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EDITORIAL: Porn in the Pulpit and the Pews

According to Christianity Today, 51 percent of pastors say Internet pornography is a possible temptation and 37 percent say it is a current struggle. Sadly, 40percent of pastors say they have visited a pornographic Web site.

A study by Focus on the Family indicates 20 percent of adults have visited a sexually-oriented Web site. Seventy-two percent of pornography viewers are men. Even 53 percent of Promise Keeper men have viewed pornography. But men are not alone when it comes to pornography. Today’s Christian found that 17 percent of women, including Christian women, struggle with pornography addiction.

Not too long ago, pornography was only available through “dirty” magazines. Today there are more than 4 million Web sites dedicated to pornography containing more than 420 million pages of pornography. More than 260 new porn sites go online every day. Incredibly, the average age of a person exposed to pornography for the first time is eleven.

Internet pornography is big business. The Internet pornography industry generates more than $12 billion dollars in annual revenue-larger than the combined annual revenues of ABC, NBC and CBS.

Experts agree that pornography is physically more addicting than cocaine and that overcoming pornography addiction can take years. According to professional counselors, there are at least five stages to pornographic addiction: 1. Early exposure. 2. Addiction. 3. Escalation. 4. Desensitization 5. Acting out sexually. Pornography addiction is a sin committed with the mind and then acted out by the body. It is known to destroy individuals, children, families, marriages and a Christian witness.

Keith Burkhart, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma family and men’s ministry specialist, recently challenged more than 3,000 men at the BGCO men’s retreat to take advantage of accountability software made available through Covenant Eyes. We like his idea.

In an effort to combat the struggle so many are having with pornography, the Baptist Messenger is adding our voice to Burkhart’s by encouraging every Oklahoma Baptist family to give serious consideration to programs designed to maintain a pure lifestyle. Participating in the Covenant Eyes accountability and filtration programs as well as in the Bible studies available through PureOnline.com is a great start in the right direction.

Covenant Eyes has a passion to foster self-control, self-discipline, integrity and personal accountability among users of the Internet. Their purpose is to provide users with tools to help them resist and overcome the temptation of pornography, gambling and abusive habits on the Internet. Their accountability software provides a complete record of Internet activity on a user’s computer.

Combined with their filtration system, our homes, businesses and families will be better protected from the filth being thrown at us by the pornography industry. To learn more about the program visit www.CovenantEyes.com

Additional resources for those struggling with pornography are available at www.PureOnline.com. Pure Online is aimed at being a first step for Christians with sex addictions, especially pornography. Through a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources, the company offers an online Bible study to help men and women seek sexual purity one day at a time. The goal is to route clients back onto the path of righteousness. Workshops, developed by author and Christian counselor Joe Dallas, use the acronym ROUTE-Repentance, Order, Understanding, Training and Endurance.

Job 31:1 says “I have made a covenant with my eyes.” Oklahoma Baptists are not immune to the ill effects associated with pornography. Pornography is destroying the lives of those who fill our pulpits and sit in our pews. It is our hope and prayer that the pastor, deacon, church leader, young person or anyone struggling with pornography, who reads this editorial, will find strength to turn their eyes from pornographic addiction and find freedom in the Lord through the resources provided.

Staff

Author: Staff

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