My husband and I had the opportunity to phone conference today with another ministry. Freedom Begins Here is an organization focused on putting much needed resources in the hands of churches and individuals to curb the pornography epidemic we are facing in our culture today. This week on their site they blogged about a men’s ministry leadership conference they attended recently:
“The epidemic of pornography (now in the church) was mentioned at least 4 or 5 times by the speakers from the stage. The struggles that Christians face in regard to this temptation and stronghold as well as the enormity of the crisis were thoroughly addressed. Yet, very few came by the Freedom Begins Here booth to learn how this may be dealt with in their men’s group or church. Very few were looking for resources, plans, ideas, or thoughts. Why? Is it fear? Is it a refusal to face the truth? Is it because it is hard to deal with real issues as opposed to just talking about them? Were they struggling with this issue themselves? Did that make them believe that they, therefore, can’t address it in a group? Or, do they just really not care? I do not know.”- www.freedombeginshere.org/blog/talk-is-cheap
Christian Churches: Pornography Statistics http://www.archomaha.org/pastoral/se/pdf/PornStats.pdf
• 51% of pastors say cyber-pornography is a possible temptation,
• 37% say it is a current struggle. (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001)
• Over half of evangelical pastors admit viewing pornography last year.
• 20% of the calls received on the Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.
• 33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a pornography site,
· 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.
• 29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior. (The Barna Group)
• 57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation. (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005)
The church as a whole isn’t being proactive and won’t until ministers and pastors start addressing it directly from the pulpit. The above numbers are very dated and unfortunately, we don’t have any more current numbers. So we can only imagine what the statistics would be today. Considering that, I don’t see pulpits addressing addiction across the board anytime soon.
My personal barometer: If a pastor isn’t addressing porn there’s a good chance he or she has a personal porn problem.
With most things change begins at a “grassroots” or lay person level and moves up. It’s up to us to call our pastors and leadership to accountability. But with over 50% of the grassroots/lay membership addicted to porn most don’t care about dealing with it either! With so much shame and embarrassment attached to the issue people are afraid to even discuss it.
What we have here is the typical AA ‘invisible elephant’ that no one wants to talk about. Instead of the elephant being in a family living room, it’s in the church sanctuary.
As a minister called by God to address this issue head on, I believe if we are going to even begin to make a dent in our country’s #1 addiction, the pandemic that’s destroying lives and families, we must hold our pastors and leadership to a higher standard. To make our churches what they should be, a safe place where hurting men and women can come to find healing and wholeness. It’s not about shaming or condemning anyone. It’s about sharing the freedom only found in Jesus Christ.
At all times we must remember Jesus cared just as much about the woman at the well as he did any other person he came in contact with.
My question to you today: IS YOUR CHURCH TAKING A PROACTIVE STAND AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY?
Is your pastor or leadership team addressing sexual addiction at all from the pulpit?
How is your church addressing this critical need in your community?
If so what are they saying and doing?
Please give me your feedback.
Seriously, I want to know!