The Word on the Week

Mobile Phone Power

The development of the mobile phone from its original concept of the phone locating the person not the place has been a great boon. No longer does the excuse that you are “out” when you were “in” apply! Unless you switch off, which is rather counterproductive, you are available.
In its early days it was seen as a “ball and chain” as it was perceived to be tying its owner to the phone service. Gradually it found favour till today when there is countrywide telephone coverage and a mobile in every pocket!
In some countries anarchy was assisted by dissidents using mobile phones to alert the population until the government took down the network! In developing countries, the mobile has enabled land-line infrastructure to be bi-passed when the population were able to access mobiles for themselves.
There are now estimated to be 1,900 million users! Plenty of scope for ‘bad eggs’ to be amongst them!
This week some vigilantes in Leeds, England, set up a sting operation which caught an Irishman who had been grooming a 14-year-old girl for sex. Mobile phones were used in the operation and a citizen’s arrest of the man was made when he turned up at the rendezvous. He was duly handed over to the police in order for the law to take its course.
With cases of paedophilia being regularly reported by the media it is easy to see why these operations could increase as anxious parents try to protect their children and young people. Fake identities are easy to create and paedophile hunters may not be disposed to give the one caught a fair hearing!

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble (St Luke Chapter 17 verses 1 and 2).
Do millstones become gravestones? Is there no hope for the paedophile?
The Good News of the Gospel is that Christ died for sinners – not the righteous
(Romans Chapter 5 verse 8).
St Paul puts it plainly when he wrote “God justifies the ungodly” (Romans Chapter 4 verse 5). But how? When they repent is the answer. What does repentance look like? The same as for any other sinner – a separation from the sin. This required boundaries to be put in place. Jesus said if your hand offends you, cut it off. Clearly a change of behaviour even if the separation is as sharp as the severance of a limb is required to remove the sinner from the temptation. This may well be a lifetime separation.
Both the predator and the victim need the strength which comes from putting their trust in Christ. To the first “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity”. To the second “Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness” (2 Timothy Chapter 3 verses 19 & 22).
Remember one ‘mobile’ that is always answered is Prayer!