The effects of porn addiction in the Christian churches are staggering. Most Christians would rather hide their head in the sand than admit this is a problem let alone talk about it. Those who are not addicted to porn are not aware that this problem. Moreover this is not exclusive to just Christian men but Christian women also suffer from pornography addiction.
Why should you care if you’re not addicted to porn? Because you or your children may end up marrying someone who is. This is why you need to educate yourself about this.
What’s worse is that the people who are married to porn addicts usually end up blaming themselves. They have low self esteem, body image issues, they feel inadequate and have no self worth because they believe they should be able to free their spouse from the addiction and they can’t. It ruins marriages.
Here are some statistics on this problem
Christians, Pastors and Church Pornography Statistics
51% of pastors say cyber-porn is a possible temptation. 37% say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001).
50% of evangelical pastors admits viewing pornography last year.
Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.
29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group).
57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005).
Roger Charman of Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20 percent of the calls received on their Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.
Statistics on Women with Pornography Addiction
28% those admitting to sexual addiction are women (internet-filter-review.com).
34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman’s online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll and 1 out of every 6 women, including Christians, struggles with an addiction to pornography (Today’s Christian Woman, Fall 2003).
47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003).
So we see that this problem is pervasive in our churches. Now with the internet being such a large part of our lives, this makes it easily accessible on our desktop computers, smart phones or tablets. It is right at our fingertips!
How does the church stop the pornography addition??
The first step to being pornography free is admitting that you have a problem and you need to be delivered. Understand that you are battling a DEMON. Very few resources that you will read about pornography online will tell you that this is a demon.
If you are truly a born again Christian then you can’t be possessed by the demon but you can be oppressed. This means that the demon is in your environment and can influence your thinking by whispering in your ear and enticing you to continue with this behavior.
Remember that once you have received Jesus as your personal Savior you have been set from your past sins. You are a new creation and the old things have passed away and all things become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17) All of your sins are nailed to the cross and you now live a life of freedom from pornography.
You’re probably thinking that this is not true because why then are you or other Christians struggling with this. Well, once you clicked on that link to the website where you visit for porn, whether you did it intentionally or not, you then gave the enemy access to your soul. You gave him access to plant a seed there and keep you in bondage. You opened the door. The first time you clicked on that link, if you quickly clicked off the page you wouldn’t be where you are now. Because you stayed there and continued to look through all the pages and stare at the images you invited satan to enter in. A demon of seduction, pornography, incubus or succubus then attached itself to you. Now you have to take the appropriate steps to freeing yourself from the demon.
Here are some steps to break free from your addiction:
1. Fast. You must start fasting. Here is some information on prayer and fasting. This will give you the initial strength you need to do the other steps. (Mark 9:29) “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
2. If you have magazines or photos BURN THEM! Videos DESTROY THEM! Don’t put them in the trash make sure they are destroyed so that others cannot find them.
3. Clean out your computer. Delete all files, empty the recycle bin. Cancel all memberships to websites.
4. Install a software on your computer which will block future possible encounters like covenanteyes.com
5. Get someone that you trust 100% to keep this confidential to keep you accountable. Or, get a Christian counselor and see them at least once per week. You need to be honest with someone about this.
6. All your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that have suggestive photos or are connected with those who have suggestive photos UNFRIEND THEM! Yes, this could be the slippery slope that satan uses to lead you back to the addiction. They won’t understand why you unfriended them but your freedom is more important than their offense at this point.
8. Pray, pray and pray some more.
9. Find a church in your area that has a deliverance ministry and ask them to break the demonic spirit from your life.
10. When you feel weak like you are about to fall into this again repent IMMEDIATELY and put on the Armor of God. This will protect you.
Pornography ruins families and results in many divorces. These demons enter in and convinces the person that this is who they are. It becomes a secret sin and they continue to perpetuate the behavior because they think no one will find out. Afterall, they are not hurting anyone right? These are the lies of the enemy and he can ruin lives when this kind of thinking is believed. Don’t own the behavior. Renounce it! Rebuke it! (1 Corinthians 6:17-19) Pornography is sinning against your own self and the Holy Spirit because we are His temple.
The truth is that a lot of virgins in our churches are addicted to porn. While they are not having sex (fornication) so that the sin is obvious, most of them have fallen into sin already by being addicted to porn. The only person that finds out about this later on is their spouse.
Most believe that once they get married this problem will go away. The truth is, it won’t! Deliverance from this demon needs to happen prior to marriage in order for it not to raise it’s ugly head during the marriage. Remember this is a demon, it will not leave just because you are married. It will entice you to continue the pornography when your husband’s or wife’s body does not look like what you have become addicted to on porn sites, when they refuse to have sex with you one night or not as often as you would like. This is why it won’t stop. Deliverance needs to happen BEFORE you get married.
Here is a prayer for porn addiction:
Father God, I come to you in the name of Jesus and I repent of this sin and I ask that the blood of Jesus would cleanse my mind and my heart from the images that have been imprinted there. I pray that you would renew my mind with images of you on the cross dying for my sins. Renew my mind with your Word according to Romans 12:1-2. Lead me to the scriptures that would continue my mind renewal process. Free me from this bondage Holy Spirit forgive me for grieving you. You’ve said that no temptation has laid hold of us that is not common to man and that you would not allow us to be tempted beyond a point where we cannot escape. I pray that you would show me the way out. Show me the traps and roads that the enemy uses that lead me to this temptation so that I may choose another way. Close those doors in the spiritual realm. Show me all the things, people & places that I need to cut off to continue in my freedom. I bind the hand of the enemy. I rebuke the demon of seduction, pornography, incubus, succubus and any other spirits that have attached themselves to me. Point me in the direction of the deliverance ministry where I can continue in freedom. Free me from the guilt and shame. Continually keep the helmet of salvation on my head to keep my mind free from evil, lustful thoughts. Bring to my mind all the things that I may have in my environment that would encourage these demons so that I can remove them. Lord, I accept that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus that old things have passed away and all things have been made new. Free me from a spirit of rejection and from pride. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and valuable beyond measure in your eyes. Lord, I accept that I have the mind of Christ and therefore my thoughts will be on the things that Christ would have me think on. God lead me to the right support group where I can have the accountability that you know I will need during this process. Holy Spirit guide my steps, guard my heart, make my will Your will and when I don’t know what else to pray please make intercession for me so that I will be free, in Jesus Name, Amen
Here are some other organizations that can help with those who are suffering with pornography addition:
If you’ve been freed from pornography and can offer advice on this, please write them it the comments below.
Here are some Helplines and Hotlines for those addicted to porn and for the victims.
Porn Addiction Hotline (1-800-583-2964) This line is for the victims of pornography addition
Sex Addicts Anonymous Helpline: (1-800-477-8191)
Sexaholics Anonymous (1-866-424-8777)
Here are some scriptures for breakthrough and a prayer
Here is a prayer to cut soul ties
Here is a prayer for deliverance
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Pornography is more than just a secret bad habit that affects a few men. It’s a full blown chemical addiction that is increasing in prevalence and inciting everyone – including women and children….
Believe it or not, even Christians are struggling with pornography. Pastors are not immune either. Women are increasingly becoming addicted to pornography at an alarming rate. What can be done to overcome such a stronghold? What weapons can we employ to fight this mind-numbing addiction?
The Internet and Pornography
With the coming of the Internet, its popularity has been soaring, but so too has been a scourge of the worst kind; pornography. Everyday, there are new porn websites that go up. Just how systemic is the problem of Internet pornography? According to the very reliable statistics of Family Safe Media (familysafemedia.com/pornography):
Every second – 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography
Every second – 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines
Every 39 minutes – a new pornographic video is being created in the United States
Another alarming fact is that over 42% of all Internet users are connecting to pornography on over 4.2 million pornographic websites. Governments are helpless in shutting these down because for every one that is shut down there are 20 more that take its place. If there was a disease with such an alarming growth rate and the problem was so widespread among the world’s population, this would be on every network television station in every nation of the world. In reality, it is worse than any disease epidemic because we are powerless to stop it and there is no inoculation against it.
The High Cost of Pornography
Not only is pornography wrecking marriages and single men and women’s lives, it is also ruining them financially. How? Every second – $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. That is over $180,000 every hour. This adds up to well over four million dollars every single day. Worldwide, the total cost is over $97 billion dollars annually. These are dollars that feed the sin of pornography and enables it to churn out more garbage of the mind. It’s like feeding a dragon that is devouring millions of people through their minds. This is truly one of the biggest revenue makers in the world; bigger than Amazon, Microsoft, Google, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, EarthLink, and Netflix combined! This is money taken out of the mouth of family’s bank accounts, money taken out of business revenues, out of world revenues, and literally, money out of the mouth’s of children.
Christians Are Not Immune
Sadly, 47% of all Christians say that they have major problems with pornography. Even among the discipleship group of the Promise Keepers, 53% of these men viewed pornography in the last week! An April 6th, 2007 CNN poll revealed that over 70% of Christian men and over 20% of Christian women are already addicted to some sort of Internet pornography. In the year 2000, Christianity Today completed a shocking survey that revealed 33% of the clergy (pastors and priests) admitted that they had visited a sexually explicit Internet website in the past week. Fifty-three percent of the clergy had visited pornographic websites several times in the past year. In a survey of pastors by the National Coalition in Seattle, a full 98% had been exposed to porn while 43% intentionally accessed a sexually explicit website.
We can see from all of the above statistics that this is a true epidemic and it is growing at an alarming rate and it is not just a problem for those outside of the church. Given the fact that Jesus said that “that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt 5:28). Pornography is still sexual sin, even if the physical act is not involved.
Overcoming Pornography Addiction
Now that the problem of pornography has been identified and that it’s not just a problem with the guy next door, we can turn to solutions for those who know someone or who are themselves addicted to this sin of the mind. One of the pastors that I know of and who is a close friend of mine has had a lifetime battle with pornography. Not only that, this godly man has had problems with looking at women with lust in his heart. Mind you that he is happily married and has a wonderful family. He has confided in me privately and asked me to pray for him so one way to help is to ask someone that you know well and trust completely to pray for you or to pray for someone that you know has a pornography addiction. Out of the 6 close pastor friends that I have, 3 of them have regular problems with pornography. All of these men need accountability partners and all but one of them has one. One of these men confides in me and contacts me when he is struggling with this. We often hold each other up in prayer for different things but there are more solutions available besides prayer for the person battling the addiction of pornography.
Strategies for Overcoming Pornography Addiction
A web filter is a great way to screen out potential Internet websites that contain pornography. And one of my friends has let me set the password and I have promised him that I would not reveal it to him no matter what he tells me. I have to customarily add some websites to his “safe” list so that he can browse certain sites that are non-pornographic because the web filter is highly word sensitive to websites and sometimes blocks even harmless websites due to unknown images. This is a small price to pay though for having the protection that he so desperately needs. In some extreme cases, I have recommended that the Internet be accessible only in the living room where his family is. My daughter has a computer but it’s in the living room so that we can easily monitor it when she is on it. Her primary use of it is for homework but of course she is allowed to spend some free time browsing for things that she enjoys reading about.
Jesus once said that “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matt 5:30). Jesus did not mean this literally as He was speaking in hyperbole. The principle is that if a person has tried everything and just can not stop browsing the Internet for pornography websites, they should just take out the Internet. This sounds drastic but when problems are so devastating, the measures should be severe if necessary. Another solution would be to have a password protected computer and the pornography addict can only access the computer in the living room when family is present. There are also so highly effective Internet Filters available on the market. One of the best and least expensive is from the website and non-profit organization, Family Fellowship (familyfellowship.com).
Confess Your Sins
The Bible tells us that we are to confess our sins to one another. James 5:16 has two things that are very important for all Christians…who by the way are also all sinners! It says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.“ James says two things here: Confess your sins to one another and then pray for each other so that “you may be healed.“ It seems that confessing to other believers and then praying for one another is conditional for us to ”be healed.“ Even though I am a pastor, I continue to confess to my church when and where I fall short and before I became their pastor, I told them every single thing that I did before I was ordained. I thought, surely they would not want me after I confessed my past history. I told them and I am telling you that I was a drug addict, a drug dealer, a thief, and I ended up in prison. After I told the church that this is what I did several years ago, they actually felt better about me becoming their pastor, much to my surprise. And for me, it was like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. I felt free…I felt joyful and indeed, there is something joyous about being completely transparent in front of others. They also let their guards down and everyone feels all the better after we confess to one another our faults and sins. Ironically, God often uses the disqualified so that He may be glorified.
The pornography addict needs to take the first step that the drug addicts or alcoholic must take. Admit that they are addicted. Friends and family must realize that the addict will often lie just to be able to access the Internet just as drug addict or alcoholic lies to drink or take drugs. They will make all kinds of excuses but there must be a zero-tolerance policy established if the addict is to recover. They first have to tell someone or there will be no hope of ever overcoming this stronghold of the mind. You can surround your self with friends who will pray for you, even if it’s an “unspoken need” but until you admit this addiction to someone, you will have precious little chance to overcome it. That is the first thing that they will tell you at an AA meeting. Step one: Admit it. Prayer and support from others is vital if the porn addict ever hopes to recover. We can not overcome by ourselves but by prayer and the Bible teaches that we can do all things through Christ Who will strengthen us (Philippians 4:13).
Other ways are to spend less time alone, change your routines, and identify triggers that make you want to go to the Internet to browse pornography. Also realize what was said earlier…that pornography is a sexual sin, even if the physical act is not involved, and if you are married, it is the same thing as committing adultery to God (Matt 5:28) and we all know how God feels about that. How would your spouse feel about it?
There are also Christian or faith-based pornography support groups in many cities. Even those that are not faith-based can be very helpful. There is actually some comfort taken in the fact that there are a lot of others who are battling this same addiction. Will power and avoidance can sometimes make it worse. You need people to surround you who have a similar addiction and prayer warriors from a faith-based group or your church. And there is something that is freeing when you tell others about this addiction. You might be surprised about how good it feels to actually confess this to someone and they might surprise you too by telling you that they also struggle with this addiction. Don’t keep it a secret. Get it out and let others know. Who cares if you are embarrassed…isn’t it worth it to try to escape from this deadly disease of the mind?
Don’t spend a lot of time alone on the Internet and resist the urge to get up in the middle of the night when everyone’s asleep. When you get this urge, call your accountability partner, wake your spouse, call a friend, read your Bible, look at yourself in the mirror or just fall on your knees and ask God for help. Other strategies are just go outside and go for a walk, ride your bike, go to the gym, do some gardening, look at family photos, take a shower…anything! Pray and then pray some more. Above all, make sure that you get a password protected Internet Filter and give it to a friend that you know will not betray you and give you the password. There is hope for those who want to overcome their addiction to pornography.
Please, if you are a porn addict, get help, tell others, pray, confess your sin, get a filter, and ask Jesus for His power. He will not forsake you and not leave you alone. Have faith in God for Him to deliver you. He is a Strong Tower for those who are weak and “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor 1:8). This is “so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ“ (Phil 1:8). Then you, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
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New International Version Bible (NIV)
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