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3 Reasons Many Pastors Keep Silent About Porn

Last Updated: November 4, 2020

Dan Armstrong

Dan Armstrong has been featured in local and national publications regarding the issue of pornography’s harm on society. He has spoken at several national conferences regarding purity, protecting your children, and being educated on how technology and porn impact the brain. Dan and his wife have five children.

In a recent poll, 65% of Covenant Eyes Twitter followers say their church rarely or never mentions the issue of pornography. The majority of respondents, nearly half of them (45%), say porn is rarely brought up at their assembly. The smallest percentage of respondents (17%) say their church handles the issue of porn consistently well.

Reason 1–It’s the elephant in the pew.

There are many reasons for this, but one of the most likely is because the subject of porn is often taboo in Christian communities. The first chapter of the free ebook Fight Porn in Your Church confronts this reality head-on. It tells the story of church leaders that recognized the devastating effects porn was having on their congregation and did something about it. It gives pastors tips to overcome the obstacles that keep the pulpit from confronting pornography.

One of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on pornography in the digital age, The Porn Phenomenon by the Barna Group, shows the wide gap between pastors recognizing the problem of porn of the church and actually doing something about it. The report shows 88% of pastors saying pornography is a problem in their congregation, but just 7% of pastors say they have a program in place to help those struggling with it.

The report also shows how most teens and young adults believe not recycling is more immoral than watching pornography. Ask yourself the question, “Which conversation would I rather have with my child, one about recycling or pornography?” It’s easy to see how more conversations are happening about the former than the latter.

Reason 2–People fear being judged.

Does your church’s prayer list resemble more of a rumor mill than a request memo? No wonder people don’t feel comfortable sharing what’s going on in their lives. They feel that opening up on their most private thoughts will result in being shamed and judged. Not only will their innermost struggles be subject to criticism, they also can, and likely will, be used against them.

Do hospitals criticize patients for getting sick? Do auto repair stations shame those who arrive with flat tires? Then why do churches make their environment harmful for the hurting? Church should be the place you feel comfortable and can be yourself. Pastors and other church leaders can create this type of environment through community, counsel and conversation.

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

Reason 3–We don’t know how to address it.

Like properly exercising a muscle, success in recovery from sexual sin isn’t achieved without properly addressing tension. One of those tensions is the struggle of taking sexual sin seriously while not stigmatizing it in a way that discourages people from sharing what they are going through. It’s a balance that can be achieved through proper execution of a conscious small group effort. You want those attending the discussion to see the solemnness of the approach, but not so much that people don’t want to participate.

Another tension is how to target a specific sin while not spending all the time on it. We are more than the sum of the sins we are struggling with. Good small group discussions should reflect this while also properly addressing the specific matter at hand.

None of us is above temptation. At any time, any one of us could fall into sexual sin. We need to prepare ourselves and others to fight porn in our church. Downloading the free ebook The Prepared Ministry is a great way to start properly addressing the topic among your circle of influence. Want to prepare your church even more?

  • Comments on: 3 Reasons Many Pastors Keep Silent About Porn
    1. Greg on

      Another reason is that pastors and youth pastors themselves are often addicted to pornography (as reported in Covenant Eyes own stats)…or just lack the boldness to step out in faith and let God own the results of speaking the truth in love about a tough subject.

      Satan wins big time when he can silence the very leadership that should be communicating what God has to say about pornography and sexual immorality.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hi Greg, you’re absolutely right. In the dark, temptation and sin often have their way with us. In the light, they shrivel up! There is so much power when someone in authority shares openly about his/her struggles.

        Peace, Chris
        Covenant Eyes

      • Scott on

        Amen.

      • Kevin Haney on

        Covenant eyes is the best way to bring it up that should be comfortable for everyone including the innocent children, wives, teens, and hopefully still make the porn person squirm. God expects us to have eyes for the who is lawfully ours and forsake all others. This also addresses the one oogling others with clothes on. As for intentional sin all that needs said is no one defies God and gets away with it.

    2. Dan Armstrong on

      Thanks so much for the response, Greg. You’re right. Silencing Christian leadership is a tool Satan loves to use.

      Reply
    3. peace on

      hi everyone am realy delighted to be here it has helped me a lot and is stil helping hope to share my story about how it has helped me and how i helped others too one day.thanks keep it up
      peace covenant eye member.

      Reply
    4. felix on

      seriously i m so touched by this post, i m was a living witness to an issues like that, that a boy meet his pastor to explain his addiction into porn. the next day his predicament became the topic of the day in church. is wrong sir

      Reply

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