Are You Spiritually Crippled by Porn Addiction?

Watch this short video featuring John Piper’s thoughts on the crippling effects of sexual sin from a sermon he preached in 2007:

Is this you? Are you walking away from a radical dream of building for God’s kingdom because you are pinned under guilt and shame from pornography and lust?

Theology with Passion for Jesus Can Conquer Biology. What does this mean?

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Theology . . .

Properly defined, theology is the study of God. Many churches today shy away from teaching theology for a variety of reasons. Many churches center their teachings on other noteworthy and good things, but not the study of God. Of course God is mentioned, God is entreated, and God is even loved and worshiped, but knowing the wonder of who He is is not the main focus of their teaching ministry.

You may ask, does this really matter? Does it matter that my church or your church doesn’t get into the meat of theology? Absolutely: for one, theology as an academic pursuit is one of the very reasons you and I were created. And secondly, when the world is made right again, after Jesus returns, you and I will spend billions of years doing theology: we will be gazing into the face of God and knowing the riches of who He is. We will be diving ever deeper into understanding His love, His justice, His jealous passion, His radical loyalty, His mercy, His wrath, and His grace.

Yet many churches have a teaching ministry that focuses more on the felt needs of life and ministry: how to make life work, how church should look, how to work harder at life, and a variety of other good, practical how tos. Certainly good teaching must involve knowledge of these things, but the highest of all topics, the queen of all sciences is theology.

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. . . with Passion for Jesus

GK Chesterton wrote, “People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy.” Theology may sound cold and stoic to many. This is why a passion for the One we study must be emphasized.

Is a passion for Jesus the mark of your life? Perhaps we are inclined to believe that it shouldn’t be the mark of our life, that a real “passion” for Jesus is reserved for a particular denomination or a particular personality type. No. “Passion” is another way to articulate a facet of the greatest commandment: the loving of God with all our heart and soul.

We are amidst of a cross of cultures. On the one hand, it is incredibly cool to not be too affected by anything. Some of us pride ourselves on not getting too worked up; being able to take things in calmly and rationally; being able to sit back, arms folded, quietly smiling, and not being labeled a “sell-out.” On the other hand, it is also cool to get very excited about a multitude of causes to change the world. Some of us pride ourselves on the passion we display for things we think that really matter in life.

Christian passion stands in the tension of these cultural extremes. On one hand, being challenged to have a passion for Jesus should jolt the comfortable Christian from his cozy pew, move Him to speak of God often, to speak of Him with the voice of a lover. On the other hand, passion for Jesus isn’t like passion for just another world-changing cause: it is a passion that is likely to bring you more ridicule the more you show it.

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. . . Can Conquer Biology

Pornographic lust is heavily addictive and enslaving.

  • From a physical standpoint, it taps into our primal sexual responses, overexposes the mind, and conditions us to become virtual voyeurs drawn more and more to sexual novelty.
  • From a relational standpoint, it strips our sexuality of its purpose to help us bond to a person, and instead we condition ourselves to bond to images and fantasies.
  • From a spiritual standpoint, it taps into the core of our sinful natures, the core of our demandingness, selfishness, and self-centeredness. Thus porn is the tool we use to make an idol of our sexuality, robbing God of the glory due Him, and robbing us of the enjoyment of God as our one true love.

We pursue pornographic lust because our hearts are designed by God to be enthralled by Him, and when we are cut off from that vision of Him, our hearts will naturally run to the best buzz it can get. At the core of enslavement to pornography is the condition described by Paul in Romans 1: if we refuse to live lives honoring and thanking God as the all-powerful, divine Maker, our hearts become dark, our minds become futile. We exchange the glory of God for images, images in a magazine, on a TV screen, or on the computer monitor. This leads to all sorts of dishonorable passions in our bodies.

In other words, what lies at the heart of porn addiction (and any enslavement to sin) is not merely an emotional or physical disorder, but a worship disorder. We have worshiped our way into sinful slavery. And now, we must worship our way out. This is how theology + passion for Jesus = conquering our lust.

Find a Christian community that treasures the process of digging into the meat of theology, a community that shares a common passion for Jesus. Dive deep into that community. Confess your weaknesses, temptations, and sins to them. Allow the Spirit of God to do His promised work in His temple, the people of God. Allow Him to bring the Word of God deep into your being and set you free.

“You don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that matter, and then be willing to live for them and die for them. The people that make a durable difference in the world are not the people who have mastered many things, but who have been mastered by a few great things. If you want your life to count, if you want the ripple effect of the pebbles you drop to become waves that reach the ends of the earth and roll on for centuries and into eternity, you don’t have to have a high IQ or EQ; you don’t have to have to have good looks or riches; you don’t have to come from a fine family or a fine school. You have to know a few great, majestic, unchanging, obvious, simple, glorious things, and be set on fire by them.” (John Piper)