As we see the daily political and social turmoil in our society, Christians are praying for God to send a spiritual revival to stir the church and ignite the fire of repentance throughout the land. But some Christian leaders are wondering if revival is possible at this point.
One of the questions that has haunted me for the past decade is if real revival in the church is possible in America's present spiritual condition. Over the last five years, my wife and I have literally traveled all across our nation and around the world declaring the freedom, which Christ makes possible in our life, sexually. This marvelous deliverance does not come by trying harder to walk in purity, or by reading your Bible more or by praying more."
In the church's present condition of sexual bondage, there is no way real revival could ever take place. God would have to repent for it to take place, and He is not about to change His moral standard. He asks us instead to repent, which simply means to turn around or turn 180 degrees from the direction we are headed."
Now, real revival is not just where the church gets happy, but the culture is impacted and changed. Our culture today is overdosing on destructive sexuality and is desperately looking for answers.
Josh McDowell, renowned Christian apologist, evangelist and author, echoes Dr. Roberts' concerns.
Right at this moment, there's never been anything in history that is destroying more churches, more pastors, more marriages, more young people, than pornography. As Chuck Swindoll said, 'It's the greatest cancer in the church.' For me, it's too late to say, 'Well, give it time and let's pray about it.' Chuck Swindoll said that if we don't move on it right now, it is too late to say we'll pray about it and then wait.
How Bad Is the Pornography Situation?
McDowell provided insights to describe the porn situation which he calls an "epidemic."
At least 78.8 percent of all men that attend evangelical churches watch pornography. Probably 80 percent of all evangelical youth pastors also watch pornography, and now, the greatest increase is among women and young ladies. It's killing us. Sixty-four percent of all Christian families have an acute problem with pornography."
Research supports McDowell's concerns:
- Three out of five divorces now are directly related to pornography.
- Two out of five churchgoing men watch porn several times a week.
- About 80 percent of 15 to 17-year-olds have been exposed to hardcore porn.
- The adult pornography industry reports that 20-30 percent of their traffic comes from children.
- Half of all Christian families report that pornography is a problem.
- Over 40 percent of women and 60 percent of men are dealing with sexual addictions.
Porn Is Implicating Pastors
More alarmingly, it is not only the people in the pews viewing porn. Pastors also struggle with pornography. How can revival come when even the church leaders are battling or addicted to porn?
"There are pastors who sit in their office and surf the net for pornography, then walk across the hallway and give leadership for our kids," said McDowell. "Our deacons, our elders, our leaders come to church and they lead worship, then they go home and often until midnight, or one in the morning, will surf the internet for pornography. These are our leaders."
When asked if he often gets pushback from leaders when he brings up pornography, McDowell replied, "No! Usually I get silence because most pastors won't say much because they're involved in it, and they're afraid of the shame and exposure if it comes out."
A study by Pure Desire Ministries revealed that over 50 percent of pastors regularly view pornography.
The Generation Gap
Another part of the problem is that, in many churches, the leaders are older. They view the pornography issue differently than younger generations.
Roxanne Stone is editor-in-chief at the Barna Group, which conducted an extensive study of the pornography problem. She explains,
One of the primary themes we saw emerging in our research are these generational differences. There are wide gaps between how younger and older generations not only behave toward porn—but also what they believe about porn.
Religious communities are slowly beginning to acknowledge the pornography problem. Stone adds:
It's encouraging to see that beyond just the Protestant churches, Catholics and Mormons are also addressing this problem with a new seriousness of purpose. There is still much work to be done within all the world's great wisdom religions and within the secular culture. Otherwise, pornography will become mainline, and the violation of our culture and all our religious communities—of all faiths—will be permanent and irreversible.
Whether one is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu, nothing erodes a person's beliefs faster than internet pornography. Indeed, even an atheist or agnostic with humanitarian sensitivity is seriously undermined by pornography.
We have to find solutions. We have to bring awareness to both religious and secular worlds about the seriousness and extensiveness of this problem.
Let the Conquer Series Lead You in the Battle
For church leaders searching for a way to address pornography in their churches, there is a proven resource available. The Conquer Series offers a powerful, effective format that helps men find freedom from their pornography struggles and addiction.
Dr. Roberts hosts the two-volume, 12-DVD study that contains biblical teaching and proven principles to help men conquer porn. Various Christian counselors, athletes, and other leaders in the fight against pornography provide valuable insights into a man's struggle.
As Dr. Roberts explains, "Sexual bondage is not really about sex. It is about the way we have learned to medicate our pain within us."
"I would personally say from all my knowledge now that pornography's probably the greatest threat to the cause of Christ in the history of the world," said McDowell. "It's that serious."
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