Our church—Upper Room Assembly—decided to join the National Porn Sunday event in 2011. A gathering to watch the Super Bowl was the catalyst to attract men to listen to the message, although there is a percentage of women, teens and children who struggle with these same issues.
We received some eyebrow-raising remarks and, I might add, some whoops and hollers, insinuating that we were joining the other side. Our goal was to level the discussion field, bring awareness, bring understanding, offer help and ultimately healing.
On National Porn Sunday, we devoted the church service to the topic of pornography. Pastor Craig Gross, the founder of XXXChurch, a Christian group that helps people battling pornography addictions, recruited NFL players to join the effort. Taping a virtual simulcast provided the participating 300-plus churches quality, informative testimonies from these well-known football players; one of them being Matt Hasselbeck, who led the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 2006.
Although he says he has never had a pornography addiction, he signed up for the free XXXChurch tracking software called X3watch, which is geared toward accountability. The simulcast video also included a sermon from the 35-year-old Pastor Gross.
Shockingly, porn is of epidemic proportions and the figures include our church participants. It is reported to be a 12 billion dollar industry in the U.S. Here are some statistics:
- 50 percent of the men attending a Promise Keepers stadium event viewed pornography within one week of the event.
- In 2009, the fourth-most searched word on the Internet for kids ages 7 and under was 'porn,' according to data by OnlineFamily.Norton.com, for all kids. For those ages 8 to 18, 'sex' was No. 4 while 'porn' was No. 5.
- A Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project survey released in Dec. 2009 showed that 15 percent of those ages 12-17 who own cell phones had received a 'sext' message.
Even in our own homes, we are so bombarded with TV commercials, movies, computer pop-ups, etc.—designed to trap our eyes and thoughts—that even the best of us can be tempted to go a little further. Sexually graphic material online is destroying men's lives and deceiving them into believing that it is their little secret.
- 47 percent of Christians said pornography is a major problem in the home.
- 20 percent of men admit to accessing pornography at work.
- Male to female visitors of pornography sites: 72 percent male, 28 percent female.
- 40 million U.S. adults regularly visit Internet pornography websites.
Prevention is everything. We offered the following resources:
- Pure Eyes (a man's guide to sexual integrity), by Craig Gross and Steven Luff
- Pure Heart (a woman's guide to sexual integrity) by Shellie R. Warren
- The Official Recovery Workbook for Spouses by XXXchurch.com
- Get X3watch accountability software for PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad and Android devices, available at x3watch.com.
- Visit X3pure.com for a simple, online recovery program; 30 days to purity.
Small Group Discussions
Participate in a couples group, a men's group or a women's group.
One of the biggest things individuals must understand is that they are not strong enough to overcome this addiction on their own. Find help somewhere. It's available.
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