“On Rejecting Pedophilia,” Why I’m Submitting This Resolution #SBC22 #SBC2022

Share

Bob Dillan famously sang, “Times, they are a-changin.” Times rarely stay the same, and unfortunately, when it comes to sin, it often changes for the worse instead of the better. Sexual sin is no different; if anything, sexual sin often drives the change…and sadly, times are a-changin on pedophilia. Medical experts, back in 2013, argued that sexual attraction to children is a sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) in its Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) said,

If individuals also complain that their sexual attractions or preferences for children are causing psychosocial difficulties, they may be diagnosed with pedophilic disorder. However, if they report an absence of feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety about these impulses and are not functionally limited by their paraphilic impulses (according to self-report, objective assessment, or both), and their self-reported and legally recorded histories indicate that they have never acted on their impulses, then these individuals have a pedophilic sexual orientation but not pedophilic disorder.[1]

People were outraged that the APA referred to sexual desire for children as a “pedophilic sexual orientation” and the APA released a statement saying it was an error; they meant to put “pedophilic sexual interest” instead.[2] They added this language, “pedophilic sexual interest” to the latest DSM (March 2022).[3] Yet, they still changed the wording from previous manuals to say that sexual attraction to children is not a disorder; rather, it is only a disorder if a person acts on the sexual attraction.[4]

This is a major issue because if a man does not deal with his sin at the root, at the point of attraction, he will act on the attraction/desire eventually, at least, according to Scripture. Listen to the words of James, the half-brother of Christ, in James 1:13-15: “13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (ESV).

James tells his hearers to take responsibility for their sin. Although God gives tests and trials (James 1:2-12), He does not give temptations to sin. Rather, in the midst of God’s tests and trials, we tempt ourselves to sin. We are one hundred percent responsible for our sin from root to fruit. And our attractions that are contrary to God’s design, come from our flesh, from our sinful hearts, and always lead to death (James 1:14-15). Anything contrary to God in us always leads to death; it cannot lead to anything else.

The APA through the DSM tells us that pedophilic attractions are no big deal, if you don’t act on them. They do not tell their patients to turn from these attractions or to reject their attractions; rather, they merely say, “Don’t act on them.” But James says more. Choosing not to act on evil attractions is not enough. Rather, men must fight to not have the attractions at all. James tells us where attractions that are not turned from, lead:

1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you (James 4:1-10).

James says that evil passions that are not turned from lead to murder (v.2). These unrepentant passions control the lives of the unrepentant, even leading to them praying for God to provide the means to fulfill their evil attractions (v.3). The men who refuse to repent of these passions are inherently worldly, and thus, are opposed to God (v.1-4).

But how does a man overcome these passions? He must “submit to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from” him (v.7). The flesh is the mother of sin and the Devil is the father; the two go hand-in-hand. The sinner must draw near to God, cleanse his hands, and purify his heart (v.8), for only God can cleanse the sinner’s hands and heart. Anything short of a pure heart will not take care of the evil attractions or actions. In other words, the DSM lies.

The DSM tells us that it is not a disorder to have pedophilic attractions, yet it is a disorder to act on pedophilic attractions. But if a pedophilic attraction is not a disorder, why can’t a man act on it? James tells us an attraction aimed at sin and death is evil; that’s why it leads to sin and death (James 1:13-15). The fruit determines the morality of the root. Holy attractions do not become unholy actions. Ordered attractions do not become disordered actions.

Thus, if we want to protect children, we not only need to keep them away from pedophiles, we also need to call pedophilia evil from root to fruit. We must call all pedophilic attraction evil, and we must call all those who have pedophilic attractions to turn from these attractions and to turn to Christ. It is not enough to reject pedophilic behavior, for God has called sinners to turn from pedophilic passions (James 4:1). God expects all mankind to have pure hearts (James 1:8). And that’s only accomplished by turning from all sin, root and fruit, and trusting in Christ alone for salvation (Rom 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-11; John 3:16, 14:6).

Therefore, in order to glorify God and reject pedophilia, I encourage Southern Baptists to adopt the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the only God-glorifying sexuality is the one designed by God, as displayed in the sexual attraction, desires, and actions between a man and woman in marriage (Genesis 2:21-25; Mark 10:2-9); and

WHEREAS, the abuse of children by pedophiles starts as impulses and/or attractions in their sinful hearts; and

WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Associations’ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed. Text Revision, March 2022) says, “If individuals also complain that their sexual attractions or preferences for children are causing marked distress or psychosocial difficulties, they may be diagnosed with pedophilic disorder. However, if they report an absence of feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety about these impulses and are not functionally limited by their paraphilic impulses (according to self-report, objective assessment, or both), and their self-reported and legally recorded histories indicate that they have never acted on their impulses, then these individuals have a pedophilic sexual interest but not pedophilic disorder;” now, therefore, so be it

RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Anaheim, California, June 14-15, 2022, confess that any pedophilic attractions, desires, and actions are sins that are contrary to God’s design; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we protect all children by publicly opposing all pedophilic attractions, desires, and actions; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we proclaim that pedophiles can be forgiven of their sins—attractions, desires, and actions—by Christ if they will turn from them and turn to Christ in repentance and faith; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that we call on the American Psychiatric Association and other professional organizations to exercise common sense when publishing their works because if it is a disorder to act on a pedophilic impulse and/or attraction, it is also a disorder to have a pedophilic impulse and/or attraction; not because of the “marked distress or psychological difficulties” of the pedophile, but because attraction to a child is evil, unnatural, and contrary to God’s design.

[1] American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders, 5th ed., (DSM-5) (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2013), 698.

[2] Cheryl Wetzstein, “APA to correct manual: Pedophilia is not a ‘sexual orientation,’” The Washington Times, October 31, 2013, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/31/apa-correct-manual-clarification-pedophilia-not-se/.

[3] American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders, 5th ed., Text Revision (DSM-5-TR) (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2022), 794.

[4] Jared Moore, “A Biblical and Historical Appraisal of Concupiscence with Special Attention to Same-Sex Attraction” (PhD diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2019), 9-10.

1 thought on ““On Rejecting Pedophilia,” Why I’m Submitting This Resolution #SBC22 #SBC2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.