“Our relationship didn’t last but that´s alright. Sometime in the future I wouldn’t mind to have another girlfriend. My parents said they were going to arrange a date for me. Haha, that is amusing and annoying at the same time. They know that I am a pedophile, but they still wish for me to have a girlfriend.”
Kees (21) likes women. But recently he fell in love with a nine year old boy and since then Kees realized that his sexual attraction is also aimed at young boys. “That was quite a shock. For a few weeks I was unable to do anything. Fortunately I find peace in God and that is something I really need. The dark sides of my life quickly overshadow my lighter sides. Also I wish to abide by God’s rules.”
“The problem is that I don’t really know what His rules are in this matter. Of course, no sex outside of marriage. But what is God’s opinion about me liking a boy? Should I avoid looking at boys or can I enjoy how beautiful they are? Can I have a picture of a boy? I personally think I can, just not porn or anything. What matters is how I look at these photos. If the photos become sexual to me, that would be crossing my line. But there is so much gray area. What is allowed and what isn’t? Can I masturbate ? I don’t know. It is a search for answers.”
The problem is that I don’t really know what His rules are in this matter
“I know I can’t fully abide by God’s rules. It already said so in the Heidelberg Catechism, question 114. This states the principle that everyone is equal before God. To God I am no less and no more than any other, even as a pedophile. Even better, God wants to forgive my sins which makes me feel safe. It wouldn’t be good for me to diverge from God’s will. There is seduction lurking on the internet and I’m only a few clicks away from where I don’t want to be.”
After the nine-year-old boy turned Kees’ world upside down, Kees decided to inform his parents. That didn’t come easy. First he told them that he wasn’t doing well. It took a week for him to gather enough courage to travel to his parents and share what was bothering him. Crying, trembling and stuttering, he said, “I think I’m in love with a boy.”
“I dropped a bomb. My parents clung to the idea that this might go away. “So you’re not sure?” they asked. “Maybe you’re talking yourself into this because of this one crush?” I understand they think that. It is not easy for them knowing that their son is in love with a nine year old.
They also feel that I no longer should be in contact with him. I have had fantasies about him and that is wrong in the eyes of God, they say. That’s why I should avoid him and never see him again.
I feel like they don’t trust me to try my best. To lack that trust is very difficult for me. The Christian faith should allow us to talk about this without passing judgment. That is up to God. This way I feel I can’t be open about my feelings and that I can’t bring this into the light. I find that very unfortunate.”
“This inability to bring feelings into the light is also my experience with the church. Nowhere does the church community pay any attention to pedophile feelings. There is nothing about this on Christian youth websites, while there are enough young people with these feelings within the Christian community. I am one of them and I am in need of compassion without judgment. To be honest, I experience little support and certainly not from the Church.”
“I know that God already knows my rights and wrongs. And still I get to be His child and my sins will be forgiven. One day I hope to find a new girlfriend and get married. It would make my life a lot easier. That is my consolation for now.”
Retired pastor H.H. Klomp from the Christian Reformed congregation from Veenendaal read the above conversation with Kees.
Nowhere does the church community pay any attention to pedophile feelings
What do you think of his story?
“I’ve never had a conversation with someone with these feelings. Kees is quite open about it and that is sensible. In conservative ecclesiastical Netherlands, openness about personal and tender feelings often arrives later than in the rest of the society. That is not necessarily bad but it can be difficult for people who are troubled. That is why it is good that Pedofilie.nl is here and that Kees found his way.”
You chaired the Christian transsexual work group. In an interview you once said that the Church sometimes lags in their responses to the rest of the world. Shouldn’t Christians be at the forefront of empathy?
“Christians have empathy with people who have different orientations. In Christian faith this has everything to do with the love for God. This is the fulfillment of God’s Ten Commandments. The social trend is that every person should be able to just be himself apart from God’s commandments. But that is not liberating. That’s why it is good to hear that Kees wants to abide by God´s rules. As for his pedophile feelings, you may admire men and women, young boys and girls as creatures of God. They are all so beautifully made. Even after the fall. See for example Psalm 8: 2-6.
What are God’s limits?
“Stop before it becomes sexual. In other words: aesthetic admiration is possible, erotic attention is not. I think that’s why you should be careful with the subject of masturbation. In my opinion, masturbation in combination with pedophile feelings crosses the line. I infer that from James 1: 12-15 and answer 113 from the Heidelberg Catechism. Moreover, there is also the legal limit that you should adhere to if you have these feelings.”
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation…James 1: 12
Kees would like acceptance from his parents. Is he right to expect this?
“I can understand that Kees’ parents need time to get used to the idea of their son being a pedophile. That being said Kees remains their son. That love is unconditional. The reverse is also true. Even if parents are sometimes critical of their child.”
What is your message to Kees and others with similar feelings?
“I wish all youth and older people who have different orientations strength and wisdom from God. He accepts every sinner who flees to Him. He would like to take everyone unto His path of righteousness. That is a liberated life. So never become personally isolated but contact trusted, knowledgeable people from your environment or from the Christian congregation. Together you are strong under God’s blessing!
I wish Kees and Pedofilie.nl strength and blessings in the mission for your group.”
Kees is a pseudonym. The interview with Kees was conducted in real life.
Ben Kirssen is a team member of Pedofilie.nl; the Dutch platform for information, discussion and support. Ben Kirssen is a pseudonym.
The photo is by Ben White. The teen in the photo is not Kees. The photo is taken from Unsplash.com, the internet’s source of freely usable images.