The Reach of Pornography in the Church

Denny Burk quotes Heath Lambert on pornography from the latest issue of JBWM.

Pornography is the defining sexual sin of our day. In Christian circles adultery and homosexuality often capture more headlines, but I am persuaded that in terms of sheer numbers they cannot hold a candle to the devastation of pornography. Last year I counseled six people struggling with homosexuality and around eighteen caught in adultery and fornication. I don’t know exactly how many I helped who were locked in pornography, but the number is in the dozens. As bad as that number sounds those people are not the ones I am concerned about since they came trying to expose the darkness to light and find grace to help in their time of need. They wanted help.

The people who concern me are the ones that did not seek out me or anyone else. These people pose the deeper problem. They are the ones who are hiding in the dark while destroying their marriages, ministries, and Christian witness under the radar. They are the ones waiting to be caught when they least expect it. They are the ones who will not know God’s blessing in their home or ministry even though things might appear to be going well on the outside. They need urgent help, but will not get it because nobody knows they have a problem.

Earlier this year Christian counselor Harry Schaumburg  wrote on the same topic in Sexual Sin in the Ministry.

For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries.

I wish our experience was unique.

Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every student is struggling. The question we ask: ‘How serious is the struggle?’”

One missions agency told me that 80% of their applicants voluntarily indicate a struggle with pornography, resulting in staff shortages on the field.

In Dr. Schaumberg’s excellent book Undefiled: Redemption From Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships, he quotes Chuck Swindoll’s open letter to the church on the topic of pornography that 50% of people in the pews may be using pornography.

It’s difficult for many of us to believe that up to 50 percent of our fellow attendees on a Sunday morning are looking at porn on the Internet. One pastor was skeptical, so he surveyed his own congregation. He found that 60 percent had looked at pornography within the past year, and 25 percent within the past thirty days. Schaumburg, Harry (2009-08-25). Undefiled: Redemption From Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships (Kindle Locations 467-469). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

The numbers above speak for themselves. Pornography is a huge issue in the church. It is hard to come forward and admit you need help. However, it can be even more difficult when you get caught. If you are struggling with pornography please tell someone. If you are afraid to tell anyone check out the Setting Captives Free course The Way of Purity – it can be a start toward repentance and restoration. You are not alone.

Seek forgiveness in Jesus Christ through repentance of your sexual sins. He knows and will forgive and restore you.

Sexual redemption is living spiritually and sexually for a purpose other than a self-seeking agenda.
Harry Schaumburg

tagged as , , , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture,Gospel,morality,need

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