Our Church's Greatest Threat: Homosexuality or Pornography?

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At least one delegate to synod indicated that the 'homosexuality' question will become the denomination's next major issue.

I disagree. There is something much more prevalent eating away at the congregation's fabric.

If national statistics hold true for the church, just one percent of Canadians (and presumably Americans) self-identify as having same-gender attractions. In fact, our local church used that very statistic a decade ago when we declared our church a 'safe place' for homosexuals, pointing out that 1 percent of our church membership at the time — 500 — means that 5 people within the congregation are dealing with same-gender attractions.

My strong suspicion is that much more than 1 per cent within any congregation is exposed to or dealing with online pornography. I admit that, when I raised this topic a few months ago, pointing out that there needs to be a safe place for pastors to go who are dealing with pornographic temptation while sitting behind the office desk, the question received very little traction. Maybe pastors and others are more willing to talk about it when it is seen as the 'congregation's' problem.

Many of our churches offer programs for recovering addicts (Celebrate Recovery), and it seems easier to admit one's addiction to alcohol or eating disorders, than it does to pornography.

Sociologists will be able to wax eloquent on the latest study pointing out the serious effects upon family and others as a result of pornography. Seems to me to be more relevant than whether or not one of our members has a same-gender attraction.

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Hello Keith. I reckon you are right. Pornography is the silent poison of our modern society. I even once saw an episode, dont watch it these days, of the Simpsons and in this episode there was reference to pornography as if it were normal and ok. If I recall it correctly Homers wife Marge either offered to get him some or actually did. It was bizzare! A cartoon on in prime time when children watch it!

The homosexual issue is odd though as its pushed at us all the time. Here in Australia it is. Often we hear our polititions talk about supporting it and same sex marriage etc... I even went to a local comunity centre once and saw in the childrens area a large poster promoting same sex couples, telling the children that if a boy likes a boy and a girl likes a girl its ok because its the same as a boy liking a girl or visa versa. Strange times indeed i reckon.

Keith,
You are on to something here. Pornography is an industry bringing in billions of dollars each year and the statistics of even ministers using it are shocking. Plenty of studies have shown its harmful effects on the mind and relationships. Except there is one thing that pornography doesn't have going for it that homosexuality does. Nobody in the church (that I know of) is arguing that viewing pornographic material is acceptable to God, but there are significantly loud voices calling for full inclusion of those who publicly and proudlyy live in a same-sex union. I know and have counseled people who struggle with pornography. Each one is fighting it and ashamed when they cave to temptation. Even though they are sinning, they repent and would never encourage anyone to do down their road.
Both pornography and homosexuality are serious problems challenging the church, but more dangerous than sinning itself is believing and preaching that sin is not sinful.

Hi Keith,

Thanks for your post.  The headline sure grabs attention!  : )

I agree with you that pornography is probably a big problem, deserves more attention than we give it, and has the potential to seriously harm of Christ's Church.

However, I feel that homosexuality has a much, much bigger impact than the way it's outlined in your post.  It may be the case that only 1% of the population has same-sex attraction (though I think the matter is more complicated than this), but I believe that many more people are affected by the matter than just those who experience same-sex attraction.  At the very least, others would include family members and friends of sexual minorities.  Then there's the matter that quite a few people feel that same-sex relationships are not prohibited by God's Word.  Then there's the matter of same-sex marriage, which affects us as citizens of our countries.  Then there's the matter that, as I've heard it at least, the *main* impression many people in North America have of the church is "group of gay-haters."  Wow, that's pretty sad.  And on it goes. 

In fact, I think the 2nd paragraph of Brett Turner's earlier post gets at these realities.

And Aaron Vriesman's (hi, Aaron!) post assumes that there isn't a biblical argument for approving same-sex relationships - which, agree with it or not - there is such an argument.  Many Christians (yes, not all) who accept same-sex relationships feel they are doing so not by ignoring the Bible but are doing so for *biblical* reasons. 

A few of these items I'm raising are *not* issues that pertain to pornography.  Each issue has its own challenges, to be sure.  I think, though, that homosexuality is a much bigger issue than what is argued for in this forum.

That's all. : )

God bless,

Dave

I'm not taking issue with any of the comments but I find it interesting that for hetrosectuals it is so easy to talk about gays and lesbians but we say nothing about hetrosexuals who are living together outside of marriage. I experienced that 99.9% of non-Christian couples and not much better for Christian couples live together before marriage and sex before marriage is a virtual given.

In the old days it was "Blacks" who were the target because they were "different"...how much of the attention about gays and lesbians today isn't because of the same reason?

Community Builder

Keith, the issue with homosexuality is not the numbers but how the church as an organization deals with the subject. If the media would deal with the subject  based on your percentages (which I agree with) there would rarely be an article on it.  Maybe the church might be wise to treat the subject as 1% of its issues?

Your comments on pornography are well taken.