The Problem of Porn

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My recent post, Another Look at the Church’s Missing Men, has struck a major chord among those who are trying to understand why the church is less appealing than ever to men. In that light, I want to talk about another issue that primarily afflicts men. With apologies to C.S. Lewis for mangling one of his book titles, it’s The Problem of Porn.

Man looking at computer screenI like George Barna’s studies. I believe they hold the mirror up to the face of the American Church and help us to get a look at who we are, wrinkles and all. In the last few years, Barna has published disturbing info about the penetration of porn use into the ranks of born-again Christians. Barna’s site is filled with poll statistics concerning this (Barna Site-keyword search “porn” and Barna Site-keyword search “explicit”), so you can check out the figures for yourself.

One of the figures that I could no longer locate on the site (having been pulled for use in a new study—for purchase only) had about a third of born-again Christian men responding that they had viewed sexually explicit images. In truth, this is a figure I seriously question. Given that we live in what can only be classified as a pornographic culture, two-thirds of the men claiming they had no exposure to porn lied. I don’t believe I have ever met a man, Christian or not, who has not seen porn at some time in his life. It is virtually everywhere.

I talk with men who by all accounts others would consider to be pillars of their churches, yet the majority are struggling with staying away from porn. The Internet is largely responsible for this. No longer does one have to lurk around the racks of an adult bookstore or keep one’s head down when entering the “Adults Only” section of the local video rental store. All that is needed is a computer and a man can have whatever flavor of perversion he so desires right there in the cloister of his own home or office.

While hundreds of Christian websites decry the issue, this post is all about the “why” of porn use. It is conventional wisdom to classify porn as a “spiritual issue.” Anyone reading this now will agree that porn has a spiritual component that affects men negatively. Some will go so far as to equate porn with demonic forces. But for all the hew and cry about the rise of porn use by church-goers, very few people are asking why. And it is the why that is most important.

I believe this post will be controversial because it seeks cultural reasons behind porn use among men that are not being addressed by churches in this country. The sub-surface reasons are far more intractable than many are willing to admit and few will attempt to tackle them head-on. But I firmly believe if we are to put the porn genie back into its gaudy bottle, the Church must tackle these issues. They are not presented here in any order, primarily because they are hopelessly entangled—part of the issue of why so few are speaking to them.(For the purposes here, I only look at married men who use porn. I hope to address the problem from a single man’s perspective in the future.)

One of the primary contributors to the problem of porn is this: Our culture is on scheduling overload. Simply trying to get four couples together for a night out is a scheduling dilemma that falls into the mathematical problem of how a traveling salesman can hit fifty towns in the order that makes for the least travel. Your standard supercomputer would overheat trying to handle all the schedules of those four couples. This is attributable to four key factors:

  • Dual-income households—Dual-income households came into existence in large part due to the feminist movement of the 1960s. As women were told that they could have a life outside the home, they explored this option. Society ramped up to accept them into the workplace. Now forty years after the fact, our society is geared specifically for the dual-income family. Dual-income families are also better equipped to endure the chaos of the work world, better weathering downsizing, outsourcing and a number of other employment factors.
  • Preparing our children educationally for a “survival of the fittest” future global society—Parents, realizing the vagaries of the current work world, are obsessed with ensuring that their kids can compete in a global society of the future that is the essence of the survival of the fittest. Due to this, toddlers now are expected to speak multiple languages, play an instrument, participate in sports, and have their college diploma by sixteen. Parenting magazines are now featuring articles on burned-out six-year olds who can’t handle their schedules.
  • Business travel—Travel is an enormous issue. The better-paying jobs in almost every company require extensive travel. Some moms and dads are away from the home for half a month or more. Consulting firms are famous for their “four days away, three days at home” work weeks.
  • Church and schooling commitments—Churches are asking for more and more volunteerism or group commitments. It is not unusual for a Christian man or woman to be in three different church group meetings in a week. Likewise, parents are being asked to be more involved in their children’s schooling. With homeschooling being pushed as the only acceptable option by some Evangelical groups, parents are now asked to create full, daily lesson plans and to research the best school materials for their children.

The upshot of all this is that married men and women have no time for each other. When there is time, sleep becomes the recourse. Newsweek had a feature last year about couples who rarely have sex, and the problem in most cases was no available time for it. As I talk with Christian men who struggle with porn, there is an indisputable direct connection between a lack of sexual intimacy in their marriages and porn use. If the wife is tired—or even the husband—it is far easier for the man to get his sexual desires met by turning on the computer and surfing for porn. In short, many married couples in our churches simply aren’t having enough sex together.

I’ve seen much that bears this out. I worked for several years as a computer technician. In that role I handled hundreds of notebook computers owned by road warriors, the men most likely to be heavy business travelers. Without fail, the notebook computers of the most frequent business travelers were loaded with porn, even when company policy made it a fireable offense. It was a proportional finding, too—the more a man traveled, the more likely it was to find porn on his computer. Since the highest salaried positions within many companies require extensive travel, it should be no surprise that porn use is highest among those with the biggest paychecks. A study done about five years ago came to that exact conclusion.

Since heavy traveling makes it difficult for husbands and wives to have a normal sex life, porn intrudes. Most hotels that cater to business travelers know this and have provided a variety of options to get porn into the traveler’s rooms. The porn industry itself would lose enormous amounts of money if the business traveler instead stayed at home.

But it is not simply business travel. The time-pressures that many couples endure beyond the issue of business travel are oppressive. When dual wage-earners must juggle their work schedules, the quality time they are supposed to have with their children, the children’s hyped-up schedules, and all the commitments their churches tell them they must fulfill in order to be good Christians, is it any wonder that when it is time for a bedroom romp, the romp gets tossed in order to squeeze in five or six hours of sleep?

But single wage-earner families are not exempt. Evangelicals place much pressure on families to conform to a “Focus on the Family” ideal nuclear family with mom at home schooling the kids and dad serving as the perfect Christian man (I’ve blogged about the requirements for being such an idyllic man here, here, and here.) And the ramped-up education issue for kids is shockingly high on the list of essentials for such families. Barna recently reported that for born-again Christians, it was more important that the kids get that hyped-up education than that they know Jesus. So the pressures in those other three areas highlighted above remain (and could be worse) for families that conform to the new Christian ideal.

All of these factors combine to bring us to the point where a Christian man comes home to his Christian wife and kids only to find them as run ragged as he is. He might give his wife a peck on the cheek sometime before they both hit the sack, but that’s as good as it gets. If the wife is burned out more than he is from driving kids all over the city to get their Chinese language and/or violin lessons in between soccer or baseball practice, then she hits the hay and he, wondering what happened to their newlywed sex life, hits the computer for the sexual outlet he’s just not getting.

The apostle Paul speaks to this issue very clearly. Beyond the fact that Internet pornography obviously did not exist in Paul’s day, sexual temptation has not changed all that much:

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
—1 Corinthians 7:2-5 ESV

Is the Church speaking to this issue? I hear a lot of talk in the churches in this country about the issue of porn, but almost no one is getting to the root. I do not want to diminish the other factors that contribute to porn use among married Christian men, but these bedrock problems mentioned here are being ignored by the Church in America. The reason these issues are not being discussed by church leaders is simple: fixing them would require a massive overhaul of how we Christians work and live in today’s society. It would mean that we truly become counter-cultural in all aspects of our life, not just in our profession of faith in Jesus.

Christian couples who do have the time for each other, who are not pressured by frantic schedules, who are not trying to raise uber-children with IQs that hover near 200 (and the ability to throw a rising fastball 100 mph), who have possibly settled for a single wage or two part-time positions (all without travel—therefore potentially being lower paying), and who get eight hours of real sleep seem to be less prone to porn.

Now how are we in the Body of Christ going to make that a reality for every Christian man and his family?

40 thoughts on “The Problem of Porn

  1. Firstly, I find it interesting that Apostle Paul doesn’t say, get on your knees and pray that you can get over the present sexual urge with God’s help and power. Rather, he simply says go get to it and find relief from, what is, a natural urge. I don’t hear the later being spoken of much, but the former ‘spiritual’ solution would seem to be dominant.

    Now, having done that doesn’t one FEEL better. It is hardly an intellectual exercise but it is definitely emotional and sensual, and certainly relational.

    Secondly, while I agree with you, in the main, as far as the pressure of life’s over-scheduling, ultimately doesn’t it get back to an effort to FEEL better? Herein is the deception as porn doesn’t off the relationship factor, although it can be full-on in emotional and sensual terms. Beyond porn are other issues like illicit online and offline relationships, through things like phone sex and secret meetings. These chase the relationship and the emotion and the feel-good event, all to no avail outside of God’s prescription of a loving and devoted marriage. But, the pressures are enormous.

    Maybe one solution is for women/men to not go to Church/demands so much but have that time home ‘in fellowship’ with their spouse. Such a proposition seems rather unspiritual, does it not? Would we ever hear such a thing preached from the pulpit: All you who are stretched to the limit and really need some time together — go home now and enjoy each other in your own special covenant renewal ceeremony. We’ll look after the kids for a couple of hours.

    As for being stretched as thin as a slice of bread because of the demands of commerce, etc… Everyone has a choice, do they not? Why can’t we trust God to meet our needs in living a simple life, rather than thinking in terms of meeting all our socalled needs (needs=wants).

    What you have shown, Dan, is that there needs to be a revolutionary overhall of our values and subsequent commitments that arise as a consequence. Ultimately, we have a problem with our relationship with the Lord, I am sure.

    ‘Spose, I have said enough.

    (Ahhhh! What is that I hear? … Sorry, dear, I am busy on the computer solving the Church’s porn problems; which then will only give me a headache.)

  2. Another excellent article about Christian Manhood. I have been following these articles and appreciated what you have written.

    You are absolutely correct about hotels offering porn in the hotel room. Many of them offer it to the point where you can go down to the lobby and pay with cash and the porn will not appear on a credit card nor in the itemization on the hotel room bill.

    Worse if the business traveller who loves to travel because things with the family are not going well. Many use business trips as a ‘subversive’ way to pick up a porn magazine at the newsstand located at the airport because they may never see that person again and/or the fact that that person does not know their wife to ‘report back’ to the wife.

    Even worse is the business traveller that uses the business trip to visit strip clubs because he is away from the wife or worse yet, as an ‘excuse’ to put the expense on company expense reports because he took his clients there to win business contracts. In fact, I once read a survey that stated that a good percentage of major business deals are made in strip clubs.

    Sex may ‘sell’, but we fail to realize that when Sex is done outside of God’s will, Sex really ‘sells out’ the soul, dignity, integrity, and character.

  3. It seems so simple. I can’t speak for every man out there (and I’m sure that there are some men with perpetual sexual urges), but I think that most married men are satisfied with having sex about eight to ten times a month. At that rate, you never really get that frantic urge that builds up when you go weeks without sex. I know that I stop thinking about sex all the time when my wife and I are having sex about twice a week.

    But as I talk with other men, it is obvious that most are not having sex twice in a week with their spouse. Simply scheduling sex a couple times a month becomes problematical for many couples. That’s simply not right, though. It causes all sorts of problems.

    It seems almost too simple to say that porn can become less of a temptation if a married Christian man is having a normal amount of sex with his wife, but from what I’ve experienced in honestly talking with men about this issue, I can’t deny that conclusion.

  4. Anonymous

    “Barna has published disturbing info about the penetration of porn use into the ranks of born-again Christians.”

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Crack me up.

  5. Anonymous

    ‘Given that we live in what can only be classified as a pornographic culture, ‘

    How do you figure that? Who’s doing the classification, Brent Bozell?

    ‘two-thirds of the men claiming they had no exposure to porn lied. ‘

    Duh … have you read the figures on how many people say they masturbate? Last time I saw a figure, it was in the low 20% range.

    Only one out of five people?

    Right.

  6. CmonPeople

    The emotion I have from this post is sadness. Porn, like many things, can be used or abused. If you just want to satisfy your lizard brain, not much beats good porn. It can and does prevent unfortunate issues in the ‘real’ world when base stimulation is all that is really being sought. And it makes me sad that people have to go their entire lives worried about it; is it a sin, why do i enjoy something evil, and all the rest of the claptrap involved- imagine the idea of some poor sucker anxious that his wife would find out he was looking at a dirty book?

    Porn has always been with us and always will; its a genre of literature and is well and truly enjoyed by millions, and for good reason. Like booze, drugs, and even golf or tennis, its not good when taken to extremes or when it hurts people you love. But absent those bad outcomes, its not something to even think about. if half the energy lost on worrying about porn were spent on the truly obscene- like tens of thousands of kids dying horrible slow deaths in full knowledge of their coming ends and rotten hands in life-
    the world might not be such a horrid place sometimes.

    God what a bunch of pussies you are – shape up with a few good jerks and do some good for a change !

  7. Anonymous

    Oh, so peopole lie on polls do they? What are we to make of those polls about the number of people who say they pray regularly, then?

  8. Shane

    Shocked, I am. You mean to tell me that some of those people out there acting all preachy and self-righteous are… gasp… HYPOCRITES? I never would have guessed. Shocked, I am.

  9. Anonymous

    Well, we’re not active Christians, I’m a stay-at-home mom whose kids are not overscheduled, and my hubby never travels for work, yet we never ‘do it’ either.

    I think maybe sex is overrated and no one wants to admit it. 🙂

  10. Anonymous

    What if someone made Christian porn? That is all the “actors” are really married, trying to conceive, all that stuff. Would it be any better?

  11. Let me welcome all the people who have come here for the first time, especially all those who followed the link that the Daou Report featured on Salon.com. Thanks for stopping by and for posting your comments. Feel free to look around at some of the other posts here.

  12. CmonPeople said:
    “Porn, like many things, can be used or abused. If you just want to satisfy your lizard brain, not much beats good porn.”

    The issue for Christians is that Jesus said what we put into our minds can define us or become our master. He also equated looking at women lustfully as being the same as actually committing adultery. In other words, Christians should not be looking at porn because it makes for an adulterous thought life. And God hates that.

    But Christians aren’t sexual prudes—at least they shouldn’t be. The Bible quote I listed from the apostle Paul makes it very clear that Christians should have a normal sex life and enjoy it. What Paul says is that by not having sex, we open ourselves to temptations unnecessarily. I think that the rise in porn use by married Christian men is due—at least in part—to not taking Paul’s injunction to heart. And I believe that hectic lives contribute to this.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

  13. Shane wrote:
    You mean to tell me that some of those people out there acting all preachy and self-righteous are… gasp… HYPOCRITES?

    The truth is that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Every single one of us is a hypocrite somewhere in our person. Christians are not exempt from sin. The Bible quote I shared from the apostle Paul says as much. When anyone, even a Christian, plays with temptation, inevitably that person will fall into sin.

    The difference is that Christians understand that God grants them forgiveness because of what Jesus did by dying on the cross, taking away the permanent blot of sin, even sins we will commit in the future. God’s will for us is that we hate sin and flee from it, but He readily acknowledges that as long as we live this side of eternity, sin will still dog us.

    Still, God’s desire for us is that as we grow in knowledge of Him through the finished work of Jesus, we will want to sin less. That’s part of sanctification—God puts in Christians a desire to want to cling to Him and not to sin. It is God’s desire that as we know Him more, we desire to sin less. That process is never fully complete until we are reunited with Christ in eternity.

    I hope this clears up the hypocrisy issue. To some extent every Christian has some hypocrisy in his life. For those who have not believed in Jesus and exchanged their corrupt life for His perfect one, though, the hypocrisy they spot from time to time in Christians is their very master.

  14. Anonymous said,
    Well, we’re not active Christians, I’m a stay-at-home mom whose kids are not overscheduled, and my hubby never travels for work, yet we never ‘do it’ either.

    No reasoning for a lack of sex in marriage will cover all the possibilities. Many such reasons exist. I’m only hoping to touch on one I think needs to be examined in more detail, especially since I believe it drives Christian men to porn and worse.

    That said, I think that Christians who understand the true nature of sex from a spiritual aspect understand its power and depth of intimacy. And the more we understand that beautiful power, the more fulfilling our married sex lives will be.

    I hope that one day you can experience that in your own marriage.

    Blessings.

  15. Anonymous

    Dan- I should try to be more respectful- as you are- its a failing of the blog life that sometimes respect is conflated with weak arguments and wishy-washy positions. So I retract the Pussies remark and the uncivil tone….

    Regarding an “adulterous thought life” this seems to be a HUGE problem with your vision of Christianity (or that of many Churches as well) in that you might spend your whole life tamping down thoughts which are normal, natural, and inevitable in the human mind; the tamping itself may cause more destruction, anxiety, and damage than the thoughts that give rise to the issue in the first place. Every normal man everywhere in the world wants to shoot his seed up into the bellies of as many desirable women as possible in their stay on Earth. Thats wired into the lizard brain and there is no meta-cognition or brainwashing that can do anything about it, except in negative ways. The right thing to do about it is to make sure your rational mind is the master, but to recognize the lizard brain and satisfy it in ways that are not harmful. It will be satisfied, one way or another, and if you are not the master, that satisfaction will take forms that are not healthy and good for other people-be it aggression, drinking/drugs/ social action/hate/fear/ etc.

    There is no perfect life anywhere on this Earth – with or without Jesus or any other construct. Corruption is life, and life is corruption.

    You can ascribe all the ranking you wish between the values of human lives based on what they belive about the world, but the world will never ascribe any differences back. A life is a life, they all begin and end the same way, and the lizard brain is the same in all of us; it cannot be changed by wish or will.

    I hope you come to a greater understanding of Porn someday as a facet of a greater understanding of the world as it is- not as you wish it, or as it was told to you, or as you have projected it to be.

    Life is bigger than you, and bigger than your ideas. If you had been born to another family or in another place, Jesus would just be an abstract idea, like he is to me, without any relevelnce to the lizard brain.

  16. Anonymous said:
    “What if someone made Christian porn? That is all the “actors” are really married, trying to conceive, all that stuff. Would it be any better?
    God wants us men to shelter our wives and to preserve their modesty—and our own, too. Christians know that our sex lives are between us, our spouse, and God. No one else is permitted into that equation. The bedroom is off limits to prying eyes.

    So, no. Such a thing is not possible. God forbid that some very confused people should try to make it possible. Not everything can be “Christianized” and porn is certainly one of those things.

  17. Anonymous wrote:
    Regarding an “adulterous thought life” this seems to be a HUGE problem with your vision of Christianity (or that of many Churches as well) in that you might spend your whole life tamping down thoughts which are normal, natural, and inevitable in the human mind; the tamping itself may cause more destruction, anxiety, and damage than the thoughts that give rise to the issue in the first place. Every normal man everywhere in the world wants to shoot his seed up into the bellies of as many desirable women as possible in their stay on Earth. Thats wired into the lizard brain and there is no meta-cognition or brainwashing that can do anything about it, except in negative ways.

    Jesus never asks us to do anything that is impossible. He clearly says that some things are impossible to do—but only without God.

    That’s the thing about Jesus. He does make it possible. He can take the worst person you ever met and turn that person into His very likeness. No therapy, self-help book, or psychological methodology can do what Jesus does to men and women who surrender themselves to Him. He changes lives that people never would think could change.

    Yes, it is possible not to look at women lustfully. Jesus can make that happen. But as you so rightly point out, none of man’s ways can. With man, some things ARE impossible, but not for God. I know that in my own life I’m simply not interested in having sex with anyone but my wife. Impossible, you say? No. But only Jesus can make it possible.

    The only way to experience that freedom is to give up trying to change yourself and let God do it for you. That means taking Jesus at His word. Will you?

  18. Cmon People

    See Dan, you ARE interested in boinking women other than your wife, you just control it to a great degree. I’m interested in doing that to, but I would not, because my wife would hate it, and thats all the reason I need not to do it. On the other hand, I dont think there is a problem thinking about it, or even having some fun with Porn, because my wife can never know whats inside my mind, and can thus never be hurt by it, and so her rights are not impacted. What could be more free than that ? Why would I trade my freedom to perform as contracted for a prision of self-imposed mind control for a difference without distinction ? The only person who could know (unless I drop a dime on myself) is me. Do you believe there is anyone privy to your thoughts other than your own mind ? I know may God fearing folk think God is in there with them, but to me, thats an absurd thing to imagine, and I would just as soon imagine that as I would think I could fly by flapping my arms.

    I guess thats the difference that can never be bridged. Regarding others who have ‘turned’ with the help of god/jesus/the book etc. – they have executed a metacognitave defense that could have used most anything as a trigger- it was within them the whole time, unless it involved another person or group, in which case its more of a social event anyway.

  19. Cmon People said:
    “See Dan, you ARE interested in boinking women other than your wife, you just control it to a great degree.”

    I find it curious that you don’t want to entertain the possibility that some people have had something supernatural happen to them that sets them apart from the crowd. Your insistence that I have still got to be interested in having sex with someone who is not my wife doesn’t change the fact that I have absolutely no desire to do so. My pledge to my wife at our marriage was made before God and He has taken away that desire in me to have sex with anyone who is not my wife. End of story.

    If you find that hard to believe, I don’t know what to say. Now does that mean that I never take a look at a woman while I’m out and about and think, She’s very pretty? No, I don’t think God expects us to be oblivious to the beauty He’s put around us, be it art, nature, or other people. But what I’m not thinking when I see that pretty woman is, Oh man, I’d like to get her in the sack. That just doesn’t happen.

    See, it goes beyond loving my wife or keeping to a vow. It’s not some incredible self-control I’ve forced myself to exercise. It’s something God has done in me through my faith in Christ. If you want to believe it’s all brainwashing, then I’m not sure I know how to convince you otherwise.

    Sure, I have other areas of my life that are not so resolved, but God is working on those, too. Maybe some day those things won’t be a problem for me, either. All I know is that Jesus changes people radically if they surrender their own life and take on His. It’s far more than a “metacognitive defense”—it’s a relationship with the Living God.

  20. Appreciate this post.

    Although, I’d say that the source of a poor sex life and the source of addiction to porn are probably the same. Hence, to say that the solution is to have a better sex life might be too simplistic.

    Plus, to unmarried men, that solution gives us little to work with (I know you didn’t mean to address that here).

    It may be important (and worthwhile) for you to talk about what it means to work at/arrive at healthy intimacy which leads to a healthy sex life. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re pointing out a symptom, and pointing at the disease without ever talking about the medicine (or the Doctor).

    As to Cmon People, I find it rather interesting that you capitalize porn, where as your wife remains uncapitalized and unnamed. If I was her, I’d still whoop your behind, especially if I read your comments here. But lets call a spade a spade, shall we?

    Adultery in the mind is still adultery.

  21. I will grant that schedule overload is a big problem for family life in general. I have had a bugaboo about that for quite some time, but I am very unsure of your conclusions here.

    Not that I think you are outright wrong, so much as hitting on one part of a problem for certain people. Am inviting people to discuss this: cause and effect in loss of intimacy/ and what has caused the porn explosion in the Christian community.

    commented @ Greg’s as well.

  22. Anonymous

    Interesting discussion. I wonder where this leaves unmarried women/men? Given that most people now don’t even get married until they’re in there mid 20s, what sexual outlet do they have? If even the bible acknowledges that this desire between men and women is so strong that to deny it is to invite infidelity, how can a person possibly get from puberty to marriage (10 years or so) in a christian way?

  23. Cmon People

    Masaki- Porn is a genre of literature and gets a cap like English or Fiction or How-to. My wife (bless her heart) enjoys Porn too- can you believe it? But we don’t really need to talk about that, since its kind of a private matter.

    Adultery in the mind is still adultery? What a laugh that is. I guess murder in the mind is still murder ?

    You need to get wired to YOUR lizard brain so YOU can experience life as it is, has been, and will be lived by the majority of Human Beings. (see the caps?)

    Man linking to Salon brings out the degenerates does it not ?

  24. Dan,
    People have different stories and therefore different worldviews. Some of those making comments have a very hard time believing that what we, Chirstians, say about sexuality because it is so far outside their stroied experience. I for example became a Christian at 23 after being a College Athelete at Stanford. Needless to say I was sexually experienced. BUT after joining a Christian community, my whole worldview to life and joy and sexuality changed, and the change was a beautiful one.

    The problem is that the church as a whole is not living the story that people can see and therefore relate (i.e. a story of a different sexuality) to Christianity. Instead, the church shines forth a sad dysfunction. It does not have to be this way but it will take some serious changes in the structure of how we live out our Christian life to change the world’s view of the church.

  25. Cmon People, pleasure at the cost of those you exploit. Shall we discuss the injustices committed against people in the porn industry? Or is that a moot point?

    Speaking of degeneration, I can attest to the degenerating effects of pornography. Yes, murder in the mind is still murder.

    And what is “Salon?”

  26. Anonymous

    Anonymous, you may think “sex is overrated and no one wants to admit it”; if your husband doesn’t agree, then your attitude creates a daily struggle for him not to find release elsewhere.

    Cmon People, the mindset you cultivate through porn will eventually become known to your wife based on how you treat her. Porn encourages an entirely self-directed view of sex; your wife has the right to your love (physical and otherwise) as a whole person, not as an object for your occasional amusement.

  27. Anonymous,
    When a woman and man have different levels of sex drive, they have to move to a compromise. That said, a compromise does not mean that one or the other be displeased.

    I think you are right in this.

  28. Anonymous

    Dan Edelen, I agree that it is possible to compromise on sexual frequency without leaving either party unhappy, if both parties have the spirit of compromise. Since my own wife has the earlier poster’s blase attitude but no willingness to compromise, it’s a bit of a sore subject for me.

  29. As a retired-pastor’s son and current pornography producer, I’ve noticed that “Christian” men do not use porn to a lesser extent than non-Christians. In fact, I’ve know of porn producers who specifically purchased “Christian” mailing lists because spamming those lists was much more productive for him than any other email lists he’d purchased.

    I’ve had pastors confess their use of porn to me. Even going as far as admitting surfing porn websites in their office at the church they pastored. As a matter of fact I blogged about this issue just recently:

    http://www.donnysramblings.com/2005/03/hypocrites.html

    I have to admit: I hate the hypocrisy I find in so many “Christian” men and women, particularly when it comes to porn.

  30. Anonymous

    Thankyou Dan for haiving this blog out here. I am a female survivor of being a victim to porn traffikers. I am now 42, i have been healing under a ministry by a very godly ministry that is restoring my ability to think, and believe and have faith and trust again. God has been faithful to me, i was victimized while i was in a girls home of a cult of a large named evangelist.
    this destroyed me. i can tell you that the men and women who did this had no sense of remorse to me or thier other victims, we were bodies without souls. used to make them rich.

    porn is based in greed, in lust, in perversion, and it needs to have the lid blown right off of it to expose it, for it creeps into houses and steals peoples SOULS.

    ty dan for speaking so well on this issue.

    As for me, as a victim of the porn industry, having sex regularly with my husband has been a very harrowing and dissociating experience, so pushign the sex issue is not all the answer..for the issue of not having sex is hidden under even that. you need to focus deeper than just not having sex, and just seeing the surface issues of busy lives…ask WHY are they running to and fro and doing 20 tasks in 20 minutes? are they running from thier own abuse pasts and hurts and issues? healing begins inside, and then once healing comes from that root issue , the results will be relationships, deep relationship. i know from my own experience that God has tenderly led me thru healing over a span of years…and i know that God has made the marriage bed to become pure and beautiful to me and my husband, but there still comes the ghosts from the past that interrupt that harmony and issues need to be faced….

    i think when people feel that it is an acceptable thing to deal with pain inside then issues can be dealt with, i see a trend in churches where people are ‘shamed’ for hurting emotionally….DUH!!!..i went thru a church that condemned me for not just “giving it to God” or “leaving it on the altar”….lol, i had so many distortions from the cult girls home that trafficked and poured dope into me, that it was going to take TIME….time and a safe place to talk things out and find bible answers to distortions…etc…

    thanks for having this blog out here Dan…

    God Bless

  31. Anonymous

    Also Paul taught Christian Men to dwell with thier wife as the weaker vessel, according to knowlege,
    i.e. get to KNOW them…its about relationship.
    and if the issue is based in lack of self control…
    and in 2Pet.1:6 We are told that self control comes from knowlege..

    so knowlege and truth Jesus said sets us free..

    so breaking the silence about this is breaking the secrecy and breeding knowledge which hopefully true knowledge the truth will breed self control and bring freedom…

    For the christian marriage, when ONE partner is ill, (and healing from being a vcitim is being ill as much as having pnuemonia or cancer)….there needs to be in the other partner the ability to sacifice, and a sacrificial kind of love…
    what kind of man would insist that his sick wife who could not function well, let him have his urges and needs met? see what i mean? the issue goes farther than just a pat scripture answer to tell married couples to just have more sex….
    there is a need for healing in many women, and in many men too.

    and when God helps the issue it will be helped…For God desires we have godly marriages.

    there are times in my healing that i never could have dreamed of the awesomeness i have found in the healing of my sexuality in my marriage. other times i am shut down and emotionally cannot “go there” for the triggers are great at times..the spouse needs to be sensitive and mutual understanding needs to grow from one to the other to meet the real needs in both.

    thanks

  32. I would definitely agree to your four factors that have contributed to the pornography problem.

    Add to these the “triple-A” engine of Internet porn: accessibility, affordability, and anonymity. Many researchers agree that these three factors make cybersex a formidable temptation.

    Have you ever heard of Covenant Eyes accountability software. I work for the ministry. We’ve created a unique software tool that helps to take away the ‘A’ of Anonymity and replace it with accountability. Our software emails detailed reports of someone’s Internet surfing activity to their accountability partners. This takes away the allure of secrecy and brings our sins “into the light.” It has helped tens of thousands of people all over the world really break free and find authenticity in their accountability relationships.

    I see you have wide readership on your blog, so if you are interested in helping us out in the cause of fighting Internet porn temptations, I’d love to send you a link or a banner for our minsitry to put on your blog. Or if you want, I’d love to send you some free brochures. Covenant Eyes could also financially partner with you if you like. We have an affiliate program that enables us to give back to the ministries that promote our software. Let me know if you are interested!

    Thanks for the helpful blog posts!

    Luke Gilkerson
    Internet Community Manager
    Covenant Eyes

    • Luke,

      The problem with all forms of filters is that they miss the underlying problem: the heart.

      Accountability is one thing, but it is also overblown. In many ways, it is a man-centered solution to what is a spiritual problem. No doubt that accountability can help, but it doesn’t fix the ultimate issue.

      We can’t filter sin. It doesn’t work. Either we are changed by the Spirit so that sin is less tempting or we go from failure to failure. People who rely on filters will find ways around them. This is especially true of people who seek out pornography. Filters don’t stop that part of people that seeks out sin (and people who think they are surfing anonymously are deluded). Only one means exists to combat that seeking, and it’s not a man-made solution.

      Here’s a curious thought: what if wrestling through the sin, falling and then getting back up again, is part of the process of true godly healing, a healing that gets stymied by introducing filters? Which is worse, the person who stumbles from time to time but ultimately comes to grips with the stumblingblock, or the person who filters all sin, but then continues to cherish it inside? (The former knows he is not safe, while the latter convinces himself—wrongly—that he is.) It’s a question many are not willing to ask.

      No filter can take the place of a Spirit-transformed heart. That’s what we need.

  33. I agree with what you say about filters. It is merely fence around an issue that the Holy Spirit must touch and transform.

    However, my comment was not about filtering, but accountability software which blocks nothing and allows complete freedom about where one goes online.

    What you said about wrestling through the sin, falling and then getting back up again, the process of true godly healing, is exactly what our software is all about. It recognizes this process for sanctification and then introduces the God-given means of relationships in the body of Christ as one of His means of transformation.

    For many of our software users, the software is merely a tool that enhances their relationships in the body. One of the important elements of repentance and healing is confession and resubmitting one’s life to the authority of the community of Christ.

    The Holy Spirit is the only One who transforms the heart. I agree. However, the Spirit uses several means to put His finger on the sin in our hearts, to bring about conviction and thus lead us to repentance. One of those means is the body of Christ. This is what accountability software is all about: a means of confession and mutual vulnerability in the body.

    I wrote some about this in a recent blog post: http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2008/06/19/repenting-of-porn-addiction-part-2/

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  34. Jake

    >> Filters don’t stop that part of people that seeks out sin (and people who think they are surfing anonymously are deluded). Only one means exists to combat that seeking, and it’s not a man-made solution.

    Dan,

    I tend to agree with you that lust is a heart problem. However, the Word of God also directs, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” While filters can be defeated, they often aid in the process of resisting. Defeating the filter is an additional step that a guy would need to take to satisfy his lust but maybe in the process of doing so he comes to grip with the wickedness in his own heart in wanting to defeat the filter. Perhaps these few seconds of rational thought are all he needs to turn away. I speak from experience.

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