KEYWORDS: children, love, affection, sake, abuse, child

Child Abuse: A Final Warning

Karen Zerby

—By Maria Maria #99 DFO 2536 6/89

1. To refute the terrible lies & charges of "child abuse" that our enemies have whipped up against us we have released an official statement denying any such wrong-doing. (See the "Child Abuse?!" tract.) We know that the media attacks which harp on those accusations are just the Devil & our enemies' attempt to try to devour us & our little ones by stirring up public sentiment against us!


2. Even though we certainly do not believe in or practice any kind of sexual abuse of our children, we do believe in showing our children normal legitimate affection, care & love. Virtually all of the recognised child psychologists & experts agree that children need such visibly-manifested & demonstrated affection in order to properly develop psychologically.

3. However, our Family needs to realise that we have now got to be extremely careful how we show affection to our children. But just because the Devil has propagandised the World to look suspiciously on any sign of physically-manifested affection, love or warmth as a possible sign of evil-doing, we can't stop doing what we know we're supposed to do! We can't stop showing our children the love & affection they need‚ demonstrating our love for them through normal affection, which is actually one of the only ways that small children can even comprehend or understand love!

4. Dad has repeatedly said that the only way others are going to know we love them is if we show it physically‚ & this is certainly true of children. They definitely need to have love demonstrated & shown to them. They constantly need affection—hugs, kisses, a pat on the back, an arm around the shoulders—& we can't suddenly stop all such absolutely normal & natural displays of love just because the Devil threatens, "Oh no no, don't do that! You must never touch your children—you'll be accused of child abuse!"

5. We have to do what we know is right & natural & what we are supposed to do, regardless of the Devil's lies, fears & false accusations!—Just be careful not to overdo it, especially in public where a skeptical or critical onlooker could completely misinterpret your actions!

6. And for God's sake & your children's sake & our Family's sake, only manifest your love for your children in a way that is necessary & legitimate, natural affection for which they can't criticise or condemn you or even pick you up & throw you in jail & charge you with child abuse! For example‚ even sitting your teen daughter on your lap, putting your arm around her & giving her a peck on the cheek could be interpreted by some as "child abuse"! So if you ever do anything like that, you'd better do it in private where the System's not apt to be looking!—"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without!"—Col.4:5.


7. And you'd better not do anything more than that‚ either in public or private, because any kind of activity with a minor that could be construed as the least bit sexual is definitely against the law!—And could get you & your whole Home & the entire Work in your country & the whole Family worldwide in big trouble! You simply cannot afford to exceed the boundaries that the System considers legitimate!

8. Besides, there's absolutely no reason why anyone in the Family would have to go any further than normal, legal affection with a minor! You can show your children that you love them by doing what parents have legitimately done for hundreds & thousands of years; hugging them & kissing them & putting your arm around them.—You certainly don't have to have any kind of sex with them!

9. Parents—or any other adults for that matter—certainly do not have to have sex with children!—Or with underage teens! For example, no matter how much a man may feel drawn to some sexy teen girl, & love her & want to get intimately involved with her‚ it's simply not wise. They don't have to, & they had better refrain from it! There are quite a few good verses in the Bible about constraining yourselves. You don't have to do everything you may feel like doing, & you can certainly control yourself for the sake of God's Work! (See 1Cor.9:27; Pro.16:32; 25:28; Lk.21:34; Rom.6:12,13; 13:14; Col.3:5.)

10. To have any kind of an affair or sexual relationship with a minor is just about the most dangerous thing any of our adults could do!—And it's not even necessary! There's no need or legitimate reason for it! In fact, nothing is necessary if it's going to hurt the Lord's Work! We've already put out an urgent notice to the Family & to the whole World that we don't do such things, & we mean it‚ we don't do it!—And anybody who does is in serious trouble, not only with the World but with us!!

11. We're going to get rid of any such problem if it does exist anywhere, because that's one problem we certainly don't need right now! The legitimate persecution we receive from the Devil & his crowd just because we're living for the Lord is enough. But to make ourselves problems because of our own immaturity & lack of wisdom & outright disobedience, that's our fault & is ridiculous! We just don't need problems like that. We have enough legitimate unavoidable problems & "persecution for righteousness' sake" to have to battle against!—Mat.5:10.

12. So if we hear of anybody who violates these rules, we're going to immediately excommunicate them! Any such involvement with minors is definitely against our rules! Yes, we have liberty, & "unto the pure all things are pure" (Tit.1:15), but we can't let our liberty become a stumblingblock!—1Cor.8:9. And it's definitely a stumblingblock for us when the World gets on our case & cracks down on us because of it! Such activity can also cause our own brethren to stumble as well.—And sisters!

13. Furthermore, it's been researched & proven by the experts that in almost every case where an adult got involved with a teen, the relationship failed simply because there are too many differences of interests. Young people have better experiences with other young people. Of course, a lot of young people don't have very good experiences with other young people, but it's been proven that the vast majority of those who tried it definitely didn't have very good experiences with adults! Teens who have had such involvement with adults have almost unanimously manifested a very negative‚ regretful or remorseful reaction to such experiences.

14. So I definitely think it's far better that our adults completely avoid any such involvement with minors! No matter how much some cute little teen girl may appear to throw herself at them, our teen shepherds & adults with teens in their Homes had better make it clear from the beginning that, "We love you & we'll do whatever we can to help you grow in the Lord, but we're not going to even think about having any flaming romantic relationship!" It's just better that they pray & try to guard their heart with all diligence. (Pro.4:23)

15. So let me warn you again, if we or our leadership hear of any cases of this, & the cases are authenticated, it's going to result in automatic immediate excommunication of any such offenders! Of course‚ we'll first of all have to verify it & make sure that it really happened, & that it's not merely some jealous wife's accusation. In other words, when an accusation is serious enough to warrant excommunicating somebody, we have to make sure it's legitimate. But as soon as we're sure that the accusation is valid, we will not hesitate to excommunicate any such offenders right away!—Amen?

16. Let's all continue to love & nurture & train up our precious teens & young people in the Lord, & not have any such distracting, dangerous, damaging deviations within our ranks! For God's sake & our Family's sake & our witness to lost souls' sake, stick to the straight & narrow path of obedience to His commands & keep busy winning the World to Jesus! Amen? GBY! WLY! (Amen!—D.)