Abuse Awareness 2012: Focus on Internet Pornography

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We don’t want to talk about it, but it’s time that we should.

Internet pornography is huge and growing fast. Its impact on individuals, marriages and families, even in Christian communities, must not be minimized. Our churches can become safe places of hope and healing, but only if we break the silence.



Articles

Article – How Many Porn Addicts are in Your Church?

This article from Crosswalk.com, an organization dedicated to building up the church, discusses how extensive the problem of Internet porn might be in Christian communities



Internet porn stats: should parents be concerned?

Do you know what your children are seeing on the internet? How vigilant should a parent be? This article may open your eyes to the risks faced by children on the internet.

 

Video Resources



I Never Knew I Was at Risk

A two-minute video about one man’s descent into pornography addiction



Slow Killers

A 36-minute sermon about pornography addiction by Glenn Robinson, Pastor at North City Church, a non-denominational church in Sacramento, CA



Book & Sample Small Group Discussion Guide



Just One Click: Christians, Porn, and the Lure of Cybersex

This book, published by Faith Alive, is filled with real life stories and examples. The authors, who are Christian psychologists, alert readers to the risks and consequences of cybersex, provide guidance from Scripture, and suggest strategies to overcome the problem. This sample chapter, with discussion questions, is a good place to begin to have a meaningful discussion about internet pornography.



Websites

Covenant Eyes

Accountability and Filtering helps you protect your family online. Learn how the Internet is used in your home and how to protect, yourself, your family and your organization. In addition to their protective software, this website features a blog, and helpful educational materials.



XXXchurch

“Porn addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. XXXchurch is your resource online to fight porn addiction. We prevail through awareness, prevention and recovery.” This website is filled with resources to help those struggling with addiction to pornography and those who want to support them in the process.

Posted in: Safe Church; Blog Photo courtesy Brandon Wood - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcwood/325747400/ Image: See Credit

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Comments

I appreciate the resources you are making available regarding pornography.  We heard a great sermon at church last week about the other side of pornography - focusing on human trafficking and abuse of women and children (a helpful website from Vancouver: http://www.embracedignity.org/ ).  It would be great to delve more into the reality of who actually gets hurt when we view pornography.  Just because we don't "pay" for it, doesn't mean it's not being paid for. Our mouse clicks get advertisers, and we become paying perpetrators of incredible injustice worldwide.  This topic definitely needs to be explicitly talked about in the church!  

I'm a bit behind on what's been on the network, but thank you for addressing this, an answer to prayer...

 as I've been researching pornography and the enemy spirit behind it,  and discover the horrific prevalence of the number of those involved in it, with even higher rates in the Church and leadership,  and I shake my head, and say "and we wonder why the Church is irrelevant?"

I will share the LORD is bringing a group together in my community to very specifically target this principality through prayer, intercession, and exposure... 

and the human trafficking and the abuse connection is so true!!   lust is one of the key roots behind all of it, when we come in agreement with pornography, through usage, we come into agreement with lust, the same root that is often behind human trafficking, abortion, and  and sexual abuse  (which I think would horrify all of us)...  and i don't think we understand how that gives power to that principality... I know, this isn't normal reformed thinking... but we have to recognize, that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual authorities/principalities, and that when we come in agreement with sin, darkness deepens in the spiritual atmosphere, in ways we do not understand, just like when we choose with the help of the Holy Spirit,  to not come in agreement with lust, or whatever, when we choose instead to spend that time in worship, in the Word, in prayer, with our Creator, something shifts in the spiritual atmosphere, in a powerful positive way... 

not saying I understand how it works, but our choices are part of the spiritual battle going on...  and we need to know that our choices, our coming in agreement with sin, or not,  are affecting many others, in ways we might not know..

by the grace of God, He covers those, but there are still consequences...   He calls us to holiness for a reason...

Guide

Thanks for your feedback and your prayers. It's great that you are addressing this issue in your faith community, and I hope many lives will be blessed because of your efforts and many broken lives mended.

A warning, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Prison Letters: The displacement of God from the world, and from the public part of human life, led to the attempt to keep his place secure at least in the sphere of the ‘personal’, the ‘inner’, and the ‘private’. And as every man still has a private sphere somewhere, that is where he was thought to be the most vulnerable. The secrets known to a man’s valet – that is, to put it crudely, the range of his intimate life, from prayer to his sexual life – have become the hunting-ground of modern pastoral workers. In that way they resemble (though with quite different intentions) the dirtiest gutter journalists – do you remember the Wahrheit and the Glocke, which made public the most intimate details about prominent people? In the one case it’s social, financial, or political blackmail and in the other, religious blackmail. Forgive me, but I can’t put it more mildly. From the sociological point of view this is a revolution from below, a revolt of inferiority. Just as the vulgar mind isn’t satisfied till it has seen some highly placed personage ‘in his bath’, or in other embarrassing situations, so it is here. There is a kind of evil satisfaction in knowing that everyone has his failings and weak spots. In my contacts with the ‘outcasts’ of society, its ‘pariahs’, I’ve noticed repeatedly that mistrust is the dominant motive in their judgment of other people. Every action, even the most unselfish, of a person of high repute is suspected from the outset. These ‘outcasts’ are to be found in all grades of society. In a flower-garden they grub around only for the dung on which the flowers grow. The more isolated a man’s life, the more easily he falls a victim to this attitude. There is also a parallel isolation among the clergy, in what one might call the ‘clerical’ sniffing-around-after-people’s-sins in order to catch them out. It’s as if you couldn’t know a fine house till you had found a cobweb in the furthest cellar, or as if you couldn’t adequately appreciate a good play till you had seen how the actors behave off-stage. It’s the same kind of thing that you find in the novels of the last fifty years, which do not think they have depicted their characters properly till they have described them in their marriage-bed, or in films where undressing scenes are thought necessary. Anything clothed, veiled, pure, and chaste is presumed to be deceitful, disguised, and impure; people here simply show their own impurity. A basic anti-social attitude of mistrust and suspicion is the revolt of inferiority. Regarded theologically, the error is twofold. First, it is thought that a man can be addressed as a sinner only after his weaknesses and meannesses have been spied out. Secondly, it is thought that a man’s essential nature consists of his inmost and most intimate background; that is defined as his ‘inner life,’ and it is precisely in those secret human places that God is to have his domain! On the first point it is to be said that man is certainly a sinner, but is far from being mean or common on that account. To put it rather tritely, were Goethe and Napoleon sinners because they weren’t always faithful husbands? It’s not the sins of weakness, but the sins of strength, which matter here. It’s not in the least necessary to spy out things; the Bible never does so. (Sins of strength: in the genius, hubris; in the peasant, the breaking of the order of life – is the Decalogue a peasant ethic? –; in the bourgeois, fear of free responsibility. Is this correct?) On the second point: the Bible does not recognize our distinction between the outward and the inward. Why should it? It is always concerned with anthropos teleios, the whole man, even where, as in the Sermon on the Mount, the Decalogue is pressed home to refer to ‘inward disposition’. That a good ‘disposition’ can take the place of total goodness is quite unbiblical. The discovery of the so-called inner life dates form the Renaissance, probably from Petrarch. The ‘heart’ in the biblical sense is not the inner life, but the whole man in relation to God. But as a man lives just as much from ‘outwards’ to ‘inwards’ as from ‘inwards’ to ‘outwards’, the view that his essential nature can be understood only from his intimate spiritual background is wholly erroneous. I therefore want to start from the premise that God shouldn’t be smuggled into some last secret place, but that we should frankly recognize that the world, and people, have come of age, that we shouldn’t run man down in his worldliness, but confront him with God at this strongest point, that we should give up all our clerical tricks, and not regard psychotherapy and existentialist philosophy as God’s pioneers. The importunity of all these people is far too unaristocratic for the Word of God to ally itself with them. The Word of God is far removed from this revolt of mistrust, this revolt from below. On the contrary, it reigns.

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