Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Is Congressman Mark Foley a Pedophile?

Mark Foley, a Republican Congressman who represented parts of Palm Beach County in Florida for 12 years has resigned and entered a rehabilitation program. He has been disgraced by the disclosure that he sent sexually suggestive emails and text messages to male congressional pages. He claimed that at no time was there actual sexual contact with any page. Before Foley entered rehab he also disclosed that he had been sexually abused as a child, he was intoxicated when he sent the inappropriate communications and he is homosexual.

Wow. One week Foley is a multi-term Congressman about to be re-elected and the next week his life is an entire “made for TV mini-series of scandal”.

I am sympathetic and I pray for rehabilitation and healing for Mark Foley. I do hope he is telling the truth that there was never any sexual contact with any page. I’m also prayerful for the pages that received these communications that God would guard their hearts from emotional, psychological and spiritual wounding or damage.

Reflect with me on one of the statements made by Foley’s attorney, David Roth. Speaking on behalf of and in defense of Mark Foley, Roth declared, “Any suggestion that Mark Foley is a pedophile is false.”

That statement raises the question: Is someone a pedophile because they have inappropriate sex with a minor? OR, Does someone have inappropriate sex with a minor because he is a pedophile?

I contend that the Bible makes the case for the latter. Jesus clarified the nature of a sinful heart when He pointed out the Law says, “Do not commit adultery. But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

In other words, someone commits adultery because he IS an adulterer in his heart. Foley is a pedophile because he has pedophilia (lust for young males) in his heart.

Let’s bring that home to you and me. What’s in your/my heart? Pride? Greed? Lust? Envy? Gluttony? Wrath? Sloth? The Christ following life is not one that just recovers over and again from fallen behaviors. It is also a life that experiences “heart surgery” where God is allowed to purge and heal our hearts and thereby deliver us from fallen behaviors and outcomes.

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