Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 17, My Battle Plan

chessIn my recovery group, a recent topic was what our plan is for temptation: our battle plan.

When facing temptation to lust, there are so may opportunities to fail. The consensus was that if you don’t have a plan, you are much more likely to give into temptation when it comes.

Honestly, I sorta kinda might have a semblance of a modicum of a procedure that, when looked at a certain way, could be considered a plan. Now my sorta plan has worked OK, but that makes me think that if I had a real plan, it might work better.

Today, I will make a plan.

I have decided to divide my plan up into the three components of a person: Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.

The Physical

Sexuality is a physical drive. Like sleep and thirst, it serve a necessary biological function and has a prominent physical dimension. So my plan includes:

  • Get enough sleep. I am much more prone to all temptations when I don’t get enough sleep.
  • Have frequent sex with my wife. God has given a proper and good place for sex to be enjoyed. I should drink deeply from it, then I won’t be as hungry for things I shouldn’t have.
  • Avoid going to places of previous temptation. I should not park in front of a strip club (even though I have never gone into a strip club, I have been tempted). I should also avoid adult stores.
  • It is important what I look at. My eyes should linger on my wife and should look away from other women. I have come to believe that I delight in what I look at. So I need to be careful to look at what is good for my soul.

The Emotional

Pornography does not simply fulfill physical drives, it also tries to satisfy emotional drives (though in the end, it leaves you unsatisfied). It feels empowering to have a woman looking longingly at you, even if it is just a video. So it is important to address the emotional needs.

  • Spend time with my wife. It is important to enjoy the right place for real community. It helps me see how counterfeit the buzz from porn really is.
  • Spend time with God. He is my Father and he loves me. If I believe he loves me, it is much easier to trust him with he says, “Watch Out! This is dangerous.”
  • Write my blog. Helping guys who struggle with porn is very helpful in my own struggles.
  • Have Covenant Eyes on every internet access. Knowing that my accountability partners will call with any questionable site visits is often enough to help me resist temptation in the moment.

The Spiritual

In the end, no sin is a physical act. It starts in my heart and comes out in my actions. So caring for my spiritual needs is essential.

  • I need to regularly pray. Talking with God has an uncanny power to reduce temptation. I think it is because I am enjoying a better pleasure in prayer.
  • I need to regularly read the Bible. God created a book that ” is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” I should pay attention.
  • It is very helpful to me to listen sermons online. there are great preachers out there and it is so good to have the technology that I can listen to them .
  • Regularly attending a recovery group. One of the best ways for me to keep focused on resisting the temptations of pornography is to help other men in their struggle. It is really good for my soul and constantly reminds me what I have left behind.

Now that plan is what I will do before I am tempted, but it really doesn’t address what I will do when I am tempted. Really, when temptation strikes, I will do all of the same things I did to prevent temptation. Leaving a tempting environment, praying, talking with my wife, listening to a sermon; all of these are effective in the moment as well.

So gentleman, I would encourage you to write out your plan. It can help you.

God Bless.

-Chip

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Recovery Resources: Every Man’s Battle

It is sometimes difficult to find practical guides for anything in Christian circles. With pornography this can be especially true. Often what you find is a solid theology of how wrong pornography is but not much to help you actually stop looking at it. Enter Every Man’s Battle. This book helped me during a difficult time in my ongoing recovery.

Both of the authors, Fred Stoeker and Steven Arterburn, struggled with pornography. They offer a real and compelling description of their own journeys. There is no punches pulled about the severity of the problem with pornography yet they do speak with a gracious understanding.

One point that the book emphasizes well is that simply failing to look at porn is not a recovery. If I don’t look at porn again but leave my family in shambles, that is not a win. Steven and Fred do a good job of explaining that we must love our wives well.

A good book especially for a guy who is new in recovery. It comes with my recommendation and, if you order in the next five minutes, you can expect to pay nearly the same price as you would in ten minutes.

-Chip

P.S. I don’t make any money from this book. This is just from my heart.

The New York Herald: Sunday Edition Op-Ed, March 27th, 2033

The First Generation iRis

Staff Writer:  James Montgomery – When we are faced with a crisis of any kind, it is easy to try to refocus our faith on something that we believe to be indomitable. We can reaffirm our conviction that the American Spirit will overcome anything. We remind ourselves that there have been many crises in the past and none have destroyed us yet. We could say a lot of things.

I say we should first see how we got here.

By here, of course, I mean the demographic crisis that is crushing the first world. For two generations in a row, the population has shrunk. With fewer and fewer young people caring for more and more elderly (who are living longer and longer), we simply do not have the resources to keep the engine of commerce running. Health Care costs as a portion of GDP continue to spike and there is no end in sight.

Normally, this is the part of the article where I blame poor planning, greedy corporations, negligent adult children, corrupt politicians, etc. But today, I would like to explore a different cause.

Back in the 1990s the internet revolutionized the adult industry. It allowed easy access to adult materials and adult websites grew rapidly. This continued into the 2000s and grew considerably with the advent of smart phones that allowed viewing anywhere. The consequences to the culture were negligible and it was all in good fun. In the year 2014, Google came out with the Google Glass and a pivot point was reached. Now any kind of adult material could be viewed on a bus full of people in absolute privacy. Around this time, the first hints what was to come had begun in Japan. A considerable part of the younger generation were not interested in parenthood and a small but growing portion weren’t interested in sex at all.

Through the 2010s the iterations of Google Glass sold well until 2018. Apple, which had been marginalized somewhat by Google, Microsoft, and the upstart Pi Corp, developed the iRis. The advent of contact lens computing took the world by storm. Google eventually developed the Google Vision two years later and Pi Corp developed a much cheaper version in 2021 called the See Pi. The world had changed.

Along with the increased ease of viewing adult film, the quality of the experience was improving as well. In 2017 the website Second Life released Real Life, a visually stunning second life that was almost indistinguishable from a photograph. There was already an existing community of adult entertainment within Second Life and they quickly began Virtual Films, the first completely web based film company. Virtual Films exploded in popularity and within five years there was almost no real world adult filmmakers left. It was simply cheaper to have digital actors and actresses than the hire real live humans.

It was during this same stretch of the early 2020s that a new gender preference began to assert itself: monosexuality. The monosexual can be either gay or straight, but they so strongly prefer the digital to the physical that they never have sexual contact in the real world.

The next leap forward was in 2028 with Pi Corp’s Touch Technology. By applying a the “Touch Pads” correctly, the user could experience all manner of sensation. Combined with the iRis, See Pi, or Google Vision, the whole sexual experience could be fully digitally simulated. Monosexuality went from a small fringe group to a dominant sexual preference. Today over 25% of adults describe themselves as monosexual and when combined with the 10% of the population who are asexual, a whopping third of the population isn’t having sex at all.

Now we live in a free country, so I don’t want to imply that we should obligate sex, But this has been a major contributor to this crisis. With over a third of the population at no risk of having children and there simply aren’t enough children to support the elderly as they age. The solutions to this problem have been debated and all of the options seem completely unpalatable. Lab grown children won’t have parents. Terminating the elderly is agism. Making abortion illegal again is to violate a woman’s rights. There are simply no good option.

Ironically, the only segments of the population that are not suffering from this decline are the hard-core religious types. The Christian and Islamic fundamentalists who refuse the adult industry for religious reasons are, well, breeding like rabbits. As sickening as it is for me to hold them up, we need them. They are a small percentage of the population but they represent a large percentage of the kids being born.

In a world where now a shrinking population is causing serious problems (to think, a century ago the fear was an unsustainable population explosion), maybe it is time to explore the old school solutions. Sometimes newer isn’t better. Maybe it is better to stop using adult materials than it is to manufacture children or prematurely terminate the elderly (which I can’t believe we are considering).

Now, obviously the decision to view adult materials is a very personal one and no one (except the fundamentalists) is arguing that everyone should stop looking. But in a world of very unpalatable solutions, maybe their solution is the least unpalatable. It sure sounds better than all of us going hungry in our old age. -Jim Mongomery

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 15, A Plea to Pastors

It is with a bit of trembling that I approach the topic of pastors today. Part of me wonders if I am crossing into the territory of those who will be held to a higher standard (James 3). I think so. To be further sobered, that whole chapter is about how the tongue is lit by the fire of hell (or the keyboard, in this case) and that we should not act out of selfish ambition.

But that selfish ambition lives in my heart. It wants you to read this blog and be very impressed by my sacrifice, my boldness, my wisdom. It is not that interested in God getting credit or glory. Oh no, it wants to make sure that all of the honor goes to Chip.

I am not fit to preach or to lead the church. I want my own glory too much. But I don’t think that means I have no contribution to make. By the grace of God, I hope to encourage the church. To God be the glory.

I want to approach the pastors today. You are men called by God to lead his people. This is a heavy burden and I fear I am going to add to it today. I don’t want what I am about to say to discourage you. Quite the opposite, I want to encourage you.

As my recent posts have pointed out, there is a crisis in the world and the church. Sexual sin is disintegrating our homes, communities, and churches. The gateway drug for this sexual sin is pornography. It starts and fuels most of this destruction. So, pastors, I plead with you.

Confess Your Own Sexual Sin

Somewhere in the range of 1/3 to 1/2 of pastors have recently looked at pornography. If this is you, you must confess this sin to God and to another believer. It is useless to fight this without the church helping you. Don’t think that because you are a pastor that you are above the need for support and community. If anything you need it more than your people because you are being held to a higher standard. God is watching you and he expects you to lead well. Confess your sin to another believer.

Also, look at your heart. Are you emotionally drawing close to a woman in your church? When you preach, who are those girls that you always know where they are sitting. You need not look are porn to lust. Confess this sin to another believer as well. You need to be “in the light, as he is in the light.” Otherwise, don’t be surprised that you are living in darkness.

Now, go flirt with your wife.

Have a Ministry in your Church for Sexual Sin

If there is no forum for discussing sexual sin in your church, then you are overlooking an area of huge need. Around half of your men are regularly looking at porn and maybe a quarter of the ladies. If they were snorting cocaine, you would say something. Have a place for these people to go to have the gospel speak to their addiction. Maybe you partner with another church’s ministry, but you need a place for your people to get support for their sexual sin.

Be Ready to Address the Spouses of Porn Addicts

I struggle to recommend this because I have never known a group for spouses that I thought was really helpful. But part of the problem is that groups for spouses are quite rare. For almost every porn abuser, there is a struggling spouse. If you don’t have a plan for what to say to them, you will say something stupid. I have seen way too many pastors put the addiction back on a spouses shoulders. It’s not that these pastors meant harm, they just weren’t prepared. Be prepared.

Be Biblical, not Victorian

If you haven’t read my article Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 2, How Did We Get Here, then please take the time. I explain how many of our views of sex are not biblical, but cultural. We have overly stigmatized discussing sex and that has meant that the only people who are talking about it are the sexual sinners. Satan was very clever to set us up like that. Until we get over our reluctance to talk about sexual sin, we can never expect to overcome it. No one in the Bible is shy about it, why are we?

You Must Address Sexual Sin from the Pulpit

I don’t mean that you should occasionally mention sexual sin. I mean that you should be specific and be ready to address specific questions. There is a whole book in the Bible about how great sex is in marriage (Song of Solomon). Jesus had a three year ministry and had several specific and controversial teachings on sexual sin (Matthew 5:32, 15;19, and 19:9). Paul had several letters read from pulpits that were very specific about sexual sin and commanding sex in marriage (Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 5, 7:1-3, 2 Corinthians 12:21, Ephesians 5:3-5, 1 Thessalonians 4:3). The author of Hebrews (Hebrews 13:4) and Jude (Jude 1:7) both discuss sexual sin and the judgement that comes with it. Finally Jesus comes back to John in Revelation and has specific sexual sins at specific churches that he addresses (Revelation 2:14-21).

So, I will argue that if you are not being specific about the sexual sins that your congregation is facing from the pulpit, you are not loving your people well. You are not being biblical. You are more afraid of the critics in your congregation than you are in serving that mass of people who need you to have the courage to address their sin.  Be bold, dear brothers, be bold.

I do have a couple of good examples of this. Pastor Kempton Turner at Bethlehem Baptist did a wonderful job of facing sin and proclaiming the cross. He did a seminar called Pure Pleasure and he is an example to us all of how to approach this issue. Also, Pastor Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church has spoken on sexual sin numerous times, but I like this one the best of them all.

Be Encouraged

I don’t want to add burdens to you. I want you to be fruitful. This article may be discouraging to you. Please, know that I love you and I want you to be successful. God has given me this grace and I want you to share in it. There is a fountain of joy for both of us, but obedience is necessary and I believe God is calling us to boldly correct sexual sins of all kinds.

Brother, I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together.

-Chip

Count Vicegrim’s Letters: Chapter 2 The Slow Spiral

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The Demon Mudpot’s Annual Review regarding the Temptation of the Patient in His 16th Year

My Dearest Mudpot,

What a year this has been? Your success with the patient has been so thorough that even I am getting the attention of the High Lords. The Great Lord himself asked me about your progress and looked pleased at my report. If you were here, I’m sure they would speak with you as well, but I am willing to carry this burden for you in your absence. Someone has to go to parties around here.

No reason to beat around the vermin, let’s dig into your review.

The Better than Average

You have a real knack for arranging sexual deviance. How you have him looking at pornography daily and still his parents don’t suspect. it is simply a work of art. Vermin are so stupid. They are no smarter than the dirt they were made from. I must say I am envious of you being there to see him longing for those images every moment he doesn’t have them and then racing to every opportunity to look at them. You are doing a masterful job of slowly allowing sexual pleasure to prevent enjoyment of all other pleasures.

It is wise of you to avoid real sexual encounters for this patient yet. He can live under the illusion of “purity” because he has not exchanged human slime with a female. If you play your cards right, he could even have a sense of self-righteousness about his sexual restraint! In addition, this allows you to continue define sex by what he is looking at in those pictures. The more he separates sexuality from any real living vermin, the better.

One of the purposes of the sexuality of the vermin is to bond them to their “spouse.” We have a big advantage if we can use that process to bond them to images, then to fantasies, and finally get them hopelessly bonded to things that don’t exist. Let your imagination run wild for a moment, Mudpot. One day, if you do this right, your patient will long day and night for some sexual fantasy that can never be fulfilled. That is the sort of times a demon can really enjoy.

You have done quite well with his church attendance. As I did more research on his church I became concerned that the preaching might lead him to the Enemy’s Son. You can imagine my pleasure at reading how tuned out he is during the sermons. It really is amazing how those filthy creatures are able to hear words that would rescue them from us and they entirely ignore them. Despite your success, be vigilant. This is a area of concern.

I’m glad you were able to direct the patient to his father’s pornography supply in the home. This is an invaluable asset. Now, should his father discover what the patient is doing, he will have no credibility to correct it. It is also so helpful that the father hides it from the mother. That way we can be sure that he will be very uncomfortable talking about it with her as well. This is real teamwork between you and their demons.

Finally, the way you have fostered a sense of superiority in him is simply stunning. Our goal is always to bury them in shame and guilt or to make the feel superior to others, above the rules. Our preference is always to have them above the rules as this discourages them from ever seeking forgiveness (which the Enemy claims to offer).

Some Areas for Improvement

You are too cavalier about his association with that neighbor vermin. We have been working on the neighbor for years and have made only minimal inroads. That man is not to be underestimated. Keep you patient away from him. We have begun efforts to have that man hit by a car, but with no results. Be careful!

Your report indicates that you wish to be more eclectic in your temptations. I know it can be boring to keep hammering away at his sexuality at the expense of other delightful ways to play with him. Remember, the goal is always to keep the vermin away from the Enemy’s son! As much as it might feel like you are on offense, we must always work with the weaknesses the human presents to us. Consider it this way, after years of diminishing enjoyment of sexual pleasure, your patient can be brought to desperation. Then a whole buffet of delight is open to you. Think of the depression, anxiety, decimated relationships, and poverty. These, my dear Mudpot, can be yours. But only if you continue to capitalize on the weaknesses your patient actually has.

I know the temptation to wish you had a patient with certain weaknesses. I too miss a good flogging and a burning at the stake. The brutality of past days is sorely missing from these Western humans. Really, the only reliable place to find it in high concentrations today is in their abortion clinics. I promise you that if you press this weakness to it’s fullest potential, it will be worth your waiting. So for your patient, keep working with his weaknesses toward self-righteousness and sexual sins.

I am growing tired of your whining about the vigilance of the patient’s mother. If she is the worst difficulty you have, then you have been blessed by the Great Lord. Stop thinking in terms of how closely she watches and work this to your advantage. Work on your patient’s ego so that he does not see this as loving, but controlling. Try to have him make up some evil motive for this behavior. You are complaining to me and missing this opportunity.

One thing you need to start preparing for is this vermin’s college plans. I have compiled a list of the most favorable colleges. For your patient we will need to be careful that the college is respectable to pacify his parents but to also make sure that there is teaching that will make believing in the Enemy to look simplistic and stupid. Finally, there needs to be enough of a “party scene” to pull your patient in, but not so much that his parents might hear that reputation. If possible, try to get your vermin into one of the top four listed, they are the best for our purposes. The top listed college is ideal because it has Christian in the name and will serve our purposes and will leave your patient buried in debt by the time he finishes. A win in every respect!

Overall, this was a better than satisfactory year. Your patient is beginning a slow spiral that could end very well for us.

Your Affectionate Supervisor,

Count Vicegrim

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 14, A Plea to Fathers

child_fearFor many (if not most) men who struggle with porn, the person who introduced them is not who you might think. It is not that group of boys mom always told us to stay away from. It isn’t that creepy guy on the street corner. It is most likely not even the internet.

It was dad.

Our dad’s didn’t mean to introduce us in most cases. It is often a boy finding his dad’s stash of porn. Sometimes it is that dad now thinks that since his son is thirteen, it is somehow OK to let him see nudity in a movie. We walk into the restroom and there he is, looking at porn.

Whatever our father’s intentions, we were exposed. Slowly the roots of this sin sunk deep into our hearts. Soon we were more deeply ensnared than our father’s ever dreamed.

Not only did they introduce us to porn, but they also lost all credibility with us. Dad looking at porn and he is strictly warning me not to look at porn. They failed to confess their own sin and in doing so, they taught us how to cover up our sin. The moment we needed them to stand strong for us and strongly tell us how dangerous this path is, they cannot. The would not.

Jesus had some very strong language for just such a situation.

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. (Luk 17:1-2 ESV)

Let the weight of that sink in. Let it pull on your neck. Imagine hurtling toward the water and a certain drowning. The water rushes over your face. In your fear, you forgot to take a deep breath before you went under the surface. You scream and the last air you will ever breath leaves your lungs. Sinking, you keep sinking. The terror of this moment fills your mind. There is a deep pressure and hunger in your chest, but no air to fill it. Your thinking gets fuzzy. You pass out. You die.

It would be better to do that than cause a little one to sin.

So now most of us are fathers. It’s our turn to carry this mantle and to set the path for our children. Are we doing any better? It seems that we are doing worse! Now instead of a magazine, they slip from their rooms late at night and watch us masturbate in the light of a computer screen. We are guiding them into hell.

Gentlemen, be afraid. This warning is for you. Those little hands and feet will do what you do, say what you say, look at what you look at. We can do better. Here are my thoughts on how to keep millstones off your neck.

Repent

Read my article How Do I Stop Looking at Porn and get the first steps of your repentance going. It is no good to your family if you can’t get a handle on your porn problem. Jesus has the grace you need. It really is a question of whether you will take it.

Tell Your Kids About Your Struggle With Porn

The way to struggle and not be a hypocrite is to be honest. When our fathers told us to avoid porn and kept looking at it themselves, they lost all credibility with us. The way to get it back is to tell them how much pain it has caused you. Have your wife sit with you. Let her talk about how much this has hurt her as well. If you let your kids see the pain that this has caused, you set for them a deep and powerful warning of this danger. You will have served them well.

But When Do I Tell Them?

This is difficult, but here are some good rules of thumb. The average Western child is exposed to porn at age eleven so I think you really should have this conversation by age eleven if not sooner. If your kid is thirteen, he is most likely looking at porn already so this should be addressed. If he is fifteen or older, get up right now and talk with him. Your time is short and your son is an addict waiting to happen and your daughter has about a 1/4 chance of being one as well. Talk with them right away.

I know that this is a hard thing. It is humiliating. It is necessary. Have the courage to talk with them.

Tell Your Daughters Too

It may seem like this conversation is only important for your sons, but it is key to also have it with your daughters. She is going to run into men who struggle with porn in her life. She needs a good example of how someone fights their own pornography problem.

Dad, enter stage left.

If you set this good example, she will be much better equipped to see men and understand how they should be behaving. She’ll know because her dad showed her. This is key for her as she is selecting the most important man in her life, her husband. Guess what dad, he will have a porn problem at least 85% of the time. She needs to be ready for that.

The other reason your daughter needs to know is that there is about a 1/4 chance that she will struggle with pornography as well. You need to set a good example for her of how to deal with it. Please, please tell your daughters of your struggle.

Keep Talking About It

There is this myth out there that any discussion about sex is a single conversation. In reality, your kids will have many, many conversations about sex. The question is how many of them will be with you. Take a good look at your kid’s friends, are they the ones you want educating your son. I hope not.

This requires courage and conviction. Keep talking about sex, porn, sexting, and how it impacts their lives. I think there is a generation that is getting most of their sexual knowledge from the porn industry. We need to change that.

The Cross

Remember that none of us are up to this. You and I can’t carry this load. It is too heavy for us. We will fail. But God can succeed through us. Love your kids enough to have these conversations. You will find the strength to do that by looking hard and deep at the cross. See how much he did for you. He went through hell for you. He loved you so deeply that he willingly had nails driven through his hands and feet for you.

Now go and love your kids like that.

-Chip

P.S. I should be clear that I was not introduced to porn by my dad. I am the sort of sinner who doesn’t need help to find porn. So the content of this article has little to do with him. He taught me how to love a woman deeply, not how to stare at images of other women. 

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 13, Teenagers, Church, and Statistics

How bad is the porn problem? Maybe this blog is really just a place for the few of us that struggle with pornography. That would be a great relief to everyone else. They can let us go quietly off by ourselves and try not to think about us.

If only it were that simple.

Unfortunately, pornography is uncomfortable AND prevalent. Today I will explore just how common it really is. All of the statistics I have used today were gathered from a very helpful document that Covenant Eyes has assembled called Pornography Statistics 2013. It is available as a free download from Covenant Eyes after you fill out the request form.  All of the quotes below are directly from that document.

Teenagers and College Students

In 2008, more than 560 college student responded to an online survey:

  • 93% of boys and 62% of girls were exposed to pornography before 18.
  • 14% of boys and 9% of girls were exposed to pornography before 13.
  • 69% of boys and 23% of girls have spent at least 30 consecutive minutes viewing Internet pornography on at least one occasion. 63% of boys have done so more than once, and 35% of boys have done so on more than 10 occasions.
  • 83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online.
  • 69% of boys and 55% of girls have seen same-sex intercourse online.
  • 39% of boys and 23% of girls have seen sexual bondage online.
  • 32% of boys and 18% of girls have seen bestiality online.
  • 18% of boys and 10% of girls have seen rape or sexual violence online.
  • 15% of boys and 9% of girls have seen child pornography.

Take a look at that top statistic: 9 out of 10 boys and 2/3 of girls admitted to being exposed to pornography before age 18. 14% of boys and 9% of girls were first introduced before they were 13. Take into account that the error in this sample would most likely be under reporting of porn exposure. Why would you lie and say you had seen it when you hadn’t? So most likely these statistics are the floor of the real numbers.

In 2009, Michael Leahy released results of a survey of 29,000 individuals at North American universities.

  • 51% of male students and 32% of female students first viewed pornography before their teenage years (12 and younger).
  • 35% of all students’ first exposure was Internet or computer-based (compared to 32% from magazines, 13% from VHS or DVD, and 18% from Cable or pay-per-view).
  • 64% of college men and 18% of college women spend time online for Internet sex every week.
  • 42% of male students and 20% of women said they regularly read romance novels, sexually explicit magazines, or regularly visited sexually explicit websites or chat rooms.

This study is even more frightening with 51% of men reporting their first exposure before they were 13. Also, notice that 2/3 of  studied men and 1/5 of studied women (who are current college students) report looking at porn at least weekly.

But, of course this is only a problem of young people. When they grow up and go to church, they will stop looking at porn, right?

Churchgoers

According to data taken from Internet users who took part in the General Social Survey for the year 2000, regular church attenders are 26% less likely to look at porn than non-attenders, but those self-identified as “fundamentalists” are 91% more likely to look at porn.

In 2003, 34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman’s online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn.

In August 2006, a survey reported 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year.

Now I have nothing against a good fundamentalist, but if you are marching against homosexuality and looking at porn, I think you more strongly resemble a Pharisee than a disciple. We need to be first interested in out own sin, not other peoples. Hypocrisy Alert: I am certainly guilty of focusing on other people’s sin while ignoring my own. 

The other very notable number was that 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women surveyed could be described as “addicted to porn.” Now please don’t think to yourself, “Well, yes, but this is all of those other evil churches. Not mine.” Even if your church is better than average, that is still very large numbers of men and women in your church. Take this threat seriously, your denial only ignores a very real problem.

But at least the pastors are safe, right?

Pastors

In 2002, of 1,351 pastors surveyed, 54% said they had viewed Internet pornography within the last year, and 30% of these had visited within the last 30 days.

Porn is ravaging our pastors as well. If you think about it, pastors would actually be a vulnerable group. They are under tremendous pressure to perform and to keep up appearances but are sinners just like us. They generally are too “good” to go out an have an affair, but they might slip and give into porn.

Take a breath for a moment and think about the fact the 30% of pastors admitted looking at porn in the last 30 days. Remember that this is a 2002 survey, do you think it has gotten better in the last 11 years. I think not. So consider that at least one in three pastors have looked at porn recently.

I don’t say this to denigrate pastors. In fact, I am confident that there are pastors who will read these words and, I hope, pursue getting their own pornography problem addressed. I say this because I believe the church is eager to ignore this serious and widespread problem. I want the church to wake up. Stop hiding and smiling our way past each other on Sunday morning. This issue needs to be addressed publicly and directly.

So What Do We Do?

It is time that we stopped pretending that pornography use is an isolated problem. It is very common and very destructive. The Church needs to remove the stigma that prevents sexual sins from being addressed from the pulpit. Dads and moms need to address this issue directly with their kids. Like drugs and strangers, there is a threat out there that is too common to ignore anymore.

The question really isn’t what are we going to do. It is what are you going to do?

-Chip