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Porn in the Church: The High Cost of Silence

Last Updated: October 28, 2020

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Several years ago I performed the marriage ceremony for a young couple. Both had grown up in Christian homes and done well professionally. She had won the state’s “Best Teacher” award, and he was a successful salesman. They completed six weeks of premarital counseling with me and also met numerous times with a professional therapist. They seemed on course to have a healthy and fulfilling marriage.

But things were not as they appeared.

Six months after their wedding I received a phone call from the bride. “Bill, I just found out Jason is addicted to porn.”

“How did you find out?” I asked.

“I pay the bills and noticed some unexpected credit card charges,” she said. “I asked about them and his explanation made sense. I mean, I wasn’t even suspicious. And then one day I was looking for something on his laptop and out of curiosity, checked his browsing history. What I saw made me sick. I then did some research on the credit card charges and discovered they were to an online company with a bogus name—it’s a porn site, and he has been paying for adult video-chats.”

“Did you ask him about it?”

“I asked,” she said. “Initially, he denied it. But when I started to power up his laptop, he came clean. He admitted he had been hooked on porn since he was a teenager.”

I wish I could tell you their story ended well, but it didn’t. Nor do most of the stories I hear from the men and women who contact me after reading one of my books or hearing me speak. I wish I could say most pastors and church leaders are aware of the extent of the problem and have a system in place to educate, counsel, and protect their parishioners from the growing influence of pornography. But as someone who travels across the United States speaking in all flavors of churches, I don’t believe that’s the case. I suspect if church leaders were more aware of the high cost of porn in the church, they would more aggressively mobilize the resources needed to combat the problem.

Read the rest of Bill Perkins’ chapter in our free e-book, Porn-Free Church: Raising up gospel communities to destroy secret sins.