Praying to Stop Child Abuse

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

Are you familiar with St. Paul's words in the Bible ". . . the carnal mind is enmity against God"? (Romans 8:7) This important statement exposes the nature of the hatred that leads to abuse of children, especially sexual abuse.

Those who entertain erotic fantasies about children are actually expressing hatred of innocence and purity. This destroys the natural pattern of trust between adults and children -- a pattern that should reflect the relation of God to man.

If we have an interest in ending such abuse, we need to learn how to nullify and destroy the influence "the carnal mind" has over the thoughts and actions of people.

Some people who are ignorant of the true nature of God and His creation tend to think that hate, lust, passion, and greed are strong; and that love, purity, innocence, and goodness are weak and vulnerable. Yet the life of Christ Jesus, who knew God intimately, proves that the opposite is true.

Once a vengeful mob threw a woman, caught in the crime of adultery, in front of Jesus. But His goodness and purity worked strongly on their thoughts. His good qualities quenched a lust to kill exhibited by the mob and rebuked the behavior of the woman herself. Study of the Bible reveals Jesus to have done two things repeatedly in his ministry. First, he brought people face to face with their own thinking and character; and then he awakened within men and women their God-given ability to choose to be good.

Good is the manifestation of God's presence and power. It is not fragile. It is the bedrock of creation. The power of God, of divine good, gives men and women dominion over the apparent drives of the carnal mind. The more we learn of God's power and strength, the more, like Jesus, we will be able to prove that they reign in each one of us, despite evidence to the contrary.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the laws of God she called Christian Science, wrote, "If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it,-no longer imagine evil to be ever-present and good absent?" This is from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 130). The book says further on, "The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power" (p. 131).

A realization of these facts enables us to grow in the ability to defend the community from the predatory activities of the carnal mind. The Science of Christianity, understood and practiced, exposes evil's hidden activities. It restrains crime. It neutralizes hatred and lust. It brings God's power to bear on human events.

Human behavior theories often excuse the carnal thoughts that lead to abuse, when these theories speculate that we are fallen, the victims of original sin, or when they suggest that genetics or psychological injuries have predisposed individuals to abusive behavior. Such admissions often leave men and women helpless to improve. But God's children are not the victims of sin or of genetic mutations. Jesus revealed, and the Science of Christ continues to demonstrate, that we are the work of God. We can follow Jesus' example and prove that God's Word rules in the heart. God's powerful message of salvation gives men and women the spiritual desire and power to conquer the domination of carnal desire. Prayer to God in behalf of children is one important means of delivering society from sin.

Those who want to pray specifically to rid their communities of abusive behavior can begin by striving to know more of the nature of God. The more we know of Him, the more we know of ourselves and the more we are effective in annulling the action of the carnal mind.

Our children will be safer when we realize that the carnal mind is not native to anyone, but is an aggressive imposition on the thought, something that spiritual understanding alone can and does destroy.

Articles and features on Christian Science appear in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.

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