Two weeks ago I wrote a post that was meant to challenge the “church” to do more and be more proactive in addressing pornography and sexual integrity matters.
You can read that original post here.
In that article I referenced a few stats that were… let’s just say, concerning.
Here is what I wrote:
- 20% of youth pastors admit to currently struggling with porn.
- 53% of all pastors within the last 12 months have learned that someone they know in ministry struggles with porn.
- 47% of Christians say pornography is a major problem in their home.
- 64% of pastors who use porn believe that it has on some level negatively impacted their ministry.
- 59% of practicing Christian married men have sought a pastor’s help for porn use.
Just 7% of pastors say their church has a ministry program for those struggling with porn.
The reality is this, we have to do more.
We have to do better.
We then shared this excerpt on Facebook and Instagram and the reaction was explosive.
On Instagram that post got 738 likes and 28 comments.
On Facebook it received 231 likes, 48 comments, and 103 shares.
One thing was clear… we hit a nerve.
Here are just a few of the comments we received:
A hard truth is that most places masquerading as “churches” are not really churches at all.
I had a situation where a member of a church I was attending made a confession that he was addicted to porn and needed help. Well that poor man was looked down on and even belittled so much he left the church. There is a lot of fear even mentioning porn addiction in church.
Just my opinion but the Church hasn’t done a good job of dealing with sexual sins at all. Too many people are ready to condemn those who struggle with lust Which plays right into the cycle of sin and shame the enemy uses to keep you trapped. This is very much a throw the 1st stone issue yet it seems the majority of Christians have a pile of rocks and are waiting to unload.
The Church was always meant to be a place for healing not wounding. True the healing process can hurt however shaming someone for struggling with a sin that’s different then yours isn’t part of that process. We can’t be upset at someone for hiding behind a mask if we never create an environment where it’s safe to remove that mask.
This is why I left my Christian ex husband and the church, and married an atheist who is every bit as disgusted by porn as I am. Never been happier.
Ready for something else that’s going to sting a bit?
We (all of us) are a huge part of the problem. 😳
What I mean by that is this…
It’s easy to throw the organizational church and its leaders under the bus since it’s clear they’ve dropped the ball on this thing by and large (or at least that appears to be the general consensus).
But when we do this we need to jump in front of that bus also.
Because the leadership we condemn are just representatives of what the larger consensus demands.
In other words, we asked for this.
One thing that has always bothered me about the American church is it’s marriage to the “American dream.” We all love the idea of the American dream, but so much of that dream rubs against the ideals of the Kingdom Jesus preached about… like its obsession with excessive consumerism.
We are all consumers.
Which means we take rather than give and we want to be served without having to serve.
And then we bring that consumer mindset into our “churches.”
This is why you see so much focus in modern evangelicalism on the production, on slick programs, on sharp trendy dressed preachers, on fancy lights and fog machines (side note: please lose the fog machines – that stopped being cool 20 years ago), and on topics that are “relevant” yet not too challenging.
Because many of us…
- Want to be entertained and “fed,” but not made uncomfortable.
- We want honesty and transparency, as long as it’s not too honest or transparent.
- We want community and friendship, as long it doesn’t get messy or sticky.
- We want the availability of our leaders, but without their request for money or support.
Do you see the dilemma here?
Churches are doing their best to stem the problem of declining attendance while reaching new “seekers” while they are faced with a very hard choice…
- Cave into consumerism
2. Do the hard thing and potentially see even more people file out the front door.
Can you say “between a rock and a hard place?”
So while we need to push our churches to be more bold and aggressive in how they tackle porn, masturbation, and fidelity, we also need to have enough integrity to push ourselves.
- We can’t be consumers.
- We can’t be comfortable.
- We can’t be content to just be served.
- We can’t hide our own issues.
We need to lead our leaders to a better way of doing things.
Change starts with us.