Say no to pornography. Flee from pornography. It is everywhere today! We are all affected by it somehow and someway. The visual temptations are in magazines, on billboards, television, commercials, internet, movies, lingerie ads, dvd’s and more. Open your eyes and it is there!
Believe it or not, even Christians are struggling with pornography. Pastors are not immune either. Sadly 47% of Christians say they have a major problem with pornography.
Soft core porn can lead to hard core porn—leading one to strip clubs, massage parlors, voyeurism, child porn, pedophilia, prostitutes, affairs with married women, and homosexuality.
How alarming is the use of pornography? Here are some statistics from a study done by the Barna Group for Proven Men Ministries.
For Christians, 64% of men and 15% of women view porn once a month.
The statistics for Christian men between 18-30 years old are particularly striking:
77% look at pornography at least monthly,
36% view pornography at least daily,
32% admit being addicted to pornography.
The statistics for middle-aged Christian men (ages 31-49) are no less disturbing:
77% looked at pornography while at work in past three
64% view pornography at least monthly, and
18% admit being addicted to pornography.
Even married Christian men are falling prey to pornography and extra-marital sexual affairs at alarming rates:
55% look at pornography at least monthly, and
35% had an extra-marital sexual affair while married.
It appears the sin of choice among Christians today is pornography. It has been said there are two kinds of Christians in America—those who watch porn and those who lie about it!
A few more statistics of interest taken from Family Safe Media—www.familysafemedia.com/pornography.
Every second 28258 users viewing pornography;
Every 39 minutes a new porn video is created in U.S.;
Over 42% of all internet users are connected to porn
on over 4.2 million porn websites;
Well over $4 million is spent daily on porn in U.S.;
Cost of porn worldwide is $97 billion annually.
By some estimates the production and sale of explicit pornography now represents the 7th largest industry in America.
BASICS OF PORNOGRAPHY—KEY ELEMENTS:
Pornography content is to entice a person by arousing the person’s lust.
Pornography is addictive—just as much as any hard drug.
Pornography pours fuel on the burning desires in people’s minds.
Pornography promotes unnatural and perverted sex.
Pornography is a whispered promise—it promises more sex, better sex, endless sex, sex on demand, more intense orgasms, and experiences of transcendence.
Isn’t it amazing—Satan has succeeded in twisting and perverting sex!
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
Please read and understand Matthew 5:27-28, I Corinthians 6:18, and Colossians 3:5.
The Bible tells us to be sexually pure—porn is sinful.
Pornography is a sexual sin, even if the physical act is not involved.
If you are involved in porn you are involved in a spiritual battle.
Within each person God has placed a fundamental need for intimacy.
If you give yourself to sinful fantasies and pursuits you will become their slave. Romans 6:16
Sexual sin is in a class by itself. I Corinthians 6:18
Pornography is a sin that robs God of His glory in the gift of sex and sexuality.
Prohibited sex in the Bible includes: homosexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, rape and orgies.
Pornography is a major tool in Satan’s hands, through it he is dragging people into his world of darkness, making them slaves, and ultimately leaving them miserable and frustrated.
PORNOGRAPHY AND THE INDIVIDUAL—KEY STATEMENTS:
Males are the vast majority of porn users. Males are wired in such a way that porn hijacks the proper functioning of their brains and has a long-lasting effect on their thoughts and lives.
Men are driven to seek out sexual intimacy and that intimacy is God given, and essential to the male, but it is easily misdirected.
Every day millions look at erotic images and pretend that they are sexually interacting with the women and men on display. It makes I John 2:16, a place dominated by the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, chillingly relevant.
How deep the scars are that we carve into our minds with this sin as it becomes an addiction.
Being addicted to porn will over time change who you are, stunt your spiritual growth, and in the end will bring death.
If you are not willing to give up everything for the Kingdom you don’t truly believe the Bible.
One can become in what our society calls an addict or scripture calls a slave.
Flee from sexual immorality for all other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
We are to offer our bodies as a “living sacrifice” to God.
Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
God wants us to live up to a higher standard than the world with Jesus as our role model.
Being a Christian is not just about avoiding sinful physical acts, but also about mental purity.
God cannot work with you if you are still trying to overcome sin on your own. It is a form of pridefulness.
Prayer power is the Christian’s greatest weapon against the sin nature and the dangers and temptations of this world.
PORNOGRAPHY AND MARRIAGE—HIGHLIGHTS:
The solution that God offers to this kind of distracted sexual desire outside of marriage is sex within marriage.
Porn creates a set of expectations about sex in marriage that are quite literally impossible to fulfill.
Porn usage erodes the ability to be sexually attracted to one’s spouse.
If your spouse discovers, he or she will likely feel betrayed, rejected, unattractive and abandoned.
The sexual urge is one of the greatest desires we have been created with and it is sinful when it is used outside the boundaries God has set for us.
It is also good to realize that within those boundaries the sexual relationship between a husband and wife is the most intimate and pleasurable expression of love between them.
PORNOGRAPHY AND THE CHURCH:
How serious is this in the church? Read the following letter from Chuck Swindoll, Insight For Living.
An open letter concerning the #1 secret problem in your church. Our churches are in significant trouble. I’m not talking about financial trouble, or having too few staff doing too many things. Comparatively, those are easy problems to solve.
This trouble concerns a severe disease that is eating away at our congregations, perhaps even some of our own leadership, from the inside out. Men and women, from adolescents to senior citizens, from all walks of life, have succumbed or are at risk, and more are becoming infected every single day.
The problem is pornography, especially internet pornography. Without your knowing, it could be eating your church alive. And the scariest thing….you may not realize the extensive damage it’s causing.
The most recent studies available suggest that 1 out of every 2 people—that’s 50% of the people sitting in our pews, are looking at and/or could be addicted to internet pornography. The struggle is going on among those who volunteer in your church and mine. Chances are good that some of our full-time staff members, even some who faithfully serve on our boards, may be losing this secret battle. And while I’m listing these possibilities, let’s not overlook our young adults—married and single—who provide instruction among our junior and senior high youth. Truth be told, that statistic could be even higher.
Forget the red-light district or adult bookstore. Pornography has entered homes via the internet more pervasively and subtly than any store or strip club ever did. The irony is that if an X-rated store was being established across the street from where you worship, you’d have a committee assembled to fight it immediately. Yet they’ve set up shop in the homes of millions of our friends in the church while we remain mute and passive.
Stop and imagine the ugly but real possibility of some of your own elders and deacons leaving your meetings and going home to surf porn. Think about youth leaders viewing it one minute, and leading a small group with your kids thirty minutes later. It’s ruining marriages, destroying relationships, harming youth, and hurting the body of Christ. You hardly need to be reminded that fallen pastors and priests did not “suddenly” fall. More often than not, pornography played a role in their downward spiral.
My friend, it’s time to do something about it. In fact, we need to start today. Making a difference requires action…
Our churches are in trouble. This is no time to simply wait and pray. Please join me in this battle for our young minds, our marriages, our leaders, and our churches.
Impassioned and determined,
Chairman, Insight For Living
This letter should be an eye opener to all within the true Church. Pornography impacts the Church in many destructive ways. Here are a few: Christians are double minded; Destroys our purity of mind and corrupts our conscience; Unable to discern the true will of God; Creates a dependency that weakens the individual; Disruption of the “one-flesh” union that weakens marriage; Distortion in thinking that weakens the ability to relate and function.
(Some of the above are taken from “The Problem of Pornography for Christians” by Christian Research Institute)
Joel Hesch, president and founder of Proven Men Ministries, makes the following statement: It needs to be openly addressed in the church, a safe place within the church. Pornography is addicting. It is a problem not just affecting individuals, but families. The church needs to be the front-runner in this. Heaping guilt and shame on a person only leads them to escape into the things we’re trying to rescue them from.
Another quote from sociologist, Eric Anderson, states that churches must step up or they will lose this sexual red herring—they have lost on premarital sex, masturbation, gay sex, anal sex among heterosexuals and they will lose the war against pornography.
How did this happen? One final quote: How did our world arrive at a time in history that has so much emphasis on sexual perversions? This did not happen overnight. When, the church failed to maintain a holy standard and example to the world, the world’s evil influence gained momentum and now has saturated our society. Little by little, the church lowered her standards. Instead of the church influencing the world, the opposite happened, the world influenced the church.
The single biggest factor in combating such an addiction is to come under the authority of Jesus Christ. Make Him your Lord and Savior.
The journey away from porn can be reduced to three simple principles: Repentance, Discipleship, and Accountability.
One can only win if you replace porn with something else that is positive. Find an accountability partner if possible.
A few more final thoughts: Spend more time in the Word; Spend more time in prayer; Think every day about the promises of God and eternity; Distance yourself from temptation; Fill the pornography void with that which is pure and righteous; Realize you cannot overcome addiction alone; And consider counseling.