2 minute read

Should a Pastor Be Fired for Viewing Porn?

Last Updated: November 4, 2020

Ron DeHaas

Ron DeHaas is the president and co-founder of Covenant Eyes. Ron has a BS and an MS in Geology from The Ohio State University and attended the University of Michigan as a Ph.D. candidate. Ron pioneered the concept of Accountability Software and founded Covenant Eyes in the spring of 2000. Today, nearly half a million subscribers enjoy the Screen Accountability that Covenant Eyes provides. Ron also founded Nehemiah Ministries, a 160-acre retreat and counseling center in south-central Michigan for pastors and missionaries.

Ask adult Christians what should be done if their pastor is using pornography, and 41% say, “He/she should be fired or asked to resign.”* Another 29% say the pastor should take a leave of absence until he/she stops using porn. Those over 50 years of age were more adamant about that—47% of age 51-69 and 57% of age 70+ were ready to can the pastor. But only 35% of age 25-30 and 27% of age 31-50 felt that way.

Wow–if that were the case, a lot of pastors would be out of a job! More than half (57%) of pastors say they are either currently struggling (14%) or have struggled in the past (43%) with pornography, and 33% of the ones currently struggling say they “are addicted” to porn.

Among youth pastors, the numbers are higher: 64% say they are struggling (21%) or have struggled in the past (43%). A whopping 56% of those currently struggling say they “are addicted” to porn.

It is not surprising that pastors think a little differently than the 41% of lay people who say pastors should be fired. Only 8% of pastors think that a pastor “should be fired or asked to resign” if found using porn.

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

And it is even less surprising to find out that 55% of those using porn “live in constant fear of being discovered.” No kidding! I know of many pastors who, upon being discovered, lose their careers, their families, their homes, their friends, everything. Some have even ended their own lives as a result of being discovered.

What solutions do pastors suggest?

  • 82% said they should find a professional counselor.
  • 59% said they should find “a group of mature Christians who can hold him accountable.”
  • Only 1% of the pastors said that the congregation should be told.

But congregations are unaware of the scope of the problem. Awareness precedes understanding, and understanding precedes action. Once the people understand how addictive porn is and recognize that pastors are as prone to the sin as anyone else, they can take action.

Related: Porn in the Church–How to Create Policies that Help

If there is no problem among your pastors, that’s great! But as the pastors themselves say, accountability is the best preventive medicine. How devastating it would be to coast along, thinking there will be no problem, only to find out you need to rehabilitate or replace a key staff person. How disrupting to the ministry, how costly for the counseling, how humiliating for the staff—all of which could be headed off by installing Covenant Eyes on all of the staff computers to maintain accountability and have open and transparent conversations.

It would be like the Black Plague on the church if all of the struggling pastors had to resign.  I believe they need help, not banishment. I also believe we need to educate the church that porn is a pervasive problem, and pastors are human, too. If we force pastors to live in constant fear, we force them to NOT seek help, the very help they know is needed.

The majority of those who struggle know what must be done–they need professional counseling along with accountability partners. But they aren’t going to seek that help if they can’t admit they struggle, and they can’t admit they struggle if they know they’re out the door the next minute. We need to meet them at the foot of the cross, where Christ took on the burden of our sins, as well as those of our pastors.

*All data in this article are from The Porn Phenomenon, a 2016 study by the Barna Group.

  • Comments on: Should a Pastor Be Fired for Viewing Porn?
    1. No on

      No. The reality is human beings like sex. The data is clear on this and why we deny it is beyond me. Covenant Eyes has not written one article telling women not to do porn. We don’t hold women accountable for their actions so why should we hold a Pastor accountable? The day Covenant Eyes writes an article a) telling women to stop using sexuality to manipulate men and b) telling them to just stop doing porn is the day I would consider firing a pastor because the double standards reeks to high heaven. I live Covenant Eyes in general. People have good intentions, but really nothing will ever change. Never. Ever. Ever – until we hold girls accountable, which we no longer do in our society. Women tempt way too much now. Ironic that we dont hold them accountable for that when the bible has shown us that it has happened since the beginning of time. Yet, we hold men to the words of the bible.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Actually, we do have a number of resources for women who are wanting to stop porn use. Here is a link to a number of those resources.

        There have also been numerous articles about modesty for women.

      • Charmaine Talbot on

        I agree. Women do not dress modestly. They often use body gestures very subtle to raise lust in men. Behind closed doors they are the very ones doing seductive photo shoots etc. Women also need to stop objectifying themselves and boosting their egos for men to desire them. Sexuality is wonderful and sensuality with ones own husband. Intimacy can only be built if we keep that part and those desires for our own spouses.

      • Alan on

        I am in recovery. I have seen so many well-intentioned men and women relapse because of relationship issues. Both Male and Female are vulnerable early in recovery.

      • Rob Jackson on

        “…accountability is the best preventive medicine.”

        Nope.

        Accountability to another fallen human being, let alone a software program, is a strategy, not a solution.

        Learning what it means practically to walk by the Spirit in Christ is the primary solution.

        Romans 8:13

      • Florin on

        There is one major problem with many of the comments here. Y’all forgetting the Scripture. The Lord Jesus is teaching that not just the physical act is “adultery” but also if you look upon a woman and lust after her. And if anyone tells me that a person can be addicted to porn, and that’s not driven by lust… i got some other words for you.
        So if you think about it, porn addiction is equated to adultery, and also all the lying and cover up, and deceit. Adultery and a life of lying and deceit disqualifies a person from being a pastor or elder according to Scripture.
        So if your pastor is addicted to porn (not just a one time mistake) it is high time he gets fired. How can you trust him? How can you expect him to give sermons that are spiritual and uplifting? How can you think of him as spiritual leader? Can you trust him to be around your wife or daughter?

    2. ella on

      I disagree slightly — I think, at a minimum, a pastor should step down if he is continuing to use porn, the same as I would expect him to step down if he were in any continuing, unrepentant sin (adultery, alcoholism, abuse, theft, even the harder ones like pride or anger). He is expected to be a spiritual leader and guide, and I don’t see how he can do that effectively with major, ongoing sins. Paul even said that a pastor couldn’t serve if he couldn’t keep rebellious children in line or if he had been divorced, which is certainly an even stricter standard.

      I could be wrong, and it would be interesting to explore in the Bible. Those are just my first thoughts.

      Reply
    3. Jan on

      I appreciate the article. However, pornography is a serious sin. Pastors/Elders should be held accountable for it. I am not saying they should be thrown out, but they should publicly confess & take time away from leading until they are free of this sin. 1Timothy 3 gives a list of requirements. I know not being a porn addict is not listed, but considering the other requirements I’m pretty sure Paul would include it in a list in this day & age.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth on

        I also believe it should depend on the type of porn the pastor is watching whether he should step down for a while or be fired and banned. I don’t want any pervert who likes to watch families have sex with each other and porn suggestive of molesting and raping little girls anywhere near my kids or my family. If he’s watching porn that suggests they are molesting children (18 year old girls dressed and acting like 9 year olds or 12 or 16) then he is a child molester and should never even be allowed around kids again in his life. Also porn suggestive of dads punishing their teenage daughters with rape. I think anyone who watches porn suggestive of molesting and raping children should be flagged as child molesters. There are so many deeply disturbing images and themes that are beyond disgusting so bad that they shouldn’t even be spoken of let alone displayed or acted out in pornography that all people know in their hearts is truly wrong to look at and like and some men choose to refrain from those and some don’t, I think sexual addiction is just as dangerous to children and families as any other addiction if not worse. It’s caused more destruction in my life than drugs or alcoholism did. Any person with a sexual addiction can be very dangerous and extremely distorted and sick in the head. NO porn addicts should ever be pastors. I’ve done 2 years of research on the damages of porn and if a pastor is addicted to it he’s no longer holy or capable being holy or leading anyone else to holiness and is just as lost as any drunk or hardcore drug addict in the world. Men will do anything for porn just like people would do for drugs that have less of an effect than porn. Like heroin. It’s also proven that the high from porn for men is more intense than heroine or any other drug. A porn addict IS… a drug addict: a lot of them a lot sicker addict than many drug Addicts will ever be. If we start having perverts as pastors we might as well not discriminate all the other drug addicts and alcoholics and start having alcoholic and drug addicted pastors. Why not? If it’s okay that a pastor likes watching young girls get molested then it should be ok for someone be to drink in church or even get naked or have sex, the pastor would be having inappropriate sexual thoughts about the women possibly the children just sick why would anyone want to risk that. I would never go to a church again in my life if I knew they were going to let a pervert be the leader of a bunch of of other perverts. Then everyone will think it’s ok for men in church to be perverts then your kids will be getting raped in the nursery at church while you’re praising God. There was just an incident on the news where exactly that happened. Some porn addicted pervert got caught raping a 6 month old baby in a nursery at church and got caught. Well if the pastors are porn addicts people should at least know not to take their kids to that church. Sick

      • Dee on

        Actually the requirement of ‘one-woman man’ (which is a Greek idiom meaning monogamous) would include pornography. How could they be considered faithful to their marriage if they’re using porn.

    4. Donald on

      Wow, what a tough call…..

      I do not think a Pastor ought to be fired, heck, it would shock the congregation if the people sitting around them had their minds exposed for all to see. I do believe that some time away would be good, maybe stepping down to address Christian counseling, resources for accountability “like Covenant Eyes”, which is awesome, for it is helping me and keeping the rest of my family from harmful seeds that got me as a young teenager. I also believe that the Pastor should be encouraged…built back up. As I type this, I keep thinking in my mind of the verse “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1). I guess it’s easier for me to see it this way, because I struggle myself. I feel that this needs to be addressed by “men” to their Pastor. They need to come to him and deal with it privately and if he does not repent and want to take appropriate measures for accountability then bring it before the church leaders (Deacons). How folks are so ready to start hurling stones…hey, the devil is after these men, just as he is on every Christian father in families. We are in a spiritual war and as the great men of the Bible failed and still were used to do mighty things for our Lord, so can The Lord use those whom “He” has called to lead those whom “He” has chosen.

      What a great article and an awesome challenge to the body of Christ

      God Bless

      Reply
      • ella on

        But how effective would a pastor who himself refused to give up pornography be in counseling a couple where the man refused to give up pornography? How could he pray for or teach youth on self-control, purity, and strength effectively while he was still engaged, actively, in that sin?

      • Kay Bruner on

        One issue I find is that men who are looking at porn and hiding it (as pastors by definition would be, it seems to me) must create a system of defense mechanisms in their own minds to justify what they’re doing. In other words, their sense of reality becomes skewed because of the lies they must tell themselves to maintain the facade that they are okay while in fact constantly engaging in behavior that they know are inconsistent with what their church expects of them. When my husband finally started telling me what he really thought, in the depths of his porn habit, I ended up saying to him, “You are believing lies from the pit of hell.” And I think that’s what happens. Probably every woman who’s lived with a porn addict knows exactly what I’m talking about. And that’s why it’s terrifying that some 50% of pastors/church staffers are into porn.

        Blessings Kay

      • Donald on

        Ella

        My statements are based upon “the first encounter of the pastor being found out”….you are saying “refused”, that goes into a totally different route. Look at what I said “I do believe that some time away would be good, maybe stepping down to address Christian counseling, resources for accountability “like Covenant Eyes”…”. I still hold to the fact that anyone who is caught in sin needs to be approached and steps taken to deal with the fault. “If” the person refuses, then the proper course is to remove them. Porn is such a wicked vile thing, the Bible is full of accounts where people / cities fell into these sort of things….it’s a powerful sin. If the Pastor was found, let’s say, lying….would you trust him any more or less? Who is the father of lies? Sin is sin, no matter how you arrange them in a particular order. Like I stated at the beginning of my 1st response….what a tough call. I’ll say, porn addiction is not something you walk away from easily. Our culture embraces sex and exploits it and if a woman thinks her man is an exception….she’s as blind as they come. My wife and I have talked about this, I have come clean and have set up every possible obstacle to keep help me. I have blocked sites, put strict set filters and have no passwords for anything in our home….T.V., internet and computer administration and the same strict filters are set for our kids also. These sort of things should be addressed when dealing with a Pastor who is struggling, he’s not going to walk away cold turkey, forget it and there’s absolutely “no man” out there than can look at a beautiful woman without a thought…especially when you’re watching a movie with him that has “any” erotic nature and any level…he’s gonna be thinking in an area that you would find offensive. There are so many ready to burn these guys at the stake and then go home and watch the racy “daily drama’s” on T.V. and think,” well, I don’t look at porn.” If this is the case, these folks need to look into the definition of porn. And don’t get me started on the ridiculous “reality T.V”…..that of course is not reality.

      • Donald on

        Hi Kay…

        I can only comment on what I am dealing with in my own life and have listened to when opening up to others that have also struggled.

        I’m not even sure I would call myself a “full on” addict, but I would definitely call my self a person that struggles with it. I have read / seen what folks call “addicts” and I am nowhere near those levels, but I have had times where I felt myself go farther than I ever wanted to and thus started setting up barriers after talking with my wife, who at first was upset (mad) but surprisingly confessed some things about herself when we first started dating that blew me away…So, this sort of thing floats both ways in people’s hearts. As men, we are extremely visual and the world, flesh and the devil work it big time.

        I love my wife (22years) and we have a great sex life (4-5 times a week). I will admit that in the past when I was engaging in viewing porn, our intimate time dropped to about once a week easily. I “never” got “any” fulfillment from viewing porn “ever”, but at the same time if the content was within reach I found an uncontrollable urge to view it. So, I have the absolute strictest filters set on the cable and internet for not only me, but for the entire family. I do not want my kids to have the seeds laid in them that got me when I stumbled upon my father’s porn. I was too young to understand the chemical stimulation, but new that what I was looking at was wrong….but dad was looking at it, and my mom knew he had it so maybe it’s okay, right? That’s the way my young mind thought and the rest is history. What I see from women is the fact that naked pictures of people are wrong, “but” it’s okay to watch the folks “make out” on TV.

        When 50 shades of gray came out, I was in absolute shock of how many “women” were all over it. My wife said “every woman” she worked with were reading the books and could not wait till the movie came out. I was embarrassed to even come around them….what was going on in “their” minds. I heard “it’s a love story”….give me a break, it’s porn!

        Here I am, a Christian man who struggles to the point of literally hiding in a locked box and has to make a controlled effort to make sure I am not confronted with the temptation to fulfill the lust of the flesh, have to see women, who also say they are born again, read and go watch “smut” that I know will destroy their walk with The Lord. I remember telling my wife…”I am learning more about women everyday, what is going on?”

        I can’t speak for every man, but I do not feel Pastors who are viewing porn are content. They are sinful people saved by the grace of God through Jesus. I feel prolong times with the internet is a dangerous place to be for these men. We, as Christian men, are constantly going against the “50 Shades of Gray” culture and supposedly funny programs on TV that make fathers look like complete idiots. If any woman out there has a man that will humbly confide to them of their struggles, you better hold onto him with both hands and encourage him. One, we are not proud of this and two, we need the help.

        I would though disagree with the justifying comment….I do not believe Pastors that view porn are trying to justify it. They saw something that caught their eye and here they are now. You could say the same thing with just about any sin. I spoke with a fella who will not drink beer because a brand he has tasted in the past taste so good, he’s afraid he will be an alcoholic. Porn is attractive to the flesh (50 Shades of Gray) and they got hooked. The privacy of an office is the perfect place to keep something embarrassing secret. The guilt becomes an OCD habit that reaches out to the thing that rewards the body with “feel good” chemicals. Confession is made, but nothing put in place to keep them accountable and the cycle repeats.

        Wow, I really rambled. My heart really goes out to these men…they have a tough position and we should pray that God puts a protective barrier around them.

      • Donald on

        I meant to add this to my previous reply to Ella & Kay….

        I just wanted to say that even though sin is sin no matter what it is, porn needs to be addressed stricter. Any sin could become a even worse problem later for any church leader (or anyone else) when not confessed, repented and measures put in place to deal with the root issue…if there’s one, sometimes a poor judgment is made and “oops”. But, with porn, this sin could grow as let’s say drugs. If not dealt with at an early stage, stronger hits are needed to get the reaction of what use to stimulate. I feel that porn, with anyone, could pave the way to an acting out physically and you can imagine scenarios from there. I know this may be an extreme example, but, Ted Bundy himself stated that looking at the pornographic material was not began to be not enough….he wanted to experience it. His pornography of choice at the time was the hardcore violent type, and thus the rest is history. If you go to YouTube, you can see Dr. James Dobson’s full interview where Ted explains what was going through his mind.

        Pastors have a position that is a trusted position…I would have no problem giving a key to my home to my Pastor, but if I new he had this problem I may not be as confident having him around my daughter.

        Thanks for the opportunity to allowing us to discuss a very serious scenario

    5. Hillevi Peterson-Hirsch on

      I could not disagree more on the thought that we should not fire a porn addict pastor because, as stated, “It would be like the Black Plague on the church if all of the struggling pastors had to resign.” Really? Perchance the warning in James 3:1 should have been adhered to “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” NASB

      I cannot fathom why any scholar of God’s Word would not understand the severity of porn addiction. This is not overeating or bout with depression, this is a willingness to continue in a sin against the body and an ongoing indulgence in adultery.

      The word in Greek for sexual immorality is porneia from which we get the word pornography. This is not new to you, I know. It is used in the following contexts:

      Jesus said, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality (porneia), and marries another woman commits adultery,”  (Mathew 5:32)

      I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality (porneia), and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Mathew 19:9)

      Porneia is so severe that God allows it to separate (divorce) the holy union of marriage. Divorce — which He say he hates!

      Jesus told the woman caught in the act of adultery — “Go, and sin no more.”
      She was not encouraged to “work’ at it. She was not encouraged to “go to counseling” — she was issued a command.

      Apostle Paul was very intolerant of those who continued in their sin. After discovering the immorality in Corinth, he told the church — 1 Corinthians 5 — “to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” and then he warns that if they continue to allow this man to stay in fellowship his sin will “catch on” — “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?” 

      Consider I Corinthians 6:18: “Flee sexual immorality (porneia). Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality (porneia) sins against his own body.”

      Adulterers are covenant breakers. The man and woman vow their faithfulness to each other and promise to “forsake all others” as long as they both shall live. Adulterers break this promise and are therefore liars. They have lied to their spouse and to their God. 

      Are we not experiencing this kind of immoral behavior in epidemic proportions throughout the church today — and is it any wonder why? Because we have become tolerant and understanding of this devastating sin. If the church would honor God’s word and call out sin upon the one who commits it rather than making excuses in fear we would lose a huge number of our pastor/teachers, the church might stand a chance at being effective.

      When a man joins himself with another woman, via in person or porn, by spilling his ‘seed’ for her, he ends his marriage. If the church actually took this seriously, many wives — ones that I minister to — may not be apart of the emotional holocaust that we live with as a result of our husband’s propensity for other women, sexual objectivity, and sin.

      According to this article, the church should equate sexual immorality to a ‘fail in the moral character of a man’. How tolerant of you. How unbiblical of you.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Thanks for this, Hillevi.

        I think it would be so much better to lose a job and gain your soul.

      • Andrew on

        So you would say that all these pastors as well as other members of the church have ended their marriage because of porn? What about sexual thoughts that aren’t immediately dealt with? What about romance novels, which women I have talked to label as “pornography for women”? They certainly cause people to fantasize in their minds. When you understand the word “porneia”, that would definitely fall in that category. At this point, we can pretty much all divorce our spouses. I think that Luke had a balanced approach at the issue, at least dealing with divorce, in this piece https://www.covenanteyes.com/2015/10/08/porn-use-as-grounds-for-divorce-how-my-opinion-changed/. We could probably apply the same standard with this, perhaps a bit stricter considering it’s teachers and leaders. They would seem to be held at a higher standard according to scripture.

      • Donald on

        Hi Hillevi….

        If we are going to be quoting Jesus, read down a little further in Matthew where you were quoting…remember what he said “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Now, show me such a one.

        Paul struggled with his flesh, what it was is open for debate, “but” he struggled to the point of saying …”O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) “He was an Apostle!!!”

        Jesus commandments were unattainable in and through our own strength and that’s why he died for our sin. Jesus showed us that the laws in the Old Testament went further than that on the outside, it was in the heart….can “any” of us truly stand up and say we are truly worthy to present anything before anyone out of God’s holy word.

    6. Jim on

      Should we try to heal sinners and restore them?
      Or cast stones at them and how disgusting we find their sins?

      Hillevi be therefore perfect as the heavenly Father is.

      If you are without sin. Then cast the first stone.
      “If a man says he is without sin, he is a liar and the truth is not in him”
      “Mercy triumphs over judgement”

      Remember the character of Jesus who being in very nature with God did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped and instead become obedient to death even death on a cross.
      “While we are yet sinners, Christ died for us”

      Grace should exist for those caught in sin Hillevi.
      If you find excommunicating all those who deal with sin a proper context for excommunication, then excommunicate the whole church. – because that was the point of what the author was saying by mentioning that it would deal a heavy blow if we tossed out all the pastors who dealt with the sin of impure thoughts.Should we try to heal sinners and restore them?
      Or cast stones at them and how disgusting we find their sins?

      Hillevi be therefore perfect as the heavenly Father is.

      If you are without sin. Then cast the first stone.
      “If a man says he is without sin, he is a liar and the truth is not in him”
      “Mercy triumphs over judgement”

      Remember the character of Jesus who being in very nature with God did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped and instead become obedient to death even death on a cross.
      “While we are yet sinners, Christ died for us”

      Grace should exist for those caught in sin Hillevi.
      If you find excommunicating all those who deal with sin a proper context for excommunication, then excommunicate the whole church. – because that was the point of what the author was saying by mentioning that it would deal a heavy blow if we tossed out all the pastors who dealt with the sin of impure thoughts.

      We all sin daily. Yes even Christians. Paul pointed out that even though saved AND a teacher who will receive stricter judgment and was held to a “higher standard”(which I would submit to you is referring to Gods judgment – not yours) – that in all of this Paul pointed out the reality of sin within the body of even a teacher, “15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

      21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

      So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

      Reply
      • DDH on

        Now that I have expressed my views I would like to address Jim directly. Jim, you obviously didn’t read Hillevi’s post accurately. She wasn’t saying that grace should not be given to those that sin, whether they be pastors or not. They should receive help. But her point was that they can’t continue to fulfill their pastoral calling while they are in recovery. There are multiple examples of consequences for sin in the bible. David lost his son as a result of his affair with Bathsheba, along with many other consequences, and he was a man after God’s own heart. If a pastor is caught in sexual immorality, his consequence is stepping down from the pulpit.

        Hillevi did not claim that any of us are without sin. But the church is rampant with pornography use, affairs and lust because it hasn’t stood up using God’s word to confront it. If a pastor is allowed to continue in his job while locked in sexual immorality, it weakens the entire influence of the church on society. And that is exactly where we are at. The church is ineffective because it has become part of the world.

        She put it very well. “Are we not experiencing this kind of immoral behavior in epidemic proportions throughout the church today — and is it any wonder why? Because we have become tolerant and understanding of this devastating sin. If the church would honor God’s word and call out sin upon the one who commits it rather than making excuses in fear we would lose a huge number of our pastor/teachers, the church might stand a chance at being effective.”

        Her well stated point was that the church is more concerned with the “business” of church than in heeding God’s word. Until that changes, we are destined for a decaying and self destructive world.

    7. Jim on

      Let convenant eyes continue on the ministry God has given them to help people like me who struggle with these sins. Please do not burden us down. Would you please help bear our burdens, even pastors and teachers burdens whom are your brothers in Christ.

      Let scripture remind you of Jesus’s words to those who would use the law in scripture as a device to point out sin while doing nothing to help the sinner found in Luke 11:46 , “woe to you who weigh men down with heavy burdens, but you yourselves will not lift a finger to lighten their load.”

      Try loving, try living the instruction given found in Galatians 6:2 ” Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

      I praise God for the staff and founders of covenant eyes who continue to help carrying others burdens and who do so gently (Galatians 6:1) with the goal of restoration.

      Reply
    8. Anne of VA on

      He should be fired. What’s the difference if he views porn or has an affair with his secretary? Would we fire him for the latter? Yep.

      Now can he be built back up yes. Should be be a pastor again? I’m not so sure.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth on

        Oh yes and must I add that repeated studies have been done on whether a child molester can recover from their sickness and found the answer is no. So how can a man that likes watching porn suggestive of child rape incest with peoples own children ever recover. Yeah they deserve grace from God not from parents. people need to protect their kids so they don’t end up stuck in perverted cycles like these when they grow or getting molested by porn addicts when they’re young. Open your eyes people, this problem is way worse than America is admitting. They trace children murderers back to violent porn viewing before they murdered other kids or women. They saw it on porn. You people need to wake up!!!

    9. DDH on

      Are we all sinners, from the Apostle Paul on down? Yes. Will we ever attain God’s perfection in this life? No. But what we are talking about here is a pastor who is UNREPENTANT in his sin. He is locked into the addiction of pornography, keeping it secret and continuing it, while still portraying himself to his congregation as a honorable man of God.

      Many corporations have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to their employees viewing porn. If they do it, they lose their job. Should we have a lower standard for pastors?

      The bible is very clear that there are consequences for sin.

      Galatians 6:7-8New King James Version (NKJV)

      7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

      Jude 7New King James Version (NKJV)

      7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

      Am I saying that we should cast a porn viewing pastor into the fires of hell? Of course not. But while we are called to forgive him as Christ forgave us, we must all recognize that there are consequences for his sin. We reap what we sow. If a pastor is unrepentant in sexual immorality, as exemplified by it’s secret continuation, then he needs to step down and seek help. If that means finding a different source of income to support his family, then so be it. The church should encourage him in his recovery, find him resources if needed and above all, hold him accountable. But he should not be in the pulpit preaching the Word of God or on staff at a church while he is in the recovery process. That would be hypocritical, and we all know what Jesus thought about hypocrites.

      If he is able to truly place his sin at the foot of the cross with a repentant heart, and free himself from the bonds of sexual sin, then and only then, could he consider returning to the pulpit, and only with full disclosure of his past. Not only will he have a whole new testimony, but will have the tools to help other men who have the same struggle.

      Pastor Greg Laurie has said that he always thought he had done a good job consoling people who had lost a loved one until his own son Christopher was killed in a car accident. Then he realized how completely ineffective he had been. But by living and suffering through the tragedy himself, he now has the ability to help others in similar situations that he never could have done before.

      As a recovering sex addict myself, I have consequences for the choices that I made. Justified lack of trust from my forgiving wife, estrangement from my children, self imposed restrictions on entertainment, and the list goes on. I accept those consequences as a result of my sin. To do otherwise would mean that I was not being fully accountable, and therefore denying the full extent of my actions.

      As Kay said, “I think it would be so much better to lose a job and gain your soul.” And as Mark said in 9:43 – If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—

      Reply
      • Andrew on

        If you’re talking about unrepentant sin, then I agree they should lose their position as pastors. I didn’t assume that from reading this article. I think there is a difference between struggling with sin and unrepentant sin. Perhaps that is part of the conflict in these posts. I have struggled with this sin for years, sometimes seeking my own will, sometimes allowing the Lord to guide my steps and staying away. The key is to continually pursue purity and freedom even when discouragement abounds. However, being unrepentant is giving yourself over to the sin so that you plan on staying in it, enjoying it, and neglecting any accountability, confession, or repentance. If a pastor is hard-hearted and has no intentions of changing, then the answer to the question of firing them or not becomes pretty easy.

    10. Jason Smith on

      Ok.. truthfully… No.. Pastors are human.. All humans sin..(Jesus did not). Sin is Sin.. No equals .no highers for sin… accept the blasmhey..I read thats considered the Actual Biggest or unforgiven Sin… Also… Some people ..even us Christians forget.. How can we see a speckle in the others eye and forget we ourself is unclean… I do admit…I have encountered this …and yes. i pray… i admit its wrong .. no excuses … Do i want to countuine- No I dislike it..And know its not good.. But It does have grasp on people..females..and males… Poor…rich….Christians..catholics.. the stuff is out their… I have tried several times .. to resist the temptation… some times it worked for alittle bit.. sometimes it failed.. Porn is like a drug. once into it… Its hard to stop.. But also…it seems to get worse especilly in finacial hardships… marriage problems… stress. But ive seen in the christian community ..that we are downing or turning a blind eye to folks with this type of addiction or others… Be honest with people about it. Let them know you dislike or want to rid the addictions.. but its alot harder to do then being said… My mom..knows i have this addiction and she knows that i try to Resist it..or not look at it…And she encourages me..One day I will Rid of the addiction I trust god will help me acheive stopping.. But pastors should not be fired! They are human.. No human is without sin!

      Reply
    11. Vicky Baca on

      Yes. It is a mortal sin and it is promoting human trafficking and exploitation. People are taking serious matters too lightly and men always seek to excuse their deplorable behavior by blaming the victims, like many I read in this comments section. Go seek help for your addiction, respect other human beings and be accountable for your sins.

      Reply
    12. Martin Baker on

      If the pastor or priest or whoever is watching porn, they’re not mature enough for their job. It’s not a job for everyone, I couldn’t do it either. St Paul said they need to be above reproach. This isn’t the same thing as being perfect – St Paul wasn’t perfect. But it does mean there’s some level of behaviour they need to be at, and if they’re not there yet, then they shouldn’t be in the position of pastor yet. They can join the rest of us in the pews. It’s not about being judgmental of them, but there are more important things at stake than their career goals, such as the honour of the church and of Christ. If they get caught out, the world has excuse to blaspheme. There are way too many sex scandals rocking the churches already, whether evangelical or catholic or wherever. The idea of Christian integrity is considered a joke by many, and I think this is because too many Christians have a misguided sense of forgiveness. Just because you forgive someone in the pastorate doesn’t mean you let them keep that privilege. Again, it’s not about them, it’s about making sure God is honoured as much as possible.

      Reply
      • Martin Baker on

        In fact I find it hard to believe that someone in the pastorate whose heart was committed to God’s glory would not initiate their own resignation anyway, given these circumstances. They would know that it’s not right for them to be in that position at that time.

    13. Kim on

      I think people cannot get away from something freely unless they ‘hate’ it. You can do all the behavioural modification techqnics you want, get you accountability partner but unless you hate it it will still be part of your soul, in your heart. I us3d to be addicted to cigarrets for 12 years tried to stop many times. But it wasen’t until one day i had sharp pains in my chest and i said to myself ‘if this is going to stop me from the things i love like areobics, and being healthy i have to get rid of it. I also asked God to help me to ‘Hate Cigarrets’ and he did. When i saw my husband have 2 lung collaspse, my mom got COPD, i hated it. I had to overcome the lies satan had me believe like ‘it is helping keep your weight down’ no in fact he was right it was and if i stopped i thought i would eat alot but God gave me wisdom to get a bag of suckers to help and he gave me the real truth beyond that truth which was ‘if you stop smoking you will have energy to exercise and keep your weight down in a healthy way. The same things go with porn when people really see what this sick industry is all how about. How they kidnap teens and children and force them torcher them, how it is corrupting a person’s mind, how it is unnatural. God did not make us peeping Tom’s. And sex and love should go together. When people start thinking deeply then their motivation for stopping will be greater then ‘this is wrong, i shouldn’t be doing it. Acting like it is no different then indulging in chocolate cake.

      Reply

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