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Church, We Must Go to War Against Porn

Last Updated: August 10, 2021

Guest Author

Want to write for the Covenant Eyes blog? Share the story of your journey to freedom from pornography. Let us know how you overcame porn or how Covenant Eyes has made a difference in your life or the lives of those you love.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul makes the statement that sexual immorality should not even be named among those of us that God has set apart for Himself (Ephesians 5:3). The word Paul used in this text was a really broad term that means all forms of sexual immorality, but the fact of the matter is there are different and very specific forms of sexual immorality that have popped up in culture and therefore affected the church throughout the centuries.

For instance, Paul wrote to the Corinthians about abstaining from sexual immorality, but specifically from prostitutes, because that was the most pervasive sexual issue in their context. Christian believers were continuing to visit prostitutes because that’s what they were used to doing. Through the history of the church, we have constantly needed to be taught about God’s general care for our sexual purity, but we also need to be spoken to specifically about sexually immoral practices we simply don’t think are bad.

If Paul were writing today, we are convinced that one of the primary practices he’d be addressing is the use of pornography.

Pornography and the Church Today

Pornography today is not what pornography was 25 years ago. The pervasive use of pornography, even in the church, has paralleled the growth in access to pornography. Up until the World Wide Web, and subsequently the smartphone, what was limited to a few times a year in a hotel room or a corner section of a convenience store is now in our pocket 24/7. Using pornography is no longer a sin we have to guard against just a couple times a year, but every day of our lives.

It’s worth saying, from everything we can tell, this is a battle that we in the church are not winning, and we are deeply concerned about the impact it’s having on a generation of Christians. While not necessarily visible to all of us, the effects of pornography are real and deep.

Porn places an absolutely incorrect image in our minds of God’s design for sex. What was meant for one man and one woman for a lifetime, as a picture of Christ’s unbreakable covenant with His bride the church, is now reduced to a cheap thrill. What was meant to be the purest expression of selflessly giving oneself to another has been twisted into an act of taking for selfish pleasure. What was meant to be the culmination of pure, undefiled intimacy and knowing has been denigrated to two physical bodies pleasing themselves with the other.

Besides perpetuating a false meaning of sex, and perhaps more importantly, pornography is weighing down a generation of Christians with guilt and hindering many from living fully on mission for God.

Think about it. If you are walking around with the guilt of looking at pornography, are you going to witness to your neighbor? Are you going to lead your family in devotionals, ask your wife about her walk with Jesus, or answer the call to go to the nations?

I think it’s one of Satan’s greatest ploys. If he can get an entire generation walking around completely burdened with the guilt of sexual sin, the last thing in the world they are going to do is go passionately live for the name of Jesus.

All things considered, we believe the pervasive consumption of pornography is the greatest internal threat facing the church today.

Related: Your Church Is Looking at Porn

This Means War: 6 Ways to Fight Sexual Immorality

1. Start viewing your fight against sexual sin not as a struggle but as a war. Sexual sin is at war with you and aims to send you to hell (1 Peter 2:11). To treat it as anything less than a mortal enemy is to make a grave mistake.

2. Fight imagery with imagery. When you are tempted to lust after sexual immorality, picture Christ suffering in agony to pay for your sins. The images are virtually incompatible.

3. Believe when God asks you to obey Him in your sexuality, He’s not withholding good from you. He’s actually offering you a greater good. When you’re walking in faithfulness with God, rest assured you are not missing out. He gives fullness of joy in His presence and there is nothing better (Psalm 16:11).

4. View others, including those you’re attracted to and including those in pornography, as eternal beings. When you view porn you not only objectify people—ceasing to see them as God does, as eternal beings made in His image—but you perpetuate an industry that thrives on suppressing people into subhuman roles and even outright enslavement.

5. Ponder the long-term consequences of sin. This is helpful because for all of us, this is the last thing on our mind when our heart is set on something we know will feel good in the moment. Proverbs likens it to carrying burning coals against your chest and expecting to not be burned (Proverbs 6:27).

6. If you are mired in sexual sin, don’t pray for a change in behavior, pray for a change in heart. You can read this article and be moved to purity for any reason—to stop funding a corrupt and exploitative industry, to spare yourself long-term consequences, or even just to alleviate the guilt you’re tired of carrying—and it’s likely that purity won’t last. The truth is if you want to really see a profound movement toward purity in your life, God needs to change your heart.

We know this last point in particular because we saw it in the life of King David. Following perhaps a more egregious sexual sin than anyone of us will ever commit ourselves, he knew the true depth of his offense against God and the true need for God to intervene.

Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
(Psalm 51:9-12)

Fight Pornography in Your Church

Many pastors don’t know where to begin with addressing porn use in their church. They don’t know how to make their churches feel like safe spaces to open up about secret sin or how to bring up sensitive subjects when there are kids in the congregation. Get this free ebook, Fight Porn in Your Church: What Works and Why It Matters, offering practical advice and examples from real pastors.

Below are two videos of Matt Carter and Jeff Mangum of The Austin Stone Community Church preaching team addressing what it means to fight pornography in the church today. Don’t miss them.

What About Your Church?

What about your church or the churches in your area? What do you see churches doing to get people talking about this problem and creating safe communities for healing?


This post was written by The Austin Stone Preaching Team. Learn more about The Austin Stone at austinstone.org.

  • Comments on: Church, We Must Go to War Against Porn
    1. sweetz on

      So, my husband asked me, “what does sexual purity LOOK LIKE”? I did not answer because I knew that all he wanted were some convincing OUTWARD behaviors to show me that he is/has repented. This is a HEART matter…just like idolatry is a heart matter. He has only gotten sneakier and is looking for me to provide him with additional ways that he can fool me into thinking he is “clear” of this. But, it is a cleansing of the heart…and the outward actions will follow and become evident without any clues or promptings given by me.

      Too many men want to follow “rules” as a means to this end. While this is a good start to begin to push back against the wiles of the devil, it is not going to result in a CHANGE OF HEART which is the point of this article. God needs to root out the defilement that is present in the heart before the outward evidence can become credible.

      Many articles here speak about shame…as if that were a bad thing. I would disagree. Shame, when well deserved and earned, is a gift from God. Through it, one has opportunity to examine himself/herself closer and go to God for forgiveness and cleansing. It is the spring board to possible change…and it is felt in the heart right next door to lust.
      Do you think King David did not feel the heavy weight of shame? That was the ONLY thing that brought him to repentance after he committed adultery and murder…by the time he was confronted by the Profit, he was ready to cry out to God for forgiveness and cleansing. This was the result of the heavy hand of internal shame. Allow these men to feel it, and stop coddling them.
      My husband says “I don’t do guilt”. Well, could that be why he can continue to minimize and blame shift the nature of this sin? He thinks that shame is one of the deadly sins…something to avoid in favor of forgiveness and the Grace of God. Where he got that idea is beyond me, except the result of that thinking is that he has been in sexual bondage for over 40 years. He would not let shame and conviction do the work it was designed to do in his heart.

      Several years ago I asked the Lord why my husband never gets “victory” over his lust. I was shocked to hear the answer that I heard in my spirit: “He does not get the victory I offer because he loves being in the battle too much”.

      This says it all…and I think…no I believe, that my husband believes that if he were sexually pure that he would not enjoy his sex life with me as designed by God. He believes that he NEEDS lust to function sexually. Pure marital sex would be too dull without implementing the excitement of the rolodex of women that parade through his mind first. Sad that he will never know otherwise because he will never want to find out for himself by surrendering to Christ that area of his life.

      Yes, this is WAR…and the battle field is bloody and piled high with bodies…most of them are the wives and children of these men who refuse to actually fight to win the Victory.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hey Sweetz,

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, and I agree wholeheartedly about this being a heart-matter. 100%.

        I’m not sure what you mean about “many articles here” being down on shame. If you have any specific examples, let me know. This article about shame really gives our take on the matter: we should never give shame a bad name because the Scriptures don’t. Shame a powerful motivator and it often a catalyst for real heart-level repentance.

      • shannon sawyet on

        Settingcaptivesfree.org has a study for the man using porn to fine freedom from it and one for the wife of the user. I highly recommend checking it out. It is free and s mentor is assigned to help as you gourmet through the daily lessons that all point to Christ as the one who heals and restores.

      • Victoria Johnson on

        Read to him Matthew 7::21-23, luke 13:25-27, matthew 7:13.

      • Steve N. on

        One thing that I have learned in this process is that it’s mostly semantics between shame and guilt. The premise behind the two of them is where people are getting caught. Usually when someone is feeling “shame” they are more focused on themselves and the shame speaks to their identity directly. This shows up in them saying things like “I am an awful person, I am a worthless husband, I am (fill in whatever you’ve heard). The problem I have found in the word shame is that people who feel shame believe they are not worthy of being forgiven, not worthy of being sober, and not capable of overcoming their strongest coping mechanisms, porn and masturbation in this case.

        When a person focuses more on guilt, it should fix their eyes on others: their spouse, their families, and hopefully God. This is what I usually refer to as Godly sorrow, and it should lead to repentance. When we feel guilt, it looks a lot more healthy, and ultimately more manageable. Instead of being a bad person, evil person, addict, we can view ourselves as people who have done something bad, done something evil, and people who have an addiction. We can root ourselves in the truth that God still loves us as much as Jesus himself, and we can work more on forgiving and respecting ourselves enough to be healthy. Not necessarily for our spouses, which ends up looking and feeling much more like us just doing something to get a certain result from them, but instead doing it for ourselves because we are worthy of being healthy. It will also take the pressure off the spouse for having to be the police and the moral compass. I think we can all breathe a corporate sigh of relief for that.

        The most powerful question to ask is the one Jesus asked the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda. “Do you want to get well?” This cuts to the heart of the matter. If the addict does not want to get well, there is nothing we externally can do for them. If they want to get well, then we have a jumping point. If we truly want to get well, there should be no limit to what we are willing to do to attain that goal, even if that includes taking a good hard look in the mirror.

        Just my thoughts. I will also add that as a husband who is coming up on three years sober from all this crazy-making, I can’t pretend I know the pain my wife has walked through because of my actions. The best I can do is be willing to hear her pain, her hurt, and her anger, and know that I am a big (if not the total) reason for that. I also can sit in the determination of knowing my sobriety and personal motivation outside of her sphere of influence are catalysts for her healing as well as mine. I am healthy because I deserve to be healthy. She gets to reap the benefits of it, and she likes it that way!

        God bless, and keep up the fight!

      • Scot on

        Sweets;

        Thank you for your honest sharing…And I agree wholeheartedly with you that shame absolutely is from God..A product of our God given conscience! For the natural progression of no shame is a hardened heart. If there’s no shame then God has given them over to a depraved mind. So shame is a good indication that there is still hope and a chance for healing and renewal! I completely agree with everything you’ve said as true from a man’s perspective. I know that when I deprive my mind from any images and have been pure that intimacy with my wife is completely satisfying and guilt free! The minute I allow any level of pollution into my mind the shame returns and I’m left unsatisfied as the lies of satan always cry out for bigger and more is better. Hang in there as there is hope!

      • APC Carrier on

        Tell your husband to read St. Alphonsus of Liguori considerations on sins of impurity and hell. All inhabitants of hell (let’s hope that hell will be empty) will have sins of sexual nature as one of their causes of their damnation.

        You can also invite him to read Bp. Robert Barron article: “The curse of Total sexual freedom”.

        Maybe your husband is trying to find beauty in the wrong place. Maybe his desire for beauty, which will be found in the works of art of Caravaggio, Bruegel, Rembrandt, de Boulogne, to say a few, is aimed at the wrong object.

    2. sweetz on

      Sorry Luke…I meant articles written on the Internet in general, those which typically address a porn users “recovery”…”they” usually say to avoid shame at all costs…because those who use porn are already caught up in a cycle of shame…as if THAT is the core problem standing in the way of recovery. “Here” meant on line counseling forums…not Covenant Eyes. I noticed that Covenant Eyes…the title itself signifies the entirety of the message designed for protecting the marriage covenant…what is commonly defiled by using the eyes and the mind against it. Well done for choosing such an appropriate name. I think shame is an internal governor that only should be discarded AFTER repentance is truly well under way.

      Reply
    3. sweetz on

      Wow! I just now watched the attached video to this article…it confirmed everything I believe about the root of this sin…as well as the remedy. While arming ourselves against every situation that presents a “pull” into this sin is necessary, it is only going to be effective if there has been a true God given change in the heart first…this is why I could not give my husband an answer, because I knew it would not be adequate for what he really needs FIRST. Thank you for the article.

      Reply
    4. steven hurd on

      Great point on pondering the long term negative effects. Something that has been beneficial for me is writing out 10 negative effects each day for about a month. When we have the negative effects at the top of our mind, we are less likely to view the sin as gratifying because this process takes the pleasure out of it somewhat.

      Reply
    5. War? on

      Yes, war seems heroic and makes for a great picture, but war destroys. Fools, who rush off to war, often get more than they bargain for and they see the romantic notion of what they are fighting for fade away into the horror of what actually occurs.

      There is much greater sin than seeing people have sex or looking at a nude woman. Real sin? Go look at what happens to a human being who is locked in a cage for a lifetime. Go look at wars caused by religion. Go look at poverty. Go look at hunger. Go look at hypocritical people in the churches crying out over porn they don’t have to watch if they want to, yet they wont think for a second about those who are locked in prison, dying from our wars, struggling in poverty, or going to bed hungry every night.

      You know why there are consequences to sexual “sin”. Because we create those consequences due to the fact we do not look at human sexuality realistically. We have some pie in the sky attitude about relationships. That there is someone for everyone and God will provide for our hearts. I can give you thousands of examples where that is not the case and the suffering of being alone is unbearable.

      Hate to tell you, but I’d rather be a sexual sinner who has screwed a 100 different women than be that hypocrite that sends an innocent man to prison or goes to fight an unjust war that results in real death.

      Go have your war. See where it leads you. Well you already know. Religion has been great at causing wars since the beginning of time.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Fools do rush off to war, but what happens when you’re born in the midst of one. The choice is not whether you should enter the war, it is whether you will prepare well for living in a war zone—which is what this article is about.

        I don’t think we have to choose between sins here. Is poverty and evil? Of course. Is cruel punishment? Of course. But so is lust.

        You make it sound like consequences for sexual sin would go away if we had a “realistic” vision of human sexuality. I wholeheartedly disagree. Are you saying we wouldn’t have bad consequences to rape, sexual violence, sex trafficking, simply because people had a realistic understanding of sex? I just don’t follow you.

        As far as your dichotomy, I can’t say I disagree with you—I too would probably rather sleep around than go to war. Who wouldn’t rather have orgasms than be in a fox hole. But I also fail to see why that preference actually determines what is sinful and what isn’t.

      • Ray Saragosa on

        The simple truth is it’s easy to be in denial and pass the buck or look at the poor the oppressed the prisoners this that and the other than to look into our own hearts and get at the root of our problems or addictions: the simple truth is rather than be in denial, we can easily repent, and seek God to cleanse our hearts minds and spirit and be set free from that which captivates the soul of man.

      • Steve N. on

        God never promises us that we will find a mate, live a long and happy life, and be pain free. He actually cites the opposite quite regularly. It’s the prosperity gospel that has led to this belief system, and it has disenfranchised far too many people.

        My biggest qualm with this post is the idea that porn is somehow insulated from the real world; that me sitting at home looking at porn doesn’t harm people. I have heard the experiences of the women and children that are forced into porn. You talk about people who are in prison cells their whole life and how they have been harmed. Imagine the little girl who is sold into sex slavery and coerced or forced into pornography. How is this any less grotesque? I dare say it is far worse. I would not want to be in a war prison or to die from a bullet or explosive. I would be absolutely brokenhearted to know a family member died in that way. I would feel just as much of that pain and sorrow to know that someone is being forced to do sexual acts for all the depraved world to see. My heart breaks for those people.

        Another thing I struggle hearing is the comparisons of sins. To us, absolutely there are things that feel worse than others. Murder, rape, genocide. These things are “big sins,” while lying, over-eating, and speeding are winked at. Ultimately, if we break one letter of the law, we have broken the whole law. We are ALL in desperate need of a Savior.

        For myself, I will challenge the second to last section of your comment. The idea that you would rather be one type of sinner than another is limited in its scope. I would rather be neither. I would rather be just, honest, and have integrity than either of those losing options. Wouldn’t that be a better goal? Comparing ourselves to people who are “worse than us” will lead us to fall painfully short of the goal of Jesus’ time here. He came to show us that nothing we can do or not do in our own strength makes a lick of difference if we don’t first understand that we are hopelessly lost without Him. We honestly compare ourselves to Christ, see how silly all our lofty goals are, then fall into the loving arms of a Father who let his Son be brutally murdered at the hands of hypocrites and unjust men so that we could have life. I’ll take that option.

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Help clarify things for me, if you will. How does this article presume porn “doesn’t harm people”?

        Also, while I agree we shouldn’t not compare sins wrongly (i.e. calling something worse when it isn’t actually worse), I see nothing wrong with comparing sins. After all, the Bible does this (Matthew 11:20-24; 23:23; Luke 12:46-48; John 19:11). Can you clarify what you mean by this (as it relates to this article anyway)?

      • Richard on

        The war is already against us, and that is a spiritual war against immorality that is attacking our culture. Pornography is sexual sin and it destroys the soul. Jesus summed this up when he said “do not be worried about he who can kill the body, but if he who destroys both body and soul in hell.”

      • Steve N. on

        Luke, my response was directed at the post from the person “War?” and not the article. I think the article was right on. Sorry for the miscommunication!

      • Steve N. on

        The mention about comparing sins was also directed to the person who responded by the name of “War?” to the article. In his comment, he was saying he would rather be the sinner who used multiple women instead of the sinner who wrongly imprisoned someone. It is just a disservice to compare in that way. It feels like when we are comparing our personal sins to the people around us, we can usually always find someone who is doing something “worse” than us, and some can take this as a rationalization for continuing in their sin. It is too bad that I came across sounding like I was picking apart the article. I actually enjoyed it very much. I have yet to read an article here I don’t agree with.

        In regards to the Bible comparing sins, I both agree and disagree. In Matthew 11 it seems Jesus is much more referring to the judgement of their sins than the sins themselves. I’m unsure about 23:23 in reference to the leaders making sure they tithe every little bit from their gardens while they neglect fairness and justice. It feels more like Jesus is calling them out on their duties as leaders and upholders of the law, and how hypocritical they are behaving. In Luke, this one is about people being aware of what the laws are and whether they are breaking them willfully or unknowingly. The response post from “War?” had full awareness in both scenarios, which is what saddened me to hear. As for John 19, you got me there! I’m excited to look more into this and the context around it. From the onset, it almost looks to line up more with the verses in Luke. Pilate didn’t know much about Jesus or his teachings, and didn’t seem to understand the laws of the Jews, making him look much more bound to the laws set before him by Caesar. Caiaphas on the other hand was the high priest at the time, which means he knew very well what he was doing and how he was breaking and bending the very Jewish laws he was accusing Jesus of breaching. This is just a first glance, however, and I’m not about to pretend I am a Bible scholar by any long stretch of the imagination! I’d love to know your thoughts, Luke!

        Thanks, and I’ll try to make sure I am more clear next time about where my response is directed!

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Thanks for replying, Steve. I didn’t want to quote chapter and verse in my original comment if you didn’t want to discuss it further, but its seems like you do (which I love). Let me see if I can walk through these passages.

        1. Matthew 11:20-24 – Yes, Jesus is talking about the judgments on sins, but he is speaking of gradations in judgment. The cities of Sodom, Tyre, and Sidon will experience a more bearable judgment than the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. Why? Because “For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Jesus is talking about what would have happened if God had sent Jesus to these ancient cities. The state of these ancient cities’ hearts was more repentant. The state of sin in these first century cities was “worse,” in the sense that it was not repented of in the face of astounding revelation from God, showing deeper and more profound hard-heartedness. Just as Peter says (2 Peter 2:20-21) there are some in the world who are more hard-hearted than others.

        2. Matthew 23:23 – Yes, Jesus is calling them out on their duties as leaders and upholders of the law, but he is also saying there are some matters of the law that are “weightier” than others. No item of the law should be neglected, as Jesus says, but to break “weightier” matters is to be guilty of a weightier sin.

        3. Luke 12:46-48 – Yes, this text is about people being aware of what the laws are and whether they are breaking them willfully or unknowingly. But the text also states that some will receive a “severe beating” and others a “light beating”—both punishments, but the first group will be punished more because of the level of knowledge they had. The first group is guilty of a greater sin than the group that lacked knowledge but still disobeyed. To say God will punish some more than others certainly implies their sin is worse than others, unless God is unjust. We are judged according to our works (Matthew 16:27, Romans 2:5-7, Luke 19:11-27, 2 Corinthians 4:17).

        4. John 19:11 – Standing before Pontius Pilate, the governor reminds Jesus he has the power to sentence Him to death. Jesus replies to him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” In other words, Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin were guilty of a greater sin than Pilate, even though Pilate would be the one to officially condemn Jesus to die. Why? Because Pilate was acting out of his God-given authority as a civil magistrate (Romans 13:1), and even though he would act cowardly and selfishly in his ruling, the Jews had maliciously and deceitfully delivering Jesus to Pilate. Their sin was worse.

        People resist the idea that sins are worse than others for various reasons. Some falsely believe if this is true we can rightly look down on others for their sin (if those sins are truly worse than ours). But this false belief is dismantled by Jesus interactions with Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50). Others believe the false idea that if we are graded on our efforts, this will lead to salvation by merit. That’s not true because two books are opened on Judgment Day: the Book of life and the book of our works. Both are taken into account, but only one book matters when it comes to entrance into the New Earth (Revelation 20).

    6. Kathy on

      Thanks for this very practical post. I’ll be sure to share it. With regard to the word ‘shame’, the late Pope John Paul II also agreed that shame can be a positive thing, most notably with reference to sexual sins. God bless you.

      Reply
    7. Alex on

      Hey, thanks for the article. It’s really encouraging and inspiring. I remember an old saying by a famous person decades ago, “Failing to prepare is a preparation for failures”. In this case, it’s really crucial to prepare ourselves with “spiritual push ups”(the Word, prayers, etc) regularly, otherwise we’re not likely to survive the battle against pornography. If talking about a special case in our age, I think Hollywood movies are the main promoters of immoral sexual lives. Nowadays, it’s getting harder to differentiate porns with “common movies”. So brace yourselves. God bless.

      Reply
    8. Andrew on

      So Luke, I have a question: If a person has a heart change, why would they need covenant eyes?

      I ask this question not to say we men don’t need it. I have the filter and accountability, with the reports sent to my wife. It’s more a question to hear your response. I do struggle with this issue, that’s why I have covenant eyes. I really don’t trust myself and I’m capable of failing at sexual sin as I recently proved. However, it seems that if a full transformation takes place, the inclination of our heart would always be to seek God and not to seek sin, therefore not needing to concern with barriers. My guess is because the heart of man is easily deceived and can quickly be self-seeking, we need to set up boundaries to prevent us in a moment of weakness.

      I just hear men speak of having total victory over this. While I’m not there yet, it seems if it’s truly “total victory” that our necessity for these boundaries would be greatly diminished.

      Your thoughts?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Great question, Andrew.

        First, while I firmly believe Covenant Eyes is the best accountability software on the market, I won’t say that the “need” for anyone is a particular brand of software. It is the features of the software and, most significantly, the relationships someone has in their life that are the most important when it comes to the matter of accountability.

        But more to the point of your question…

        It depends on what you believe about “heart change.” I certainly believe a person can grow in personal holiness so they don’t feel any particular pull to look at porn. At the same time, I know people who haven’t looked at porn in years, who feel no draw to it, and yet still use Covenant Eyes. Why? Because just as sure as they believe in the building of good habits and growth in virtue, they also believe their hearts are deceptive and deeper than they can fathom. They live by this mantra: when you are at your best, plan for your worst.

        I think growth in the Christian life doesn’t just mean we grow in personal holiness, but we also grow in knowledge of God’s holiness. The latter tends to grow much faster than the former. (Here’s a diagram of what I mean.) This means as we truly grow in holiness, we also grow in humility and a realization that our sin runs deeper than we ever knew. So, a person can be growing in grace and not watching porn but still feel a great sense of needing Internet accountability.

        I personally think the concept of “total victory” is perhaps presumptuous. It depends on what people mean by that. Some are simply contrasting their porn-filled life with their porn-free life: they are looking at changed behaviors and a clean track record. This makes sense. Others, however, see themselves as “delivered” from the sin: that a line has been drawn in the sand they claim they will never cross again. I think this kind “victory” is presumptuous. Certainly, someone can repent of porn and never watch it again, but I don’t think it is wise to think in these terms of “the desire is gone and will never come back again.”

    9. Scott on

      I love women. That’s why I hate pornography. It reduces them to objects to use as tools. Worse porn drives a wedge between husband and wife, greatly increasing the chances of divorce and diminishing the satisfaction of marriage. I’ve never heard a divorced woman say that their husband’s obsession with pornography was harmless.
      It must be said though that some of the comments identifying hypocrisy are correct….porn isn’t the only enemy. Nor is it the most horrible to contemplate. However it is the most cunning and, like a spiritual cancer, it damages everything around it. I’m old enough to have seen how porn has changed since I was young (sorry to say that the temptation doesn’t go away with age). What’s shocking to me is how much more disgusting it is today than it was when I was young. And so much more degrading to women.
      Say what you will about other problems and how Christians aren’t addressing them. You are probably correct but War is the correct term to use and I support the war. I started out as a willing participant and wound up a victim with a damaged ability to enjoy sex in the manner that God intended. Not only is war the correct term it’s the only term that applies. Would you be concerned about a sewer dumping raw sewage on your property or would you declare war on the source? Each of my sons has come to me for help with dealing with porn. With the raw sewage dumping into their minds and threatening their marriages….before they’ve even met their brides.
      No sir. WAR is the CORRECT TERM!

      Reply
      • Faith on

        Sir, I am a woman who would like to say “VERY WELL SAID”. Pornography leads young people away from marriage and into sexual acts that are abominations. They give young people a very wrong idea of what a “normal, healthy, loving sexual life” is really about. It is not the kinky or nasty things they see in pornography, such as threesomes, orgies, etc. Sex was intended for procreation and while it does not have to be “boring and dull”, it should not just be “sex” in a marriage. It should be a loving (and between husband and wife) lustful and caring and creative act that solidifies the marriage, not taking something away from either partner or the marriage.

      • Lori Doerneman on

        Thank you for your raw, honest comments.

    10. Dustin Davis on

      Amen, God has changed my heart and I know with out a dout my life will never be the same.

      Reply
    11. Steve on

      I have battled porn for many years sometimes not watching for months on end then failing again. Currently Thanks the good Lord it has been almost 9 months without watching. Without doubt it is the man’s responsibility to not watch but I just have to say the wives are also a big cause. I do the dishes, the wash and clean the house but it has been 7 years since my wife and I have made love. She shays she has not desire (note we did go to a very good Christian women marriage counselor for several years but to no avail. I am not the only Christian man with this problem. I am a very open guy and I get other men to open up, this is an epidemic 8 out of 10 men say to me it is either years or months since they have made love to there wife. Not sure if anyone remembers but Oprah about 15 years ago had I think over 100,000 wives call in a survey and with the statistical Oprah’s people came up with had over 20,000,000 wives where saying no to their husbands. WHAT ARE WE DO TO???

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Steve,

        So sorry to hear about the lack of intimacy in your marriage. It saddens me to hear this whenever I do.

        From the standpoint of your marriage, it would be good for your wife to explore this seeming “sexual anorexia” she is experiencing, and there are some really good resources out there about this.

        I think it is important for men to have a balanced understanding and attitude. First, God expects men to be porn-free. Period. Yes, God gives grace to overcome our deepest sins, but His moral standard is clear. Lust is sinful. If this is true for the man who is single his entire life, it is also true for the married man (even a married man with a wife disinterested in sex).

        At the same time, God expects married couples, as far as they are capable, to experience sexual intimacy and not defraud one another. If a spouse does this over and over, this is a matter a good church should be able to counsel a couple through.

        These two matters, though related, are never excuses for each other. A porn-past is not a reason for a wife to truly defraud her husband in an ongoing basis, and a sexless marriages is never an excuse to indulge in porn.

        In the end, the spiritual resources available to a single man to abstain from porn are the same resources available to you. God can and does enable us to have self-control, enables us to not be slaves to our passions. I highly encourage you to read our articles about this on our blog.

        Again, I hope you and your wife can overcome this hurdle of a sexless marriage. I’m curious what your counselor has told you and wife. What has your wife said in response to the counseling?

      • Wife on

        I also do not have sex with my husband as much as I should (although it’s 1-2 times a week). I like sex a lot. I’m adventurous. I’m just not attracted to my husband. I’d be all over someone else. We women would rather have no sex ever than sex with a man we aren’t attracted to. I have no idea what men can do to help their wives be attracted to them. My husband is a great guy, but I feel like he’s my friend only. I feel bad for him. I have no idea what to so though.

      • Kay Bruner on

        My first instinct on this issue is that there may be an emotional disconnect in your relationship that’s producing the physical disconnect. I’d suggest reading John Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Finds areas where your emotional connection could be improved, and then see if it impacts the rest of your relationship as well. Let me know how it goes–Kay

    12. John on

      Back to the original topic of fighting pornography in our churches. I find many churches I visit are afraid to talk about anything very personal, much less pornography use. While it is becoming more common for the topic to be mentioned from the pulpit, it is still rare to hear a leader explain what we need to do to escape the lure of pornography. The fact that such overwhelming numbers of Christians regularly use pornography demonstrates that whatever most people are trying is not working.

      In our city, however, churches have begun to work together to address the issue. A single non-profit mans three phone lines for women who struggle with pornography, men who struggle with pornography, and partners of people who struggle with pornography. The non-profit trains volunteers to man the phones to help people find support groups and/or counselors. The non-profit itself oversees the support groups that meet in 25 local churches.

      The non-profit prints thousands of business card sized promotional pieces that churches in our city place in bathrooms. This is the main method people can find help, without having to be embarrassed by asking a pastor for help or picking up a flyer where everyone can see them. The churches provide meeting space for free—both for groups and for the training events for the 60 volunteers who lead the support groups.

      Over 30 churches participate in sharing space and over 75 send people to the support groups. The interesting development in this is that people tend to want to attend a group in a church other than their own. They are just too embarrassed at first to risk being “found out” in their own church. So, a group that meets in a “Church A” might not contain a single person who attends Church A. However, members of Church A may lead or attend a group that meets a few miles away in Church B. This is true cooperation!

      The non-profit also screens local Christian counselors to find those who are trained and qualified to help families affected by pornography. Counselor Directories are mailed to 750 local church leaders in our city each year.

      Many churches have become bold and are beginning to address pornography use much more freely as a result. Church leaders have the confidence that they do not have to have all the answers, because there is so much help available to send people to. After over ten years of this, it is now safe to openly discuss ones struggle with pornography in many churches in our city.

      The beauty of having a non-profit, rather than a church, coordinate all this is that churches who participate do not feel any particular denomination is “running things” and are more willing to take part. There are a handful of churches in our city who run their own groups and do not participate in the collective effort, but the staff or volunteers who run those programs change, making those single-church initiatives less reliable over time. In addition, few of those churches are able to offer support to women, men and partners alike, leaving some members without help. Finally, the members of those churches often do not want to attend a group in their own church and end up going to the other non-profit effort anyway.

      I’m not saying it is bad for a church to try to care for its own members, but very few churches have the resources to really care for their own people in such a difficult area of ministry as compulsive pornography use. This model give any church in the area all the resources they need.

      I would love to see other cities implement something similar to this. It does take several years to convince churches they can trust the organizing entity (a non-profit in this case) but the end results have been quite strong in our city.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        This sounds like a very well-thought and comprehensive plan! Love it.

    13. Patrick on

      My church looks the other way. One pastor’s comment was “all men look at porn”. The mens group is not safe to discuss this issue. I’m trying to find a church that is not afraid to speak out.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        So, when your pastor says, “All men look at porn,” this was a justification that it isn’t any big deal to worry about?

    14. Ed on

      Hi, my question concerns point 2. It says, When you are tempted to lust after sexual immorality, picture Christ suffering in agony to pay for your sins. The images are virtually incompatible.Unfortunately, this is not true for me. Picturing Christ suffering in agony to pay for my sins makes the temptation and thoughts of sexual immorality even worse. How can I change this to see the cross as the perfect sin offering, and not as something sexually immoral? I think praying Psalm 51:10 is a good first step, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this too. Thanks.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hi Ed – because of what you’ve shared, I might offer a different approach. What if you pictured the cross empty? Meaning, whatever was pinned up there on Friday is DEFEATED and its power has been voided by the glorious resurrection of Sunday! The suffering of Friday is only half of the equation – Friday gave us forgiveness from sin, but Sunday gives us FREEDOM from sin.

        Peace, Chris
        Covenant Eyes

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