Wednesday, May 8, 2019 -
Yesterday I spoke about Proverbs 7, and how Jesus said when one lusts with their eyes, they are committing adultery in their hearts. But Jesus there in Matthew 5 was making the point that all are sinners and in need of a savior. There are the two main reasons God gave us the law in the first place. But when we repent of our sin and accept Christ as Lord and Savior, He provides the power through the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and temptation. But that power only becomes real in our lives when we acknowledge our helplessness to battle sin through our own power.
But just how powerless are those in the church in overcoming the temptation of lust Jesus spoke about? I saw an advertisement for the Conquer Video Series, which I know nothing about, but which quoted some alarming statistics garnered by research from primarily the Barna Group and Covenant Eyes. It reveals that Christians, even pastors, engage in viewing pornography at almost the same rates as the general population. Women, teens, and children are also viewing it at alarming rates. Consider this: over 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites. The average visit lasts 6 minutes and 24 seconds. There are around 42 million porn websites, which total around 370 million pages of porn. The porn industry’s annual revenue is more than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined. It is also more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC. 47% of families in the United Sates reported that pornography is a problem in their home. Pornography increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300%
Eleven is the average age that a child is first exposed to porn, and 94% of children will see porn by the age of 14. 56% of American divorces involve one party having and “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.
70% of Christian youth pastors report that they had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with pornography in the past 12 months. 68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn. 59% of pastors said that married men seek their help for porn use.
33% of women aged 25 and under search for porn at least once a month. Only 13 % of self-identified women say they never watch porn. 87% of Christian women have watched porn. 59% of married men and 35% of married women say they watch porn at least once a month.
57% of pastors say their church has a program to help people struggling with pornography.
Jesus gave us the power to overcome! But these statistics of those within the church clearly indicate that many, if not most, haven’t tapped into that power that Jesus left behind when He ascended to Heaven. Man cannot overcome on his own. That is why Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. Admit you are powerless and helpless and give it to God. The Holy Spirit has been given to you to overcome.
I also have not understood, why, when obscenity laws exist in this country, they are not used to combat pornography on the internet. Its defenders say it is protected by the First Amendment, but they are wrong. Obscenity is not free speech. If Internet service providers were prosecuted for obscenity, much of the problem would go away. But then again, we are no longer, in the United States, a moral and righteous people. Apparently, neither can that be said of the church. It is no wonder the church today seems powerless and stagnant. Discipleship no longer takes place in most churches, and spiritual growth just doesn’t seem to happen as it should. And it is no wonder that the church is having such little impact on American life and culture today.