Skip to comments.Churches confront an 'elephant in the pews' (porn addiction)
Posted on 08/24/2005 2:59:33 PM PDT by Crackingham
On a blustery day early this year, 13,000 people showed up at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., for what became known as "Porn Sunday." Two young California pastors with a website called XXXchurch.com - "the No. 1 Christian porn site" - were in town with a silence-breaking message. Their frank talk about the struggles many Christians are having with pornography has drawn huge crowds in several churches across the country, and now the Revs. Craig Gross and Mike Foster are planning National Porn Sunday for Oct. 9.
"We were tired of hearing stories about people's lives being wrecked, and feeling they had nowhere to go in the church to get help," says Mr. Gross. He and Mr. Foster hope to engage 200 churches in talking openly about "America's dirty little secret" and are offering resources to help them initiate healing programs for their congregations.
While some consider the pastors' efforts controversial, many religious leaders recognize they need help on how to talk about this "elephant in the pews." Surveys show that 40 million Americans regularly view Internet pornography, which accounts for $2.5 billion of the $12 billion US porn industry. Some 25 percent of search-engine requests are porn-related; 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women admit accessing porn at work.
For years, churches were in denial about the scope of the problem, but the toll on marriages, careers, and faith communities has grown, Christian leaders say. And it involves not only congregants, but pastors.
In a 2001 survey published in Leadership Journal, 37 percent of pastors said pornography was a struggle for them, and 51 percent admitted it was a temptation.
"For 25 years, I would have said that the pro-life issue is the most pressing threat to America morally, but pornography has overtaken it," says the Rev. Richard Land, a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest US Protestant denomination. "More people's lives are being destroyed on a daily basis by addiction to pornography than through abortion."
Douglas Weiss, a counselor with divinity and psychology degrees, speaks at churches of many denominations on sexuality issues. "Wherever I am ... and no matter what the denomination, at least half of the men in the church admit to being sexually addicted," he says. Based on his experience, "The clergy don't differ that much from the general population - between a third to half."
What can you say? It's something that has to be dealt with.
If true, that's an astonishing figure.
I'm curious to see what the website is. Is it just a cute name or is it actual porn?
"I'm not telling why this made me think of you two" - ping
bttt...don't tell my girlfriend I bumped this thread.
If we could bottle and distribute self-control, we'd be billionaires.
Just think what the figures would be without Free Republic soaking up so much bandwidth!
You're only human. Congregations are human. Pastors are human. We all have to deal with natural urges, some of which are self-destructive. In a way, it's good that they're not trying to sweep the problem under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist. Too many churches today refuse to deal with the problem at all.
It is duly noted who went jumping on this thread first!
And 100% are addicted to oxygen. A happy medium has to be found, human beings have innate sexual desires. Maybe an pill can be developed that limits the desire.
Despite Algores contribution, the Internet was built by porn!
15 I do not understand my own actions.For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.
17 So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.
18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.
19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.
20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
Same as it ever was....
My problem with porn is that it takes too long to download
I told my preacher never to confuse me with a good Christian. I told the preacher that at best I was a struggling one.
I have plenty of mean and nasty vices that I will admit to but none that I inflict on others.
I figure that my religion is between me and the big guy.
I am in the minority as 99% of my church claims to be good Christians.
Yeah. If we were really good we wouldn't need Christ....
Do they count DU as porn, is the big question...
The sad thing was, he was a really good leader, and a wonderful speaker!
Now we have pastors who are squeaky clean, but couldn't teach there way out of a paper bag. There sermons are so lame I hate going to church anymore. The Sunday comics have more substance than what is currently passing for sermons in my church. It's a lose/lose situation.
I'd leave the church tomorrow, but my wife and children are so socially connected that leaving the church is out of the question for them. They don't care about the lack of teaching, they just don't want to say goodbye to their friends...
Sometimes, life really sucks.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.