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Friday, 12 March 2010

Jon Venables

I have deliberately held back from making any comment on the case of the reported re-arrest of Jon Venables – one of the two young boys who were convicted of the torture and murder of little Jamie Bulger, way back in 1993 – on charges connected with child pornography. However, I feel that it is now time for me to express my own opinion!

The first point that I find to be relevant is that this young man has allegedly broken the terms of his parole, and of his ‘new identity’, and done so on a number of occasions. Indeed, it has been widely reported that, under the influence of alcohol, he has revealed his true identity on more than one occasion!

The second point is that, whatever I may think of the original case; the sentence given; and the fact of the release of both boys when they reached the age of eighteen years; this is a totally separate offence. The British justice system does not, usually, permit a jury to know of the previous record of the defendant in a court case.

However, I am currently in the process of making my first attempt at writing a publishable book! If it ever reaches the shelves of your local Christian Bookshop, it will probably have the title: “Getting to know you – Great Words of the Christian Faith”. I have just completed my first draft of the chapter that will deal with the amazing concept of grace. It isn’t too difficult to write about it – it’s the practising of it that causes me problems. Yet, as I think about Jon Venables, I wonder what Jesus would do in this situation! How would He react to this young man who is guilty of a terrible crime, and who is alleged to have committed further criminal activity?

One of the illustrations that I was using, earlier this evening, is taken from John 8. It’s the record of the story of the woman, taken in the very act of adultery and, while adultery, for all its seriousness, pales somewhat in the light of the murder of a defenceless toddler, it was considered to be a much more serious sin in Jesus’ day than it most obviously is in our contemporary culture. Please read the full story for yourself. I only want to remind you of the words of Jesus to those who were the accusers of this woman: “Let the one who is without sin throw the first stone”! He then told the woman to “Go, and don’t commit that sin again.” An act of incomparable grace.

Perhaps those of us who, in our natural state, would see Jon Venables hung, drawn, and quartered, need to look first at ourselves, before we pronounce judgement on him. Is this to condone his crime? Of course not. But nothing that is done to him will bring back little Jamie Bulger. There is a difference between justice and revenge. I fear that too many seek the latter!


epsilon said...

Found you on "next blog" :) - it's interesting to see the similarity between your take and that of Fr Ray Blake at
He got a lot of flack!

I'm very interested in your link to created4life and will try to get involved. Thank you

Belkis said...

Let us not forget that the last words Jesus said to the woman in John 8 were "go and sin no more." Grace leads to repentance. Let us pray for that for this young man, if not, judgement will come, both in this life and the life to come. Grace is only needed were judgment is impending.