Thursday, July 24, 2008

Powlison on Breaking the Power of Pornography

The addiction to pornography in today's world is overwhelming, and heartbreaking. Working with young men I so often hear despair, guilt, pain and sorrow over this sin that they keep running to. Some that may be reading this blog may be feeling the temptations to go from this web page to these disgusting websites. David Powlison offers a great article about this, and if you are feeling that temptation go to this article, print it, read it and re-read it, he starts off with:

Have you ever said anything like this?

  • “I’ve tried to stop so many times, but somehow I still end up in front of the computer surfing websites.”

  • “Cold showers, prayer, avoiding situations—I’ve tried everything. Is there any hope for me?”

  • “I know I should get help, but I am too ashamed.”

  • “I thought only men struggled with pornography, but I spend way too much time in my own little fantasy world.”

If you have, it’s likely that you are feeling trapped by an addiction to pornography and sexual fantasies. You feel guilty and ashamed, but you just can’t seem to stop. Maybe you are starting to notice that your relationships with the real people in your life are being affected by your struggle.

There is no magic bullet to free you from your addiction, but when you ask Jesus for help, he will come to you mercifully and firmly. Jesus welcomes all kinds of strugglers into his kingdom, and his Spirit will provide the deep-down change you long for.

Change happens when you face your behavior honestly, understand the roots of your behavior, and then go to God to work true change in your life. The true change that comes from God will affect not only your behavior, but also your imagination and desires in life. Do you believe God can do this? Take a step of faith; read this article, and ask God to use it to begin to change you.

Click here to read the whole article

Props: Missio Dei Suburbia


Christopher Lake said...

Carlos, I met David Powlison back in D.C. The man is very humble; he actually got down on his knees at church to talk with me, so we would be at face level (with me being in a wheelchair)! I will never forget that act of love for a brother whom he hardly even knew.

On the subject of this post, I don't know if you would agree with this, but I think that a good filter is a *must* for any Christian man who has a computer (and probably many Christian women too). I use Safe Eyes; I've heard that Covenant Eyes is also good. To me, surfing the net without a filter is placing entirely too much confidence in the flesh. Even if one hasn't yet fallen to sexual sin via an unfiltered net, there is *no* guarantee that one will not fall in the future!

Ultimately though, even *with* a filter, Christian men (and women) must seriously ask themselves, do I love God more than my flesh which screams out to be "satisfied"? Filters can be disabled (which is no reason not to have one). Accountability partners can be deceived (again, no reason not to have one). One must purpose to *actively* love God more than the satisfaction of one's flesh. A good way to start is by asking a question that may seem absurd-- Christ showed His incredible love for me by dying on the cross and taking the Father's wrath for my sin; has any pornographer or pornographic actress/actor done *that* for me? Obviously not, so should I disobey God to lust over this person?

Also, it might be helpful to soberly consider that if one is looking at pornography, the object of one's fantasy is a human being, made in God's image, who is *likely currently on his/her way to eternal torment in Hell.* That is a very serious thought that will calm down one's libido and hopefully, will lead one to *pray* for the person, instead of lusting over him/her!

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on fighting the temptation of pornography (or any sexual sin). My prayers are with you as you counsel brothers in this area of sin. Have a blessed Lord's Day, bro!

Christopher Lake said...

Hey bro,

I wrote a lengthy comment for this post, giving some of my ideas for fighting sexual sin, and it never got posted. I hope that nothing I wrote was offensive... let me know if it was!

Los said...

Sorry for the delay, getting back into town this past weekend, my blog has not been my priority.

As far as fighting sexual sin, I think we must always start with the cross and Jesus. We must not start with the idea of "if i am a good Christian I will not download porn or whatever" we must stay cross centered realizing that everything we have we have because of Christ and God's grace.

We must always be on guard to fight this sin, and the lust constantly creeping around us that wishes to snare us and destroy us.

Like you said filters are good, but do little for the images already in our heads, we must everyday live in the shadow of the cross of Jesus Christ and see ourselves as loved Children of the Living God adopted by the blood of His Son, our Elder Brother, Jesus!!! The more that is our treasure the less anything else will be!!

Christopher Lake said...

Definitely, if Christ and His love for us, as shown on the cross, are not at the center of our efforts to fight sin, we will not gain lasting victory. Or, if we do defeat a sin for a time, but are not acknowledging God's grace and the Spirit as our enabling power to fight sin, we will become smug and self-righteous in our "good Christian living." I have been there myself, before I was actually saved, but still trying to live my idea of the "good Christian life."

Now, as a true Christian, saved by grace, when I see God's holy hatred for sin, poured out on His perfect son at the cross, it helps me to realize just how serious sin is, and just how much I should hate it myself. God went to such lengths of love to free me of *my* love for what is basically vomit. In that light, why should I want to return to it? Why should I not fight with all of my strength (Spirit-empowered strength) not to return to it? As I once heard someone say, I don't work *for* my salvation; I work *from* it, as it has already been purchased for me at the cross!