Craig Ross in his book The Dirty Little Secret: Uncovering the Truth Behind Porn shares stories about several people he has encountered who have seen their addiction to pornography escalate. Sharing a story about a Christian involved in ministry who started looking at porn, then went to strip clubs, then became involved in private dances with the dancers, and then saw escorts. It started with porn. He wanted more and more. He has since spent at least $20,000 on his addiction.
This man is scared of getting caught. He says that he would stop if “I had one person to confide in, this would all stop tomorrow. I know it because I don’t want to do this. I have kids now. I have a ministry. I have people who look up to me, and I feel like they don’t know me. Sin has controlled me and it sucks.”
Gross asks why doesn’t this man tell someone? “Fear. Disappointment. Consequences. Failure. And it would mean he would have to stop.”
This man isn’t alone. Unfortunately the church, by and large, hasn’t helped. Gross goes on to write:
Christians and religious establishments send a cold message to sexual addicts. Sexual addicts are left with the options of accepting their behaviors and facing the emptiness or dealing with being pegged as a freak. From the point of view of a sexual addict, they only see judgment and harsh punishments when confronted with the options of confessing everything and changing. They fear being ostracized – like once they come clean, they need to knock on their neighbors’ doors or get up in front of a congregation and admit they look at porn and be forever branded a sexual deviant.
What has happened to grace?
What HAS happened to grace? For instance, is it appropriate to fire pastors and youth pastors when they confess to looking at pornography as some churches have done? Does that help or hurt? Would we treat other types of sin this way?
I’d love to read your thoughts.