Confronting 10 Porn Myths

Confronting the Myths

Confronting the Myths

*My next 10 posts will deal with ten myths I’ve identified about porn. The posts are meant to shed some light on these misconceptions so that we’ll all be better equipped to deal with the issue.

#1 Every guy who looks at porn will become addicted.

Not true at all. I talk to worried parents all the time who think that their teenager is going to be a sex addict the rest of their life because he or she was caught looking at porn. While there is certainly the potential to become addicted, it isn’t true that every guy or girl who has looked at porn is addicted or will become addicted. In the book Every Man’s Battle Stephen Arterburn suggests that we think of a bell curve where at one end 10% of men have no sexual temptation problem, and at the other end there’s another 10% that are addicted, in the middle are the majority of men, “living in various shades of gray when it comes to sexual sin.” (Every Man’s Battle)

I think that is likely pretty accurate. The question becomes, if it isn’t addiction, then what the heck is it when guys just keep going back to porn? I would say it’s a compulsiveness, a quick, and reactionary way to cope with, and escape from the pressures of life. The problem is, it can quickly move into dependency. After a while it so ingrained that it becomes a way of life, that then bleeds over into our neatly compartmentalized way of living. It begins to impact our closest relationships, our work, church, and academic life. Rather than the quick, stress relieving, release it once was, our will is surrendered, and we begin to buy into the lie porn is telling us. Pretty soon we can’t “live” without it! The nature of addiction is such that it is progressive. Tolerance builds, and new, harder, or more provocative material is needed to achieve the high needed to calm the nerves.

But, I have a great deal of concern for the guys living in the “gray” area too. There’s a comfort to living in the middle that should be disturbing. The “soft center” can be a place of permissiveness. It is the place where guys allow for the occasional lingering glances, and flirtatious small talk with the receptionist at the doctor’s office. It is the place where FHM, and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition isn’t seen as compromise. For those of us who often wander in the mushy middle sometimes minding our “P’s and Q’s” and at other times living as though we’ve got a time share at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, we’ve got to arrive at a defining moment. Our waffling has the potential to lead to the dreaded double life. We all know that is no way to live. No integrity, only the grief-filled rigor of manufacturing facades for different audiences.

My word to all of us, where ever we find ourselves in the great battle, review the story of Daniel in Daniel chapter 1 and verse 8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” No middle ground for Daniel! With conviction he determined that he would honor God without reservation. It was a clarifying, declaration of Daniel’s commitment to purity, and integrity. The passage says that it came from the “heart” it was internally motivated not externally coerced. More than anything that is what we want. When there is a Holy Spirit driven tension that causes us to be uncomfortable with where we are, that is when we know serious, lasting, change, is coming!

So, no, not every guy who glances porn is addicted. It is a slippery slope though. But the drifting in the center is just as dangerous. If you’re a parent or spouse of someone who you caught looking, it is best to address it right away. Confront it, and keep confronting it. Pray specifically for God’s hand to be at work to disrupt the unhealthy pattern of indulgence.

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About pastor bernie

Collegiate/Young Adult pastor Forest Lake Church, near Orlando, FL

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