Question: "What is the cause of the recent plague of child molestation incidents?"
Answer: If you have not already, please read our article on pedophilia. While the Bible does not contain a detailed ranking of the wickedness of various sins, child molestation is surely near the top of the list. There is perhaps no more cruel, perverted, and loathsome sin than child molestation. Jesus consistently expressed compassion for children and anger toward anyone who would harm them (Matthew 19:14; Luke 17:1-2). While no sin is unforgivable, the evil of child molestation can only come from a warped and debauched heart and mind.
But the question at hand is what is the cause of the recent plague of child molestation incidents. Sadly and disturbingly, it does seem that child molestation is becoming more common. Given scandals involving Roman Catholic priests, Protestant leaders, man-boy love societies, and incidents involving parents, teachers, pastors, coaches, etc., the word “plague” is an apt description. While there is no way to give a conclusive answer or find a universal cause of this child molestation plague, there are definitely biblical principles which apply.
First, modern society is increasingly accepting of behaviors that the Bible declares to be sinful, immoral, and unnatural. While there is an enormous difference between child molestation and sexual acts involving consenting adults, the fact that society accepts behavior such as homosexuality allows people to consider far worse perversions of what God intended sex to be. And that leads to another question: why is society increasingly tolerant of aberrant behavior?
Child molestation and other perversions are becoming increasingly accepted because society has, for the most part, rejected the Christian worldview. The conventional wisdom is that humanity is not created in the image of God. Rather, humanity is the result of billions of years of the random processes of evolution. God is not the objective standard of morality. Rather, God is supposedly the invention of weak-minded people who are unable to accept the fact that everything in this world is meaningless.
There is also the possibility of demon possession as an explanation in some cases. Perhaps a sin so evil and twisted could only come from the minds of the most evil creatures, Satan and his horde of demons. Satan knows the damage that—apart from the miraculous healing of God—molestation does to a child. If Satan can destroy someone’s life during childhood, there is simply less work for him and his demons to do later. Satan desires to “devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). What better way than by attacking the most vulnerable and impressionable of people?
The rejection of the Christian worldview and the acceptance of a secular, naturalistic worldview leaves us with no absolute standard by which to declare child molestation to be evil. For generations, we have told people they are nothing but animals, so we should not be surprised if they begin to act like animals. If there is no absolute moral standard, then the “boundaries” people push are imaginary ones. Ultimately, child molestation is a result of people denying God and living their lives however they want.
The Bible speaks of godless individuals who “suppress the truth,” saying, “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. . . . Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie. . . . Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. . . . They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil . . . they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:18-32).