“80-85% of Pastors View Pornography”

Stephan Beitze

Hardly a week goes by without someone reaching out to me who is struggling with sexual immorality. A typical example: a young man comes home on Sunday after actively serving the Lord all weekend. He gets into bed, can’t fall asleep, and reaches for his phone…and a few clicks later he’s looking at pornography. He enjoys a brief moment of ecstasy, but feels dirty immediately afterward. He hates himself for once again giving room to sin. He’s disgusted with himself. He can’t believe that he’s done it again. He knows that he has a problem and should seek help, but what would his family or church leadership think about him if they heard about it? Angry with himself, he promises himself that it will never happen again. He’s said that many times before, but this time he really means it. He prays for God’s forgiveness and vows that he’s serious. But inwardly, he knows that it’s just a matter of time before it happens again…

Some time ago, Josh McDowell shared a series of scientific studies in which a lot of money had been invested. The results: 35% of all internet downloads are pornography. 87% of teens think it’s okay to watch pornography. 77% of men between the ages of 18 and 26 regularly watch pornography. 84% of Christians don’t know how to use the Bible in everyday matters, and by extension, regarding sexual impurity also. 66% of divorced Christians attribute their separation to pornography. 60% of Christian men and 40% of Christian women are addicted to pornography. 55% of pastors are even addicted (not to mention the troubling statistic above).

Some Bible passages show us the steps to escape. The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:29 are clear: “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell” (ESV). The Lord knew precisely the great danger that lies in what we see. Therefore, He gives us three clear steps for how to face the danger: to recognize sin, to radically separate ourselves from it, and to renounce everything that could lead us to it. These three practices are easy to list, but much more difficult to put into practice.

I know some individuals who have had problems with the sin of impurity and were freed from it. I asked them how to gain and retain victory. The answers were practically all the same. A young woman who was caught in the trap of pornography as a child and pulled deeper into the dirt said, “I started praying like never before in my life. I brought the subject before the Lord every day. When I saw the temptation, I prayed even more fervently. And I’m still praying now, so I won’t relapse again.” And a young man inclined to homosexuality and addicted to pornography said,

“I began to be newly mindful of Christ’s sacrifice, read the Bible a great deal, prayed, gathered with other believers as much as possible, and became accountable.”

Only the Lord can truly give freedom. We have to believe in Him and stay close to Him. We can succeed in this through much prayer, pleading with the Lord for help in gaining victory over our weak spot. Freedom only comes when we expect His presence and power. The greater the Lord becomes, the smaller the problem becomes. And if we truly value the work of the Lord and keep in mind what sin cost Him, it will help keep us from grieving Him again.

Midnight Call - 09/2019

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