“… because of technology, it is now easier to see someone naked than to get something out of the fridge – to get to the fridge you at least need to stand up and walk.”
– Mark Driscoll, Porn Again Christian, p. 8
I was addicted to pornography for years, and can remember thinking at one point there was no way I’d ever be able to stop. Porn was like a vice grip – it seemed to hold on no matter how bad I wanted to get away from it.
What’s worse is after I became a Christian, not only did I learn that viewing porn is a sin, but impure thought is as well. As a young man in my early twenties who’d been highly sexually active up to that point in my life, I viewed controlling my sexual thoughts, not just as a little hard or kind of a challenge, but as a complete impossibility.
If my feelings were hopeless about ceasing to view internet porn, then they were more along the lines of suicidal with regard to controlling my thoughts.
That being said, I’m all for anything that will help men overcome unhealthy sexual addiction. The full version of Porn Again Christian: A Frank Discussion on Pornography & Masturbation (a short book by Mark Driscoll) was released today for free download.
I just finished reading the book this morning. Driscoll touches on a lot of different sexual issues affecting the lives of men today, and he doesn’t pull any punches.
This would be great material for any Christian man struggling with sexual addiction to read, and would also be good for a men’s accountability group to read and discuss. By the way, this book was written by a dude for other dudes. The tone isn’t meant for ladies.
Mark speaks very frankly about pornography, masturbation, lust, healthy marital sex, prostitution (and how it’s tied to illegal sex slavery most of the time), Ted Bundy, and the man’s role as spiritual leader in society. Mark is engaging, to the point, and, as I said before, he pulls no punches. Some people find his style offensive, but I find it refreshing – especially since he’s dealing with the topic of sinful sexual addiction – something that has plagued mankind since ancient times.
Those of you reading this blog who struggle with the topic I’m writing about today – be encouraged! I overcame my sexual addiction when I got serious about addressing the problem by sharing it with others – something I absolutely didn’t want to do because of my pride and self righteousness.
The Bible teaches repentance (i.e. actually changing) brings forgiveness (Acts 3:19), and confession brings healing (James 5:16). The Bible also teaches you’ll never be tempted beyond what you can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). In other words, there’s always a way out – you’re never without hope. It could be, however, that if you continue to struggle silently, you will be hopeless. I was.
Have a problem with sexual addiction? Find someone who 1) is a serious follower of Jesus, and 2) you can trust. Confess your struggle to them, ask them to pray for you, and give them permission to ask how you’re doing from time to time. Prayer is always a good idea and always helps, and your knowing they’ll be asking you how you’ve been doing will serve as added spiritual protection for you – something called accountability. It could be that this has been missing from your life.
The Catholic Church has not cornered the market on confession. If you aren’t a practicing confessor, you should be. Confession and accountability are powerful tools to use in your spiritual battle.
To go a step further in attacking your problem (as I did), visit the Triple-X Church’s website (that’s www.xxxchurch.com), scroll down a little, and download the free version of X3 Watch – a program that sends all of the links of the websites you visit to one or two email addresses of your choice – those could be your accountability partner, wife, preacher, elder, or grandma. If you know someone else you love and respect is going to be checking out the websites you visit, will you be a bit more careful in what you access? Probably so.
If you’re struggling with looking at porn these devices may help, but they will not cure your problem. Indeed, they helped me, but didn’t cure my problem.
As Driscoll says in his book, looking at porn is a problem, but it isn’t the real problem – only a symptom of the real problem. The real problem is a heart problem – a heart that isn’t in complete submission to God.
The symptoms may change, but will never fully go away until the real problem is remedied. We must submit our hearts to God through following Jesus, and not just by talking about it, but by doing it.