News headlines constantly demonstrate that children are the most “at-risk” human demographic. Why is there so much child abuse? Will it ever end?
We live in a dangerous world.
Statistically speaking, the most threatened group within our world is children. Children, the demographic among us that most needs care and protection, all too often are the primary recipients of abuse and mistreatment. Usually this is at the hands of adults, but often it can be at the hands of other children.
Have you heard of Adriaunna Horton?
As this blog was first being written, Missouri police were searching for a missing 12-year-old girl named Adriaunna Horton.
Adriaunna was last seen on Monday playing with school friends at a park after their first day of the new school year. Witnesses reported that the man was asking the children for help finding his “missing daughter” when he abducted Adriaunna. A suspect was arrested Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, and on Wednesday, Aug. 21, her father reported that her body was found. Another young life ended needlessly.
This case didn’t make national news—perhaps because kidnapping of children seems to be such a frequent occurrence that it is no longer headline news. All one has to do is a Google News search for “kidnapping,” “child abuse,” “child rape” or “child molestation” to see the many cases of these horrible acts happening around the country (and world) that we don’t hear about in national news reports. It seems only the high-profile stories catch national attention.
Close to home
The area I am originally from, northeast Ohio, drew significant media attention in May of this year when three women were found locked in the home of a perverted individual named Ariel Castro. The three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, were young (16, 14 and 21, respectively) when they were abducted—two were just teenagers. These girls were kept boarded up in a house in a populous neighborhood of Cleveland—forced to be Castro’s sex slaves. This case has gotten huge media attention because of the shocking length and audacity of the crime.
Castro has admitted that his evil crimes were provoked by his addiction to pornography and the abuse he claims to have experienced as a child.
Nothing humans can do will completely solve a problem like this—because it is a spiritual problem of the human heart.If only our nation would learn the lesson of Ariel Castro and deal with this abuse epidemic by tackling the cause—banning all forms of entertainment that objectify human beings (from pornography to scantily clad teen TV/music stars) and uphold the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:27-30).
As awful as the Cleveland case was, the core crime (sexual abuse against young human beings) is perpetrated constantly. The statistics are staggering. In a 1998 survey 7 percent of girls in grades 5-8 reported being sexually abused. And in 1995, 126,000 U.S. children were identified as victims of sexual abuse.
The statistics for areas outside the United States are just as shocking. And we have not even begun to discuss other kinds of child abuse—such as neglect, malnourishment, physical abuse, etc.
The solution to this epidemic of mistreatment of children is not something humans can devise through laws, programs or rehabilitation (though those are respectable attempts). Nothing humans can do will completely solve a problem like this—because it is a spiritual problem of the human heart.
Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions.
We need to turn to the laws and principles of the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. Only by obeying these laws can we have a world where parents and children no longer have to fear abuse from predators.
A safer world is coming
The Bible speaks of a new era that will come to this world as a result of the return of Jesus Christ. The central message of the Bible is that the Kingdom (government) of God will be established on this earth. Jesus called this “the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14).
Many prophecies reveal that when the Kingdom of God is established on earth, a massive reeducation program will be established by Jesus Christ. This effort will spread the law of God to the entire earth from Jerusalem: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
The prophet Zechariah was inspired to write these prophetic words that provide a snapshot of society during the millennial rule of Jesus Christ: “Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets” (Zechariah 8:4-5, emphasis added).
The leadership of Jesus Christ, combined with a humanity educated in the law of God, will produce a society where children will safely play in the streets of Jerusalem. These conditions will exist throughout the world. Children, like Adriaunna Horton, will be able to play in the playgrounds of that world without fear of a predator snatching them when no one is looking.
God describes this future era as an incredible sight to behold: “‘If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes?’ says the LORD of hosts” (verse 6).
God speed that day!