Guest Post by Rodney Wilson
Let’s face it. Pornography is not a pleasant subject to talk about. Some churches find it so awkward that they deny its existence or wish it would just go away. While this blog post can’t exhaustively cover the issue of the church and porn, let’s look at four attitudes the church should maintain when addressing this challenge.
4 Attitudes for the Church on Pornography:
1) Acknowledge it. Engage in the battle! Fight to keep it from becoming a taboo subject in your church. Pornography is the personification of the enemy’s roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). It is a poison seeking to destroy the church’s unity and witness as well as the very life of families and marriages.
The issue of pornography needs to be raised from both the pulpit and face to face. Pastors need to preach about it. Individuals need to hold each other accountable, asking the tough questions on how they are dealing with it. Your church needs the attitude of “We will openly address and attack anything that can harm the unity of our body”.
2) Think redemption. I gotta brag on my pastor here. We have worked together for more than 20 years. When a dilemma is brought to him – whether a moral, ethical or spiritual crisis – his first response is redemptive. How can we help this person work through what they are going through? I am amazed at this pastor with such a lion personality consistently showing this attitude with people in need. But it’s biblical. Plus being redemptive is Christlike.
The church needs to lean into a person’s battle with porn. Don’t avoid one who struggles with it. Rather, ask how can we walk with this person through their battle? Stand beside him. Assure her you are there for her, representing the church. Avoid at all cost the judgmental spirit.
The primary benefit for the church with this attitude? In being a church with a redemptive spirit, you encourage other individuals to seek help with their private pain. People closely watch how you handle others with their problems and will respond (or not) based on how you deal with them.In being a church with a redemptive spirit, you encourage other individuals to seek help with their pain. Click To Tweet
3) Be more “pro sex” than you are anti-porn. Sex is beautiful, holy, sacred, pure and wonderfully fulfilling – as designed by the Lord. It needs to be celebrated as such. Make sure people know what you are for and not just what you are against. In the days of the “True Love Waits” campaign for students, my wife would often say we need to make sure we show the teens something worth waiting for, and not just say no to sex before they are married.
Again, our pastor has preached several messages on pornography, always in the context of a series on the biblical and positive view of sex. Pure Sex and Sacred Sex are a couple of series titles he has used through the years. This attitude clearly shows your community you are not afraid to acknowledge and celebrate the gift and responsibility of sex.
4) Stockpile your resources. Preparation. A battle cannot be fought without weapons. Supply your church’s arsenal with these helpful tools:
— Internet assistance such as XXX Church. This ministry provides a practical approach to helping individuals dealing with the internet porn issue. Pastors and staff need to be familiar with XXX Church or something similar and have it ready to share when appropriate.
— Every Man’s Battle. (Brilliant title, by the way!) Excellent book series and workshops equipping men and women of all ages to conquer their sexual temptations. There is also an expanded ministry reaching far beyond the book series. Again, get familiar with this site.
— Secure counseling resources. Your counseling network needs to include Christian therapists, pastoral counselors plus a treatment center or two that specializes in addictions.
I serve as a pastoral counselor on a church staff. I get a lot of business. However, early on I discovered I would encounter situations that were far beyond my abilities. So I met with a female therapist or two in their offices. I took the male ones to lunch and “interviewed” them. I now have a stable of counseling resources I can refer people to with confidence.
The church should assume an attitude of network development, compiling a resource list of counseling helps for those who struggle.
— Ask others in your community. No church is going to look down their nose at you if you ask them how they attack the porn issue. As stated before, this is every man’s (person’s) battle including people in their church. You will probably learn something new. Plus, what you share will benefit them. And the body of Christ could be stronger. What an idea!
Your church is not a horrible church for having people who are tempted sexually, even in the pornography area. It is a much too common problem today. The worst thing you could do is turn the other way and pretend that no one in your church is struggling with this sin.The worst thing you could do is pretend that no one in your church is struggling with pornography. Click To Tweet
Rather, lead in your church. Lead through addressing the issue, thinking redemption, celebrating the gift of sex, and building up your arsenal of resources. Honor the Lord in doing your part to protect His bride.
Rodney (& Selma)