Pardon me while I hack and sneeze at the layers of dust around here.

Wow. It’s been a while.

Hi. Uh, my name is Shayne and I’m a fair-weather blogger. Meaning, I only post when I feel like it. Or when I read other people’s posts and feel an irrepressible urge to beat a dead horse voice my opinion. I’m sure there are other, more technical terms for what I am, like lazy or undisciplined, but those terms seem so un-friendly.

So.

As I stated earlier, I’m posting today in response to a conversation that has been started by Ragamuffin Soul.  I’ve linked twice to the page because it’s a rather serious conversation that deserves more than just one passing glance.

I want to talk today about my beliefs on three or twenty subjects.  I cannot promise you answers, but by golly I can promise you one long post.  So go ahead and grab a snack or pee or whatever ’cause once I get started, I’m not making any pit stops.  Sorry.  That’s just the way I roll.

Victimization

 I’ve heard this word bandied about in main-stream media and of course, on the Mecca of daytime T.V., Oprah, but I’ve never really paid much attention to what the word actually means.  Quite literally it means to make someone a victim.

Deep stuff, right?

But let’s think on this a minute.  What is a victim?  Well I’m glad you asked.  Merriam-Webster defines a victim as:

: a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite
: one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent <the schools are victims of the social system>: as a (1): one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions <a victim of cancer> <a victim of the auto crash> <a murder victim> (2): one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment <a frequent victim of political attacks> b: one that is tricked or duped <a con man’s victim>

I don’t know about you but I found the first definition kind of interesting.  Especially in light of the above-mentioned post on Ragamuffin’s blog.

Honestly though, I’ve never liked either of these words.  To me, they imply weakness and give way too much power to abusers or oppressors.  They are labels that tend to sap people of their God-purchased right to healing.   I say that because I’ve never met a healed person who called him/herself a “victim.”  I mean, I’m not “injured” or “destroyed.” I am not “adversely affected” nor am I “subjected to harsh treatment.”  (Unless you count Saturdays in the fall when my husband glues the T.V. remote to his hand and forces me to endure copious amounts of college football.) 

I am healed.  Which brings me to my next topic.

Healed  (Shocker right?)

The good ole boys at Merriam-Webster define my present state this way:

a : to make sound or whole <heal a wound> b : to restore to health
a : to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome : mend <the troubles…had not been forgotten, but they had been healed — William Power> b : to patch up (a breach or division) <heal a breach between friends>
: to restore to original purity or integrity <healed of sin>

While I agree with the first two definitions…the third is what I really am.  I have been restored by Jesus’ power to original purity and/or integrity.  I have been healed not only of my sins, but the sins of others against me.

 

I will not lie to you.  It took me a long time, a very long time, to come to this realization…and I did not see it on my own.  So my post here is not meant to be judgemental or self-righteous, it is meant to encourage. 

I made it to the other side.  I never thought I would or could, but somehow, Jesus made it happen.  I used to scoff at people like myself, and you may be scoffing at me right now.  “Well you just have no idea what I’ve been through.  It’s all fine and good for you BUT…”

Hey, sweet friend…can I be honest with you here?  “Buts” can kill.  “Buts” can help us nurse our pain and our rage , and they can help to imprison those that Jesus came to set free.

Ach, I know what I’m saying is painful.  I know ’cause I’ve lived it.  I did NOT want to let go of all my “buts.”  They gave me an excuse to wallow and didn’t require any type of change or growth on my part.  I loved my “buts.”  (Please notice I am not saying I love/loved my b-u-t-t…that’s a whole different case of bananas) 

Fortunately, Jesus loved me more than I loved my “buts.”  He patiently and gently pried my fingers loose from them until I trusted Him enough to let go of all of it.   And oh, friend…friend…my life is wholly and completely changed.  And you know what?  I would not change one day of my life.  Not one.

NOT. ONE.

Now then, why was I healed?  Am I special?  Did the circumstances of my childhood rate some sort of extra attention from the Father?  Surely they did right?  Five different sexual abusers?  Who could blame Him for giving me a little bit of extra attention?  Don’t I deserve it?

*sigh* As much as I would love to believe that I do, the answer is simply no.  I’m healed for the same reason any other person is.  For His Name’s sake. 

I don’t have time to go into the whole theological discussion here, but basically “For His Name’s sake” means that a long time ago, God made a promise to Abraham.  A big promise…a blood covenant.  And the whole salvation/healing deal really boils down to the fact that God is simply keeping His promise.  He swore by His name that He would keep His end of the bargain and to renege would mean stepping down from the throne.  And lemme tell ya, that ain’t gonna happen.

What then?

Why am I saying all of this? (I told you this would be a long post)

As I’ve mentioned, a conversation was begun in which two very important questions were asked.  Is it possible for a child molester/pedophile to be redeemed and healed?  And if so, what then?

For the most part, we as the church have decided that no one, not even a child molester, is beyond redemption or healing.  It’s the “what then?” that we’re having problems with.  Why?  All of us have a “what then?” time in our life.  It occurs right after we’ve been re-born into these new creations that the world has labelled “Christians.”  It’s the same for everybody.

So what’s the problem here?  Why is this group of people different? People say that there are different levels of consequences here on earth for different types of sins, so that’s one reason.  But also, it’s just out and out fear.  And fear has no place in a believer’s life.

Here’s my thought on the “what then?” portion of a repentant sinner who has manifested in the form of a child molester.  Same as for everybody else…give them intense induction into the Word.  Discipleship training.  Careful instruction and watching over until he/she exhibits the fruits of the Spirit.  Spirit-filled counselling.  Most of all…unconditional love.  Which would include stepping out of the way and allowing Jesus to totally heal in His time and His way. 

If we do this, and do it right, we won’t have to worry about our children since the Holy Spirit will watch over the situation.  That doesn’t mean that He won’t give us responsibility to oversee the newborn for a time…maybe a long time.  But I tell you eventually, if we allow Jesus to work, that person will no longer be a risk.

I realize that many of you will disagree with me, and you have that right. 

That is, one of you might disagree with me…as that’s likely to be all that will read this post.

I’m going to continue to talk about this for a few days…I have other thoughts but I need more time to flesh them out since they might be considered a bit harsh.  One final thought though…if you are reading this, and have ever perpetrated a criminal act upon a child, or are thinking of doing so…please know that I do not defend nor do I make light of what you have done or what you may be thinking of doing.  The harm done against the child is incredibly insidious and far-reaching.

If you have not repented of your actions/thoughts, I beg you do so now.  Jesus truly does love You and understands You in ways that You cannot possibly comprehend.  Also, if you have not done so, please seek help.  Not just for the child’s sake, but for yours.  Trust me, the pain you inflict on the child will be nothing compared to what you will be inflicting upon yourself. 

More thoughts later this week.  Possibly.  I am after all, a fair-weather blogger.

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