My contribution on behalf of those who either can’t or don’t want to speak for themselves, or don’t desire attention drawn to them can seem futile at times. Expressing my obvious frustration and pointing out what I see as inadequacies and outright failures aren’t exactly drawing people into the conversation!
The truth is that it takes decades for the hidden and destructive behind the scenes actions of people within the churches walls to manifest in more than isolated incidents, and that is indeed what happened to me. Over time, I became a full-blown, conscienceless, immoral rebel. Frustrated by a lack of compassion and legitimate answers, I threw off restraint and gave in to the lust within.
Porn isn’t a simple enemy to defeat, it heartlessly preys on the brokenness in a persons life. The wounds that haven’t healed, traumas, failures, tragedies….The slow onset of pornography begins as a willful act that spirals out of control.
You have no idea how that thing got its tentacles so deep, but there you are looking for another hit from the “drug.” You are suspended between faith and sin…in limbo, every waking moment of every single day.
Meanwhile, there are forerunning, expert voices in the faith community speaking openly about tangible solutions. Unfortunately they encounter most of the push back from organized religion.
Former pastors T.C Ryan and Dr.Ted Roberts are now working to serve the church in porn recovery with solid and proven tactics to provide hope for the faithful. Unfortunately, very few want to step out and acknowledge the need for it and do something.
They are opposed. But I ask you, who can speak more effectively to the issue of porn and its destruction than those who have been caught, thrown down, and left by the side of the road. Those who have faced down their demons and courageously done what it took to achieve freedom?
Who gets warned of a bridge out, cloaked in the dense fog ahead, and drives blindly on at high speed?
I will tell you who-those who are caught in the grip of porn, and those who want it to go away and hope it will do so on its own. This isn’t a bandaid situation people, it is a life and death struggle for thousands and thousands of committed Christians who feel powerless against it.
The addicted sin, over and over, weeping at the altar in prayer for deliverance; they will try anything that holds promise for freedom while searching for real help but are simply told to “quit sinning and read the Bible more!”
Not helping the matter is the dispute in professional mental health circles who deny porn as addictive at all, and the church, who labels it as such anyway. Slapping addiction on it seems to give the church an out in its responsibility and places it somewhere else which doesn’t actually exist. As a case in point, therapists have to classify it as something else altogether to get it covered by insurance, so people can get appropriate counseling,
Statistics prove that the occurrence of pornography usage in the church is at an all-time high, and it isn’t just the struggling factory worker or the white color office worker; no, its your pastors, deacons, worship leaders and nursery volunteers.
Yesterday, I had my second surgery in 10 months. I injured my shoulder at work a year and a half ago. In that time I have had countless doctor appointments, two MRI’s, cortisone shots, and physical therapy sessions by the dozens. It is hoped that this most recent procedure will correct the problem I continue to have, and in six months or so I can return to work. That would make it a two year oddessy in pursuit of healing.
This process is not unlike recovery from addiction, it is work on several fronts for the one serious about restoration to health. It is personal counseling, accountability instead of isolation, cultivating proper relationships, learning, being in authentic community, reading, growing faith, journaling, and praying; it takes great perseverance to change a mindset that has in the past succumbed to acting out in the face of withering attacks. In order to achieve success we need support from a variety of people.
When the church decides its in this thing once and for all to help the addicted, and pushes past the perceived and real obstacles which abound, it will start to see a revelation of healing in its people. That, in turn, will strengthen the morals of people who had surrendered to sins stain, and cleanse the hearts of those once afflicted. Marriages will be fortified, integrity will be restored, and the reach and influence of a healthy church community will extend to the world in ways once impossible to see.
I plead with you to hear my words. I admit I am not an eloquent writer, and not given to flattery in an attempt to persuade someone of the gravity of this cause. I confess my inability to make you feel warm and fuzzy about a process that will be dirty and costly to accomplish. There isn’t an option in my eyes though; the alternative is far to detrimental to the lives of people and ultimately the call of the church.
Its about helping people, who in many cases have given up on themselves, and isn’t that what we are called to do in the first place?