Promoting PErsonal Change, Centered on the PErson of Christ through the PErsonal Ministry of the Word
Biblical Counseling Coalition: Grace & Truth

Fighting Porn in the Local Church

Local Church Series - Fighting Porn in the Local Church

BCC Staff Note: You’re reading Part Seven in a multi-part series by the BCC’s Grace & Truth bloggers on Biblical Counseling in the Local Church. In addition to today’s post by Deepak Reju, you can read Part One by Pastor Steve Viars: Biblical Counseling and Community Outreach, Part Two by Keri Seavey: Keeping Equipping Simple in the Local Church, Part Three by Kevin Carson: The Local Church: The Place for Help, Part Four by Andrew Rogers: Conviction: Vital for Biblical Counseling in the Local Church, Part Five by Jonathan Holmes: Adultery and Counseling in the Local Church, and Part Six by Eliza Jane Huie: 3 Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Biblical Counseling.

An Epidemic

An epidemic has broken out among our generation. Pornography is ravaging the church, much like a spark that turns into a blazing forest fire. We have a huge problem on our hands. Many pastors are overwhelmed with everything it takes to shepherd a church, so they can’t possibly be expected to also handle this problem without help. If pastors don’t realize this, or we don’t acknowledge this fact, then we’re all self-deceived. Too many men are drowning in porn, without discipling, solid-biblical thinking, and any hope to fight the battle.

Too many churches encourage a culture of happy, clappy Christians—superficial Christianity. Rarely do we hear from the pulpit statements like, “We want to be a church where our people are deeply invested in each others’ lives” or “Let’s be a church where we ask each other the hard questions that roots out sin.” Unhealthy churches are far too common. Churches that encourage transparency and biblically-vibrant relationships; who make a priority of spiritual growth; and who settle for nothing less than a substantial (not superficial) sermon—these churches are rarer, but they do exist. Porn strugglers have much more of a fighting chance in a healthy church.

Shining Light in the Darkness

Sexual sin is a secretive sin. So we (everyday, normal Christians) must be bold in asking our church friends if they struggle with this problem. Your fellow church members are too ashamed to tell you, so ask. We can’t just assume that those around us are okay. Many of them are not.

Single men are not the only one’s struggling. Married men also struggle, and their wives wilt under the weight of this sin. A wife whose husband is caught looking at porn will feel anger, hurt, and betrayal. Trust is broken and must be rebuilt in order to preserve the marriage covenant. It is always better for a husband to confess first rather than get caught. Bringing sin out of the darkness and into the light is a first step towards redemption and reconciliation.

And don’t forget women in the church. Statistically, there are less women who struggle compared to men, their number is increasing, but there are some, and their deep sense of shame for being inflicted with “a man’s problem” makes them cower in the darkness.

Cell-phones are now the front-line of the battle. Internet access is available everywhere and almost all of the time, which has made the problem much, much worse. Too many men (and women) overestimate their ability to handle unfettered access to the Internet. Many men show themselves too immature to handle total access. Too many men (and women) overestimate their ability to deal honestly and quickly with their sin and underestimate the devils desire to ruin us.

Be Proactive

If you are a pastor or a disciple, be proactive in preparing and thinking about this problem before it comes knocking at your door. What resources will you use? What biblical texts are useful in this situation? Do you feel like you understand the nature of the problem and the dynamics that plague most men?

Figuring out what to do after a man or woman stumbles is an important step to recovery. Guilt and shame rule the heart. Don’t let the struggler fight this battle on his own. Come alongside of him after he falls into sin again; remind him of what a godly sorrow and repentance looks like (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). Point him to the cross (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Plead with him to flee his sin and run to Christ (James 4:7-8).

Counseling in a local church is never just one-on-one. Counseling needs to include not just the porn struggler, but also his discipler, small group leader, and conversations with his pastor. Bring other people into the counseling room. Build a team of support around the struggling Christian. Make good use of the rich relationships that God has put within your church.

Fixing the problem is not the answer to making this epidemic go away. And fighting this sin is only part of the answer. Our ultimate goal in fighting porn is always encouraging greater faith in our risen Savior. There are no easy solutions, but there is a glorious Savior.

This entry was posted in Christian Living, Local Church Ministry, Pastoral Resources, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers, Pornography, Sexual Purity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 
  • Pingback: 7 Posts on Biblical Counseling in the Local Church

  • Pingback: What I Read Online – 06/06/2013 (p.m.) | Emeth Aletheia

  • http://www.counseling24hours.com/ Daniel Keeran Msw

    how to stop looking at porn: pray on your knees or prostrate, read scripture, go for a walk, move the computer into the living room, give a hundred/thousand dollars every time you relapse

  • JP Hunter

    A way to combat looking at porn is to know that you’re most probably watching a rape (she’s forced to act like this against her will under threat of beatings, she’d been kidnapped as a teen and repeatedly raped and drugged under submission) and you’re deriving sexual pleasure from it. Please get educated on the link between porn and human trafficking:

    http://epikproject.org/

    http://politicalistas.com/2012/05/30/human-trafficking-pornography-and-child-abduction-the-dirty-and-sad-truth/

    http://rebeccaholly.wordpress.com

    http://voices.yahoo.com/the-relationship-between-pornography-human-trafficking-6612026.html?cat=7

    http://moderndayslaveryblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/the-link-between-pornography-and-human-trafficking/

    What if a man derived sexual pleasure from watching your daughter, your niece, your mother, or your wife being raped? What would you want to do to that man? The women in porn videos are somebody’s daughter, niece, mother, or wife.

  • JP Hunter

    I miss-typed. I meant “drugged into submission.” Another thought: many articles try to discourage people from watching porn by highlighting how it’s hurting the viewers (damaging their marriages, their ability to bond with a real life woman, distorting their perception of what’s normal and desirable etc.) but rarely explain how it’s hurting the object of their desire: the women in the videos. The viewers cling to the illusion of the women’s consent, which is true only in the minority of cases. Millions of women and children are sexually trafficked and filmed for the pleasure of the anonymous viewer. Viewing means participation in the crime, not simply a passive act.

  • Anonymous

    For the younger Christian men, they should watch the You Tube video entitled: The Great Porn Experiment: Gary Wilson at TEDxGlasgow

    And for the 97% of guys who are gamers and big on Reddit, there’s an online recovery group for porn addicts: http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap

  • Cros

    The problem of pornography is not in pornography, it’s in our sinful nature. The desire for women(or men) sexually is a strong desire. The best examples of why porn is bad really never provide a cure. The first “cure” for the problem of pornography is a switched desire – obedience to God and a desire to please him in righteousness. Because porn is a ‘natural’ thing that comes easy, we have to realize the work it will take to abandon that old natural desire and grow spiritually stronger. People rarely see “church” as a solution to their problems, we don’t feel we can be honestly transparent enough to engage properly in an ‘accountability’ partnership with a brother or sister in Christ. But that’s we need – to be different and transparent enough to come along side those caught in snares to invest in the long and arduous process to seek God’s Glory and our freedom from these sins.

About the BCC

The BCC exists to strengthen churches, para-church organizations, and educational institutions by promoting excellence and unity in biblical counseling as a means to accomplish compassionate outreach and effective discipleship.