Pornography is one of the great scourges of our time, and is hurting people in the pews of churches in every denomination. Its dangers are well documented, and one need not look beyond the doors of his own church to see the brokenness pornography leaves in its wake. As analyst Paul Coughlin wrote in 2009, “An anonymous survey conducted recently by Pastors.com reported that 54% of pastors admitted viewing porn within the last year. In an online newsletter, 34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn.”
This plague is affecting America’s youth, dramatically. According to “Enough is Enough (EIE),” a nationwide coalition designed to make the internet safer for children and families, “90 percent of 8 to 16 year old children have viewed pornography.”
Once pornography has taken root in one’s mind, it is hard to pull out. A few months ago, writing in The Public Discourse, analyst Morgan Bennett cited research showing that “new neurological research reveals that porn is as potently addictive as heroin or cocaine.”
Thankfully, there are movements and resources (including EIE) committed to helping men (and, sadly and increasingly, women) break free from its bonds. Family Research Council offers many resources regarding pornography, both with respect to one’s personal battle and public policy. Also, our Marriage and Religion Research Institute has done extensive research on the effects of pornography.
In addition, we are grateful for some other wonderful ministries and initiatives designed to stem the tide of pornography in our time. Here are a few of them (there are many others, national and state-focused):
One Million Men Porn Free: Pastor Jay Dennis of the First Baptist Church of Lakeland, Florida, launched this ministry to provide “extensive resources to educate leadership on how to forthrightly, but compassionately, address the issues of pornography. Using One Million Men Porn Free materials, leadership can facilitate a study program that will take men through the steps to freedom, and teach men how to help a Christian brother, or even their son.”
Morality in Media: Since 1962, MIM has been “the leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law.” MIM also leads the “War on Illegal Pornography” coalition, of which FRC is a member, to “stop the growing amount of hard core pornography available in America.”
Proven Men Ministries, led by Liberty University School of Law professor Joel Hesch, last year launched “a Biblically based study program that fills a gap in available help to Christian men who want to overcome their pornography or sexual addiction and live out Proven lives. (PMM) is taking this provocative subject public via Facebook, Twitter, web videos and a targeted campaign to pastors nationwide.”
FRC’s longtime partner Focus on the Family has excellent resources for pastors, churches, families, and individuals scarred by pornography.
There are also many practical articles written by men and woman about how they have overcome their addictions to pornography thorough faith. For those struggling, read them and be encouraged: There’s hope. As one young man who has beaten his pornography addiction has written, “I’m so grateful for the work God has done in my life. I’m a new man. I actually pursue God, not run and hide from Him … and best of all I don’t see myself as a pathetic, cowardly pervert anymore. I see myself as … a man of God.”.”