The Hidden Secret Of The Church Today: Pornography Addiction
Written by Lydia D’Ross, Ordained Minister and Outreach Chaplain for Renewal at Brookhaven Hospital
Pornography is not something that is often talked about from the pulpit. In fact, most churches do not have a support group for this type of addiction. Maybe the church is not trained to deal with these issues, or members do not want anyone to know. This shame drives the behavior further into hiding, and often pastors have no idea what their members are going through.
The prohibition against lust is found throughout the New Testament, which says that such desires “wage war against the soul. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.” (Romans 6:12-13)
Porn addiction is not like other addictions. Porn can grab hold of you quickly, and before you know it, you’re viewing porn sites many times throughout the day. You might even be tempted to look at porn sites at work- which may cost you your job. This is one way that this addiction is destructive and harmful to society.
Addiction to pornography can also affect the pastors themselves. An anonymous survey conducted recently by Pastors.com reported that 54 percent of pastors admitted viewing porn within the last year. In an online newsletter, 34 percent of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn. One out of every six women who read Today’s Christian Woman say they struggle with addiction to pornography (Today’s Christian Woman, Fall 2003).
If you are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. But know this, feelings that accompany pornography are the opposite of intimacy and attachment. The longer you are consumed with pornography, the harder it becomes to know what real intimacy is.
The good news is that those who are struggling with pornography can obtain a pathway to reconciliation and redemption through Jesus Christ.
Self-help strategies may only provide temporary success. The most successful course of treatment takes a family systems approach that involves an initial program of intensive therapy, followed by regular and ongoing professional counseling sessions with a licensed therapist.