One of the biggest problems the church is facing today that no one wants to talk about is pornography addiction. In a recent episode of Recovery to Recovered on the Charisma Podcast Network, we are tackling the topic few want to discuss inside the church. Ted Shimer is the founder of The Freedom Fight, an online recovery program for Christians dealing with pornography addiction. In this interview, we break down the six root causes of this type of addiction, so we can combat the underlying cause.
For the past 30 years, Ted Shimer has witnessed firsthand the destruction of this particular type of addiction—marriages, careers and lives devastated by an uncontrollable, all consuming dependence. The statistics are astounding. A pastors.com survey revealed 54% of pastors say they've viewed pornography in the last year. A Barna group survey showed 64% of Christian men are consuming it monthly, roughly equivalent to the 65% of non-Christian men monthly.
The most alarming statistics related to the church's future are from a 2019 Freedom Fight survey of Christian college students, who say their faith is very important to them. And yet, 89% of these college men involved in collegiate ministries say they watch it. 63% of this group watch it at least weekly, and 51% of these future Christian leaders say they are addicted to it. And only 7% of churches say they have the resources to assist their members with this addiction.
Countless pastors, church leaders and Christians in general are withering under the shame of their current struggle. And with skyrocketing numbers of teen addictions, the next generation will be plagued with the underlying effects on an even larger scale. If the church doesn't equip their people to address this pandemic with real solutions, the results will be catastrophic.
But there is hope. While the brain locks people into addiction through repeated use and larger dopamine rushes, the brain is capable of change. Shimer's organization, The Freedom Fight, has developed a gospel-centered, scientifically-informed, biblical approach to help those addicted completely recover. They are proud to provide a free program that can be used by individuals, small groups and churches.
Shimer has also penned an accompanying book, The Freedom Fight: The New Drug and the Truths That Set Us Free, where he explores the destructive nature of it, examines its six root factors and shares practical methods to overcome it through biblical and science-based solutions that lead to genuine freedom. Tune into this episode to learn more.
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