The Porn Pandemic: It’s Time to Talk About Porn in the Church

In a recent episode of Faithlife Today, Dr. Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), shared some of the greatest problems facing Christian families today. His biggest concern? Porn.

“The porn pandemic is destroying us.”

Watch the interview below:

If you’re struggling with pornography, you’re not alone. It’s hard to feel that way though because the church doesn’t talk about it much. Dr. Clinton says, “Almost 50% of Christian families now say that porn is the major issue in their home. Come on. Somebody needs to flip the switch.”

Related: 5 Reasons We Should NOT Talk About Porn in Church (Sarcasm Alert)

When we feel alone in our sin, it makes confession—and the healing it brings—that much harder. Whether you struggle with porn personally or not, someone you know does, and it’s a conversation the church needs to have.

The Impact Our Stories Have

Sometimes this means being the first to be vulnerable. As a youth leader, this openness plays a huge part in developing meaningful relationships with kids. When I share about the sin in my life and how God has worked to remove it, others feel freedom to confess their own struggles.

Recently, a high school kid I hadn’t seen or talked to for almost a year called me. I’d never been particularly close to him, but we served together at a Young Life camp for a month, and while we were there, I shared my testimony. Part of that testimony was my struggle with pornography and sex, and the shame, guilt, and lies that came with it. When he finally came to the point where he was ready to face his own sin, he called me—the only other person he knew who had struggled with porn. Did you catch that? The only other person he knew, the only person he felt he could talk to about it, was someone he barely knew.

Accountability and confession isn’t something Christians do because we’re “supposed to.” They are powerful spiritual tools God uses to restore the body of Christ. Taking that first step of awkward, clumsy confession can often be the catalyst that invites others to experience that same restoration.

We Can’t Let Others Believe They’re Alone

Sin builds walls of loneliness that keep us from seeing the body of Christ as it’s meant to be. Porn is a tap or a click away. We can’t let others (or ourselves) think they’re alone, that the church doesn’t care, or that the church doesn’t know. The body of Christ is not too holy to deal with sin any more than a doctor is too healthy to help the sick. The church has sin in it, and sometimes doctors get sick too.

Related: Why the Church Must be a No-Shame Zone

Not only are you not alone in your sin (1 Corinthians 10:13), but you have a perfect God who identifies with your struggle. “Since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18 NIV).

But we can’t keep hiding this in the church. Dr. Clinton said, “I don’t think we’ve yet to begin to see the tidal wave of effects of what’s going to happen in our relationships.”

Even if you can’t personally identify with someone’s sin, we have to have these conversations. We have to create open environments where people can share. We have to hold each other accountable. Pray for each other. Speak truth to one another.

As Dr. Clinton said, “Herbie” is in the room. Let’s talk about him.

Related: Destroying Porn Addiction Starts With Destroying Shame

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Ryan Nelson is a copywriter for Faithlife. He lives in Bellingham, Washington, and writes regularly on the Faithlife blog.