Pornography: Help for Churches and Leaders

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Pornography is a pervasive yet largely unaddressed problem in today’s world, including the church. Some pastors and other church leaders have fallen victim to the use of pornography. Cases have occurred in the United States, Canada and overseas. 

The issue can be detrimental not only to pastors, leaders, and their families, but also to ministries, congregations, and communities. 

In its position statement on pornography, the Christian Reformed Church has urged all members who use pornographic material to arouse sexual desire to recognize that doing so is a sin. Churches are urged to teach the biblical perspective on human sexuality and encourage them to become involved with organizations that are working to stem the tide of pornography. 

The CRC has addressed this issue in the past through its several offices which see the impact of improper behavior, usually after the fact. Safe Church, Pastor-Church Relations and the Office of Social Justice can all play a role (and often have) in the restoration process for a leader, family, church and community impacted by pornography and related abusive sexual behavior.

Recently, Think Christian, a production of Back to God Ministries International published a blog describing the future of internet pornography, The approaching scourge of virtual-reality porn. It is a sobering view of how this issue is becoming more intractable.

In addition, the Board of Trustees of the CRCNA was instructed to develop a plan to assist churches in increasing awareness, understanding, confession, and healing in relation to pornography. 

A number of resources are available to leaders as they address and confront pornography and its related ill effects. They include:

1.    Faith Alive Christian Resources book, ‘Just One Click’ 

2.    Pastor Church Resources consultations

3.    Canada-only resources:

4.    Internet accountability software can also be purchased and used either on a single computer, or for an entire church office. Examples include:

5.    Current crcna.org web links on the issue include:

6.   Articles in The Banner:

7.   A Network post: A Support Group for Ministers Dealing With Pornography

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Community Builder

Thanks so much Darren for bringing to light a topic that really needs to come out of the darkness. No problem will ever be solved by ignoring it. The problem of pornography must be addressed, yes, in our churches too. 

One question in my mind is, where can pastors or ministry leaders who struggle with this go for help? How do we create a culture where it's OK to share our struggles? At the same time we don't want to tolerate this evil, and it is evil, we have to be able to talk about it, and allow for people to seek help. Hiding it, or pretending it doesn't exist is the worst response.

Pornography was the topic of Abuse Awareness Sunday in 2012. Safe Church ministry supported, as we were able, a group of people who rode motorcycles to help increase awareness about this topic. We also had a powerful workshop at our bi-annual conference that year, which featured a couple who openly and courageously shared their own struggle with pornography addiction. We salute them! And we're so grateful for the insights they were able to share with us. I know that they are not alone. Find out more  here.  

Community Builder

Fight The New Drug is an excellent organization for education and resources on this topic www.fightthenewdrug.org. See a talk given recently at Calvin by their founder, Clay Olsen http://livestream.com/calvin-college/SexualitySeries/videos/100668171 

Community Builder

We are adding this website and video resource to the resources on the Safe Church Ministry webpage dedicated to pornography. Thanks for the information!

Community Builder

Thanks, Bonnie! Clay Olsen also gave a high-school-appropriate talk at GRCHS. The video is on their website http://www.grcs.org/NetCommunity/grchs-chapelnote.   

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