When most Christians think of ‘gross personal sin’ our minds usually go to the big three: sex, drugs and alcohol.
While we wouldn’t expect a Christian leader in the church to be sleeping around, doing lines of coke or getting blackout drunk every weekend, there seems to be a prevalent and destructive act of impurity that is overwhelmingly tolerated.
For whatever reason, regular porn consumption among Christian men, including our church leaders, has a degree of personal acceptability.
For most Christians, it is widely understood that caving to fleshly desires and acting impurely are not a part of a pure lifestyle in the eyes of God. As clear as that is, everyone still struggles with temptation and desire. The problem is not with the struggle but rather how to deal with it.
What is and isn’t acceptable is a thought that many, if not all, Christians have thought about. Personal boundaries vary with each and every one of us and because there is that variance, leniency towards morally ambiguous behaviour is not entirely uncommon.
Many turn to their local church for guidance through difficult times, which is absolutely a great decision. However, there is one act of impurity that doesn’t have quite the precedent set on how to deal: consuming pornography.
While most young men within the Christian communities would acknowledge that interpersonal relationships and sexual purity between couples is important, personal sexual purity in regards to porn consumption does not merit the same amount of attention and has taken a back seat for our concern.
The reason for this is unclear, but it seems that porn consumption has become an acceptable vice within the church.
Studies have shown that over 50% of Christian men watch porn on a regular basis. This staggering statistic should serve as an eye opener to a huge issue that a lot of young men are struggling with. It seems to be on the rise with no end in sight and we are failing to properly address it.
In this recent article by Jason Todd, gluttony is presented to be a ‘socially acceptable’ sin in the church. He stated that, though every sin is equal, some are just not taken as seriously as others. Todd explains that over-indulging on cookies would not make your pastor bat an eye while something like theft or homicide would likely result in repercussions (in your church and in the eyes of the law). On the same line of thinking, sleeping with the worship leader might be cause for some serious discipline in your church but staying up all night watching porn wouldn’t demand the same amount of attention or intervention.
Neurological science has shown us that porn is more addictive than crack or heroin but is somehow not personally addressed with the same level of importance.
With the advent of the internet, we have access to so much more teachings and resources on the importance of sexual purity, so it is surprising that this has grown to be such a prevalent issue in our society.
This probably isn’t due to lack of prayer or not loving Jesus enough, but rather something that is being overlooked that is driving this.
There are a plethora of psychological, emotional, and physical elements that explain why people turn to porn. I can’t offer a full analysis on what is being overlooked and why it’s not seen as big of a deal but I can speak from my own experience when dealing with this.
During my excruciating struggle with porn addiction I found that the ‘solutions’ out there for porn addiction were generic and full of blanket statements.
When I was at my lowest, all I wanted was something that I could do right then and there to start taking the necessary steps to recovery.
Everything I bought, listened to or read seemed to say the same thing when it came to porn addiction:
“If you’re a Christian, you need to pray more, read more, be more spiritual, tell your pastor or a friend, install the latest porn blocker on your computer, try harder, count the days since you’ve last relapsed, and keep the computer in the living room…”
And while those things were all good and well, when I did finally find out how to fix the real problem (me), I was able to uninstall my porn filter and stop worrying about late night web surfing.
Despite how frustrating it is to see how personally acceptable porn has become among Christian men today, I know how difficult and painful porn addiction really is.
After struggling for over a decade, I’m not in any position to condemn.
The only thing I can do is try and point you in the direction that finally helped me quit porn and overcome sexual temptation online.
If online porn and sexual temptation is something you struggle with on a regular basis, I would highly recommend grabbing yourself a free copy of The Ultimate Battleplan For Overcoming Porn Addiction here.
And if you don’t struggle with it but might know of someone who is, feel free to share or like this post on Facebook and Twitter.