Research continues to show that pornography usage has erupted into an international blight on modern culture. Both men and women have become trapped in its web. The porn industry constantly tries to create higher levels of disgusting and perverted content.
Unfortunately, the Church largely ignores making any attempts to help the people sitting in its pews who struggle with pornography. In fact, some churches refuse to believe it is even an issue for their members. Others consider it a private matter, and therefore refrain from discussing it. And while over 68% of church-going Christian men admit to viewing pornography, only 7% of churches offer a ministry program to help them find freedom.
So how does the Church tend to deal with such a devastating social, spiritual, and family problem? All too commonly, they use one of the following responses.
“You have to leave.”
As you might expect, the Church’s first reaction to any hint of a member’s porn usage is to quickly expel them from its midst – especially if the person is a pastor or church leader.
Grace Lin, the managing editor of QARA, explained that “41% of adult Christians believe pastors should be fired or asked to resign if they are caught using porn.”
Even laypeople are shamed into leaving the congregation. But Jesus showed us that we should reach out to sinners and show them the love, grace, and forgiveness that he modeled.
According to Christian apologist and author Josh McDowell, “Balancing our approach to sexual ethics should, by consequence, lead to the creation of communities of grace. This means dispensing discipline that is proportionate and consistent with that of other sins. It means abandoning the shaming and condemnation reserved for those who struggle with porn.”
“Sexual sin does not disqualify any pastor, lay leader, friend, husband, wife, brother or sister from the grace and forgiveness of God…Shame does little but drive sin into hiding, where it festers and grows in isolation from community and accountability.”
He added, “The Lord calls us to walk in the light, to confess our sins to fellow believers, but to do that we must create communities absent of shame and judgment, where our brothers and sisters can confess and repent of their sin and be met with love, acceptance and help to go and sin no more.”
“Let’s not talk about it.”
According to research in The Porn Phenomenon, 88% of pastors believe porn is a major issue in their church. However, many churches seem to ignore the subject of pornography. The main problem is that leaders do not have the experience, training, or resources to adequately confront the issue.
Trena Mewborn, the director of counseling at First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida, said, “This feeling, especially in the Christian community, is that nobody in this church understands, nobody struggles with this. I am really this pervert or I am really this deviant.”
“You’re not alone. This is a problem everywhere, every church, everywhere you go, and we need to hit that head on and not deny it…We’ve got to be the ones saying we’re going to figure out how to help people and be real with people.”
She added, “We want to come alongside people and say, ‘We’re not judging you; we just want to help you and love on you and give you the tools that you need to combat this.'”
As 1 Corinthians 12:26 states, “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.”
Jesus Is The Church’s Example
Jesus extended grace and compassion to everyone. He did not shame or ignore them because of their sin, and neither should his church. In John 8:1-11, He told a woman caught in adultery that He did not condemn her. He did tell her to leave her life of sin. He also did not shame the woman at the well who had five ex-husbands and was living with another man (John 4:7-29). But He did point it out. Jesus helped people see what they needed to change in their lives without condemnation.
Instead, Jesus responded with grace and discipleship. Likewise, he wants to work in the lives of men who are going through a struggle with pornography. He wants them to be free and following him closely.
Matt Chandler, the lead pastor at the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, related how he attended a church service with a woman who was involved in sexual sin. The speaker took a perfect rose and tossed it into the audience for them to admire its beauty and perfection. When he asked for it to be returned, it was ugly and destroyed.
Chandler said, “His big crescendo, his point, was to hold up that rose and go, ‘Now who would want this? Who would want this rose?’ And I remember feeling anger, like real legitimate ‘I want to hurt him’ anger, and it was all I could do not to scream out, ‘Jesus wants the rose!’ That’s the point of the Gospel!”
Dr. Ted Roberts, the founder of Pure Desire Ministries and the host of the Conquer Series, said,
“God is outrageously gracious. He wants to heal you. When you understand how deep God’s love is for you, how powerful it is, you’ll be able to walk with purity the rest of your life. You’ll be able to stand against the forces of hell because you’ll know that God loves you with all of his heart, with all of his being.”
Equipping Leaders & Helping Individuals
The Conquer Series is a 12-DVD cinematic production that has helped over one million men around the world find freedom from pornography. Each video features solid Bible teaching, powerful testimonies, and action-packed military re-enactments.
Paul Easton of Sydney, Australia said, “I, like many men, was addicted to porn. I was desperate to find healing. I feared for my boys’ future and bought Series 1 and 2 to do with one other guy who knew about the course.”
“This ministry has changed my life. God’s grace and love have just given me such freedom. I have been searching for healing for many years. Confessing to my wife years ago, yet still kept going back, the usual story.”
“I have found such deep healing and figured out over the last seven months that this is a journey of a lifetime with our Lord, together with my accountability partners.”
Do you want to experience the feeling of freedom that Paul has found? Order the Conquer Series today, and begin your journey to a porn-free life.
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
Want more great articles like this?
Sign up for our blog newsletter to ensure you never miss a post.