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21 Things Pastors Need to Know About Porn

Just this morning, a book came across my desk, Eyes of Integrity: The Porn Pandemic and How It Affects You, and I devoured it in a matter of hours, not because it was an “easy read” but because it shares a compelling story that rarely gets talked about – what happens to people who consume or produce pornography, and how they can find hope and help.

It’s written by Craig Gross and Jason Harper, both a part of XXXChurch, a radical kind of rescue outreach into the porn industry and the porn problem as a whole. The book shares dozens of stories of real lives damaged by the power of pornography, as well as the divine rescues that often happen when people turn from porn to God for help.

You’ll read of young men and women trapped by an industry that treats them as merchandise and men and women hiding behind the immense shame of a secret addiction. The book should break your heart, for one reason or another. I found it eye-opening, and it inspired me to share some thoughts on what Pastors (and you, too) need to know about pornography.

  1. It’s sin. It’s lust. Lust is sin. It’s mental adultery.
  2. It’s everywhere. Half the men in your church are likely exposed to it every week, and some of the women too.
  3. It’s a ruthless slavedriver and traps people in shame and secrecy.
  4. NOT talking about it with your people does NOT help them.
  5. The porn industry is a dark and twisted place, filled with people with souls whom God deeply loves.
  6. People who act in pornographic films are people whom God loves.
  7. People who produce pornography are people whom God loves.
  8. It does NOT encourage more intimacy in marriage – on the contrary, it destroys it.
  9. It is NOT victimless. Broken marriages and shattered lives are all around us as evidence.
  10. The internet has exploded the number of porn addicts, offering the three deadly “A’s,” making porn accessible, affordable, and anonymous.
  11. Pornography is a drug. It triggers chemicals in the brain that create addictions. It offers a temporary high, followed by a crash into guilt and shame. And one kind of pornography is almost always a gateway into something worse.
  12. The younger you are when first exposed, the more susceptible you are to addiction as an adult.
  13. Pornography WILL cause you to treat people (especially women) like objects and not living souls.
  14. Pornography WILL harden your heart.
  15. There is hope.
  16. Consumers and producers of pornography can find forgiveness of sin in the blood of Jesus and be made righteous and pure by the saving power of God.
  17. Those trapped in pornography addictions can be forgiven of what they’ve entertained themselves with.
  18. Breaking the cycle is possible, but extremely difficult, as with any addiction.
  19. The cover-up is always worse than the crime.
  20. The cost of recovery is high, but the cost of not recovering is much higher.
  21. You need help. You need help and accountability, without question.

Don’t be a story of tragedy – be a story of hope. If you have a problem with porn, or if you’re involved in the industry in some way, turn to God and reach out for help. He knows where you are. He knows your pain. He knows your shame, and He longs to rescue you! Angels will cheer in heaven if you’ll just turn to Him by faith!


By the way, have you "liked" Grace Hills Church on Facebook yet?


If you’ve failed again and feel God will not forgive you this time, you’re wrong. 1 John 1:9 is an irrevocable promise that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Try Him – He’ll prove Himself a forgiving and gracious God. But also, “flee youthful lusts” and “fight the good fight of faith.” “Take every thought captive” and “put on the whole armor of God.”

In case you missed the link earlier, if you’re not using accountability software, click here.

Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book for review, but was not asked to give a positive review. The Amazon links above are affiliate links on which I would earn a small commission.

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  • Anonymous

    If I may, I used to be a youth pastor. I am not now, nor am I religious at all. I want to share a few of my opinions on this.

    3. It’s a ruthless slavedriver and traps people in shame and secrecy. – I disagree, I watch porn and I really don’t care who knows it.

    4. NOT talking about it with your people does NOT help them. – On the contrary, one of the things that bugged me so much about young men’s groups was that they dwelled on it ALL THE TIME. Who’s looking at porn, who’s having issues with self-satisfaction, why is this bad etc. It left me wanting to know more about the rest of the bible that we never ever talked about. Plus the majority of things that were quoted related to this issue in context of the bible had nothing to do with the issue.
    5. The porn industry is a dark and twisted place, filled with people with souls whom God deeply loves.- God loves everyone. The Church hates People who aren’t perfectly christian. That’s a FACT. Look at all the anti-homosexual, anti-abortion, anti-atheism

    8. It does NOT encourage more intimacy in marriage – on the contrary, it destroys it. – Disagree, I know many people who are happily married who utilize pornography to improve their relations. These people are faithful, BECAUSE they are open with each other about their turn-ons. They don’t hide who they are and they didn’t hide who they are before they were married(aka sex before marriage among many other things) Thus their divorces just don’t happen. refer to http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm which shows that Christian groups get divorced more than non- christians.

    11. Pornography is a drug. It triggers chemicals in the brain that create addictions. It offers a temporary high, followed by a crash into guilt and shame. And one kind of pornography is almost always a gateway into something worse. – Well sure, then you can also argue that eating is a drug, having a glass of wine is a drug, getting a compliment at work is a drug, finishing a project is a drug…all these things release chemicals in the brain that we as chemical, biological beings seek to reproduce addictively so we feel better.

    13. Pornography WILL cause you to treat people (especially women) like objects and not living souls. – Completely disagree. Based on fact and self-relational styles..

    14. Pornography WILL harden your heart. – Completely disagree, the church hardened my heart. Also there’s that whole, disbelief in afterlife thing that “hardened my heart” as well. My mind cannot comprehend that there is another force besides the chemical biological makeup of my body that would exist without my body.

    16. Consumers and producers of pornography can find forgiveness of sin in the blood of Jesus and be made righteous and pure by the saving power of God. – Can gays still be gay and find forgiveness in God?

    19. The cover-up is always worse than the crime. – …its not a crime.

    21. You need help. You need help and accountability, without question. – Everything I ‘needed’ help and accountability for when I was religious only sought to make me feel guilty about my life decisions. When i wasn’t being held accountable I was less likely to do those things and felt better about myself for doing it my way.

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      Chris, I’m sorry for your experiences with Christianity. But millions of people will silently disagree with your positions because of the pain they are in.

      Yours is ultimately an argument about the existence of an authoritative God. If He exists, what I’ve spoken is truth. Anybody reading will have to decide on that bigger issue.

      Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.

      • Anonymous

        Of course it relates to the existence of God, but I disagree how it might be handled within the religion. For instance the Drug/addiction aspect of it that you described. I find it curious how common popular teachings of christianity will harp on something like porn being addicting and harmful, but not shopping, eating, good conversation, and other thing that provide the same addicting dopamine drip in your head. It’s part of Human nature to want these things and to strive for sexual satisfaction(if we didn’t want it we wouldn’t procreate and humanity would die off), and saying that it’s bad is a way of dehumanizing sinners, or rather, conversely deHumanizing perfect christians(which don’t exist of course) to a righteous godly being.

    • Amie

      Mr. Trudesign,
      My husband was addicted to porn. He had been since he was a child. He did feel ashamed and he did always needed more. While you may not understand what this does and why people need help.
      Let me tell you porn destroyed my marriage and my life. My husband of whom I was married to for 14 years was raping my daughter, now you tell me it is not a problem. He is on his way to prison and has left a trail of destruction. So before you sit there and tell me this is not a problem think again.
      As for being religious, its very sad that at times we forget we are all sinners. It’s not about the religion its about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Which I will pray you find.

      • Anonymous

        Amie, I’m horribly sorry for your hardships, but I disagree that your husband was a pedophile/sick bastard, due to porn. There is much more chemically and physically going on that’s wrong with his mind that made him do that. I will not disagree however that I’m sure porn addiction exasperated his illness or was due to his illness. I’m glad he is being taken care of for his mental instability and horrible actions.

        We are all sinners yes, if you believe in the bible and it’s teachings. Just because you believe it does not make it apply to me or anyone else who you seek to share your love of Jesus with. I respect your faith/belief tho, there was a time that i could blindly have faith as such but can no longer.

  • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

    As a follow up, I thought it was comical. I use the x3 accountability tool and today it reported me for looking at my own article mentioning “porn.” It’s effective!

  • Rbmarx

    Thank-you for this article. I previously had consumed porn yet it never left me satisfied but always wanting more. Finally, I turned to God about 7 years ago. I had a struggle and great temptation but I persevered over porn by “abiding in the vine.” (John 15). I believe porn to be unholy propoganda that enslaves practitioners, producers, and consumers. No good thing ever comes from porn. The problem that I see is that porn exists all around and is very easily obtained. My experience has been that a person must admit to self and the Lord that an addiction is present; make a covenant with one’s eyes to “not look upon a young woman” as Job did; and stay strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6). Know & understand that God’s power becomes complete in our own weakness as we rely upon God & His promises.

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      Thanks for sharing your testimony with us, and you’re spot on with that
      advice!

  • Thisiskarenm

    Thank you for discussing what few Christians are! It destroys marriages and families every day. The pain, shame and damage that sexual addiction and pornography cause are being overlooked in many churches today.
    I’m sad to see that anyone has had a bad experience in Church, blaming church and people for issues and problems. But I know for a fact that many churches are indeed addressing addictive issues such as overeating, shopping, gambling, drugs and alcohol, binging and purging etc. Sex addiction however is rarely talked about.

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      I think it depends on the culture of the church. Among contemporary churches, there is plenty of talk about sexuality but within more traditional congregations the opposite is true. I think we need to handle the subject of sexuality tactfully, but we need to handle it nonetheless.

    • Anonymous

      Sex addiction whilst married to your spouse is a good thing. just sayin.

      • Matthew Goldsby

        truedesign: I agree that a healthy, robust sex life is a necessity in happy marriage. However, the word “addiction” gets thrown around our society without proper considerations made. There is a big difference between fulfilling our (our spouse’s) love tank with intimate touch and engaging the downward spiral of sex addiction / love addiction. The former creates and strengthens the bonds of relationship, as designed by God. The latter causes people to use and degrade, not love, their spouses. The difference between the two is small but significant.

  • http://vesselproject.com/ Keiki Hendrix

    Excellent article….

  • http://sherylobryan.com Sheryl

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts and this resource. Off and on over the last few years I’ve tried to research women using pornography and why it’s often ignored in the church. This will be a great resource.

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  • Becky

    Great post! The difficulty with forgiving someone is so hard, but there seems to be peace. I really enjoy your insight on this. I’d love to read more on this topic.

    I recently stumbled upon another blog like I stumbled upon yours and I really appreciated their insight. I thought you might enjoy it: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/forgiveness/

    Thanks for the post!

  • Bigcreekbill

    Great post…I may be borrowing this for my ministry site as an additional resource: http://www.PornFreedom.org

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      Borrow away. Glad you found it beneficial!

  • Gregoryparnas

    There is a spiritual side to man’s existence….. Jehovah wants our attention to direct our flesh for His purposes and plans and He is a jealous God.  Jesus and what He accomplished establishes his own self in believers.  Christians, true Christ followers, have had a spiritual encounter and a spiritual change……. being born again, does not command Christians to porn again…… The flesh must be dealt with– and if not within our own strength…in the complete surrender to the Victory that Christ accomplished….

    I struggle with everything in the world, because I am in it; but, by the work of the Holy Spirit, not of it…..Porn is a potent tool for the Devil to confuse and divert. I have seen too much of the world and not enough of God… I would like to return to the honest and pure friendship of Jesus……  

  • Eddie Smith

    Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is to “wrestle” with it, when God says we should run from it.