14 thoughts on “Why the Church Must Be a No-Shame Zone

  1. Jen – Great thoughts on an essential topic. Many sex addicts are SURE that local churches (and, certainly not denominations) will NEVER make their church a no shame zone. Below I’ll list some reasons.

    1. How about the Elder board of a local church makes a resolution that anyone having this problem (including the pastors) will be accepted and loved? Until the Pastors feel safe and own their own porn problems, I find it hard to see that people in the congregations.

    2. You wrote that over 50% of the Pastors struggle with Porn. I don’t think they will preach effectively about it until they are dealing with it themselves. And, I think, if they preach about it but don’t talk about their own struggles in specific terms, they are being hypocrites and not really being helpful to their congregations.

    3. I find it interesting that you used Rahab as an example. Could we say that God used her BECAUSE she was a prostitute? Imagine a sermon along those lines…

    4. Recently, I felt moved to think about starting a church that I suggested we name NSCF – No Shame Christian Fellowship where all of the Pastors were Sex Addicts.

    5. Because Sex Addiction is one of the hardest Addictions to break, the No Shame needs to extend to Sex Addicts who continue to slip and/or relapse after years in Recovery.

    • I hear you – and yes, perhaps God did use Rahab partly because of the sin in which she found herself entangled. And I agree – any sin that is a constant distraction for us in our lives makes us all more ineffective as spiritual people and leaders. Can God still work with us? Of course. But sin separates us from God, so we will not commune as whole people with Him, which means we are missing out on some of His power. He wants us to bring our stuff to Him and when we withhold from Him, we don’t allow those areas to be touched by His presence.

      I think Satan has the cycle going – pastors are entangled with porn so they don’t preach about it, which means congregants stay in their habit because they have no light shed on the subject, and generally the hypocritical nature of the church thrives…

      But, as more and more people confess and speak out openly, we will regain ground.

  2. This is a project worth supporting and churches and individual pastors should make it a priority area in their work.
    I believe the sooner we address the problem, the better it will be for the church. May the Lord lead and guide you in your ministry which is so vital to the health and effectiveness of the church in the world. Blessings!

    • Oops, not the comment, the blog article!

      Quote: Shame can be toxic and debilitating. It can leave us completely paralyzed. It can even nurture the role of the demonic in our lives. But, it is a perfectly natural response, even a healthy response in certain situations. We are not created with a capacity for shame as a result of sin. Shame can be healthy.

  3. Not sure if this exist but expanding CE services to online pastors/mentors to be assigned to users who have this porn addiction/issue can be outlet to remove shame and not be alone. Jesus be with US!

  4. I am now in my mid 50’s and I struggled with pornography in one form or another for many years since I was about 12 years old. Thankfully with a lot of prayer and much help and support I was able to break free. I was blessed last year to be able to share my testimony with my congregation and it was very powerful. I lead a small support group at my church for those that have or currently struggling with pornography.
    Shame is the enemy’s weapon and he uses it well. Shame kept me from sharing my struggle or talking about it for years. I am not a pastor but I work for my church and I was raised “in the church.” So the thoughts of “I should know better.” If I was a better Christian I could stop this.” “If I prayed better.” If I was closer to God.” Notice a theme in all of these thoughts? “I.” When I finally realized I could NOT do this alone and needed God to help me that my life had become unmanageable is when God broke me free.
    The church body does put sin on a hierarchical scale. I did that! I told myself that at least my sin wasn’t as bad as so and so’s. I even compared myself to King David and told myself I was not as bad as him because at least I didn’t kill anyone! Of course God called King David “a man after his own heart.” But I was better than him??
    Pornography today is like drugs was back in the 70’s in my opinion. We all knew who did it and we all looked down upon them, but never tried to help them and always compared our sins to them as not being as bad!
    I believe in the next 10 years we will see an explosion of rehab centers that deal just with pornography or sex addiction. The church today needs to get in step and be a catalyst for breakthrough.
    I am always willing to share my testimony and have a desire to help those in bondage!
    God bless you for sharing your story and I pray blessing over you and your husbands ministry!

  5. So true that this needs to be addressed at a Church level, but sadly many church leaders (I’m thinking more Elders than Pastors) are blind to the need since they’re not as involved in ground level ministry. My church was looking at running programs to help people in this area, and with SSA, and one Elder stopped the whole thing by refusing to let go of Ephesians 5:3 (But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.) which he took to mean that discussion of these issues is sinful.

    Unfortunately, when someone has a mindset based on a particular view of Scripture there is not much anyone can do to shift them.

  6. What a great piece you wrote here! Thanks for sharing perfect points and encouraging churches and their leaders to do something about this.
    This summer, my church will be hosting a 5-week video series on this subject which will lead into a mens group and possibly a wives group about recovery form sexual addiction.
    Right now I lead a men’s group regarding this subject and every single one of them are so thankful for the support!
    Thanks again!

  7. “With a healthy support system, research indicates that you can overcome anything.” I had the unfortunate experience of being shamed by a church. I am now in a stable and happy relationship and attend a welcoming and Grace filled church. I am proof that with encouragement and support one can overcome anything. I pray that church leaders will realize how much pain that they cause when they offer shame instead of grace and how much healing can come when we offer support.

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