(image courtesy ChristArt)
By Spencer D Gear PhD
There are some outrageous views in the world of secular journalism. I came across an opinion piece in the Melbourne (Australia), Herald Sun newspaper online, ‘Should we help paedophiles? What choice do we have?‘ (Shepherd 2015). The sub-heading was, ‘If people are born straight, or gay, is it possible that paedophiles can’t help being what they are?’ The article began:
Evidence shows that it might be true; paedophiles are born that way. Recent research suggests some faulty wiring in the brain. Things about children that are meant to elicit a protective response instead elicit a sexual one.
A published paper from Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found paedophiles are far more likely to be left-handed, and have a lower IQ, which indicates there’s a problem with brain development.
Which would make it not their fault.
Why don’t you take a read of what I consider to be an extremist view of an alibi for sexually deviant behaviour of paedophilia in ‘The Science of Pedophilia: Is It a Sexual Orientation?’ This article states, ‘The good news, though, is that, if researchers can figure out how the brain’s wiring becomes crossed, scientists could figure out ways for mothers to minimize their chances of giving birth to pedophiles’ (Brice 2012).
What an excuse for justification of wicked sexual abuse of children by adults (mostly males).
Michael Seto, who wants to legitimise paedophilia as a sexual orientation, provided this definition, ‘Pedophilia can be defined as a sexual attraction to prepubescent children, as indicated by persistent and recurrent sexual thoughts, fantasies, urges, arousal, or behavior (“or” because the diagnosis can be made on the basis of thoughts and urges alone)’ (Seto 2012:231-232).
Margo Kaplan, assistant professor of law, states that paedophilia ‘refers to a type of sexual interest – specifically an intense and persistent sexual interest in prepubescent children. Pedophilia need not entail any behavior; one may be a celibate pedophile, similar to how one may have sexual desires for adults while remaining celibate’ (Kaplan 2015:86-87).
In common language, these two professionals define paedophilia as adults having a sexual attraction to children through thoughts, fantasies and sometimes involving sexual behaviour between an adult and a child.
Here in Australia, those who are found guilty of paedophilia have committed a criminal act and these are five examples of penalties for such crimes.
(Dennis Ferguson 2009, photo courtesy Wikipedia)
One of Australia’s most notorious paedophiles was Dennis Raymond Ferguson. In sentencing him to jail for his crimes, it was reported in The Daily Telegraph:
The evil man Ferguson seems intent on forgetting he ever was.
Such vile criminals don’t come much worse.
As one judge put it, Ferguson is a “cunning and scheming man – not without some intelligence – a danger to children and foolish parents”.
Justice Derrington said Ferguson’s chances of rehabilitation were zero when sentencing him to 14 years in a Queensland jail in 1988 (Lawrence 2009).
The Australian newspaper reported in 2010 on the disparity between the length of sentencing for the crime of paedophilia in the USA compared to the drastic leniency in Australia. The report stated that an American pedophile was sentenced to 21 years jail for pleading guilty to photographing a 2-year-old girl and trading the child pornography on the Internet. His Australian (Canberra) cohort was jailed for a quarter of that time for doing the same actions with 4 children.
The 41-year-old [Australian] – who cannot be named – was sentenced … to seven years jail, and must serve a minimum of 4 1/2 years after pleading guilty to 13 counts of indecency against children, using a child to produce child pornography and transmitting child pornography.
Four children, including his own infant son, were captured in the images, which the ACT Supreme Court was told were regarded as “trophies” by the man.
The other children were aged five, seven and nine and included his godchild (McKenna 2010).
(Daniel Morcombe, phogo courtesy Wikipedia)
One of the most prominent and extremely sad examples of the action of a paedophile here in Queensland was the death of Daniel Morcombe, a 13-year-old, who was abducted from the Sunshine Coast (Woombye) and killed by paedophile, Brett Peter Cowan. Cowan’s paedophilia is confirmed in Olding (2014). This article states:
- ‘A man who was raped and almost killed by Brett Peter Cowan 27 years ago, when he was seven years old, says the predator destroyed his life’.
- ‘Cowan had a shocking record of paedophilia and a hole in his alibi but he told the inquiry he would not have taken Daniel because he liked boys that were six or seven years old, not 13’.
- ‘A former girlfriend of Cowan’s told the program about the night he abducted a six-year-old boy from a Darwin caravan park in 1993 and raped him. He left the boy for dead with horrific injuries but the child survived’.
Then there are horrifying examples of sexual abuse of children by clergy. Here is but one example of many about which I, as a Christian, am utterly ashamed. This abuse victim wrote:
I would think seriously about donating a kidney if I am given the opportunity to stand before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. And after eight years of battling the Anglican Church for answers, something exciting has happened concerning the sexual and physical abuse of more than 200 children.
Yes, to hell with the kidney, it means nothing compared to the horrific and violent abuse children suffered at the hands of Anglican clergy and staff over the five decades the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home was functioning.
I was raised in that Anglican home for 14 years, 10 of which were brutal. I was sexually violated and physically abused. To this day I bear the scars on my back from a flogging.
The scars in my mind are deeper (Campion 2013).
As I was writing this article, there appeared a lead item on the Brisbane Times website, ‘Convicted paedophile who raped stepdaughter to be watched until 2021’ (Branco 2016). Here it was stated that this 56-year-old was convicted of raping his 7-year-old step daughter. ‘The man was sentenced to eight years in jail in January 2008 after pleading guilty to offences including rape and grievous bodily harm. He was released on parole in September 2010 but hauled back into prison four years later when he was found living with a 15-year-old girl but had since been released again’. Although released on 17 January 2016, he has to report to authorities for another 5 years. Psychiatrists diagnosed him with paedophilia or a similar condition of paraphilia and ‘classed him a low to medium risk of reoffending’ (Branco 2016). These are the kinds of despicable acts in which he engaged:
He raped the girl when she was just seven years old, beating her, holding her upside down and smacking her.
When the girl was only eight, he punched her so hard she fell down the stairs.
In some cases, the offences occurred while the girl’s mother was asleep in another room….
[The psychiatrists] each noted a tendency for the 56-year-old to minimise and deny his crimes, with Dr Josephine Sundin even noting he perceived himself as an “unhappy and unlucky victim” (Branco 2016).
Now scientists want to label this kind of predatory, sordid behaviour as something over which the paedophile has no control as it is wired into his physical being – the brain (see Shepherd 2015).
Bill Glaser wrote in 1997:
Paedophilia: The health problem of the decade – Dr Bill Glaser
Imagine a society afflicted by a scourge which struck down a quarter of its daughters and up to one in eight of its sons.
Imagine also that this plague, while not immediately fatal, lurked in the bodies and minds of these young children for decades, making them up to sixteen times more likely to experience its disastrous long-term effects.
Finally, imagine the nature of these effects: life-threatening starvation, suicide, persistent nightmares, drug and alcohol abuse and a whole host of intractable psychiatric disorders requiring life-long treatment. What would the society’s response be?
The scourge that we are speaking of is child sexual abuse. It has accounted for probably more misery and suffering than any of the
great plagues of history, including the bubonic plague, tuberculosis and syphilis. Its effects are certainly more devastating and widespread than those of the modern-day epidemics which currently take up so much community attention and resources: motor vehicle accidents, heart
disease and, now, AIDS. Yet the public response to child sexual abuse, even now, is fragmented, poorly coordinated and generally ill-informed.
Its victims have no National AIDS Council to advise governments on policy and research issues; They have no National Heart Foundation to promote public education as to the risks of smoking and unhealthy
lifestyles; They do not have a Transport Accident Commission to provide comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services for them.
A massive public health problem like child sexual abuse demands a massive societal response. But firstly, we need to acknowledge and understand the problem itself, and this is, sadly enough, a task which both professionals and the community have been reluctant to undertake despite glaringly obvious evidence in front of us.
Source: Excerpt from Glaser, W. “Paedophilia: The Public Health Problem of the Decade” – Australian Institute of Criminology Conference on Paedophilia, Sydney, April 1997.
As a long-term counsellor and counselling manager (now retired), I have deep compassion for helping victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse. However, as will be evident in this article, I do not support the solutions offered by a secular worldview because I’m convinced it does not get to the core of what motivates a person to violate another sexually – especially a child.
This I will admit: The need is urgent to do something substantial about finding a solution to the problem. However, I’m not convinced my secular society has the understanding for doing this. Some have the will to do something, like Bravehearts, but what is the best long-term solution?
I’ll declare my colours as we examine two radically different worldviews and their impact on the paedophilia issue, using Shepherd’s (2015) article as an example.
What is a worldview? All of us have one. It may be defined as ‘a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic make-up of our world’ (Sire1988:17). James Sire explained that these are the seven rock-bottom questions that need to be answered to uncover the elements of a worldview:
(a) What is prime reality – the really real?
(b) What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us?
(c) What is a human being?
(d) What happens to a person at death?
(e) Why is it possible to know anything at all?
(f) How do we know what is right and wrong?
(g) What is the meaning of human history? (Sire 1988:18)
What are the worldview dimensions in Tory Shepherd’s article (Shepherd 2015) in her proposing that for the paedophiles, it is not their faults that they have these thoughts towards and then sexually abuse children?
Whether she wants to acknowledge it or not, she is promoting a worldview that deals with at least 3 dimensions of such a view. My analysis of her article reveals three primary dimensions of the following worldview dimensions: (a) external reality, (b) the nature of human beings, and, (c) the nature of right and wrong.
This deals with ‘whether we see the world as created or autonomous, as chaotic or orderly, as matter or spirit, or whether we emphasize our subjective, personal relationship to the world or its objectivity apart from us’ (Sire 1988:18)
Shepherd was into the ‘it feels’ subjectivity when she stated that the uncovering of every dirty secret and hints of new ones ‘feels unending, unendable’, and ‘it also feels as though giving any kind of helping hand to paedophiles is an insult to survivors’. This is an example of subjective emphasis.
The personal relationship to the world of external reality is seen in Shepherd’s statement that ‘under the Circles of Support and Accountability program’ volunteers would ‘support paedophiles … emotionally and practically to reintegrate into society’. This assumes that this will help them to be autonomously functioning paedophiles. Nothing is said here about the paedophile being cured of his disorder, disease, malfunction, or – dare I mention it – sin.
Are people only physical beings, highly complex machines, without a soul and spiritual dimension?
Shepherd points to ‘evidence’ of the possibility that ‘paedophiles are born that way’. So the nature of human beings is driven by the worldview of naturalism. Human beings are physical beings with ‘some faulty wiring in the brain’. Thus, when these physical beings are supposed to have ‘a protective response’ to children instead of ‘a sexual one’, it is because of bad wiring in the brain.
This brain development, according to the Toronto research, also is driven by naturalism as paedophilia is associated with being left-handed and lower IQ, ‘which indicates there’s a problem with brain development’.
It needs to be noted that naturalism, in philosophy, is ‘a theory that relates scientific method to philosophy by affirming that all beings and events in the universe (whatever their inherent character may be) are natural. Consequently, all knowledge of the universe falls within the pale of scientific investigation’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2016. S v naturalism).
The Virtuous Paedophile website (quoted by Shepherd) stated, ‘We do not choose to be attracted to children, and we cannot make that attraction go away’. This affirms the physical being dimension of paedophilia. Their view is that they can’t do anything about it as it is physically caused (genetic). This is further confirmed by the language, ‘We did not choose it, cannot change, and [we] successfully resist’ the ‘temptation to abuse children sexually’.
Are human beings made in the image of a good God whose character is righteous, or are right and wrong ‘determined by human choice alone, or the motions simply developed under an impetus toward cultural or physical survival’ (Sire 1988:18).
Shepherd raises that question that, like straight and gay people, paedophiles ‘can’t help being what they are’. However, she does speak of ‘every dirty secret’ being uncovered and ‘hints of new ones’ cropping up and this goes on and on. But there is no discussion of how one knows it is a dirty as opposed to a clean secret. She wants to disclose some aspect of what seems wrong or ‘dirty’, but no criteria for identification are given.
She mentions the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health study that found paedophiles are more likely to be left-handed and have lower IQ, thus indicating ‘a problem with brain development’. Then she draws the moral conclusion that this ‘would make it not their fault’ because it is physically caused by the brain. She did admit that ‘not all experts agree’, claiming ‘it’s genetic’ or ‘learned behaviour’ that could be ‘triggered by trauma or abuse’, but Shepherd did not get into discussion of right or wrong actions and what makes it morally one way or the other.
Then there is a push to try to differentiate ‘between a paedophile and a sexual offender’, which she claims is a ‘seldom-made distinction’. Here definition is that ‘it is possible to be deviant’ (presumably referring to a sex offender) and not deviant (‘attracted to children, but to never act on it’). I found it puzzling that no criteria were given to make this differentiation and then extending that to an understanding of how being attracted to children and thinking on children may lead to acting out paedophilic behaviour. This read like a relativistic attempt to explain and justify attraction to children.
In speaking of a USA based group, Virtuous Paedophiles, Shepherd wrote, ‘I suspect the mere idea of a paedophile calling himself or herself virtuous will have the self-appointed virtue police shuddering in their jim jams, but it’s an interesting concept’ (Shepherd 2015). This is Shepherd’s judgmental, value-laden assessment of how those who oppose ‘virtuous paedophiles’ could respond. She wants to make a right vs wrong assessment against those who oppose any thought of a group of Virtuous Paedophiles. So, she is making a value judgment but her view is loaded with anti-conservative values. She judgmentally labelled those who opposed ‘virtuous paedophiles’ as ‘self-appointed virtue police’ whose behaviour is to shudder ‘in their jim jams’. She is the one who has morally decided it is suitable to engage in put-downs of those whose values she rebels against. To label them as ‘virtue police’ is an extremist, rebellious opinion.
Shepherd’s value judgments of right and wrong continued. She could not see politicians having the ‘will to spend the money’ to roll out a nationwide program to help paedophiles (and thus save children) as it ‘will never be a vote winner’. She adds that ‘only the brave and petrified’ would be courageous enough ‘to try to get help’. Her value judgment is that ‘shame and fear would stop most of them’. From where did she gain that information to reach that verdict?
She is not identifying the criteria for her to determine what is right or wrong. Her moral challenges continued: Financial compensation for the children sexually abused in institutional care and considering ‘the actual cost to society of the pervasive trauma’ were raised by Shepherd. There is no discussion here of the impact on the psyche, soul or spirit, although one has to read between the lines to see some possible hint with the language of ‘pervasive trauma’ – but that’s a remote indicator.
She wrote of ‘every dirty secret uncovered’ and hints of more cropping up. There was no indicator of how to know it was a ‘dirty secret’. If it is ‘not their fault’ (her language, borrowed from ‘recent research), to call it a ‘dirty secret’ is provocative, contradictory language in my understanding. A ‘dirty secret … (that is) not their fault’ is an oxymoron way of putting it.
What about this value judgment? ‘What if, for less than the price of helping one survivor to heal, we can stop several from being hurt in the first place?’ (Shepherd 2015). I ask: Why should one pursue that which is right when it is not the paedophile’s fault and morality is not the issue? Why should a paedophile be morally blamed when it is an issue with wiring in the brain? How does one choose to save children (which I would do) and prevent paedophiles from committing acts (which I would do)? It is honourable to choose the vulnerable over the perpetrator, but what values of right and wrong are being used and how are they chosen? Shepherd does not articulate these and give a moral framework for deciding right from wrong.
What morality is contained in Shepherd’s (2015) statement, ‘If paedophiles get sympathy, respect and treatment, they say, there would be fewer offences. Fewer children raped. Surely that’s something worth thinking about?’ I find that to be another oxymoron. How can they receive ‘respect and treatment’ if it is ‘not their fault’? Why not accept these values: If we let paedophiles do what comes naturally to them (because their paedophilia is not their fault), why should we be worrying about how they practise paedophilia? It’s their natural desire being expressed and surely it would be inappropriate to inhibit something they can do nothing about? The way I’ve just stated it represents the values of a relativistic worldview that is expressed in this article by Shepherd. If the paedophile can say, ‘I will think and do what is right for me’, he/she is expressing relativism in action.
This journalist reported on phone calls to the Centres Against Sexual Assault from ‘people fantasising about children’ and they want help but there is little help available and ‘hardly any publicly funded programs’ for these paedophiles who are ‘potential offenders’. So these people have to be turned away from getting help. Wait a moment! These are the paedophiles for whom it is ‘not their fault’ and the problem is related to a physical malfunction in the brain’s wiring over which they have no control. This is another oxymoron. They can’t have it both ways: (i) It’s not their fault; (ii) it’s caused by a brain problem, but (iii) they need help through government funded programmes.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is ‘only just starting to bring home the horror’ how ‘institutions have forever attracted and then protected paedophiles’. What makes child sexual abuse a ‘horror’ when this abuser is not the fault of paedophiles? The problem is wrong wiring in the brain (Shepherd 2015).
Can’t you see the anomalies of trying to obtain help for paedophiles and victims when a journalist wants to label childhood sexual abuse as a ‘horror’ without providing a framework of morality to determine that sexual abuse is wrong and the abuse by the paedophile is a ‘horror’? I do not support child sexual abuse nor the paedophile’s behaviour, but again we see the values of relativism in action as promoted by Shepherd in her article.
For a more detailed analysis of worldviews, see Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino, ‘Questions about worldviews’ (Geisler & Bocchino 2001: 55-69).
Are values relative or absolute? This issue will be investigated now.
Three factors are exposed in Shepherd’s article: (1) Moral relativism, (2) Humanism, and (3) Secularism. The paedophile cure involves dealing with these three threats and promoting absolute truth. Let’s examine the issues.
argue that there are no objective moral values which help us to determine what is right or wrong. They claim “everything is relative.” In order to defend this position, the relativist puts forth two arguments: (1) Since people and cultures dis agree about morality, there are no objective moral values; (2) Moral relativism leads to tolerance of practices we may find different or odd (Beckwith 2009).
I find it to be a deceitful tactic to raise the expectation of a paedophile’s reputation to, ‘It is not their fault’, when not even bothering to explain how paedophilia and child sexual abuse can be regarded as wrong or ‘a horror’ (language cited by Shepherd). Please understand that I oppose paedophilia and child sexual abuse with vehemence, but Shepherd gave no grounds for determining what is right or wrong with these views. Moral relativism and secularism were assumed.
We live in a world that has many following the theme of Frank Sinatra’s song, ‘I Did It My Way’. If I’m allowed to choose my own values and do it my way, I need to allow you to do it your way. That means paedophiles, rapists, terrorists and thieves need to be allowed to pursue their own morality. The logical outcome of moral relativism is that nobody can stop anyone from doing what they want to do. That system of values will lead to chaos in society. Could we be seeing that in certain examples around the world? I’m thinking of,
- The paedophile examples I’ve given above;
- The terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 (CNN, Dec 24, 2015);
- The Syrian crisis (BBC);
- September 11, 2001 in New York City (Youtube).
What is the other value system that counters this? Truth is absolute! What does that teach? More on that below.
This term is a little more difficult to define as it has at least two dimensions. In one of its forms, ‘humanism itself is the overall attitude that human beings are of special value; their aspirations, their thoughts, their yearnings are significant’. This is an emphasis that I support as it asserts ‘the value of the individual person’. Since the time of the Renaissance there have been many thoughtful Christians and non-Christians who were pleased to call themselves humanists in a positive sense. These have included some Christians, including John Calvin (1509-1564), William Shakespeare (1564-1616), and John Milton (1608-1674) [Sire 1988:74-75].
There has been another negative view of humanism. Its tenets were drafted in Paul Kurtz & Edwin H Wilson’s Humanist Manifesto II (The American Humanist Association, 1973). Secular humanists would probably find the first 6 tenets of this Manifesto to harmonise with their secular values for the practice of secular humanism. In the words of the Preface to this Manifesto, ‘varieties and emphases of naturalistic humanism include “scientific,” “ethical,” “democratic,” “religious,” and “Marxist” humanism. Free thought, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, rationalism, ethical culture, and liberal religion all claim to be heir to the humanist tradition’ (The American Humanist Association, 1973).
However, what is secular?
What does it mean to have a secular view of life? Albert Mohler states that ‘secular refers to the absence of any binding divine authority or belief. Secularization is a sociological process whereby societies become less theistic as they become more modern’ (Mohler 2015:5).
The Council of Australian Humanist Societies claims that ‘Australia is and has always been a country with secular values’ (Harrad 2015). We know that this is not the case because when the first fleet arrived in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 with convicts from Great Britain, Richard Johnson was the first chaplain on The Endeavour and he represented the Anglican Church of Great Britain.
(image courtesy Wikipedia)
Rev Richard Johnson (ca. 1756 – 1827)
If you were to go into downtown Sydney, there’s a place where I would like you to stand.
Imagine you are standing in that spot, but instead of looking up at the tall buildings, and hearing the noise of the cars and the buses, above you is a great tree. You are in a wilderness – and the sounds you hear are the sounds of kookaburras – and the sounds of marching feet. For it is very near that spot – at the corner of Bligh and Hunter Streets – that, on Sunday 3rd February 1788, the first Christian church service was held in the Colony of New South Wales.
Just imagine it… Out in the harbour are moored eleven ships – the ships of the First Fleet, having carried just over a thousand people from Southampton.
There’s the Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip, twenty officials and their servants, 213 marines with some wives and children, more than 750 convicts – one chaplain and his wife – as well as one eternal optimist – a certain James Smith, the man who had actually stowed away on the First Fleet! (Marcus Loane, Hewn from the Rock, 1997-2016).
(photo courtesy Anglican Church League)
Marcus Loane explained the conflict between evangelical Christian values and secularism in the start of the Australian colony.
In 1792, he [Richard Johnson] wrote to the inhabitants of the Colony. It was a booklet he had published because the population of the Colony was increasing, and there was no way he could see everyone … so he wrote this booklet to set forth the gospel and to call upon men and women to repent. This is a part of what he wrote, and it gives us a good insight into what Johnson saw was his task and his message….
I have told you again and again, that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and that there is no coming to God with comfort, either in this world, or in that which is to come, but by him. He has told you so himself. And the apostle assures you, that there is no other name under heaven, given unto men, whereby they can be saved. Look unto him, and you shall be saved; if not, you must be damned. This is the plain truth, the express declaration of the Bible. Life and death are set before you.
Permit me then, as your minister, your friend, and a well-wisher to your souls, to press these serious and weighty considerations home upon your consciences once more. I hope and believe that I have asserted nothing, but what can be proved by the highest authority, the word of the living God.
They certainly deserve your closest and most careful attention, since it is plain beyond a doubt. that upon your knowledge or ignorance, your acceptance or rejection of this gospel, your everlasting happiness or misery must depend.
Yes, Richard Johnson was a man of the gospel – but there are two other men of whom we should take note –
Two other Men
The clear preaching of the gospel by Johnson soon brought him into conflict with the Governor, Arthur Phillip.
Phillip had no time for such strong Evangelical stuff and asked Johnson to “begin with moral subjects”.
This shows the fundamental division between these two key people in the new colony. Johnson was an evangelical, called to preach the gospel. He was concerned for the eternal welfare of the men and women of the colony. He wanted to see them turn to Christ and be saved.
Phillip, on the other hand, was called to establish the new settlement, and what he was concerned about was good order and a solid moral fibre for the community. He was happy to use what he saw as “religion” as a means to an end. It was OK to have a chaplain, as long as he didn’t take things too seriously.
But, as we know, Johnson did….
Let’s face it – if we preach the pure gospel of Christ today, we are not going to have civic leaders or social commentators or the media queuing up to thank us. The message we are called to proclaim is a lot more demanding than the polite morality many want to church to teach!
But there was another reaction to Richard Johnson’s preaching that was less favourable.
When, due to ill health, Arthur Phillip returned to England in December 1792, Major Francis Grose assumed control as Acting Governor.
Grose hated Johnson and the gospel he preached, and he set out to make life as hard as possible for the Chaplain.
In 1793, after continued government inaction on the construction of a promised church building, Mr Johnson built a church – largely with his own hands. It was big enough to hold 500 people and it opened on 25th August 1793 (Loane 1997-2016).
Yes, there were secularists with the first fleet who wanted to promote their agendas and oppose the faithful, evangelical chaplain, Richard Johnson, who planted biblical Christianity at Australia’s beginning. The result is that today the evangelicals have a large Anglican evangelical diocese in Sydney. The Bible Society reported:
In the Anglican Church, the presence of the evangelical diocese of Sydney makes things clear. Unlike other dioceses, it is the only one with better than expected attendance, according to the report’s criteria based on Census data.
In Sydney, 68,000 Anglicans are in church each Sunday. In Melbourne 21,000 Anglicans are in church on Sunday. It was pointed out at General Synod … that the growing churches were evangelical such as City on a Hill in Melbourne, and the Trinity group of churches in Adelaide (Sandeman 2014).
You will note in the Shepherd (2015) article that she does not provide any worldview framework for determining that the practice of paedophilia is wrong or a ‘horror’ and the sexual abuse of children is wrong. God did not come into the picture in determining values, so she is promoting a secular perspective for determining values. When this happens, the morals are determined by the government in power and there is no divine standard to which one or a government can appeal for determining morality and what is legal vs illegal.
My understanding is that Shepherd, in relying on the research she quoted, has arrived at an ethical view of paedophilia that could be described as relativistic secular humanism. However, Shepherd is espousing a view that I find prevalent in the daily radio & TV news and news online. The emphases are:
The are no absolute values of right and wrong;
Progressive liberalism and free thought;
Belief about paedophilia that has no relationship with God’s values;
Paedophilia related to a physical attribute – wiring in the brain.
In avoiding a Christian solution through a theistic worldview (which is expected from a secular newspaper journalist), Shepherd has avoided dealing with a core issue that could help fix the problem.
That is also the case with Kylie Miller’s assessment. She is a senior analyst of the National Crime Authority in Australia, who concluded her presentation on ‘Paedophilia: Police and Prevention’ with this viewpoint:
Given the very low rehabilitation rate for paedophiles, their tendency towards lifelong offending, and the high number of potential victims, it is clear that the resources expended on the detection of child sexual abuse, need to be balanced against resources devoted to the prevention of child sexual abuse. Although law enforcement plays an important role in detecting and countering child sexual abuse, the criminal justice system cannot deal with this problem alone: it needs to be tackled holistically. Police, lawyers, the courts, community services, teachers, doctors, parents and the media all have a role to play in countering child sexual abuse, and a cooperative and coordinated effort is vital to successfully reduce paedophile activity (Miller n d).
Miller, although her emphasis was on a law enforcement perspective, in this summary conclusion has omitted an important dimension of a holistic solution. This is now addressed.
Scripture is very clear that the problem of sinful humanity, with its many manifestations, has to deal with a deceitful human heart that not only affects paedophiles, writers dealing with paedophilia, and those of us reading this article on paedophiles. In addition, the problem of sexual immorality is a sin that is an unrighteous action that will prohibit people from entering God’s kingdom. The language from 1 Corinthians 6:9 is very clear, ‘Do not be deceived’. There is a deception being practised when one does not want to deal with the sins of sexual immorality (including paedophilia). See the context of this statement about deception in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV).
Try convincing a 5-year-old raped by a paedophile that it’s not the paedophile’s fault but the paedophile was born that way and he can’t help it because of a brain malfunction. I find this to be straining at a gnat to justify immoral, wicked, devastating behaviour.
Scripture’s perspective is:
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV).
Where does the paedophile fit into this list of ‘wrongdoers’? He would be among ‘the sexually immoral’ or ‘men who have sex with men’. The ‘sexually immoral’ term is based on the Greek, pornos, which means ‘the sexually immoral persons in this world … differentiated from an adulterer ( 1 Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4)’ (Arndt & Gingrich 1957:700).
I find it to be half-baked or whacko when the world’s standards can become such that they want to redefine sexually immoral behaviour into that ‘which would make it not their fault’ and ‘if paedophiles got sympathy, respect and treatment, they say, there would be fewer offences. Fewer children raped. Surely that’s something worth thinking about?’ (Shepherd 2015)
Yes, it’s certainly worth thinking about for one second and no more and then dumping the idea because it is right off base when compared with a biblical worldview of the cause of sexual perversion, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)
Where is the cure? It is through a heart change, an inner change of one’s being, that brings a change of view towards the nature of human beings, the human dilemma, right versus wrong, and how the Lord God is involved in the change process through Jesus Christ. Let’s examine some of these emphases:
Psalm 51:10 (NIV), ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me’.
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV), ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV), ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’
Colossians 3:1 (NIV), ‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God’.
What does ‘heart’ mean in the Old Testament Scriptures here cited? In Psalm 51:10, ‘“Heart” is in the Hebrew the center where thoughts and plans originate. This is to be redone, as is also the spirit of the man [human being] himself, which had wavered in uncertainty and vacillated between hope and despair’ (Leupold 1959:405).
That new creation for every person, including the paedophile, requires acknowledgement of the real problem. It is not primarily a wiring in the brain issue, it is a sinful human heart. See the article by Greg Herrick, ‘The Seat of Sin, the Heart’ (Herrick 2004). But a relativistic secular humanist will run a mile from wanting to label the paedophile’s problem sin. But that’s exactly what it is. If researchers spent more time on allowing the Gospel to be proclaimed to paedophiles and then those who responded to be discipled, we should get closer to the cure. However, it still leaves us with punishment in prison for those who do not respond to Christ’s salvation. For them, there is no cure and they will have to be constantly monitored whenever they are out of jail. That’s the sad situation we face with paedophile back-sliders (recidivists)
The Christian worldview difference that provides a diagnosis and cure for the paedophile problem, which is the problem for any sinner, is covered in my summary article, The Content of the Gospel . . . and some discipleship.
However, don’t expect a secular audience to accept this diagnosis.
5. Sin and an antagonistic, secular, Australian culture
The rejection of the Christian diagnosis is seen in what happened to a Christian street preacher on Queensland’s Gold Coast in December 2015. Family Voice Australia covered the story:
A member of Operation 513 preaches in Cavill Mall on the Gold Coast (photo courtesy Family Voice Australia, 7 December 2015).
George, a Queensland street preacher with the Operation 513 group, was arrested on Friday night, despite being authorised to assemble and preach peacefully in the Surfers Paradise Cavill Mall under the state’s Peaceful Assembly Act. Operation 513 had preached in Cavill Mall on several previous occasions without any complaints.
At about 10.30 pm, a police sergeant approached George and told him to “move on” after he had mentioned some sins listed in the Bible (eg 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) – such as adultery, slander, theft, greed, swindling and homosexual conduct.
George and the group organiser Ryan Hemelaar asked for clarification. The female sergeant said (in part): “You have talked about homosexuality, offending members of the public about homosexuality. You are talking about other religions – [saying] that they aren’t right, aren’t God’s way. Now we have members of the public here who are of other religions. Your words over this speaker are causing anxiety. A member of the public has had a go at you and this man here [George] is antagonising him by quoting [from the Bible] in the opposite of what he is trying to say.”
Ryan Hemelaar tried in vain to explain that the group had official authorisation, so that under section 45 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act, police could not lawfully give a “move on” order.
An acting senior police sergeant and an inspector then arrived and told George to move on immediately or be arrested. George refused to move on. He was handcuffed and arrested for disobeying a police direction. He was later released and issued with a notice to appear in court later this month.
Family Voice Queensland director Geoffrey Bullock is deeply concerned by the police action.
“Since when has it been an offence to discuss Bible teaching in Queensland?” he asked. “Whatever happened to religious freedom? Are we rapidly becoming a ‘police state’?” (Family Voice Australia 2016)
I don’t expect that a relativistic, secular humanist perspective like that promoted in Shepherd’s article will want to be open to the biblical worldview in this article because ‘the heart is deceitful’ for paedophiles, paedophile researchers, journalists, and me. Without changed hearts, we’ll be seeking all kinds of secular alibis to explain or justify sinful behaviour.
Notice how a secular, anti-Christian expresses it crudely and blasphemously online. The topic was, ‘What does the Bible say about pedophilia?’ This person wrote:
Bugger what the bible says or does’nt (sic) say. IT’S WHAT WE BELIEVE IS RIGHT OR NOT AND IT’S NOT. Believe it or not we live in a different century to when the bible was written and we deal with things according to the current bible which is the book of law and common ethics.
That’s a crude, moral relativist’s way of expressing it. However, the fact remains that for paedophilia to be immoral, there has to be an absolute law of right or wrong. ‘It’s what we believe is right or not’ is not the way to build a just society. That’s the means of promoting moral relativism of all people doing what’s right in their own eyes.
We had an example of such in the Old Testament: ‘In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes’ (Judges 17:6; 21:25 NLT). What was the result? They departed from the Lord God and made ‘household gods’ and ordained priests to lead worship to these false gods (Judges 17:5 NIV). There were no judges in the land of Israel to point out the wrong and how this behaviour deviated from God’s law. There were no judges in the land of Israel to point out the wrong and how this behaviour deviated from God’s law.
The essence is: For paedophilia to be unlawful, there needs to be laws made by the governments to convict paedophiles. Here are the laws proposed by the Australian state of New South Wales, as reported by Brittany Hughes of Triple M:
Paedophiles who prey on children younger than 10 for sexual intercourse will face life behind bars under new laws to be introduced to NSW Parliament….
Attorney General Gabrielle Upton will introduce legislation increasing the maximum penalty for the offence from 25 years to life behind bars.
The proposal is part of a series of measures taken by the government following a pre-election promise by Premier Mike Baird to get tough on child sex offenders.
If passed, Ms Upton says the laws will see paedophiles hit with lengthy jail terms and “bring sentences into line with community expectations,”
“These are the worst crimes against the most vulnerable in our community, our children, our young people and too often sentences handed down don’t align with community expectation” (Hughes 2015, emphasis in original).
This NSW legislation was passed on 24 June 2015 that increased the maximum sentence for sexual intercourse with a child under age 10 from 25 years to life in prison (Mamamia News 2015)
How do the laws in my home state of Queensland (Qld) against paedophilia compare with other states. Sadly there is no uniformity of legislation across the Australia. However, this is the Qld situation when compared with Victoria and South Australia:
In Victoria the crime of sex with a child under 10 attracts a maximum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment.
In Queensland and South Australia, many serious sex offences against children already carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment (Mamamia News 2015).
The Queensland government has made available online a copy of its Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 (effective at 19 March 2014 when this legislation was published online), that states that ‘criminal activity’, including criminal paedophilia, ‘involves an indictable offence punishable on conviction by a term of imprisonment not less than 14 years’ (Queensland: Crime and Misconduct Act 2001).
Paedophilia is illegal because the law of the country in which one lives makes it illegal, along with punishment for the perpetrator.
However, who or what informs the content of this legislation? Obviously people in government and in the community consider that it is wrong for an adult to sexually violate a child. But what makes it wrong?
That’s not how Tory Shepherd (2015) reported it. Her article began with:
Evidence shows that it might be true; paedophiles are born that way. Recent research suggests some faulty wiring in the brain. Things about children that are meant to elicit a protective response instead elicit a sexual one (Shepherd 2015).
Notice the language, ‘It might be true’. It did not begin with a statement such as, ‘Paedophilia is wrong. The law of the land states that it is morally reprehensible behaviour that is always immoral. It is an indictable offense and that conduct should never be tolerated in a civil society. Children should be protected from such vile predators’. Could you imagine a journalist in a secular newspaper writing what I created in this paragraph?
Why could she not conclude that way? It seems that her relativistic, secular humanism worldview enables her to brush aside the absolutes of morally repulsive paedophilia because if it is a problem with ‘wiring in the brain’, then it ‘would make it not their fault’ (Shepherd 2015).
What is morally right or wrong does not appear in Shepherd’s worldview, based on her article.
This is where the crunch comes. Can people be good without God? Can they develop truly just legislation for all in society? Is it possible for both paedophile and victim to be treated with compassion in a secular society?
Peter Hitchens, a world renowned journalist and brother of the late Christopher Hitchens (leading British columnist and prominent atheist), attempted to address this in his article, ‘Good without God? Morality’s Foundations Crumble in the Absence of Christianity’ (Hitchens 2014). Peter’s claim was that Christopher’s dismissal of absolute theistic morality and his claim that ‘the order to “love thy neighbour as thyself” is too extreme and too strenuous to be obeyed’. Christopher claimed that human beings ‘are not so constituted as to care for others as much as themselves’. Peter contradicted this as being ‘demonstrably untrue’ by examples of mothers devoted to children, doctors and nurses risking infection and death to care for others, husbands and/or wives caring for sick, incontinent and demented spouses at the ends of their lives. Peter noted that ‘the absolute code has been jettisoned, and we have all become adept at making excuses for shirking such duties’ and ‘selflessness of this kind will become less common’ with many spin-off effects in diverse disciples and situations. Part of his assessment was:
Christianity is without doubt difficult and taxing, and all of us must fail to emulate the perfection of Christ himself, but we are far better for trying than for not trying, and we know that there is forgiveness available for honest failure. My brother’s suggestion that we are urged to be superhuman “on pain of death and torture” reveals a misunderstanding both of the nature of the commandments and of the extent of forgiveness. There is also some excuse-making involved (Peter Hitchins 2014).
Some of the comments online about Peter Hitchens’ article included:
- ‘The freedom to pick and choose what one feels is appropriate provides both perspective and flexability [sic] (tolerance and harmony). A fixed or ‘absolute’ stance leaves no room for compromise or accommodation’ (GR8APE in Hitchens 2014).
- ‘I think this article is wrestling with how do you say something is right or wrong if there is no higher authority or giver of morality?
‘I don’t think it is saying that unless you are a Christian you cannot do good things. Indeed, the gospel says nothing of the sort. It says we are all sinners and have fallen short. Unlike every other religion, the gospel says we are not saved by works, we are saved by the grace of God, so no one can boast. It also says we all know right from wrong, not because we have accepted Christ, but because He has written it on all our hearts’ (Belinda in Hitchens 2014).
These two comments represent the divide I’ve been attempting to expose in this article:
- If everyone has the ‘freedom to pick and choose what one feels is appropriate’ with tolerance and harmony and there are no ‘fixed’ absolutes, why should I choose ‘tolerance and harmony’? That’s one person’s point of view (I happen to agree with the person, but my foundation is biblical Christianity). If anyone picks and chooses what is appropriate, the paedophile, murderer, thief and terrorist must be allowed to do the same thing. This is relativism in action and will lead to disaster in society.
- However, the second example demonstrates the need for a higher authority than human beings to determine right and wrong of morals. God has written this on the conscience of all human beings (see Romans 2:15-16 ESV).. To be able to put this into action, a person needs a changed heart that only Christian conversion can bring. Other attempts at doing good works are sustained by human energy and have a serious potential to fail when there is no change of heart that Jesus brings to a Christian believer.
Romans 1:19-23 (NIV) is clear that all human beings know the attributes of God clearly, but they suppress the truth of this ‘by their wickedness’ (Rom 1:18). The consequence of this is that there is no such person as an atheist as all people know ‘God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature’ from creation and all people are ‘without excuse’ (Rom 1:20) So those who claim to be atheists are really agnostics who don’t want to know what God has revealed to them because of ‘their wickedness’ which causes them to ‘suppress the truth’ of God’s revelation to them (Rom 1:18).
From the beginning of time, there have been two options for moral direction in any society and they are demonstrated by those two examples: (1) Human beings choose their own values and this could involve turning to world religions (including relativistic, secular humanism), or (2) People turn to the God of Scripture for his absolutes on moral behaviour and use these values for personal and societal morals.
This leads to my concluding evaluation, an issue that has faced humanity throughout its history:
These are the words of Pontius Pilate at the time when Jesus was handed over to him. Pilate said to Jesus, ‘“So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”’ (John 18:37-38 ESV).
The Christian answers this question with what Jesus said. He did not want his disciples taken out of the world but that they be kept from the evil one. Thus his absolute is paramount, ‘Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth’ (John 17:17). Jesus’ further word was in what he said to Thomas, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6). What the Scriptures say is true, is absolutely true. ‘You shall not murder’ is true for all people at all times (Ex 20:13; Matt 5:21; Rom 13:9). How is that so? The Scriptures endorse that command. There are two covenants revealed in Scripture: (a) The Old Covenant for the Israelites, contained in the Old Testament, and (b) The New Covenant revealed in the New Testament. Christians pursue the New Covenant.
But what about the other view, ‘I will do what’s right for me; you do what’s right for you’. This is a relativistic view of truth and has these consequences according to Paul Copan:
- If my belief is only true for me, then why isn’t your belief only true for you? Aren’t you saying you want me to believe the same thing you do?
- You say that no belief is true for everyone, but you want everyone to believe what you do.
- You’re making universal claims that relativism is true and absolutism is false. You can’t in the same breath say, ‘Nothing is universally true’ and ‘My view is universally true.’ Relativism falsifies itself. It claims there is one position that is true – relativism!
- You’re applying your view to everyone but yourself. You expect others to believe your views (the ‘self-excepting fallacy’) [Copan 1998].
How then does one determine what is true?
This actually happened when I was aged 6 years. I had just begun primary school and used to walk to our one room, one teacher school, with about 6 grades in the one room, from our cane farm just up the road. One morning I woke up with horrific pains in my knees and ankles which were so swollen and painful that I could not bear to have the sheets touch them.
(Ford Prefect A493A utility – photo courtesy commons.wikimedia.com)
My parents rushed me to hospital from our cane farm near Bundaberg. It took 30 minutes in our old Ford Prefect utility to where I was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital (now known as The Friendly Society Private Hospital – the Friendlies – Bundaberg, Qld., Australia). I was there for some weeks as the doctors sought a diagnosis. It was there that Thelma Stay, radio announcer of ‘Hello the Hospitals’ on 4BU Bundaberg became my friend as parents, relatives and friends sent me get well greetings through that programme and one of my favourite country music songs was sung – often by Slim Dusty with a song such as, ‘When the rain tumbles down in July’.
I had contracted rheumatic fever and must remain in bed, flat on my back, not raising my head as that would cause further heart damage. When home from hospital, my Dad made a special wooden trestle to put over my body as I lay on the bed, on which to place school books to do school work.
This same kind of experience happened again with further bouts of rheumatic fever at ages 10 and 12 that left me with leaking heart valves.
These descriptions of my rheumatic fever attacks and the excruciating pain remain with me today in my mature age. I live with the truth that corresponds with reality of three rheumatic fever attacks. I can make truthful statements about what happened in those years that could be confirmed by my parents (they are at home with the Lord now). My brother and sister can confirm the events that happened. They were younger so they probably remember the bouts at ages 10 and 12 better. However, with plausible accuracy, we can remember the health issues that happened in my early years. There is evidence that could have been accumulated from doctors, hospitals and others. We live with this view of truth – that which corresponds with the facts of reality.
If objective truth were not available (through correspondence with the facts) and the absolutes of God’s moral laws in Scripture were denied, society would be swimming in the sea of relativism with no absolute view of right and wrong.
For a more detailed explanation of the nature of truth, see, ‘Questions about Truth’ by Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino (Geisler & Bocchino 2001:31-53).
A seemingly inoffensive article appeared in the Herald Sun in April 2015 that promoted the view that ‘if people are born straight, or gay, is it possible that paedophiles can’t help being what they are?’ (Shepherd 2015) She introduced the possibility that research into paedophilia has attempted to confirm that for paedophiles they have some faulty wiring in the brain that ‘would make it not their fault’.
A closer look at Tory Shepherd’s article found some other dynamics in the agenda being promoted in the article. After defining paedophilia and revealing why it is a crime, several examples of convicted paedophiles were given and this included acknowledgement of the impact on victims.
After explaining the nature of a worldview and the dimensions of such a view, it was shown that Shepherd appears to promote a worldview of relativistic secular humanism. An attempt was made to demonstrate that that worldview misses a critical diagnosis and cure for paedophilia and other sins, that are available through a Christian worldview. The diagnosis and cure relate to dealing with the heart of the matter, the sinful heart that needs a radical change provided by the Gospel and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The final section examined why paedophilia is immoral and unlawful and how one informs the content of government legislation. This involved an examination of the nature of truth – relativism versus absolutes. Truth is that which corresponds with reality when the evidence is gathered.
Why are people not listening to the truth of Jesus and God’s absolutes revealed in Scripture? ‘But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness’ (Rom 1:18 NLT).
Jesus said: ‘The reason I was born and
came into the world is to testify to the
truth. Everyone on the side of truth
listens to me’ (John 18:37 NIV).
Arndt, W F & Gingrich, F W 1957. A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (limited edition licensed to Zondervan Publishing House).
Beckwith, F J 2009. Philosophical problems with moral relativism. Christian Research Institute (online), April 6. Available at: http://www.equip.org/article/philosophical-problems-with-moral-relativism/ (Accessed 26 January 2016).
Branco, J 2016. Convicted paedophile who raped stepdaughter to be watched until 2021. Brisbane Times (online), January 17. Available at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/convicted-paedophile-who-raped-stepdaughter-to-be-watched-until-2021-20160115-gm6xat.html (Accessed 17 January 2016).
Campion, T 2013. Tommy Campion and Phillip Aspinall – the road to redemption. news.com.au (online), May 25. Available at: http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/tommy-campion-and-phillip-aspinall-the-road-to-redemption/story-fnii5s3x-1226650281095 (Accessed 16 January 2016).
Copan, P 1998. ‘That’s true for you but not for me’ (Relativism). uccf: thechristianunions (online). Available at bethinking, at: http://www.bethinking.org/truth/thats-true-for-you-but-not-for-me-relativism (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Family Voice Australia 2016. Gold Coast preacher arrested for talking about sin (online), December 7. Available at: http://www.fava.org.au/news/2015/gold-coast-preacher-arrested-for-talking-about-sin/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Geisler, N & Bocchino, P 2001. Unshakable foundations. Bloomington, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers.
Harrad, S 2015. Australian Humanist Conference – Brisbane 2016. Council of Australian Humanist Societies (online), September 28. Available at: http://www.humanist.org.au/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Herrick, G 2004. The seat of sin, the heart. Bible.org (online), June 9. Available at: https://bible.org/seriespage/3-seat-sin-heart (Accessed 29 January 2016).
Hitchens, P 2014. Good without God? Morality’s foundations crumble in the absence of Christianity. ABC Religion and Ethics (online), December 3. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/12/03/4141760.htm (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Hughes, B 2015. Paedophiles who prey on kids under 10 to get life in jail: Laws tightened to crack down on offenders. Triple M (online), May 11. Available at: http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/news/blog/2015/5/paedophiles-who-prey-on-kids-under-10-to-get-life-in-jail/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Kaplan, M 2015. Taking pedophilia seriously. Washington and Lee Law Review (online), 72(1), Winter, 75-170. Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4438&context=wlulr (Accessed 16 January 2016).
Lawrence, K 2009. Inside the mind of evil predator, convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson. The Daily Telegraph (online), September 19. Available at: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/inside-the-mind-of-evil-predator-convicted-paedophile-dennis-ferguson/story-e6freuy9-1225776838465 (Accessed 15 January 2016).
Leupold, H C 1959. Exposition of The Psalms. London: Evangelical Press.
Loane, M 1997-2016. Hewn from the Rock. In ‘Richard Johnson – first Chaplain to Australia’, Anglican Church League (online). Available at: http://acl.asn.au/resources/richard-johnson-first-chaplain-to-australia/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Mamamia News 2015. New laws mean life in prison for convicted paedophiles, June 25. Available at: http://www.mamamia.com.au/paedophiles-maximum-penalty/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).
McKenna, M 2010. Aussie pedophile’s jail sentence a fraction of US term. The Australian (online), September 9. Available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/aussie-pedophiles-jail-sentence-a-fraction-of-us-term/story-e6frg6nf-1225916110205 (Accessed 16 January 2016).
Miller, K n d. Paedophilia: Policy and prevention. Detection and reporting of paedophilia: A law enforcement perspective. Australian Institute of Criminology (online). Available at: http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/conferences/paedophilia/miller.pdf (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Mohler, Jr., R A 2015. We Cannot Be Silent. Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson Books.
Sandeman, J 2014. Two Australian denominations face big challenges. Bible Society (online), July 11. Available at: http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/two-australian-denominations-face-big-challenges (Accessed 30 January 2016).
Seto, M C 2012. Is pedophilia a sexual orientation? Archives of Sexual Behavior 41, 231-236.
Shepherd, T 2015, Should we help paedophiles? What choice do we have? The Herald Sun (online) April 7. Available at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/rendezview/should-we-help-paedophiles-what-choice-do-we-have/news-story/8bdfbee176a10520706f67c19a3bb8fd (Accessed 15 January 2016).
Sire, J 1988. The Universe Next Door: A Basic World View Catalog, b updated & exp. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.
 Throughout the body of this article, I have used the Australian (British) spelling of paedophile and its derivatives, but have used the American spelling, pedophile, in the title for Internet recognition by search engines.
 Dr Michael C Seto is a Canadian clinical psychologist, associate professor, and a director of forensic rehabilitation research. His CV details are at: http://individual.utoronto.ca/michaelseto/ (Accessed 16 January 2016).
 Bravehearts 2012. Child Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics, December. Available at: http://www.bravehearts.org.au/files/Facts%20and%20Stats_updated141212.pdf (Accessed 15 January 2016).
 The word ‘unendable’ was not found in Oxford dictionaries (online), Merriam-Webster dictionary (online), dictionary.reference.com, and The Macquarie Dictionary. There is a brief discussion of the meaning and use of ‘unendable’ at: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/unendable.2351375/ (Accessed 26 January 2016).
 No date is given for this presentation, but she cites statistics from 1994 and footnotes from 1996.
 The footnote at this point stated, ‘Or Christ, that person is a new creation’.
 Yahoo! Answers n d. Available at: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070703010944AAI5VAc (Accessed 17 January 2016).
 Ibid., knackers
 This is ‘a translation and adaptation of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-Deutsches Wörtbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur’, 4th rev and aug ed, 1952 (Arndt & Gingrich 1957:iii).
 This is a 1969 reprint edition. The original publication of 1959 was with The Wartburg Press, assigned to Augsburg Publishing House in 1961.
 Only the abstract of the article is able free online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-011-9882-6#page-1 (Accessed 16 January 2016).
Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 20 May 2016.