The Pornography Epidemic
47 comments | Posted: 9 March 06 in General, by Nathan Logan
We’re going to talk about sexual immorality. I apologize for the “battle” analogy, but honestly, I don’t see a more appropriate place to use it – this issue is nothing short of an epic war, where societies and souls rest in the balance.
As you consider this rampant problem, take in a few statistics to help you determine its seriousness:
- At one Promise Keepers event, 50% of attendees admitted to checking out pornographic material within the past week (Setting Captives Free – PDF file)
- In 2001, 5,656 males were polled: 95% admitted that they masturbate, 41% of all respondents do so at least once a day, and 1% do so 9 times a day!
- In a Christianity Today poll, one third of Christian pastors surveyed said that they have visited sexually explicit websites.
- 51% of pastors admit that looking at internet pornography is their biggest temptation (Christianity Today, December 2002).
- 25 million Americans visit cybersex sites between 1-10 hours per week (MSNBC Survey, 2000).
(Last 3 facts taken from XXX Church: Porn Facts).
Even though stats need to be taken with a grain of salt, I think we can definitively say that, yes, sexual immorality, even/especially among the church, is a problem. And given increasing broadband availability, Internet usage, and cultural acceptance of sexual perversion, it’s a problem that promises to drastically increase.
To label this problem as anything less than epidemic is to plug your ears and cover your eyes to our culture. This problem is far-reaching and grave. But in all honesty, I’m not here to tell you that the misuse and misunderstanding of sex is a problem in our culture. My bet is that you already know it is, and chances are, it is one that you currently fight. You’ve seen the power of search engines, you’ve been spammed with plenty of pornographic e-mails, and you are fully aware of the steps to take to erase your browser history and remain anonymous on a faceless Internet. You’re convinced – porn is a problem.
The purpose of this article is to help you fight the battle. I hope to give you some tools that will help you combat the lust of your heart and the lust of your eyes.
So if you are caught in that trap, or have friends or children who are (and statistically, you do), what can you do?!
As a Christian man who has struggled with this problem, and continues to fight it, let me encourage you that the battle can be fought effectively, but must start in the right place. Check out 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 Thessalonians 4:3-4. That passage gives us the most important information in this battle – God’s very will for each of us! And what is that? It’s to be set apart for His use by controlling our bodies (through abstaining from sexual immorality and pursuing holiness).
As with all things in the Christian walk, it all starts with your heart. Don’t just scan that – it’s the key here – your heart condition is the thing that will determine whether or not you make it through this fight. The only way to effectively get through it is to start by being truly in love with Jesus, desperately clinging to Him, and desiring intimacy with Him more than anything else. If that’s not where you are, I hate to say it, but you are powerless to fight – there are other issues to deal with first (feel free to contact me or comment below with questions there).
Just remember that all of these resources are useless or meaningless without a heart centered on Christ’s glory and motivated out of love for Him.
And here’s where technology intersects with theology, thank God.
- Setting Captives Free – a HUGE set of resources for Christians held captive by things of the world
- Desiring God Ministries’ sexuality section – John Piper’s God-centered approach is a personal favorite
- Pure Intimacy – Focus on the Family’s help on “recovering the heart of sexuality”
- XXX Church – a less reverent (potentially offensive) take on the issues, strewn with blatant honesty and good resources
- Every Man’s Battle – good resources, including quality books and conferences
- Genesis Counseling – books, counseling, and other assorted resources
- x3watch – free software that reports your Internet activity to an accountability partner
- x3watchPRO – x3watch for $15, with added tech. support, up to 3 accountability partners, and some other added options
- Covenant Eyes – excellent software that reports your Internet activity to unlimited accountability partners and comes with lots of options for around $7/mo.
- Matt Heerema’s great message on Pornographication
- Desiring God Ministries’ incredible sermons and event messages
- SafeEyes – a one-time fee of $49.95 gets you this software
- Setting Captives Free ISP
- Integrity Online
- Yahoo! Directory of filtered ISPs
- Kids in Mind – my favorite site for pre-screening movies (guarding my eyes on the TV)
- Family Safe Media – everything from power cord locks to TV timers to prevent physical access to media
- Lowe’s – great place to find just the right size hammer for smashing any necessary TVs, computers, movies, CDs, etc.
The Battle Cry
As you examine the list of resources available to you, and consider making decisions that will alter the freedom you enjoy (especially in media), ask yourself this question:
What is God’s glory (through my holiness) worth?
Also, I implore you to find someone to whom you can and will be regularly accountable (and use the software above to help!). Brothers asking me the hard questions has been imperative to my growth in this area. As it is practically impossible to win this war alone, having accountability is vital.
Remember to be seeking God’s strength in all of this, through prayer and the Word (including the helpful memorization thereof). He is faithful and has promised cor 10:13 that He won’t give you anything that he won’t also give you the strength and grace to endure.
Finally, as a close friend and pastor consistently reminds me, press on.
Now go – FIGHT!
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