How do I respond?
We all fall short to the glory of God, whether we are the shy child in a third-world country or a first-world Christian radio host. Today, I was shocked to hear about the arrest of John Balyo, one of the hosts of WCSG 91.3 in Grand Rapids. A mix of anger and grief overwhelmed me, and the mixed reactions didn't help my feelings any more. A good majority of people just want to put a bullet in his skull for raping a 12-year-old boy, which is completely understandable due to the severity of the issue (and frankly, it's just sickening to think about). The last thing I want to do, though, is to join the bandwagon of saying I want to off him.
Maybe I have a bias due to my history with WCSG and how the radio station has made a great influence on my life (but now that I think about it, Balyo didn't make the station how it was. He was just a voice between songs. It was Christ moving through the songs that changed my life, not him), I don't know. I just feel like it is saying a lot about a person if they automatically throw a target on a man's back because he fell victim to Satan's lies and tricks. If it was any other person, I wouldn't want them sentenced to death either. What would killing him do? It doesn't give the family their child's purity back. It doesn't help Balyo's family that is already grieving enough as it is about the situation I'm sure.
There is the side of the child to take into consideration, too. My heart breaks for the boy who experienced this brutality. No person deserves to be treated in such a cruel way. God didn't create us in the beginning with the intention that we would destroy each other. It's the work of the devil that causes us to stumble. I'm not trying to justify Balyo's actions by saying it was all Satan's fault, though. It grieves me, too, that the child has to live with this tragedy shadowing over him for the rest of his life.
My heart also breaks for Balyo's family. Certainly, they had no idea what was coming just as the rest of us. Especially his wife, I can't imagine what she must be feeling right now.
My heart breaks, too, for those that generalize the situation and stabs at Christianity, claiming that God wasn't there in this situation. I'm not God, so I don't know what He has planned or what His intentions are for allowing this to happen. Maybe society has a lesson to learn? I don't know. I won't pretend to understand because it is beyond me. It's hard to see God's grace in action in these times of sick tragedy.
To John: God knows your heart. You will be receiving judgment when you stand at the gates of Heaven just as I am. It pains me to see that you would stoop to those levels of evil, but in God's eyes, I'm just as guilty of sin as you are. According to the majority of commentators on Facebook, I deserve a bullet between my eyes as well. I don't know your intentions as to why you joined WCSG so many years back. Maybe a woman is right when she says that you simply wore the Christian facade to gain trust of the community. If that's the case, you fooled us all, but you didn't fool God. I'd like to avoid worst-case scenario, but in these times, I don't know what else to think.
To the 12-year-old boy: Listen here--do NOT, under any circumstances, let this define you. Despite the shame, fear, and brokenness I am sure you are experiencing, God loves you and He will take care of you. Yes, Balyo is an awful man for doing this to you. He's in jail and won't ever hurt you again. I am definitely praying for you and your family that you all may feel God's love and peace in these trying times.
This is yet another example of how we all fall short to the glory of God. We are all fallen people and are vulnerable to the devil's schemes. It is by the perfect power of Christ that we can overcome temptation because Jesus lived life with the same temptations we face, yet he never sinned.
For the story, see this link.