It’s time for church culture to open up its eyes.
A statement like that is attention-getting. That’s the biggest reason I used it; but it’s also very, very true. The church is at war with a problem, but the problem is winning, and it has been winning for a long time.
We are at war with pornography. Actually, for the sake of obligatory allegory, let us remember a scene from World War II…
Have you ever seen the pictures of the Nazis marching through Paris after the French surrendered on June 22, 1940? Well, pornography is like the Nazis, and we’re like the French. Pornography has marched through our homes, schools, and even our churches. We’ve ignored the problem, pretended we were immune, and now the youth of the American church are left to deal with it on their own.
Our current course of action is to maintain an exhausted state of surrender as we try to gather our thoughts and regroup. Meanwhile, pornography has swept like a plague across our churches, youth groups, schools, and the bedrooms of your home.
How could we ignore this problem? The answer is painful: because it’s not just our youth’s problem, but it’s our fathers’ problem, and it’s difficult to fight a problem that you are struggling with yourself, at least when there is such a stigma attached.
Are you having trouble believing me? At a recent Promise Keepers meeting, it was found in an anonymous poll that over 50% of the men at the meeting had viewed pornography within a week prior to the event. These are religious, Christian men, and they fight the problem in silence. Do you think they feel comfortable teaching their children about the dangers of pornography if they were viewing it on a regular or semi-regular basis?
Pornography isn’t one generation’s problem. It is EVERY generation’s problem. It is the problem of all of modern society. Consider the following statistics, gathered from xxxchurch.com
The size of the pornographic industry: $57,000,000,000 worldwide – $12,000,000,000 in the U.S.
Number of pornographic web-sites: 4,200,000 (accounting for 12% of all web-sites)
Daily pornographic search engine requests: 68,000,000 (25% of total search engine requests)
Daily pornographic Emails: 2,500,000,000
Daily Gnutella “child pornography” requests: 116,000
Web-sites offering illegal child pornography: 100,000
Percentage of youth affected by sexual solicitations in chat rooms: 89%
Youths who received sexual solicitation: 20%
Worldwide visitors to pornographic web-sites: 72,000,000 annually
But that’s not all. Your children are incredibly susceptible to viewing pornographic material.
Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old
Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12-17 age group
15-17 year olds having multiple hardcore exposures: 80%
8-16 year olds having viewed pornography online: 90% (most while doing homework)
Adults are often the one’s developing long-lasting, harmful problems with pornography.
Men admitting to accessing porn at work: 20%
US adults who regularly visit Internet porn sites: 40,000,000
Promise Keepers men who viewed porn within the last week: 53%
Christians who say pron is a major problem in the home: 47%
Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%
Breakdown of male/female visitors to porn sites: 72% male – 28% female
28% are women? Let’s look at that a little closer.
13% of women admit to accessing porn at work.
70% of women keep their cyber activities secret.
17% of women struggle with pornographic addictions.
Women, far more often than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs.
Women favor chat rooms two times more than men.
9,400,000 women access adult web-sites each month.
The statistics are staggering, but we have heard them countless times. We know the statistics, and each time the count is read back to us, we recoil in horror and shake our heads, refusing to CHANGE the problem. Men and women of God, listen to me…
It’s not enough to DESPISE the problem. You have to FIGHT the problem!
Porn-blocking software is not difficult to find, nor is it particularly expensive. The question is this: is your marriage, your children, and your soul worth the investment?
Also, you should be using Parental Controls. Mac OSX (Apple’s Mac operating system) offers wonderful parental controls. The administrative account can set who the child can send/receive emails to and from, what files they have access to, who they can speak with on instant messenger (iChat), what times of the day they can log on to the computer (making sure they’re not on at 3:00 AM is a good move no matter what), whether or not they can install programs, and what kind of web access they will be permitted to have. It’s quite practical, functional, and necessary, especially if you have pre-teens and teenagers accessing the computer.
I have heard someone use the argument, “Well, kids these days are computer-savvy. They’ll find a way around it.”
While it’s true that some kids are computer savvy enough to find a way around it, you DO have the power to take steps to make it incredibly difficult for them to find a way around it. Start doing what you know to do, and if your knowledge is limited, then find someone who can help you.
Finally, as always…pray! You can’t expect to fight lust in what is arguably the most lustful era in human history without God’s help. Die daily, put on the armor of God, and start FIGHTING!