If you don’t think that pornography is a problem in the church, and in our society, you would be wrong. It is a problem and a big one. It’s an indication of what our society has turned to, where our society is heading, a lack of accountability, an anything goes mentality, and it’s hurting a lot of people, especially men but also women. If you are a Christian it will eat your faith away, little by little, until your faith is gone. Watching pornography and fellowship with God are not compatible. You can’t have both and you do have to make a decision.
Ravi Zacharais indicates in a YouTube video that while he was out in western Canada at a seminary for young men entering the ministry, almost 95 % had a problem with pornography addiction. Tell me that isn’t scary.
Ravi has an excellent video on YouTube that deals with “The Problem of Pleasure” that I highly recommend.
The use of pornographic material among Christians continues to rise, reaching near epidemic proportions in the church. Shocking statistics released by Net Accountability reveal that 50 percent of evangelical pastors viewed pornography last year. A study by Internet Filter Review revealed that 53 percent of Promise Keeper men viewed pornography the week before the survey, and 17 percent of women admitted to struggling with pornography addiction. Focus on the Family recently reported that one in seven calls to their pastoral care line concern Internet pornography. Why the recent rise in pornographic use among Christians?
Many blame the Internet, which affords users anonymity, affordability, and accessibility. Individuals reluctant to purchase pornography at a local convenience store where others might see them can now indulge their fantasies in the privacy of their own home, sitting in front of the computer. Some delude themselves into thinking that it’s “no big deal.”
Most pastors have struggled with porn. That’s according to an online study of nearly 3,000 adults, teenagers, and pastors by the Barna Group. The study included 432 pastors and 338 youth pastors, and was commissioned by Josh McDowell Ministry and Cru for an April summit.
The study examined pornography’s effect on pastors, churches, the general population, and young people. “Most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past,” Barna reported. “Overall, 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.”
More than 9 in 10 pastors (93% of pastors, 94% of youth pastors) said pornography is becoming a bigger problem, specifically for the church, and 75 percent of the laity agree. However, only 7 percent of pastors said their church had a program designed to help those struggling with pornography.
Pornography is a deathtrap, especially for men. It is a cesspool that can drown those who choose to come to its waters. No matter how sanctified a man is, he is always a candidate for its deadly influence. Without Biblical safeguards, such as a good marriage, prayer, God’s Word, accountability, and the desire to keep a good conscience, a man will find himself easy prey for this ugly beast.
If you are in bondage to pornography, you can begin the healing process today by taking these important first steps.
- First, recognize that you have a problem. ” He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion” (Proverbs 28:13, NASB).
- Confess your problem to God, a mature believer who can hold you accountable, and your spouse. ” Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16, NASB).
- Seek guidance from your pastor, a mature believer of the same sex, or a trained professional to resolve past trauma and facilitate healing in your marriage. “For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 24:6).
- Be wise. Purchase filtering software for your computer. “By wisdom a house is built” (Proverbs 24:3).
- Recognize that victory over addiction will be a marathon, not a sprint. “A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again” (Proverbs 24:16).
You need not suffer in silence. There is help and healing for those who seek it. However, just as addictions take time to develop, so does recovery. Be patient with yourself and persevere. Trust God to grant you the grace and strength you need–one step at a time.
Worthy is the Lamb. Blessings!