There are many addictions that pervade our society and the church is certainly not immune from the destruction they bring. A couple behemoths, alcohol and drugs have been on the forefront for decades. But, there is an insidious force sneaking into the lives of millions and we can no longer afford to ignore its invasion.
Pornography. Porn is a destroyer of lives, relationships, careers, finances, and hope itself. Buried under this tidal wave of filth are the countless lives of people who made every attempt they could to escape its slimy tentacles. Drawn in by the lie that there was a viable escape from the difficulties and challenges faced every day. Porn is one of the many tools that Satan has utilized to keep people in his grasp, crippling them in behaviors from which there is very little chance of escape. Apart from a combination of spiritual revelation and knowledge of what it is we really battle, we will be mired in deadly quicksand.
This disease is a juggernaut feeding on our incredibly wounded hearts and deepest trauma, it is a most devastating piece of weaponry the enemy has at his disposal.
I am a man who has suffered some extremely traumatic events in my life. Like millions of people, I learned to cope with these demons using an addiction to medicate my pain away. The problem was that the promised relief never occurred. The pain and agony of daily living never got any better. By the time I realized what had happened I was trapped in a system of beliefs about myself and God that offered little hope for survival.
While there are a variety of support groups, the church is behind the curve when it comes to dealing with such a foe, thinking that by praying harder, reading your Bible more, and “for the love of God, just stop it”, is all it really takes. I will not deny that all those things are important when working to overcome negative behaviors, but there are other factors which contribute to a lack of success in combating this addiction.
I remember years ago being in a small Charismatic church struggling to make it through each day. I was having issues with anger, pornography, depression, and much more. The pastor said to me one day after counseling, “I don’t know how to help you anymore, I give up.” The belief it was only a spiritual problem caused a pastor to walk away from a person drowning in hopelessness. That is the position of many churches today. I have personally experienced being discarded and judged many times by people of faith who just want you to take your problems and leave.
So what are the answers to all this? Well, I can tell you I don’t have all of them but there is indeed hope! I am living in it right now and I am excited to share with you some of the successes I and others have had and how they have come about. In future posts I will get into more detail as to how I have seen the restoration of hope and righteousness in my life.
(Much of what I share here can be found in resources provided through Dr. Ted Roberts and Pure Desire Ministries International.)