Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How are you feeling now?

I wonder if GOD wants us to love others so much that we would go to extremes to help them?
I wonder if GOD wants the church to be known for giving...of our time, our money and our abilities? In doing so, we can begin to alleviate some of the suffering in the world and change the reputation that the church has in our culture.

"I believe in GOD, just not in organized religion." How often I hear that...I am not sure that people would say that if the church really lived like we are called to live.

So, I had a coffee today with someone who is in the process of calling the church and the rest of the country to stand up for the rights of children. In a nutshell this person is bringing attention to the issues of Child Pornography in our nation.

Did you know that the victims of child sex images are getting younger and younger and the images are becoming more graphic. 83% of those arrested for possessing child pornography had images of kids 6-12 years old. 39% had images of kids 3-5 years old. 19% had images of infants and toddlers under the age of 3. How are you feeling now?

Hey, did you know that most pictures involved children who were gagged, bound, blindfolded or otherwise suffering sadistic assault and 21% of those images depicted rape, bondage and/torture? How are you feeling now?

Did you know that in Canada some summary convictions of child sex crimes are only 14 days? Did you know that the sentences are often house arrest and community service or a conditional sentence (thus no jail time). How are you feeling now?

Did you know that these children who are victims will suffer life long trauma and life with the fact that these images will be on the net forever? How are you feeling now?

I wonder if GOD wants us to love others so much that we would go to extremes to help them?
How are you feeling now?


Karl said...

I feel saddened by the fact that none of the statistics you bring up shock me. Have I become so cynical and hardhearted by all the garbage in our world today? I also feel enraged that people who do this get off so easy and that they are released back on society again and again and again to spread more misery and pain.
I feel overwhelmed. Everywhere I look I see hurting people. I feel pulled in so many directions that I end up running to and fro and acommplishing very little. No sooner is one crisis settled then another one begins.
I often find myself struggling with the very same thoughts as the first two lines of your post. Am I giving enough? Or is there more I could be doing? And the answer is Yes, no, maybe and I dont know.

novice said...

"I wonder if GOD wants us to love others so much that we would go to extremes to help them?
How are you feeling now?"
I cannot help but wonder... which others?

It is easier to show Christ's love to victims. Do we even care about extending it to offenders? Or are they all monsters, beyond salvation?

I can't think of any crime more disgusting than the ones you mention. I do think though that we can't help people if we've demonized them. If we can't help them then we can't prevent this kind of thing from happening.

The people who do these things are human beings, made in the image of God. Whatever it is that drives them to do the things they do, will our hatred for them accomplish anything?

We need to help the kids. We need to do everything in our power to prevent this from happening to a single child. The child's rights come first. I can't help thinking, though, we could prevent so much of this if we could help the person in need before that person becomes an offender.

I think in this case, going to extremes to show love could take us to some difficult places.

Jean said...

Wow. How come I am so oblivious? And now that I know this info, how do I act on it?

Tammy said...

As a mother of four young children these stats make me feel sick. This is so far from my reality that I am sitting her shocked.

Where and how can we help?

Anonymous said...

Yes, if there's somewhere we can get involved - do let us know! - Jen Anderson

Karl said...

The question I am left with to your post novice is how do we help these people before they become offenders when they refuse to seek help?

kenny said...

Sadly, more often than not, they will offend before they seek help, or before help is offered them.

How inviting are we in our own brokenness and honesty in this, to facilitate someone being open with their dark secrets.

Who would openly admit they are attracted to children? Especially in the Church, where they may get stoned to death? How do we facilitate an environment that promotes healing and offers grace, to each party that has been clearly wounded at an early age.

I listen to Karl, and I too am not shocked with these statistics, as I have read them countless times before, and heard many personal stories in the position I hold.

How do we help?

There are prostitutes on the streets of Winnipeg, waiting for someone to view them as a person, as a daughter of a King, there is a great ministry (Love Lives Here) which ministers to them, feeds them and prays for them.

There are great inner city ministries who are reaching out to the poor and those in need...and these are the future generation! These are the children who are at risk...who can easily be drawn into prostitution, and child pornography, due to lack of boundaries, lack of finances, lack of parental supervision.

Then there are the parents to these children, who need to learn that they have value and worth, that they can learn to love themselves and that it is never too late to learn and grow as an individual and family unit. How do we facilitate families mentoring families? In a sense, adopt the whole family? Does this mean living in the midst?

There is a ministry Walls of Freedom run by Jim and Jacquie that are doing a great well as Living Bible explorers who have been working in the city for years, especially with youth and gang members.

As someone who has experience abuse at an early age, I know the wounding...and the effects it has had on my own life. No child ever, should go through something like this. But sadly, we live in a broken world, and there are broken people, who have been raised by broken parents. Bad things happen. Thankfully, we have a God who sees past this, and says there is life, even after the most horrendous experiences. Believe me I have seen it and experienced it. Living Waters offers ministry for people who are wounded in relational and sexual areas. Getting involved in programs such as this, to provide prayer ministry and good teaching, is a good step.

Joy Smith MLA, is tabling some really good ideas to parliament. Read up on some of the ideas and laws that she would like passed. One of the ways is to contact your MLA and ask what they are doing regarding Child pornography. Each person has a voice, and each voice is important.