Does God Accept Pedophiles?

I recently had a personal encounter with Jesus which has made me realize beyond any doubt that God is real. I now want to please Him more than anything and I have been trying to become educated on spiritual matters as quickly as I can. I’m already in my 50s so I feel like I am getting a very late start to something that is of supreme importance. My desire is to understand the truth, no matter how grim. As you seem to be very straightforward in your material, and well versed on spiritual matters (based on the material I’ve read from your other site), I am hoping that I can count on you to give me a straight answer to my question, which is this: Will God accept me in my current state, which is that of a pedophile, or do I need to first cure myself of that condition before I can hope to make progress with Him? In my search for spiritual education, I came across a YouTube video of a sermon by what seems to be a very successful and respected preacher (based on the size of the audience and quality of the facilities). In his sermon, he was very insistent that God will not accept anyone who does not approach Him with true reverential submission and sincerity. He further stated that a true desire for God cannot exist alongside the internal embracing of perversion. He specifically mentioned pedophilia as a condition which is entirely incompatible with a sincere love or desire for God. His argument sounded extremely well supported with biblical evidence (which I’m in no position to refute given my ignorance on the subject). The fact that he specifically mentioned pedophiles as being loathsome to God both shocked and devastated me, as I now question if this was God communicating to me a specific requirement that I have to first find a way to eradicate the root of these perverse thoughts before I approach Him again. To err on the side of caution, I have stopped trying to communicate with Him at all since watching that video, and I feel destroyed by the idea of missing the chance to know my own Creator. I want to of course meet His demands, but I honestly fear that it might not be possible, given my age and how long I have struggled with this. I am hoping you can provide clarity on this, as I feel so new and ignorant that I just want to verify the truth of what I heard before I decide on a course of action. I don’t feel I can ask God Himself without risk of angering Him to the point that I will lose all hope of ever relating to Him in the future.

I’m very glad you wrote in, as there are several urgent issues that need to be addressed here. First, you need to mentally label that preacher you watched as extremely dangerous and avoid any and all material from him in the future. He is grossly misrepresenting who God is and how He views human beings, and when someone is that wrong about an issue as fundamental and important as how God judges us, listening to them is going to do you a lot more harm than good.

Suppose you come down with the flu. You have a pounding headache, a fever, a dry throat, and a queasy stomach. Would you ever look at those symptoms of yours and say “Clearly these things are evidence that I am a truly monstrous, immoral person who utterly delights in evil?” Of course not. You instinctively understand the absurdity of using your physical health to measure your moral character because the two things clearly have nothing to do with each other. In the same way, your psychological health has nothing to do with your soul’s values, desires, or sincerity towards God.

In the case of a flu, your fever is the symptom of a physical crisis. The crisis is being caused by vicious little pathogens attacking and temporarily overwhelming your body’s defences.

In the case of pedophilia, the inappropriate thoughts about kids are a symptom of a psychological crisis. The crisis is caused by you going through horrific real life experiences which are so core shattering that your mind’s defences against stress become temporarily overwhelmed.

Once your physical defences against germs are overwhelmed, you come down with a set of miserable symptoms that impede your body’s ability to function normally.

Once your psychological defences against stress are overwhelmed, you come down with a set of miserable symptoms that impede your mind’s ability to function normally.

In both of these cases, your soul will react to what is happening. The correct reaction to both of these scenarios is “Yikes! Obviously something is not right! I’m clearly in some kind of crisis that needs to be addressed!” This is an entirely different response than saying, “I’m a sick and horrible human being who has no right to breathe!”

Now suppose that in the midst of your flu symptoms, you were to say, “These symptoms are just part of my natural personality! I refuse to see them as a sign that something is wrong with me! Instead, I’m going to celebrate this burning fever and see if I can make it burn even hotter! And I’m going to take pride in this headache and see if I can get it to pound even harder!” That would be pretty foolish, right? If you start treating negative problems like positive things, you will start behaving in a way that makes your problems even worse. The worse your problems become, the more hampered your ability to function will become.

In these modern times, there is a lot of pressure for people to celebrate the existence of severe psychological crises and to avoid doing anything that might help to resolve them. That is true insanity. When we start calling unhealthy “healthy,” we quickly spiral down into a very dark place. But we can end up in just as dark of a place when we start defining people by their problems.

Pedophilia is a symptom of a psychological problem, it is not an identity. God teaches us to recognise problems for what they are. He is very much against the idea of us calling something bad “good” or calling wrong “right”. But while God wants us to be honest about the existence of our problems, He does not want us defining ourselves by those problems. Today when people go around “identifying” as homosexual or transsexuals, it’s like they’re saying “This single symptom of psychological trauma is what defines me as a human being.” To say “I’m gay” or “I’m non-binary” or “I’m a pedophile” is like saying “I’m a runny nose” or “I’m a headache.” No one is a symptom. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a pedophile. He sees that you are currently in a state of psychological trauma, and that one of the symptoms of your specific trauma happens to be pedophilia. Fine. We all have problems in life, but God doesn’t pursue relationships with symptoms or problems. He pursues relationships with souls.

You are a soul who God created because He personally wanted you to exist. God’s plan has always been to cultivate a personal relationship with you, but God intentionally makes us aware of His existence at different times. The fact that God has delayed in introducing Himself to you until now does not mean you are “getting started late.” You are actually getting started right on time. God has a unique plan for every soul, so you should really drop the idea that your body’s physical age is somehow relevant to your soul’s journey with God. God has been actively involved in your life since the moment He created you. The big change that has occurred is that He has suddenly made you aware of His involvement and of His personal interest in you–an interest which He has always had, and which has not been the slightest bit diminished by you developing pedophilia.

Here is a vital rule to bear in mind: never stop talking to God. That will never be a helpful solution in any situation. This thing you’re doing of shutting down communication on your end only makes you more vulnerable to being spiritually deceived. A useful guideline for spiritual maturity is to talk to God more when you are stressed, not less. God is never going to tell you to stop talking to Him. Undoubtedly He’s been talking to you loads since you watched that terrible video, trying to get you to stop giving Him the silent treatment. So start talking to Him again, and ask Him to help you understand truth from lies.

It’s great that you are aware of how much you don’t know. That’s far better than starting off with buckets of arrogance. But here is where you need to understand that you don’t need to understand everything as of yesterday. This is a process that is supposed to take eons of time so there’s no need to feel super pressured about learning. Instead, you want to focus on being totally receptive to anything that God wants to teach you, while you are also being very cautious about trusting what other people say. Yes, God certainly uses people to say things to you, but when He does this, He will confirm to you that that is what He is doing (see How to Recognize God’s Teaching Voice). God will never encourage you to view some created being as a stand-in for Him. Instead, He will teach you that He is the only Authority on truth, therefore you need to check with Him before you just believe what someone else has taught you.

Another important caution here is to not be so impressed by statistics and wealth. Ironically, these things are usually negative indicators when it comes to how trustworthy a source of spiritual teaching is. While there are exceptions to every rule, the general principle is that the more popular some church/ministry/teaching is, the more corrupt it is. The reason for this is that God’s truth is complicated and it has many aspects to it that humans find universally threatening. When you teach truth, you are not going to be popular, because some of the stuff you’re saying will automatically repulse and/or threaten a ton of people. A classic example here is the fact that God does not hate pedophiles. The victims of pedophiles naturally hate their attackers, and the general public does not understand pedophilia. Humans tend to react fearfully to what they don’t understand, especially when whatever it is causes harm. A single incident of sexual assault feels like it destroys people for life, and since pedophiles are often perceived as being active sex offenders, naturally people find them terrifying, hence we have all of this hatred towards pedophiles. Since God understands the mechanics of pedophilia, He sees it for what it is and He responds to it appropriately instead of blowing it out of proportion. God does not struggle to see value in pedophiles because He does not confuse the soul with the symptom the way we humans do. Since God loves all souls, of course He loves pedophiles, because they are souls. Yet this is a fact about God which people find extremely offensive and upsetting. People naturally want their Creator to hate what they hate, so if you preach that pedophiles are monsters who God wants nothing to do with, that will be a popular message. If you preach the truth about how God views pedophiles, no one is going to come to your church, and you’ll probably start receiving death threats. There are many truths about God which humans do not want to hear. Since many people go into “ministry” with the dream of becoming rich and famous, they quickly decide to start promoting popular lies over unpopular truths in order to benefit themselves. The result is a very common pattern of seeing extremely popular spiritual leaders pumping out a ton of false teaching without any concern over the devastating effect that teaching is having on their audience. As you now know from personal experience, it is extremely detrimental to your soul to accept lies about God. Since He is the only One who can help you recognise a lie, refusing to talk to Him is guaranteed to slow down your spiritual progress. So never stop talking to God. He is the only Being in existence who is worthy of absolute trust.

As far as curing yourself from pedophilia, it’s certainly a positive goal to move towards, but it should not be your top priority. Pursuing a relationship with your Creator is far more important than fixing yourself. In real life, our struggles and problems can massively benefit our souls if we are willing to let God guide us. There is nothing that God can’t pull positive lessons out of, including pedophilia. One of the reasons I personally like working with pedophiles is because their particular struggle sets them up so well to make fantastic spiritual advances. The same is true for anyone who is grappling with trauma. God is a master at bringing good out of bad, and He always has positive motivations for bringing trauma into our lives in the first place (see Why Does God Give Some of Us Such Hellish Lives?).

At this point, it’s vital for you to realise that God didn’t introduce Himself to you without a plan in mind. This means the pressure is not on you to figure out how to advance this new relationship. He already has an extremely detailed strategy all worked out for how to deepen your personal bond with Him. All you need to do is try to relax and follow His lead. One thing you can be sure of is that He is far more keen to advance this relationship than you are, because He loves you far more than you love Him. This isn’t a minimisation of your love for Him, which is obviously quite sincere, it’s simply due to the fact that He knows you inside and out and He is your Creator, not just another being who you happened to bump into one day. God has been extremely interested in you since the moment He came up with the idea of you, so for Him this is a very exciting new stage in His journey with you: one in which He gives you that life-changing “aha moment” which enables your soul to now actively respond to Him. This is the start of a fabulous new chapter for you and Him and He wants you to enjoy it. So start talking to Him again, and don’t get stalled in grovelling or apologising over honest mistakes. Your soul’s motivations for shutting down on Him were linked to a sincere desire to respect Him and God is always delighted by our sincere efforts to please Him even when they are misguided.

Don’t worry about mastering the Christian Bible or any other religious text. You only want to get into those subjects when God is prompting you to do so, and then you should only stick with it until He tells you to take a break. God teaches us in manageable bits; He doesn’t expect us to swallow an ocean’s worth of knowledge in one go (see Spiritual Maturity: Learning From A God Who Loves To Teach). To help you gain some kind of framework for recognizing false teaching/convictions in the future, I recommend that you download these charts, and of course ask God for His opinion as you read through them. Remember that this whole you and God thing is designed by Him to work, so you needn’t worry that one misstep is going to wreck things forever. Once God introduces Himself to you so clearly, there’s no going back to the way things were before, and that’s a good thing.

This post was written in response to Stan.