Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Churches confront an 'elephant in the pews' (porn addiction)
Christian Science Monitor ^ | 8/25/05 | Jane Lampman

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."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: addiction; biblechurch; christians; grandrapids; marshill; megachurch; p0rn; pornography; pornsunday
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-122 next last

1 posted on 08/24/2005 2:59:34 PM PDT by Crackingham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

I'm shocked


2 posted on 08/24/2005 3:02:27 PM PDT by PeteB570
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

What can you say? It's something that has to be dealt with.


3 posted on 08/24/2005 3:03:08 PM PDT by Zhangliqun (Hating Bush does not count as a strategy for defeating Islamic terrorism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Crackingham
Some 25 percent of search-engine requests are porn-related

If true, that's an astonishing figure.

5 posted on 08/24/2005 3:04:50 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Zhangliqun

I'm curious to see what the website is. Is it just a cute name or is it actual porn?


6 posted on 08/24/2005 3:05:20 PM PDT by Terabitten (If aliens saw one species pooping and another picking it up, who would they think is in charge?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: pissant; Dashing Dasher

"I'm not telling why this made me think of you two" - ping


7 posted on 08/24/2005 3:05:38 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (an enemy of islam -- Joe Boucher; Leapfrog; Dr.Zoidberg; Lazamataz; ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Mojo

bttt...don't tell my girlfriend I bumped this thread.


8 posted on 08/24/2005 3:05:56 PM PDT by Dark Skies (" For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. " Matthew 6:21)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

If we could bottle and distribute self-control, we'd be billionaires.


9 posted on 08/24/2005 3:06:11 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Mojo

Just think what the figures would be without Free Republic soaking up so much bandwidth!


10 posted on 08/24/2005 3:06:42 PM PDT by sine_nomine (Protect the weakest of the weak - the unborn babies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

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.


11 posted on 08/24/2005 3:06:43 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Proud member of the 21st century Christian Crusaders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Leapfrog; Dashing Dasher

It is duly noted who went jumping on this thread first!


12 posted on 08/24/2005 3:08:24 PM PDT by pissant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham
Wherever I am ... and no matter what the denomination, at least half of the men in the church admit to being sexually addicted,

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.

13 posted on 08/24/2005 3:08:45 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

Despite Algores contribution, the Internet was built by porn!


14 posted on 08/24/2005 3:09:42 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PeteB570

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.


Romans 7:15-21

Same as it ever was....


15 posted on 08/24/2005 3:09:54 PM PDT by freebilly (Go Manitowoc Bandits!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

My problem with porn is that it takes too long to download


16 posted on 08/24/2005 3:13:16 PM PDT by Ignatius J Reilly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freebilly

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.


17 posted on 08/24/2005 3:14:49 PM PDT by PeteB570
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: PeteB570
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....

18 posted on 08/24/2005 3:17:20 PM PDT by freebilly (Go USF Baseball!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

Do they count DU as porn, is the big question...


19 posted on 08/24/2005 3:19:15 PM PDT by JRios1968 (We're no longer the "Knights Who Say Ni")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham
My former pastor (of a very conservative, evangelical church) was a porn addict and an adulterer. Of course, no one knew about any of this until it was too late. His own family covered for his "indescretions."

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.

20 posted on 08/24/2005 3:21:07 PM PDT by Ronzo (GOD created the universe to keep scientists fully employed...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham
There is freedom:

Setting Captives Free

It works.

21 posted on 08/24/2005 3:22:34 PM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JRios1968
Do they count DU as porn, is the big question...

Like votes, it depends on who gets to do the counting.

22 posted on 08/24/2005 3:27:06 PM PDT by tacticalogic (Say goodnight, Grace.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

This and they are really sick.

I now know I have reached my maximum here and have to go get some sleep and afterward, a break.

Very sick (not FR, but this article as are those who are described therein).


23 posted on 08/24/2005 3:29:39 PM PDT by BIRDS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bobbdobbs
Say what you will about porn, but it is cheaper than marriage and divorce.

Really?

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his very soul?

Porn is selfish and self obsorbed..

24 posted on 08/24/2005 3:38:11 PM PDT by Mister_Diddy_Wa_Diddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham
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.

Yeah, and conservative churches were in denial about divorce for decades, too.  They're getting better, but there are a lot of divorced couples out there who could have worked things out if they had had a competent Christian counselor before things got too bad.

 

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.

All but the most backwoods preacher has Internet access these days.  Why wouldn't they be tempted along with everyone else?  They work alone all day for the most part, don't they?  And like other people in the "helping" professions, they spend so much time ministering to other people, sometimes they don't take enough time for themselves.  And has anyone here besides me ever seen some of the dysfunctional environments these guys have to work in (and under)?  I've seen so many church elders on a Power Trip it's not even funny.  You couldn't pay me a million dollars to be a preacher.

 

"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.

Oh, hogwash. What's his definition of being "sexually addicted," not being able to resist the temptation to visit a porn site every once in a while?  I wish people would leave that phrase for the most hard-core cases instead of throwing it around so easily.

25 posted on 08/24/2005 3:40:07 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

Hey, It's only internet porn. It's not like we had to pass the temples of Apthrodite and Diana with their holy prostitutes every day as the first century Christians had too. Now, that was temptation!

Besides, the mousetraps, hijacked home pages, trojan horses and virus and other asorted nasties should keep most away!

What we need is some internet pennicillin.


26 posted on 08/24/2005 3:40:28 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Islam, the religion of the criminally insane.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

I don't know, abortion is permanent. Death is final. Porn addiction can be overcome.


27 posted on 08/24/2005 3:41:35 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (The repenting soul is the victorious soul)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ronzo
There sermons are so lame I hate going to church anymore.

You should try one of the Reformed churches, Orthodox Presbyterian, Presbyterian Church in America)PCA), Reformed Church of America, Dutch Reformed, Reformed Baptist, Primative Baptist, etc. The sermons have substance, and church is not a show, but is where we, by appointment go to meet with God in worship and adoration.

28 posted on 08/24/2005 3:42:20 PM PDT by Mister_Diddy_Wa_Diddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Ronzo

once church becomes just a religious social club, you've become the ELCA.


29 posted on 08/24/2005 3:49:55 PM PDT by Rakkasan1 (DON'T BICKER, DRINK LIQUOR-DON'T THINK, JUST DRINK.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Mister_Diddy_Wa_Diddy

(Ahem.) You will note that he stated his reasons why he can't leave the church congregation he attends, Mr. Calvinist proselytizer.


30 posted on 08/24/2005 3:50:42 PM PDT by The Grammarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

I noted his reasons. However, as the spiritual leader of his home, he has an obligation to have his family in a church that failthfully preaches the Gospel and God's entire Word, employs church discipline, properly administers the sacraments and worships God in spirit and truth.


31 posted on 08/24/2005 3:54:34 PM PDT by Mister_Diddy_Wa_Diddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Fitzcarraldo

The problem isn't a need for a pill. The problem is our culture, and our culture is a reflection of our weak families, and our weak families are a reflection of self-centered individuals. When you have people who live and breathe self-gratification from day one, this is what you get. Moms and dads allow television, video games, etc. to raise their children. Then they hand them over to the gov't who teaches them perversity diversity. Morality is treated as a bad thing, and virtue is no longer valued. To be virtuous is to be naive and judgmental. So what else is there? The saddest part of all is that this is also true in most churches. They sold their souls to the god of worldly desires and materialism a long time ago. To be a good Christian is to embrace worldiness and never speak of sin or God's judgment. The church is to entertain and tickle the ears of sinners. The gospel according to Hollywood produces people addicted to porn. That shouldn't surprise anyone.


32 posted on 08/24/2005 3:56:09 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (The repenting soul is the victorious soul)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

later pingout.


33 posted on 08/24/2005 3:56:36 PM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fitzcarraldo

Of course, even when individuals and families want to raise responsible citizens, the courts won't allow it. So in the end, in our case, I think the culture is a reflection of the courts and our black robed rulers.


34 posted on 08/24/2005 4:00:11 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (The repenting soul is the victorious soul)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

Also, as a father, it is his supreme responsibility that he insure that his children are raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord, that they are being fed spiritually, regardless of any social benefits associated with a poor teaching church.


35 posted on 08/24/2005 4:03:03 PM PDT by Mister_Diddy_Wa_Diddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

Say what you will about porn, it's better than being cheated on.


36 posted on 08/24/2005 4:04:55 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (Ew. This tastes like a monkey. A monkey that's past his prime. "Chris Griffin")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PeteB570

"I figure my religion is between me and the "Big Guy"



Big Guy? Andre the Giant?


37 posted on 08/24/2005 4:07:38 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (Ew. This tastes like a monkey. A monkey that's past his prime. "Chris Griffin")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

A teen oral sex craze and hardcore porn in every home. The Clinton-Reno legacy.


38 posted on 08/24/2005 4:41:18 PM PDT by spycatcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mister_Diddy_Wa_Diddy
You should try one of the Reformed churches, Orthodox Presbyterian, Presbyterian Church in America)PCA), Reformed Church of America, Dutch Reformed, Reformed Baptist, Primative Baptist, etc. The sermons have substance, and church is not a show, but is where we, by appointment go to meet with God in worship and adoration.

Thanks for the help MisterD; I've been there and done that back in my younger days...grew up in a town dominated by the Dutch Reformed. Also attended Moody B.I. for a while...

While I do appreciate the solid teaching of the various Reformed churches and there very serious attitude about Christianity, I'm no fan of Calvinism. I appreciate the tremendous contributions of the reformed movement, but there are certain issues I have with some it's theology and interpretations. But I'm not about to turn this thread into a discussion about theology, so if you want to find out more, just Freepmail me...

However, even if the best Reformed church in the universe were right across the street from me, still the wife & kids would be loath to change churches....

39 posted on 08/24/2005 4:41:35 PM PDT by Ronzo (GOD created the universe to keep scientists fully employed...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: trubluolyguy

The "Big Guy" up there. Like all around and in everything and everywhere. Him the only one. I could get into the three in one stuff but hey, I'm a heathen at heart.

I don't throw salt over my shoulder, get out of the way of black cats, knock on trees to hear the little people talk or any other strange stuff.

I'm just me and it drives my preacher nuts.


40 posted on 08/24/2005 4:45:35 PM PDT by PeteB570
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Ronzo
No reason for Satan to worry about the new guys at best all they will do is maintain the status quo He is not stupid just Evil
41 posted on 08/24/2005 4:47:49 PM PDT by kublia khan (absolute war brings total victory)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: PeteB570
I am in the minority

No sir, you are not.

42 posted on 08/24/2005 4:47:58 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: PeteB570

"I'm just me and it drives my Preacher nuts."


LMAO! I'll just bet it does.


43 posted on 08/24/2005 4:48:20 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (Ew. This tastes like a monkey. A monkey that's past his prime. "Chris Griffin")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

First Family Church, Overland Park, KS has Comfort Circles that help with any number of problems people face. There are about 21 such groups that meet most Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Pornography is but one. Others include: victims of rape or incest; alcoholism; drug abuse; abortion; eating disorders; domestic violence; divorce; wayward children; grief, etc. If anyone is in the area, or even planning to be their website is http://ffc.org.


44 posted on 08/24/2005 4:49:59 PM PDT by zerosix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rakkasan1
once church becomes just a religious social club, you've become the ELCA.

LOL!!! The poor old ELCA...it amazes me that they even survive as a denomination. (ELCA = Evangelical Liberal Church of America.)

Seriously, it's nice that people like each other and get along together, but Christianity (for me, anyway) is about more than just having a good social life and "tolerance."

45 posted on 08/24/2005 4:51:04 PM PDT by Ronzo (E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Mister_Diddy_Wa_Diddy
I noted his reasons. However, as the spiritual leader of his home, he has an obligation to have his family in a church that failthfully preaches the Gospel and God's entire Word, employs church discipline, properly administers the sacraments and worships God in spirit and truth.

I'll make sure to mention that to my wife, I'm sure she'll get a real kick out of it... Honey, as the SPIRITUAL LEADER of this home...

The people in my church are really good people...every last one of them is a Bible believing Christian. So while I have serious issues with the church leadership, even I must admit that the people in the congregation are a fine bunch of Christians.

Which only makes things even worse....

46 posted on 08/24/2005 4:58:28 PM PDT by Ronzo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Terabitten

No it's a porn addiction ministry.


47 posted on 08/24/2005 4:59:44 PM PDT by cyborg (I'm having the best day ever.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
How we lost the war on porn:

What happened?

The difference was that Janet Reno just did not like doing obscenity cases. She wouldn't prosecute obscenity violations when she was the prosecutor in Florida, and she didn't like doing it at the Justice Department. It's not that she's a bad person or anything; it's just that she didn't like doing it. Maybe she never saw it, or it wasn't properly presented. They still said that the Justice Department's units could do more extreme materials or organized crime people. But the idea that had started when the first President Bush was president -- we would enforce the federal law against everyone who was violating it -- that sort of stopped. ...

Out in the San Fernando Valley, they described the Clinton administration as "green lights and blue skies."

They thought, right from 1992 when President Clinton was elected, that all this stuff that had started in the Justice Department would go away. Now Janet Reno was the attorney general. She's a real prosecutor. And ... there were a lot of cases in the pipeline. No serious prosecutor is going to stop those cases. They're felony cases; they got to grand juries; federal judges have issued search warrants. So those in the industry thought that somehow Clinton or Reno would kind of stop all the cases that had started. That's not what happened.

A lot of the cases that started in 1987 to 1991-1992 were allowed to continue and finish, and most of those were wrapped up by maybe 1994, 1995. But as a result of that, in 1992, 1993, 1994, we're getting to trial. And a lot of these people who thought, "I thought you guys were going to go away; Clinton's our buddy," found themselves having to pay $1 million in fines and spend a year in jail. So it didn't work until, I think, the second Clinton administration, when he just changed the policy more and said, "Well, let's not go as aggressively against violations."

They also didn't get anything ... in the pipeline in 1993.

That's true. ... When Clinton was elected, they didn't encourage us to keep going. They told us to concentrate more on child pornography. They told us to find big gangsters and more extreme material. They didn't let the section continue with the projects with the mainstream hardcore porn industry. So that was becoming obvious, that we were going to get the people who had already been charged and investigated. But the people who hadn't gotten indicted in the first round probably wouldn't see another prosecution until there was a change in the White House.

48 posted on 08/24/2005 4:59:48 PM PDT by spycatcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Zhangliqun

Years ago, my church had a "special" porn-education session after the morning sermon. They made it off limits to all single people.


49 posted on 08/24/2005 5:01:23 PM PDT by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Crackingham

I wonder why so many married couples have men with porn issues. Is it because of past premarital sex? Or the woman who doesn't want to have any when she's older because of menopause? Or the young,nubile images as compared to a wife who has had a few kids and over forty?


50 posted on 08/24/2005 5:04:16 PM PDT by cyborg (I'm having the best day ever.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-122 next last

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.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson