Max Pemberton writing recently in the Daily Telegraph argues that paedophilia is a illness :
It is too easy to see paedophiles as caricatures of evil, devoid of emotions and reason, but that view helps no one. In fact, the majority of those who find themselves attracted to children are tormented by their predilection. According to the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases, paedophilia is a mental illness, yet there is scant investment in resources to help treat paedophiles.
I find this dichotomy quite false. Of course paedophilia is a form of addiction and therefore by definition it is a physical illness that has left its addicts helpless and tormented. And it is also equally true that it is a spiritual illness of sin and evil in our world. It is a spiritual disease because it is perversion of God's created natural order.
What is important is for us to realise is that there's no conflict between these two facts. On the contrary one pressupposes the other. Sin by nature has physiological effects. The historical fall of man in Eden not only brought spiritual death but also had physiological effects. We literally fall sick today because we are living under the curse of original sin. Our physical sickness flows from spiritual sickness.
And this process repeats itself quite often vividly in daily human experience. Many of sins we commit tend to have physiological impacts. For example, we know that living in anger, bitterness and panic can so often shorten our lives. Scientific research also increasingly shows us that repeatedly looking at pornography re-wires our brains and increases our addicitions to it with devasting consequences. The point is that there's a biology to sin.
This is not to dismiss the real need for society to help those who engage in these depraved acts - which appears to be Max Pemberton's noble motivation. However, the point is that until we see paedophilia for what it is, a moral evil with physiological effects, we wont be able to tackle its roots. As long as we insist it is merely a physical illness we will remain blind to the real answer : only full repentance and faith in Jesus Christ can change our human hearts because at the core of the problem is the spiritual sickness!
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013
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