I just started reading a book called The Dirty Little Secret: Uncovering the Truth Behind Porn by Craig Gross, who along with Mike Foster established XXXChurch.com – “#1 Christian Porn Website” with a ministry for those struggling with an addiction to pornography (inside and outside the church) and a ministry to the porn industry.  He writes:

We’re trying to help people see the true nature of pornography.  It’s pure exploitation, the objectification of sex.  God gave us so much more than that.  Christianity doesn’t condemn sex or pleasure.  Sex is a wonderful gift fully sanctified in God’s glory.  Have you ever read Song of Solomon?  Ever wonder what that little piece of erotic writing is doing in the Bible?  Yet we choose to ignore this gift for something much more carnal; we wolf down the cheeseburger and fries when we’re offered the filet minon (sic).  That’s what porn is: sex packaged in a fast-food wrapper, dumbed down and exploited for profit and mass consumption.

It is a gift.  Sex is good when in the boundaries that God gave it (heterosexual marriage – it’s sad that I have to qualify marriage now).  Something that I would add to what pornography is, and I would say this to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who may have fallen jumped into this.

Pornography is idolatry.

I know this because I struggled struggle (as I have to be ever vigilant, and guard my heart) with porn.  I won’t get into details because it wouldn’t glorify Christ nor bring honor to my wife, and quite frankly wouldn’t be edifying to you (or me for that matter to rehash it).  I have to say that in the midst of failure with my battle with porn, I loved it more than Jesus.  I sacrificed my time, sleep, productivity, and relationships so that I could partake.

Wrong isn’t it?  I can almost hear somebody say… “pervert.”  I was absolutely ashamed.  Which is why I hid it (my pride was an idol as well).  Why I wouldn’t confess it, and finally it caught up with me (your sins always do) and smacked me right in the face.  I was broken.  But this is good.  Shame can be good.

For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.  As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter, (2 Cornithians 7:8-11, ESV).

Confession is good, repentance is great.  I was broken, but in that brokenness I experienced His grace.  I had to experience the gospel (like it is irrelevant for those who already believe).  He died for this sin of mine like many others.  It was nailed to the cross, and He is victorious over it.

Side note: In a little while I am going to be giving The Dirty Little Secret: Uncovering the Truth Behind Porn away.  Chad Vandervalk was so kind to supply two copies, one I can read, and one to give away.  Watch for details.

Update: Linked by Rodney Olsen.  Thanks!  So welcome readers from the land Down Under!

2nd Update: Linked by Lost Trails – Thanks!

15 comments
  1. It is one thing to be addicted to porn, as a man, but sexual addiction is a big problem, even in the Church. I know some that really struggle with this.

  2. I, too, struggle with it. It is a battle that I have so many people I minister to have. The book that turned it all around for me was Every Man's Battle. That book is a must read for Every Man. Now having accountability in my life, along with complete and open transparency with my wife and great DNS filtering…I am able to preach with integrity on this issue.

    We need to remember Job's covenant and embrace it for ourselves: I have made a covenant with my eyes to not look lustfully at a woman (Job 31:1). Thanks for sharing this, bro!

  3. Shane,
    I would be interested to see what they define porn as I think we all have an idea in our human, flawed minds. What I stuggle with, as a woman are the “romantic' movies, novels etc. is the occasional semi explicit scene in a movie or novel a sin? I am so glad that you said you are still struggling because to be completely honest if what I have described is a sin I am in HUGE GIGANTIC TROUBLE and so would be most of my Christian girlfriends. I guess I would like some clarification and maybe that would help some other understand also.

  4. Well obviously what this book is describing is not “romantic movies, novels, etc.” However men and women are wired differently. Men are visually oriented. Women are romance oriented. Men may lust, women long for romance… both are seeking to meet a need outside what God intended marriage.

    So graphically it may not seem as bad as say looking at internet porn, but it can be just as harmful as your heart is drawn away from Christ and from your spouse. Make sense?

  5. Thanks for the clarification. I will have to look into my heart and pray about what I am doing. I think that our society has made these things o.k. I have to admit that this really disturbes me, I have even been reading “Christian Romance” my husband loves me and I know that, but he is your typical guy and is not the romantic type. Like I said thanks for the clarification and I now have a new subject for my prayer and devotion time!

  6. Porn is an addiction; of that I have no doubt. As such, I believe it is a demonically powered addiction. As you know, Satan is the king of counterfeit and porn has turned sex into a mockery that which the Lord has ordained as the most intimate act a husband and wife can share this side of Heaven. In our narcissistic, WIIFM, society, porn has become the “norm” for many guys. Sin is fun….for a season. However, it's wages are death. And I won't even start talking about how it so very wickedly exploits women and degrades them. It turns them into sex toys for boys. It is shameful and will destroy intimacy, trust, romance, and many other things in a marriage because (and I speak from experience) people start to compare their spouse to these “actresses” in porn movies. And then it feeds the never-ending law of diminishing returns. Soft porn turns into hard porn. Hard porn turns into watching movies. Watching movies turns into incredible lusts for women other than our mate. It feeds the fantasy life and affects our walk with God. It truly can become all-encompassing in our minds. I, too, struggle with porn. I'm not casting a stone here. I fell into many traps but, thanks be to God, I am cognizant of the battle for my mind and I lay claim to the power of my Lord Jesus and know that even in the midst of my struggles He still loves me and wants to help me overcome. 2 Cor. 10.3-5 says it all in regards to how we should respond to this battle for and in our minds. It says:

    (2Co 10:3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh
    (2Co 10:4) (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),
    (2Co 10:5) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

    We are to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. When a thought arrives, hold it captive. Weigh it against the truth of Scripture and if it is not Godly, dismiss it. The Bible also tells us to flee youthful lusts. It tells us to flee from fornication. It tells us to flee from idolatry. To flee is an ACTION. Run away from it; remove yourself from the environment that is conducive to that sin. And in the end, James tells us the if we draw near unto God and resist the devil, the devil will flee from US! Where avoiding sinful behaviors in our lives is concerned, we are told to FLEE; not stick around and try to fight it. Recovering alcoholics don't deal with their addiction by hanging out in bars. They FLEE and don't go to bars. It takes work. It takes resolve. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to beat this porn addiction.

    What has made it difficult for me over the years is trying to share the struggle with a Christian brother because of the shame and guilt it brings. That keeps people quiet about the sin and if a sin goes unrevealed or unconfessed or undealt with, it will continue to rear it's ugly head and keep us defeated, just as Satan wants us to be. I'm sure some of you guys (and maybe gals too) can relate. How do you tell a friend at church that you struggle with porn? I'm willing to bet that a good many men in church deal with it a lot and they too are keeping it in the shadows because of shame and guilt. If we are to rid ourselves of it, we need to create some accountability and change the behaviors that would facilitate falling back into it. That means we have to examine our Internet habits, where we go in bookstores, what we look at on TV, in the movies, in books, in magazines, on the streets, as well as the conversations we allow ourselves to get into. Heed the words of Proverbs 4.25 where is says, “Let thine eyes look right on, And let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”

    Sorry for rambling. I just know this is a tough spot for guys. I am no different and don't pretend to be. I have not totally conquered my struggle with porn but I'm getting much better at resisting it. It used to be a daily thing. Now it's maybe twice a month that I fall. The Lord WILL deliver me from it and He can deliver anyone else who needs deliverance from it. Give it to the Lord and let Him begin His perfect work in you.

    In Christ,

    Mike

  7. Mike, thanks for sharing. Yes it is straight from the pit of hell. It is very difficult for guys, and I agree with you that there are many who struggle with this in the church who are not coming clean with it.

  8. I do not think that pornography _is_ the problem. The real problem is almost always emotional (self-esteem or stress issues). Like alcohol, crack-cocaine or anything else, sex only masks the problem through the euphoria it provides. Lust is an extremely strong drug and people completely underestimate it.

    So I hear the phrase, “porn is the problem”, I can not disagree more. We live in an extremely complex society. It's enough to make everyone neurotic. We were simply not biologically designed to deal with cell phones, television, rush-hour traffic, the ever-deteriorating family structure or the level of callousness in contemporary relationships. Nearly every guy I talk to about porn brings up how marginalized and beat-down he is from something or other.

    Masturbation is a tool they use to manage their emotional problems, as I do. On stressful days, when the wife is screaming at me or the kids get in trouble at school, I can masturbate to porn for sometimes 17 or 18 hours. Does porn prevent the real problems from being solved? Possibly, but problems are ever-increasingly complex and strained. Porn is accessible and sedates us through the tough times. just my opinion.

  9. To me you are just trying to rationalize and excuse behavior that is inexcusable. Pornography is a blight on our society – no good can come from it. I'm not saying there are contributing factors as to why people start looking at it (or providing it), but it is not a healthy solution to those problems.

    Now regarding your masturbating “to porn for 17-18 hours.” This statement tells me two things – one, you must have a prostate the size of Manhattan (your statement is a physical impossibility), and two you have some serious issues if you are taking 17-18 hours a day to look at porn.

    Also consider how your wife feels about you looking at porn. How would your kids feel about it if they caught you?

    Most importantly, repent and flee to Jesus who died for you and rose again so you can have forgiveness and find freedom. I'd also highly encourage counseling and accountability.

  10. I also Struggle with lust… I am a weak and sinful man, my flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit… Please pray for Jesus Christ to intervene in my life and in all of the lives of Christian men and women. We need to encourage one another daily to live pure and holy lives. It is God's will that we avoid sexual immorality and that each one of us learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable to the Lord and to our Brothers and Sisters… In the name of Jesus Christ I ask that all believers struggling with any sin would submit to Christ and to the Holy Spirit… The End Times are near…. we must repent of our sins… and turn to Jesus Christ, our only hope for Salvation

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