The horror the three young girls went through the past ten years as they were held in captivity by an evil monster in Cleveland Ohio is beyond imagination. I find my emotions racing with passion to see this degenerate punished with no mercy. Some might say, “Pastor, where is your love and compassion?” I have more love and compassion than you can fathom for the victims of this crime but I feel none for the fiend who robbed these girls of their youth. In the future, they will have to find a way to deal with issues that no one should ever have to face.
I believe the God that I love and serve will somehow bring His love to heal the wounds of these young women and the child born in captivity. I also believe that God will do what only He is capable of doing and bring eternal judgment where it belongs. God in His mercy may find a way to bring forgiveness to the monster, but he is still responsible for the damage he caused.
So as Christians, who have received mercy at the foot of the Cross of Jesus, how should we feel and how should we act we when we face situations like Cleveland? I believe we act just like Jesus did. He pointed out that evil would suffer eternal punishment. However, He offered hope to anyone who came to Him for help and mercy. "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice …. they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:29, 31-32 NIV) God offers the olive branch of peace but He also holds the sword of judgment.
Thankfully, we are not God and therefore cannot pass judgment on deprived men. But we can inspect the fruit of behavior and call bad fruit with it is – evil. I suggest in the particular case we are discussing, that we pray earnestly for all those damaged by this criminal. In addition, we must pray that God’s will be accomplished in that wicked man’s life. The court system will judge him according to the laws he broke. That's what an orderly society does. It ministers to the victims and slams down the hammer of judgment on the perpetrators. You can rest assured the state of Ohio will administer the law without passion or prejudice.