”.  In fact, in Song of Solomon 8:8 it seems to indicate that if a woman had no breasts it would be difficult to get a man to marry her.
  2. I Corinthians 7:36 uses the phrase “ if she pass the flower of her age” which is a reference to her having her first period(that she is literally “ripe”).
  3. Exodus 22:16-17 indicates that a woman’s father has the final say over when and who she will marry.

So it is not just one of these three factors that allows a girl to be married – it is ALL three.  Most girls do not start their periods until around age 12 and even if they do start earlier they have not developed breasts and pubic hair by that point.

But let’s say some girl is a miracle of nature and she has fully developed breasts, pubic hair and had her first period at age 10.  We still then have the discretion of the father in this case. I have mentioned on more than one occasion that the Jewish tradition outside the Bible held that the minimum age for a girl to be married no matter what her physical condition was age 12 and I agree with that.

I even mentioned at the time I wrote some of these articles that my daughter was 12 and I could not imagine allowing her to marry at that point because of the culture she and I was raised in and she was not ready for it.  I mentioned that perhaps by the time she was 15 or  16 if the perfect man came along that could provide for her and he was a good Christian man of good character I would consider allowing her to marry.  Realistically I doubt that will happen even as she approaches her 16th birthday next year.

But NEVER ONCE I have ever advocated on this blog for girls to be married off when they are 10 years old!

So Dana and others at least if you are going to attack me or other bloggers who support this ministry please do so based on what I have actually said without twisting my words.

And just for those who will say “Even if you are saying girls should wait till 13 or 14 to marry that still makes you a pedophile!” let me say this.  Let me educate you a bit.

Moving the Goal Posts on Childhood

Our culture has moved the boundaries God has set in many areas.  We now are told that a person’s gender is not determined by their actual biological sex characteristics but by whatever they feel they want to be.  In fact we are hearing people say they are “non-binary” as in neither gender.  I even heard on the news the other night that a white man wanted to be identified as a Filipino woman and they are labeling it “transracial“.

This is what you get when you base your society on the shifting sands of feelings and not the truth of God’s Word.

In this area of childhood we are no different.  We decided to move the goal posts on childhood. In times past a boy became a man at age 13 and most women became a woman at age 12 or it may have been LATER than 12 if her first period was delayed. Although boys became men at 13 they did not usually marry until between the ages of 18 and 20 as they had to be able to support a bride.

With that being said let me educate you on a few words:

Pedophilia – sexual attraction of those older than 19 to those under the age of 11.
Hebephilia – sexual attraction of those older than 19 to those 11 to 14.
Ephebophilia – sexual attraction of those older than 19 to those 15 to 19.

Before recent decades Pedophilia used to refer to adults that had attractions to prepubescent children which is something the Bible would also condemn as it does not allow children by this definition to marry.

But over the last few decades we moved the goal posts on the definition of Pedophilia to mean a person who is 18 or older finding young adults(those who have experienced the changes of puberty) attractive or wishing to date them.

We also set artificial age boundaries based on a modern principle of “mutuality” which we are told we must apply to relationships between men and women.   What this means is if an 18 year old is attracted to say a 16 year old we will tolerate that as a society.  But if a 28 year old is attracted to a 16 year old our society calls that “disgusting” and “creepy”.  But the reason we call it “disgusting” and “creepy” has nothing to do with logic or men’s biology or psychology.   It all has to do with women now taking over the narrative on what men should want in a woman.

According to women – men should only want women that are near their same age so they can have a “mutual” relationship with a woman who has shared the same life experience.  We are told that if a woman marries a man that it is significantly older(such as a decade or more) that it is like she is marry her father and that is creepy.

The fact is that this whole “mutuality” concept is built on the modern partnership style of marriage and not the Biblical patriarchy style of marriage.  In Biblical patriarchal marriage the husband much more resembles the woman’s father than her partner.  In fact he has MORE power and responsibilities toward her than her father did.  The father’s molding and shaping of his daughter is temporary in preparing her for her husband who will be the one who molds her for life.

With all that being said – this is why those Christian families today that still believe in Biblical patriarchal marriage strongly encourage their daughters to marry men that are at least 5 to 10 years older than them. It is also why they encourage women to marry young.  This makes it easier for the woman to respect her husband and it makes it easier for him to mold her into the wife he wants her to be.

But contrary to the artificial constraints that women have put on men over the last half century, the fact is men have always been attracted to youth and beauty.  It is built into the masculine nature for a variety of reasons one of which is the continuation of our species.  The older a woman is, the less fertile she is and the younger she is(within puberty of course) the more fertile she is.  The entire point of my post “Women’s Ovaries don’t agree with feminism” was this point about fertility:

“The biological reality that female fertility peaks in the teens and early 20s can be difficult for many American women to swallow, as they delay childbirth further every year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. “

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/22/AR2010022203639.html

The cold hard fact that confronts our feminist society is that women’s ovaries don’t agree with feminism.  Also a woman’s ovaries  do not agree with our new definition of childhood, our concept of “mutuality” or with feminist ideals that women should be educated and have careers and then have children much later in life.

And do you know why a woman’s ovaries don’t agree with feminism or our new definitions of childhood? Because the one who created women and their ovaries along with the rest of their bodies doesn’t agree.

To my fellow Christian bloggers let me just end with this passage that gives me great comfort on a daily basis as I endure attacks simply because I am teaching what God says about the distinct reasons for which he created men and women:

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)

How men can protect themselves from being accused of sexual harassment

In the wake of a flood of sexual harassment charges that have been waged against famous men in recent months and the resulting #MeToo movement men need to truly examine how they can guard themselves from being accused of sexual harassment.

I am not against women coming forward to let people know about men who have sexually assaulted them.  If my 15-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted I would want to know and I would want her to report this to the police.

But I also have two older sons who are young adult men and I have two younger sons that will one day be men. I worry for both my daughter and my sons.  I don’t want my daughter to put herself in a position where a man could assault her but I equally don’t want my sons to put themselves in a position where they could be falsely accused by a woman of sexual assault.

This is Personal for Me

This issue of sexual harassment hits very close to home for me.  And no for all my detractors I have never ever sexually harassed or abused any person. I have never been accused of sexual harassment.   But the reason this hits close to home for me is because of three events that happened in my life. One of these events I have previously shared a little information on before but the other two I have not.  All of these are deeply personal to me but I feel in light of recent events it is time to share them.

When I was 9 years old my two 13 year old sisters(they are twins) falsely accused my father of sexual abuse.   They did this as part of a broad set of claims they brought against my mother and father about being physically abused. I along with my brother who was 8 at the time were removed from our parents home along with our sisters by social services. I spent several months in foster care while my parents were thoroughly investigated by social workers.

Just a little background on my parents.  They were strict fundamental baptists and they did spank us sometimes with a belt and other times with a paddle. But they did not abuse us.  They loved us and they were raising as they thought was right before God.

The social workers interviewed me, my brother and my sisters many times over several months.  My brother and I were pretty consistent about what we experienced and we did not report anything besides normal spankings from our parents.  My sisters on the other hand kept having inconsistencies in their stories.  Their stories would change every time they were interviewed.  Eventually they admitted that they lied about my father sexually abusing them and my mother physically abusing them because they thought my parents were “strict religious nuts”.   They just wanted out of my parents house.  It was also determined that my sisters had bipolar and schizophrenia disorders.

My brother and I were allowed to come back home to our parents and my sisters stayed in foster care until they were adults. The decision was mutual as they did not want to come home and my parents did not want them to come back home after they ripped our family apart and accused my father and mother of such horrible things.  Years later when they were adults they apologized to my parents and restored their relationship with them.

When I was 14 years old I was molested by a 17 year old boy in our youth group. He befriended me and I thought he was really cool. We would talk about video games that he and I both liked.  He would drive me to the Burger King at the corner near our church and buy me food. We used to sit up in the balcony of our baptist church where not a lot of people sat and at first it was just him slapping my thighs with his hands.  Then he would just put his hand on my thigh without slapping it and I would move away from him.  And finally one Sunday during church he actually grabbed my crotch. That was it.  I got up and never spoke to him again.  He knew what he did and I knew what he did.

Why didn’t I tell anyone? Was it because I was ashamed?  No – although I was very disgusted by the homosexual aspect of it.   I did not tell anyone because I felt despite him being a few years older than me that he was my peer.  It was not as though he was a teacher at my school or my boss at the restaurant I worked for. I did not want to ruin his life.  I felt him loosing my friendship was punishment enough and perhaps it would teach him not to do that again.

Another reason I did not try to get him in trouble was because I knew that if he were a 17 year old girl that I was friends with and a 17 year old girl touched me on the crotch I would not have been bothered by it.  Yes – I was a normal heterosexual 14 year old boy and no I was not sinless and most 14 year old boys would have to fight every instinct in their body to push a 17 year old girl’s hand off their crotch.

One other thing I want to say about what happened to me when I was 14.  I know I would have felt differently if I felt trapped or held down by that 17 year old boy or if he would have been someone much older than me such as a parent or teacher.  So I do not mean to diminish others who have been touched in similar ways under different situations.

When I was a young adult man in my early twenties my mom felt it was time to finally share with me a painful event that happened to her as a young teenage girl.  She was raped by her own grandfather. It so traumatized her and warped her view of men and sexuality that for the first few years of her marriage to my Dad they had a very dysfunctional sex life.  She gave my Dad sex anytime he wanted – but she did not enjoy it and she did her best to hide it from him.  It took time for her to finally be able to enjoy sex with my father knowing how much he loved and care for her and to move past the hurt and trauma of what happened to her with her grandfather.

The reason I have shared these three major events in my life is to show that I understand sexual molestation from a personal perspective, the effects of sexual assault from my mother’s perspective and the effects of being falsely accused of sexual assault from my father’s perspective.

And do you know which one these three events in my life grieved me the most of all? It was what I saw it do to my mother and father – especially my father when my sisters lied about them.  It tore him up. It tore me up. I did not really know or understand the sexual aspect of the charges until a few later when I was a teenager and my Dad told me.  I remember having supervised visitation with him and my mom when I was in foster care and it was some of the only times in my life I saw tears in my father’s eyes.

This is why I can honestly say I understand both sides of this issue.  It is why I am passionate about protecting my daughter from sexual predators and my sons from women who would lie to hurt them.

The Evil in Men’s Hearts Cannot be Legislated or Taught Away

The Bible says:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

This is why if we as Christians truly understand what the Bible says about human nature when we hear of murder, mass murder, rape and molestation we know that no law and no education program will eliminate this behavior in mankind.

What we can do is protect ourselves against the inevitability of man’s evil nature – including our own.  In Romans 13:1-5 we see that the primary purpose which God has assigned to human government is to protect the people and punish evil doers.  In Nehemiah 4:14 men are encouraged to “fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses”.

So from a Biblical perspective, both the government and husbands and fathers have a responsibility to protect our families from those who would harm them.

This is why the answer to stopping mass shootings is not to outlaw guns or making more “gun free zones”.  This just makes it easier for evil men to kill more people. The answer is to account for evil men by having MORE citizens carry guns, not less.  This means we should have trained and armed citizens at every church and school in America and every other place that might be a considered a “soft target” for evil men.  You can’t have a mass shooting if the shooter gets shot after the first few bullets.  But when everyone in the building has no guns they are just sitting ducks waiting to be killed.

This same concept applies to sexual sin.

The “Romans 13:14 Rule” Protects us From Sexual Sin

An important thing that we must remember as Christians is sexual harassment, rape, molestation and sex outside of marriage between a man and woman are all forms of fornication.  It is all sexual immorality in God’s eyes and we must guard against it both in our hearts as well as from others.

Vice President Pence took a beating in the press a while back for his rule that he will not dine alone with other women unless his wife is present.  Billy Graham had a similar rule in that he would never allow himself to be alone with a woman that was not his blood relative.

The “Pence Rule” and the “Graham Rule” are actually based on a much older rule found in the Scriptures:

 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof”

Romans 13:14 (KJV)

The phrase “and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” means “Do not put yourself in a position where you might be tempted to sin”.  I would even expand that principle further and a say we should not put ourselves in any position that would allow us to be tempted to sin against God or someone else OR put ourselves in a position that might allow someone else to sin against us.

In my article “12 Ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating” I argued against the modern practice of dating and instead for the traditional practice of courting.  A large part of my argument for going back to courting is that dating makes “provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof”. It puts men and women alone together for various lengths of time and over time it will inevitably lead to sexual temptation. On the other hand, courting ensures that a woman always has family members with her when she is with a man to ensure her safety as well as to help keep her and the man she is courting from sexual temptation.

If we as men were to practice the Romans 13:14 rule or what has been called “The Graham Rule” and most recently “The Pence Rule” it would protect us against our own sinful natures as well as those of the women around us.  It would protect us from being tempted to sin with women who are not our wives and it would protect us from false allegations of sexual assault by women.

The “Pence Rule” Actually Hurts Women?

Tara Isabella Burton wrote an article for Vox.com entitled “Former Trump adviser says the “Pence rule” would have protected women from Weinstein. He’s wrong” asserting that the “Pence rule” actually hurts women:

“Likewise, the Pence/Graham rule can effectively ensure that the men who make a public point of following it are likewise “above suspicion.” The rule preserves their reputation, not so-called female virtue, and functions on appearances, not fact.

But we shouldn’t mistake the rule’s efficacy for unselfishness. It is a completely self-serving maxim, designed to protect men against women, and not the other way around. It does little for the women whose careers are stymied by a lack of access to good mentors and peers. A system in which private male-female interaction is treated as an automatic “red flag” is one that penalizes women for existing. In these scenarios, women may be more protected from harassment — just as their male counterparts are more protected from the specter of spurious allegations — but they are likewise barred from interactions that might benefit them professionally. Meanwhile, their male colleagues and superiors would suffer no such professional backlash, especially since men in the entertainment industry already tend to have powerful positions.”

Burton displays for us what the real problem is with our society – the worship of education and equality and the total denial of the reality of human nature and the differences between men and women.

Three Truths We Must Acknowledge About the #MeToo Movement

#1 – We must acknowledge the possibility that some of the sexual harassment and assault allegations we are hearing about in the news are true.
#2 – We must equally acknowledge the possibility that some of these sexual assault allegations are false.
#3 – This wave of allegations across industries and the political world will hinder women’s career advancements

Burton and other women may not like the third truth about this actually hindering women in their career advancements.  But there is a law of nature that applies to what is happening with the #MeToo movement and the flood of sexual assault allegations that are coming out.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

With all the allegations of sexual harassment coming out it will definitely have an impact on women’s careers.  Many men whether in Hollywood, the business world or the political world will think twice about hiring  female subordinates. Corporations may put polices in place that forbid men and women from working alone together.

It is ironic that the #MeeToo movement and all the allegations of sexual assault against men may actually move us closer toward implementing the “Romans 13:14 rule” as a society for our own protection.  And from a Biblical gender roles perspective this is one good thing that will come out of this entire mess.

 

 

In Defense of Roy Moore

Roy Moore is not the first man to be falsely accused of sexual assault by a woman.  Thousands of years ago another Godly man named Joseph was falsely accused by his Master’s wife of sexually assaulting her as we read in the Genesis account below:

“6 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. 12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. 16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:

18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.

19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

20 And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.”

Genesis 39: 6-20 (KJV)

So as we can see from this story women do falsely accuse good men of sexual assault.

In a previous post I took on the issue of Judge Roy Moore dating teenage girls while he was in his early thirties.  I showed from the Scriptures that an older man looking to court younger women was not sinful or wrong by Biblical standards.

In this followup article I want to address the accusations against Judge Moore as to whether I believe they should be believed.

First let me say in relation to Roy Moore dating girls in their teens (with their parents consent) he has stumbled greatly in his answers.  I think this is because he knows how politically incorrect it was. I think he should come forward and just set the record straight that he dated teenage girls while in his thirties with their parent’s consent.  There was nothing wrong with him doing that.

Judge Moore wanted a wife who was around 15 years younger than him.  Eventually he married a woman when he was 38 and she was 24(so 14 years younger than him).  There was nothing wrong with a man wanting this. And I know some will respond that “there is a big difference between a 38 year old marrying a 24 year old and a 30 year old dating a 14 year old”.  The only difference is in the way our sinful feminist culture looks on it.  See my previous article “Was Roy Moore violating Biblical commands in dating teenage girls?”

The biggest problem with the accusations against Roy Moore is not just that it took almost four decades for his accusers to come forward with these accusations.  I accept the premise that it is hard for women to talk about sexual assault because of feelings of shame or fear of a person in power. I can even accept that a woman might have held on to this for decades and only feels free to discuss it when she sees other women come out against the man who sexually assaulted her.

But in my view there is a huge glaring problem that is missed in all of this that makes me doubt the credibility of his five accusers.  If a man is a sexual predator it NEVER STOPS.  Once a predator, always a predator.  They cannot help themselves – it is a compulsion for them.

If we look at the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations you have accusers spanning decades and even in the last couple of years.  They don’t stop. But when you have an isolated few years that a person was supposedly a sexual predator and then all of a sudden there is no one for the rest of their life this does not pass the smell test.

Now I am willing to admit that if they can show a pattern over his entire career of women accusing him of molestation and they can show even women over the past few years that come out then I will reconsider the allegations against Roy Moore.  But if they can only show women during that limited time period than this will not be enough to convince me that Roy Moore is a sexual predator.

Women never falsely accuse men of sexual assault?

There are two things we must accept about sexual assault.  The first is that men have been sexually assaulting women since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.  Does that mean all men? Of course not.  Does it even mean most men? Of course not.  But there has always been a segment of men that were sexual predators.  Most Christians would agree to what I just said.

But what we forget is there are two sides of that coin. While there have always been a segment of men that were sexual predators there has also always been a segment of women that have falsely accused men of sexual assault.

Our country has gone from one extreme to another when it comes to sexual assault.  There was a time when women would hardly ever be believed about sexual assault.  But now we have gone to the other extreme where as a society many in our culture will not even entertain the idea that women actually do bring false accusations of sexual assault against men.

God condemns sex outside of marriage (which would include rape and sexual molestation) AND being a false witness. As we can see from the story of Joseph in the Bible, false accusations have been going on just as long as actual sexual assault.  We cannot acknowledge the reality of the one while ignoring the reality of the other.

5 Reasons women falsely accuse men of sexual assault

Women have been using sex as a way to manipulate men from the time of the fall. Whether it is through actual sexual relations with them or falsely accusing those of illicit sexual relations women have used sex to gain get what they want.

Here are 5 reasons women falsely accuse men of sexual assault:

  1. To hurt his reputation for personal reasons(they don’t like him or he offended them in some way)
  2. To manipulate him into doing what they want. They might want sex as with Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. They might want him to give them money or some position. It might be about child custody or other divorce issues.
  3. They are being paid by a third party to hurt his reputation for other reasons.
  4. If the person is famous, they want their moment in the spotlight.
  5. They are mentally ill.

Are those accused of sexual assault guilty until proven innocent?

One America’s most famous founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, once stated:

“That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.” [1]

This concept of “innocent until proven guilty” was enshrined into the American legal system by America’s founders.  This concept of innocent until proven guilty is actually firmly rooted in moral law in the Bible:

“15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; 17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;

18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.

20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.”

Deuteronomy 19:15-20 (KJV)

If you look at the passage above we see that God requires multiple witnesses and never just one to any crime.  The fact that 5 women have come out against Judge Moore does not meet this threshold. These are 5 separate crimes he is accused of. Each crime only has one witness who is both the accuser and supposed victim.

By both Biblical principles of justice as well as America’s founding principles of justice Judge Moore must be declared innocent of these crimes unless there are witnesses to these crimes.

I want you to notice one more thing about the passage from Deuteronomy 19:15-20 that I just cited.  Do you notice how hard God was on someone being a false witness? He actually ordered that whatever punishment would have happened to the person they falsely accused should be done to them.  Imagine if we sent false witnesses to jail for as long as those they falsely accused?

The sad reality is that in recent decades this foundational principle of the American Republic has come under assault especially in the area of sex related crimes.

Many years back I was speaking with a lawyer who attended my church. I will just say that he was more liberal than the average person in our church but he and I used to have interesting conversations with me taking the more conservative position and him taking the more liberal position.

I asked him about sexual assault and the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”.  I threw out a question to him.  I said “Would you agree that the American legal system treats sex crimes differently than almost any other type of crime?” and he replied “what do you mean?”

I said “It appears to me that in our system of justice if you are accused of any type of sexually related crime you are considered guilty and must prove your innocence – would you agree with what I just said as a lawyer?”  His answer was “for the most part the answer is yes.”  I was shocked by his answer.  But he followed up that answer with something more disturbing.

He stated “I believe it is right to be that way.  Unlike other types of crimes such as murder or theft it often extremely difficult for the victim of sexual assault to prove it ever happened. Except for in the case of actual bodily fluids or hairs or skin under the finger nails such as in the case of rape you can’t always prove sex crimes.  For instance you can’t prove if a man just gropes or fondles a woman.   So I believe the law is right to put the burden of proof on the person being accused to show their innocence.”

He told me what made him believe as he did.  It was not adult women being assaulted by men.  It was the fact of child molestation that brought him to that position.   He said “children cannot defend themselves and often they cannot prove molestation and the state should put the burden on the adult who molested the child to prove their innocence.”  Eventually he realized if this applied to children who were victims of sexual assault then it must equally apply to adults that were victims of sexual assault.

All I can say is I was dumb founded by his answer. But the scary part is there are millions of Americans who want to make this exception to our country’s judicial principle of innocent until proven guilty.

So in essence when it pertains to sexual assault we have reversed Benjamin Franklin’s famous axiom and our culture is now willing to destroy the lives and reputations of or even incarcerate 100 innocent men rather than let one sexual assault go unpunished.

Conclusion

The fact is there are many crimes including murder, assault and theft that go unpunished.  This will always be the case because we are not God and we cannot be everywhere and see everything.  This sadly means that some victims of sexual assault whether it be rape or molestation will never see their perpetrators punished for the crimes they have committed.

But we cannot as a society do what the Bible warns against and “do evil, that good may come” (Romans 3:8).

Until I see multiple witnesses and a pattern of behavior over his entire life I will not believe these accusations against Judge Moore.  I believe he is threat to the establishment and both the Democrats and Republican establishment are trying to get this man out.  I hope he fights and stays in till the end.

If good men continue to bow out of politics because of false sexual assault allegations then we will not only loose in elections, but we will also loose justice in this nation.

References:

[1] BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, letter to Benjamin Vaughan, March 14, 1785.—The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smyth, vol. 9, p. 293 (1906)

Was Roy Moore violating Biblical commands in dating teenage girls?

Does the Bible condemn the practice of older men dating teenage girls? With the revelations in the news about Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore having dated teenage girls decades ago when he is was in thirties this question has been raised amongst Christians.

Now let me be clear as a Bible believing Christian in regard to the sexual molestation accusations against Judge Moore.  If it can be proven that Judge Moore engaged in any type of sexual touching or sexual relations with these woman outside of marriage that would be by definition fornication and something that the Bible clearly condemns.

But that is not the question I am discussing here.  The fact is, even if Judge Moore did not engage in any extramarital sexual relations with any of these women there are many in our culture, including Christians, who would condemn him simply for dating teenage girls while he was in his early thirties and this is the question we will tackle in the article.

What is the minimum age for women to marry in the Bible?

There are two factors for determining a woman’s minimal age for marriage.

A woman must reach puberty first before she can marry

Two Bible passages, one from the Old Testament and one from the New indicate that the minimal age for marriage of woman is when she reaches puberty.

“7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”

Ezekiel 16:7-8 (KJV)

In the passage above from Ezekiel we read of God’s love story with Israel.  He presents himself as a wealthy man who finds an infant girl who had just been born and is left for dead in a field.  He takes her as ward in his home and when she reaches puberty (grows breasts and pubic hair) he declares that “thy time was the time of love” and he takes her as his wife.

In the New Testament the Apostle Paul tells of a similar story of a man with a young woman who is his ward whom he has an attraction to:

“36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.”

I Corinthians 7:36 (KJV)

When it says “pass the flower of her age” it literally means “ripe” as when a fruit is ready to be plucked and eaten.  Like Ezekiel 16:7-8 it refers to the fact that she has reached puberty and is now ready for marital love.

So according to both the Old and New Testaments a girl must first reach puberty before she can marry and when a girl reached puberty she was no longer considered a child but was now considered a woman.

A father determines at what age his daughter marries

There was a second factor in determining a woman’s age at the time of her marriage and we find this in the book of Exodus:

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

Today our culture treats a father’s blessing for his daughter to marry as a cute tradition and nothing more. Fathers are expected to rubber stamp any man their daughter says she wants to marry because after all it is her life, her body and her choice right?  Fathers have had their authority over whom their daughters marry completely removed.  However, we can see in the Scriptures that this was not just some tradition but we see that God grants fathers the authority over whom their daughters may marry.

Now a word caution on this.  A father’s authority over his daughter while being similar to that of a husband over his wife is different in some key aspects. A father’s authority is temporary.  He is there to raise her and prepare her for her future husband.  His authority and ownership over his daughter is not meant to be for life as a husband’s authority is meant to be for life.   So if a father is inhibiting his daughter from marrying well into her adult life in order to keep her in his home he has failed in the role God has given him.  He is sinning against God and his daughter by inhibiting his daughter from following God’s first command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

The State has no authority over marriage

Many Christians mistakenly think that God has given civil government nearly unlimited authority.  Most Christians think unless the government literally tells us to sin that they can pass any laws they want.  They site passages like this to bolster their belief:

“13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”

1 Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)

But they neglect the fact that Christ recognizes the concept of limited authority for civil government:

“They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Matthew 22:21 (KJV)

 

Christ said “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”.  That means “Obey the civil government in the areas that God has given to civil government”.

Romans 13:1-5 and 1 Peter 2:13-14 teach us that the role of government is to protect the people and punish evil doers according to God’s law. Search the Scriptures and you will find that the only authority God gives in marriage is to the family and specifically to the father.  Of course we know that the father is still under God’s authority in regard to marriage and he must regard his ownership of his daughter as a temporary stewardship in preparing her for her future husband.

What this means in practical terms is state marriage licenses are not required by God.  A marriage is valid in God’s eyes if a man has the permission of a woman’s father or if her father is gone and she is living on her own she consents to marriage.  He can enter into a covenant of marriage with her in private and that marriage is just as binding in God’s eyes as if they had a public ceremony with a pastor or priest and state marriage license.

This also means whether states outlaw all marriage under the age of 18 or even 21 Christians may disregard such laws as the usurping of authority over the family by the civil government.  Christians can and may practice civil disobedience against such laws.

How our culture mocks God’s laws

Julie Zauzmer, writing for the Washington Post recently published an article entitled “Roy Moore allegations prompt reflections on fundamentalist culture in which some Christian men date teens”.  In this article she assembles a chorus of opponents of the practice of older men dating teenage girls.

Here are some excerpts from that article with people mocking God’s laws:

“That courtship of underage girls is especially common in conservative religious communities.

“We should probably talk about how there is a segment of evangelicalism and home-school culture where the only thing Roy Moore did wrong was initiating sexual contact outside of marriage. 14 year old girls courting adult men isn’t entirely uncommon,” Kathryn Brightbill, who works for the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, tweeted Friday, prompting a flurry of responses from other people who also had watched teenagers date much older Christian men…

Ashley Easter, who grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church where courting was the norm for teenagers, said, “That was the first thing I thought of with Roy Moore.” In her church community in Lynchburg, Va., Easter said, fathers had complete control over whom their daughters were allowed to date, and she could see how a father might set his teen daughter up with a much older man.

A woman’s role is to be a wife, a homemaker and someone who births children. The man’s role is generally to be established and someone who provides the full income,” said Easter, who runs the Courage Conference for survivors of church sexual abuse. “It may take longer for a man to reach stability. While a woman of 15 or 16, if she’s been trained for a long time looking after her younger siblings, in their eyes she might be ready for marriage.” [1]

While regrettably I was not able to have my children homeschooled for a variety of reasons I do consider myself a part of that “segment of evangelicalism and home-school culture where the only thing Roy Moore did wrong was initiating sexual contact outside of marriage”.

Many of my friends growing up were homeschooled before they came to the Christian School I attended in high school. My parents homeschooled my niece and nephew who they adopted and I have cousins that have homeschooled their children as well.  And yes I grew up in Bible believing fundamental Baptist churches that while being imperfect did teach that “fathers had complete control over whom their daughters were allowed to date” according to the Word of God.  The sad thing is that many of these Baptist churches that formerly stood on the doctrines of Biblical gender roles have in recent decades abandoned these doctrines to appease feminists both inside and outside their churches.

What has been the result of the abandonment of courtship and the authority of the father over his daughter in regard to marriage? A massive increase in promiscuity among our young people who favor dating for fun instead of courtship for marriage. In many cases a huge delay of the marriage of young women well into their middle or late 20’s and a decrease in the size of Christian families. Young women are often more interested in their education and careers than in performing the main function God created them for which was to be wives and mothers.

Ashley Easter mock’s the fact that she was taught that “A woman’s role is to be a wife, a homemaker and someone who births children. The man’s role is generally to be established and someone who provides the full income”.

The sad part is Mrs. Easter growing up in a fundamental Baptist church knows the Scriptures actually support that very definition of a woman’s role that she mocks:

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

The false “Child Marriage” narrative

I and other Christians who do not oppose marriage for women under the age of 18 are opposed to child marriage.  But we are opposed to child marriage as God defines it in the Scriptures and not how our culture defines child marriage.

My readers know I am no stranger to writing on controversial topics especially as they relate to the Bible and marriage and I know on this subject I may have some disagreement from even some of my strongest supporters.  But I would like you to truly consider something.

In the Scriptures we read:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

What the Bible calls “child marriage” and what our culture calls “child marriage” are two different things.  God says a girl is a child before she reaches puberty and that after she reaches puberty it “was the time of love” (Ezekiel 16:8) – in other words time for marriage. She was no longer considered a child, but was now considered a woman.  God forbids men from marrying a young girl who has not “passed the flower of her age” (I Corinthians 7:36) or in other words a girl who has not reached puberty.  She is still considered a child and is not eligible for marriage.

So yes if a man wants to marry some prepubescent girl he is in fact in violation of God’s law and that is “child marriage” we can all agree is wrong.

But our feminist and egalitarian culture has expanded the definition of how long girls remain children.  Our culture has expanded childhood for girls past the onset of puberty all the way to age 18.

In an article entitled “Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States?”, Fraidy Reiss writing for the Washington Post states:

“Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children — almost all of them girls, some as young 12 — were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older. Twelve states and the District of Columbia were unable to provide information on how many children had married there in that decade. Based on the correlation we identified between state population and child marriage, we estimated that the total number of children wed in America between 2000 and 2010 was nearly 248,000.

Despite these alarming numbers, and despite the documented consequences of early marriages, including negative effects on health and education and an increased likelihood of domestic violence, some state lawmakers have resisted passing legislation to end child marriage — because they wrongly fear that such measures might unlawfully stifle religious freedom or because they cling to the notion that marriage is the best solution for a teen pregnancy…

Regardless of whether the union was the child’s or the parents’ idea, marriage before 18 has catastrophic, lifelong effects on a girl, undermining her health, education and economic opportunities while increasing her risk of experiencing violence.” [2]

Reiss throws in marriages as young as 12(even though the majority were age 15 or higher) to really get the hairs on the back of people’s necks up.

If you were to tell people in Biblical times that a girl did not become a woman until she was 18 they would have laughed so hard at you they would have fallen over. Let me give you a little bit of historical backdrop on this before we condemn twelve year olds marrying:

Rev. Dr. Eugene Weitzel stated this about the Jewish view of early marriage:

    “As we noted above, the Jews clearly understood that the first command that God gave to Adam and Eve was “increase and multiply” (Gen 1:28). In fact one rabbi firmly believed that “A bachelor is not truly a man at all.” Furthermore, celibacy was looked upon as an anomaly, almost a disgrace.  Now keep in mind that Jesus Christ, a devout, practicing Jew who dearly loved his Jewish faith, grew up with this view of celibacy.  He also knew that his people believed in early marriage.  Many rabbis, even during Jesus’s time, taught that eighteen was the ideal age for marriage for a man but certainly not later than twenty-four. He knew too that girls were ready for marriage as soon as they were physically ready to conceive and bear children, which according to the law was twelve and one-half years. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably no more than fourteen years old when she gave birth to the Son of God.” [3]

Lucien Deiss in his book “Joseph, Mary, Jesus” writes:

    “How old could Mary have been? Young girls usually were betrothed as soon as they became a woman.  It was believed they reached puberty at about twelve or twelve and a half. Boys it was believed reached the age if puberty a year later. Marriage could take place one year after puberty a year later. In general, it was held that men could wait until the age of eighteen or twenty before marrying so that they could have time to build a house and plant a vineyard.”[4]

My point is that is highly likely from a historical perspective that Mary was betrothed to Joseph at 12 years old and most likely gave birth to Jesus by the age of 14. Now we know in the case of Mary that Jesus’s conception was of the Holy Spirit.  But under normal circumstances young women were commonly giving birth to their first child by age 13 or 14.

So are we willing to condemn Joseph the father of Jesus for child marriage because he most likely betrothed Mary at such a young age?  Worse yet are we as Christians willing to condemn God the Holy Spirit for conceiving a child in Mary at such a young age? Is God guilty of child abuse?

Reiss laments about the lack of nationwide state bans on marriage under the age of 18 “because they wrongly fear that such measures might unlawfully stifle religious freedom”.  Sorry mam – but that is exactly what such restrictions on marriage would be – a stifling of religious freedom.  But sadly I fear that Reiss and her allies may someday get such legislation passed.  We have seen in the last 20 years an onslaught of legislation that assaults religious liberty whether in the form of taking parental rights or giving new rights to the homosexual and transgender movements.

Another Christian blogger who goes by the name “nickducote” wrote the following in an article entitled “Jonathan Lindvall and Child Marriage: The Maranatha Story”:

“Marrying girls off so early does several things. For one thing, it precludes them having other options. They have not finished their academic education and are not qualified for anything besides homemaking. And even then, what fifteen-year-old is truly ready to run a home in today’s world? For another thing, such early marriage means a girl marries before she has time to completely mature and form her own outlook on life. But then, sadly, that’s rather part of the point. This sort of arrangement, after all, functions not as an independent adult making her own decisions but rather as a property transfer—and it is explicitly stated as such.” [5]

While I disagree with his positions and his values I think this blogger has actually done a very good job of concisely saying what those who oppose marriage of young women really have a problem with.  They have a problem with girls not having “other options”.  They have a problem with women not being “qualified for anything besides homemaking”. They have a problem with a woman not having “her own outlook on life”. They have a problem with marriage being “a property transfer”.

I am not against women having an education nor do I think the Bible is. But our society has turned education – especially higher education and college into a human right.  We have turned education into a false god that our culture worships.  It is not a human right according to the Word of God.

Education is fine as long as it is a help and not a hindrance to the primary tasks God has given us to do.  In the case of men education is often a help in one of their primary God given duties which is to provide for their families.  Education can be a help to women as well in being able to homeschool their children in the future.  But far too often education for women because more of a hindrance than a help to them pursuing their primary mission that God has given them.

A lot of women delay marriage for many years in the pursuit of higher education and often they are tempted to pursue careers before marriage.  The result is a large amount of women marrying well into their mid to late 20’s past their prime fertility years.  I wrote an article a few years back on this issue of women’s fertility entitled “Women’s ovaries don’t agree with Feminism” and I encourage you to read that article if you have not already.

It is not a crime against humanity if a woman does not receive a higher education or for that matter does not even finish high school and is only “qualified” for homemaking. This is one of the primary purposes for which God designed woman.  A lot of Christians misuse Proverbs 31 to try and teach that God approves of the modern concept of a career woman while ignoring this key verse in that passage:

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

How many career women actually look well to the ways of their household? How many career women instead barely cook for their families and leave their houses in disarray? How many are too tired to care for their children because they have dedicated all their energy to strangers outside the home? How many career women look at their husbands as their help meet instead of looking at themselves as their husband’s help meet?

The Proverbs 31 wife did go outside the home and buy and sell things but her focus was always on serving her home and her husband.  That was the center of her life – that was what gave her life meaning and fulfillment.  That is how she brought glory to both God and her husband.

Do women really need to form their “own outlook on life” before they marry?

God is portrayed as the potter to the clay in three different ways in the Bible.

In the New Testament God is portrayed in his sovereign creator role as the potter and individuals humans are the clay:

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”

Romans 9:20-21 (KJV)

We also see the children of Israel regard God as their father being their potter:

“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

Isaiah 64:8 (KJV)

But there is a third role in which God pictures himself as the potter of the clay.  It is as a husband to his wife Israel:

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”

Jeremiah 18:1-6 (KJV)

And for those that wish to challenge that this is God talking to Israel as his wife I challenge with this other passage from earlier in the book of Jeremiah:

Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”

Jeremiah 3:20 (KJV)

God literally equates “O house of Israel” with a wife who treacherously departs from her husband.   If you look at how the phrase “O house of Israel” is used in other Old Testament prophecy books it is always used in the sense of Israel as a nation – the wife of God.

So if a Christian rejects the idea of a husband being able to mold his wife as the potter molds the clay from this analogy of God and Israel they do so only from a position of pride and a rejection of the husband/wife relationship as it is pictured in the Bible.

When Christians bloggers like nickducote say women need to form their own outlooks on life before marrying he is saying they should be firm in who they are and what they believe before they marry.  The problem with this is that just as God wanted his wife Israel to be moldable to the way he wanted her to be – so too young women should be moldable to the way their husbands want them to be.

In a previous article I wrote entitled “Why unity in marriage has more to do with the wife than the husband” I dove into this concept that unity in marriage primarily has to do with the wife being moldable to her husband.

This does not mean a woman can never have her own opinions or even that young women cannot and should not have strong faiths even as young ladies before they marry.  My daughter who will be turning 16 in a few months has a strong Christian faith.  But I have taught her to keep herself moldable for her future husband and be prepared for the fact that he may see some things differently than I do as her father.  I only have a temporary stewardship over my daughter and one day I will give her to the man that will be her husband for life. It is to that man, and not me that she must mold herself.  It is with that man that she must become one flesh.

For decades Christians have done just as this blogger has recommended and encouraged women to have higher educations, form their own outlooks on life and ultimately marry much later.  And what has the result been? We have produced generations of contentious and brawling wives as the Bible warns against:

“9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house…

19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

Proverbs 21:9 & 19 (KJV)

Christian marriages now have the same divorce rates that non-Christian marriages have because we have rejected Biblical gender roles as taught in the Scriptures and Churches in mass have fully embraced modern feminist ideologies.

Is it wrong to view marriage as “a property transfer”?

Ever since Roe vs Wade and Second wave feminism the entire concept of a women belonging to men whether it be their fathers or their husbands was thrown out the window.  Women for decades have chanted “it’s my body and I can do with it as I want” whether in reference to abortion or even in sexually denying their husbands.

While it may seem appalling to our feminist and egalitarian culture marriage is in fact classified as a transfer of property in the Bible.  The Hebrew word used to speak of a woman getting married or being married or a man marrying a woman was the verb form the Hebrew “baal” which was literally “to be owned”.  The noun form of the Hebrew word “baal” was used to describe a husband which was literally “owner”.  See below this passage which described adultery and the penalty for it:

“If a man be found lying with a woman married[baal – verb] to an husband[baal-noun], then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”
Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)

So we could literally take the first part of Deuteronomy 22:22 and translate it as “If a man be found lying with a woman owned by an OWNER/MASTER…”

In Deuteronomy 24:1 where we read about divorce and the first part references marriage where it states “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her” this again uses the verb form of baal for marriage.  It literally could be translated as “When a man hath taken a wife and owned her…”

Even Proverbs 31 which Christian feminists like to use to falsely teach that women can have careers and abandon their duties to the home to others shows the ownership of a husband over his wife.

“10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband[baal – noun] doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”

Proverbs 31:10-11 (KJV)

So verse 11 of Proverbs 31 literally says “The heart of her OWNER/MASTER doth safely trust in her”.

My point is this blogger and many other Christians and non-Christians alike may not like it – but the Word of God frames marriage itself as an owner/owned relationship.  When a man marries a woman he takes ownership of her.  He becomes her master.  Biblically speaking, marriage under normal circumstances is absolutely a transfer of property in the sense of a father giving away his daughter in marriage to her husband.

Now we know as Christians that a husband is not to abuse his position as his wife’s master but that he is to love her as Christ loves the Church and washes her spots and wrinkles as Ephesians 5:25-27 states.  But husbands are the masters, the owners and the heads of their wives just as Christ is the master, owner and head of his church.

That’s just the Old Testament!

A lot of Christians and non-Christians alike will criticize any use of the Old Testament as a found for moral teachings especially as it relates to marriage.  This is huge topic but I will just give you a few pointers that defuse the false argument that there is no more binding moral law in the Old Testament.

Jesus Christ said of the Old Testament:

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

That Apostle Paul wrote:

“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

Romans 3:31(KJV)

Later in the New Testament we are told in Hebrews 7:12 “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” and this in in reference to the fact that under the new priesthood of Christ the ceremonial and civil laws given to Israel as a nation are removed for the Church.  The Church unlike Israel is not a physical nation but rather a spiritual nation made up all peoples from all nations.

So for those who want to say “well if you belief daughters are owned by their fathers and wives are owned by their husbands then why are we not stoning kids for being rebellious or wives committing adultery?”  Great question and the answer is a very easy answer.  The answer is that adultery and rebellion of children toward their parents are still just as much sins against God as when he stated this thousands of years ago.  It is the penalty for these sins that has changed in the New Testament since the Church is not a nation it cannot exercise these types of punishments.

I will end with this passage from the Scriptures for those who find the Old Testament or the Bible repugnant to their modern American values. For you Christians who put more faith in studies conducted by man that say women should not do what God created them to do because it is “unhealthy” or “catastrophic” for them.

“Let God be true, but every man a liar”

Romans 3:4 (KJV)

References:

[1] Zauzmer, Julie. (2017). Roy Moore allegations prompt reflections on fundamentalist culture in which some Christian men date teens. The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/11/13/roy-moore-allegations-prompt-reflections-on-fundamentalist-culture-in-which-some-christian-men-date-teens/

[2] Reiss, Fraidy. (2017). Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/02/10/why-does-the-united-states-still-let-12-year-old-girls-get-married/?utm_term=.fd7b3878c31f&tid=a_inl

[3] Weitzel, Eugene. J. (2010). I Want to Be a Husband and Father for Life and a Catholic Priest Forever. U.S.: Xilbris Corporation. p. 113

[4] Deiss, Lucien (1996), Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Liturgical Press, p. 25, ISBN 978-0814622551

[5] nickducote. (2017). Jonathan Lindvall and Child Marriage: The Maranatha Story. Jonathan Homeschoolersanonymous.org. https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2013/12/02/jonathan-lindvall-and-child-marriage-the-maranatha-story/