Updated: January 29, 2018
Welcome GUEST Blogger: J. DeOleo! I pray his message and testimony can help break the yokes of bondage and speak life over those suffering from this addiction. You can visit his blog here and check out his Facebook page here.
Note: Editing in most of the emphasis, some spacing, and images are mine.
A few years ago I read a study that showed almost 70% of PASTORS were hooked on pornography. I can not remember the name of the institute that conducted the study, though I do remember it being a well respected, highly credible institute.
It is sad when any member of the Body of Christ is confronted with overwhelming issues, especially those concerning addiction.
When you read that 7 out of 10 leaders within the Christian Community are struggling with an addiction to porn, it’s almost disheartening. Don’t get me wrong, I am not putting pastors or any human on a pedestal worthy only of Jesus Himself, “the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1Peter 1:19), however if this number is close to being factual then there is a very big problem.
A problem that, both, exposes the nature of man and the State of the Church.
If a pastor is bound by the power of sin, what happens to his flock? If a self professed man of God claiming to be filled with the Holy Spirit is bound by the power of sin, either his profession or the Holy Spirit are inconsistent. Don’t get me wrong this is not exclusively a Pastor issue, many men struggle with an addiction to pornography. Pointing out the results of this study is bringing to light the choke hold this drug has on men; including those in leadership. In this post, I will focus, mainly, on men in the Church. The Apostle Paul gives a strong warning not to get caught up judging those who are outside the Body of Christ, for God will judge them… Instead, focus on those who are in the Body of Christ, admonishing them for their own sake (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). Pornography: “The Mighty Addiction”!
First let me tell you that I was addicted to pornography. I’m not talking about an addiction where I met the bare minimum to be called an addict… No! I was an addict to the point of twitching if I didn’t get my fix on a daily basis. Of course, like most addicts, I didn’t accept or believe myself to be an addict. I was like that cousin we all have who drinks 6 days a week, doesn’t stop till he’s passed out, and never remembers what happened yet claims to be a “social drinker”. That was me, in my eyes I was doing nothing wrong.
See, that’s the interesting dynamic about porn addiction, you feel you are doing nothing wrong.
It’s not like drinking, smoking, rooting for the Red Sox, or any kind ofconsumed drug; pornography feels natural. What’s wrong with looking at a woman in a screen? It’s not like you’re cheating, you’re not even touching her. Those of you who are yet to know marriage, it’s not like you’re fornicating, because you’re not touching her. Pornography, SEEMS to satisfy the flesh without really committing any sin. The idea is since you are not hurting anyone,“IT’S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL!” (That phrase has probably sent more people to hell than all addictions combined.)
Most men believe that pornography is the complete opposite of what it really isn’t, and believe it isn’t the complete opposite of what it really is.
So what exactly do men think pornography is or isn’t?
If you were to ask the majority of men who are addicted to pornography, they would tell you that pornography isn’t adultery or fornication. They are under the assumption, or convince themselves that since there is no physical contact, it really doesn’t qualify as adultery or fornication.
The problem is this, actually, the BIG problem is this: That’s – Not – What – Jesus – Said!
Yes, that Jesus. That God Man guy who knew no sin, died on a cross and sent His Spirit to keep us in check… Yes, that guy. In the Sermon of the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus reminds people that the law commanded we should not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). The hypocrisy of the people would twist and distort the law to mean whatever it is they wanted it to mean, depending on the circumstance. So Jesus in His infinite wisdom, Holy Nature, and desire to crash the party, stepped it up a notch. He said “Anyone who LOOKS at a woman lustfully has committed adultery in his heart.” You and I both know that adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9), therefore anyone who allows his eyes to look upon a woman with lust is, basically, flirting with an eternity of hell. In this one verse (Matthew 5:28) Jesus condemned the porn industry. When a man sets his eyes on a screen filled with pornography, he is being led by lust.
Lust only leads to hell, and for married men a pit stop in divorce.
According to recent studies, 56% of divorces involve porn addiction. Those men who are not married have it equally as bad. Why? Well, because you are supporting and participating in something that is unholy and unGodly, therefore making you an enemy of God. If that isn’t enough, you are probably supporting and participating in the destruction of a woman on a screen that is in need of prayer, not our money as she desecrates the body God gave her. That is someone’s mother, wife, daughter, sister.. Whether she or he has rejected the Gospel does not give us a green light to help them in their rebellion. Either way you cut it, married or single, the lust which leads us down this path will only lead us to eternal destruction.
Most men believe that porn is natural.
After all, a man attracted to a woman is as natural as it can get. But what exactly is natural about it? If we go back to Genesis 2, we see God establishing the covenant of marriage. God puts Adam to rest (sleep).. Which tells you that a woman comes to life when her man is resting in the Lord. After Adam is sleeping, God proceeds to take a rib from Adam and makes Eve. The very next words show Adam honor God and the woman God has given him. He enters into a covenant with God and her and God honors that and commands them to multiply. That is God-ordained sex! He created sex, therefore He should have a right to have it done the way He wants it done. How is pornography anything close to that? Let’s look at the steps and compare:
Step 1: God sees Adam is alone and decides to bless Him with a partner
Step 2: God puts Adam to rest and makes a woman from his rib
Step 3: Adam honors God and his wife before God with a covenant
Step 4: God gives the ok to procreate
Step 1: (If you have any shame) Wait for everyone to go to sleep or lock your door
Step 2: Turn the computer on
Step 3: Go over to the address bar and type something
Step 4: Tell yourself you shouldn’t do this because it offends God but you do it any way
Step 5: Your remorse slowly fades away as the screen is filled with stuff
Step 6: Once you’re done, make sure you deleted everything from the google browser to the cache.
Step 7: Feel terrible about what you did and cry to God to give you strength not to do it.
Those who are in the world could remove Step 4, reduce Step 5 (sometimes not care to do Step 6) and definitely ignore Step 7. To them all the lust and misguided sexual desires are very natural and a part of life.
Yet, to those who have some knowledge of God, even when it seems natural, it still seems wrong.
There’s something that every man of faith has encountered every single time he turns on that screen. Sometimes there’s a pain in your stomach, sometimes there’s a shortness of breath, sometimes the computer freezes only to have you do everything in your power to get it working. There is an intense moment where good and evil seem to clash. Unfortunately, evil usually wins out. So to cope and not feel like a complete hypocrite on Sunday we appeal to God citing that our sexual desires are natural.
The argument for it being natural is a way of coping with our desires to please the flesh instead of pleasing God.
It is a defense mechanism most of us copied from Adam when he blamed God and Eve for sinning, even though he knew it was wrong. Its a 6 thousand year old scapegoat that did not work then and does not work now. The only thing natural about engaging pornography is man’s nature of disobeying God.
Most men also believe that pornography is an expression of love and/or sex. Studies show that 88% of pornographic scenes have aggression in them; 49% have verbal aggression. The infamous Ted Bundy in an interview before his death spoke about growing up in a “solid Christian home”. He also said that though he doesn’t blame pornography for what he did, it did shape his violent behavior.
(You could read the interview in this link:/)
Pornography is a distortion of sex and it’s the devil’s version of love.
It slowly starts to mold our thinking and how we approach the opposite sex. We begin to see women as objects as opposed to seeing a wife, a mother, a sister, etc… We begin to compare and contrast the physique of a woman, setting standards that always leave us wanting more. For men who are married, the sex in your marriage begins to experience problems.
Sometimes the images in our minds begin to distort how we see our wives leading to an inability to perform. Sometimes the images in our minds lead us to demand things from our wives that could make them uncomfortable or sometimes bring shame on them.
For the men who are single, you become a bit more aggressive. You push the envelope as far as you can to see what you can get from the girl. It doesn’t matter to you if she is dishonoring God, her family and herself. That doesn’t matter as long as you can please your “natural” sexual desires. (they may be natural, but the timing is wrong). Sometimes these misguided sexual desires could lead to forcing a girl to do something she doesn’t wanting to do, rape, physical abuse, damaging a very nice relationship, etc..
The dangers created by pornography are similar to carbon monoxide; you cant see it or smell it, but it is killing you.
Lastly, most men believe that pornography isn’t hurting anyone. Let’s forget about the person on the screen for a second. I had mentioned the different scenarios for the person on your screen, as well as the consequences they face due to their lifestyle. In essence, we are hurting that person, even if you convince yourself that whether you sign in or not, someone else will log on and do the same thing.
Let me ask you, do YOU matter?
Isn’t this addiction hurting you? Isn’t it affecting your relationship with God and most other people? Are you not important to God? Did Jesus not die for you as well? Doesn’t God desire an eternal relationship with you? When we fail to understand that the most important person in your life to God is you, we adopt an attitude of as long as Im not hurting anyone. We forget that to God we are not just anyone, we are a child, someone He chose to die for in order to save. He doesn’t diminish our value the way we do, because doing so would diminish who He is. 1 John 2 says that God is faithful to us because He can not deny Himself. Therefore He cares for His children because they are made in His Image and Likeness and are a part of Him. In John 17 Jesus prays wanting us to be One with Him as He is One with the Father. There is an unbreakable connection that should exist between us and God. The Apostle Paul says that not even death can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:38).
Where do we get the notion that we don’t matter to God?
In Kyle Idleman’s book “Gods at War”, he speaks that most of our vices are a result of a much more profound issue. For me pornography began when I was a kid. The men in my family would encourage us to see things in order to make us “REAL MEN”. In their ignorance they did not understand the damage they were doing to impressionable young minds. Later on in life I realized that pornography was introduced to me at a time when my family was falling apart. My dad was walking out, my mom was all over the place, I had no identity so I would be consoled by the images of women on a computer screen or in a magazine. The momentary pleasure was enough to let me forget about the harsh realities. Most men who are addicted to pornography dont realize that it’s become a safety net to them. Some men are insecure about themselves so they run to pornography. They get the pleasure without having to be responsible of pleasing anyone else. It removes responsibility and accountability, something we learned from Grandpa Adam. Some men run to pornography because it’s the only pleasure they have to forget about the hardships of life. And some men dont know why they feel drawn to pornography. Believe me, it’s not the naked women or the ability to tell them what to do in exchange for some dollars.
There is something much more deeply rooted.
My encouragement to any man who is dealing with this monster is to come before God. Confess your desires, your sins, your anger, everything to God. Ask Him to bring out what hidden sins, what hidden rage is in there. I remember when He began delivering me from my addiction one of the first things I had to do was forgive my father. I wrote him an email expressing what I felt and how I forgave him for exposing me to images that scarred me for a very long time. His response was evading the responsibility and, basically, telling me I’ve lost my mind. His response was irrelevant to me, because I got that off my back. I was able to close that chapter in my life and move on to confronting other areas of my life that were leading me to my addiction.
There are many tactics we could put into play to combat porn addiction.
Somethings that have worked is getting an accountability partner. Someone who monitors what you watch on your computer or phone. At the end of the post I’m going to put up a link that teaches you about accountability partners and how to, maybe, get one for yourself. (The website was also the source for all the stats I posted). Other ways of combatting is removing your computer from your room and putting it in a public place. Also following the words of James 5:16 which says to confess your sins and ask for prayer. I warn you to be careful, not everyone will understand and many will condemn you (overlooking their sins). So make sure that whoever you tell is someone who is a Godly brother in Christ.
If it means getting rid off all kinds of internet access, then so be it… It is better to lose the internet than to lose your soul (Im paraphrasing Jesus). One thing that helped me was talking to my wife about it. At first she felt angry and took it personal, but later on God spoke to her. She has been fighting with me side by side to combat this monster.
Pornography is a Mighty Addiction, but we serve an even Mightier God.
Many men have been delivered from this monster, trusting and being faithful to Our Lord and Savior. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible. I don’t believe in the phrase “Tell your problem how big your God is”…. I believe you tell God and He will guide you through and past the problem.
Be blessed! Be the blessing!
Jesus, family, ministry, and lots of coffee! My heart comes from being a young teen girl who didn’t know much and found Jesus in a dark time. My ministry focuses on the heart of God for this generation to make Godly decisions especially in the area of purity. A blog for all ages because God’s Word is eternal and has no age limit!