By Rosie Makinney
Some moms are soccer moms. Others are ballet moms. I am an aikido mom. Over the past five years, I have schlepped my son down to the dojo over five hundred times.
For those of you who haven’t heard of aikido, let me explain. Aikido is a Japanese non-aggressive martial art that teaches you how to defend yourself using the momentum of your opponent’s attack to defeat them. It’s also seriously cool.
A master of aikido appears to have almost superhero powers. Through calm, barely perceptible moves, attackers end up spinning in the air, pinned to the floor and disarmed.
But what I particularly like about aikido, even more than the fact it wears my son out, is that it teaches him a valuable life lesson. Attacks will come. The trick is knowing how to redirect them to your advantage.
There is no way around it. The porn situation in the church is a threat of Goliath proportions.
Josh McDowell Ministries commissioned the largest scientific study ever done on pornography in America among pastors, youth pastors, and churched youth and adults. Just listen to what he discovered:
Nearly half of young adults say they come across porn at least once a week—even when they aren’t seeking it out.
Seven in 10 youth pastors have had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with porn in the past 12 months.
Several youth pastors (21%) and pastors (14%) admit they currently struggle with using porn, with 12% of youth pastors and 5% of pastors saying they are addicted to porn.
The Church Needs God’s Intervention
But even as the enemy attempts to use this plague of porn to kill, steal, and destroy, God is redirecting these attacks to our advantage and His glory.
The epidemic that is currently devastating the body of Christ, will, I think, be the starting place of revival. It’s the ultimate aikido move.
Only evil this destructive, and of this magnitude, can bring the church back to a place of repentance and dependence.
God is allowing us to pursue our fleshly desires to the point of self-destruction because He is about to do some serious house-cleaning.
God is allowing our suffering to increase until we are purged of self-reliance and pride that keeps us far from Him.
Whatever it takes to get our eyes off ourselves and back onto Him, He will allow. It is the modern-day equivalent of being pressed up against the Red Sea.
By pushing the ancient Israelites right up against the surf—with the full might of the Egyptian army bearing down on them—God brought His people to a new level of dependence.
A moment when they had to accept the truth: without God’s intervention, they were done for. In terms of where porn is taking the church, without God’s intervention, we too are goners.
Just as there comes a point in every porn-invaded marriage when a wife is forced to deal with it, the same thing is happening in the marriage between Christ and His wife, the church. The pressure is building. Rapidly.
Because of the mounting evidence linking porn use to a breakdown in family values, and a whole host of other negative public health issues, ignoring the porn issue in our country (and world!) is becoming increasingly problematic.
Every day we remain silent is another day our families fall apart, another day we walk right past injustice and suffering on a monumental scale:
- Women brutalized and discarded by the porn industry
- Women and children being trafficked and filmed
- Women being violently assaulted
- Children being sexualized and abused
- Children acting out what they have seen with other children
- Young boys demanding that young girls perform the acts they’ve seen on screen, even when it causes bodily harm
- Young men crippled by erectile dysfunction
- Husbands unable to be aroused by their actual wife
- Men, women, and children hopelessly addicted
When will we, as the body of Christ, be ready to acknowledge that the battle against porn is here, it’s bloody, and it’s taking place right inside our sanctuary walls?
Despite 92% of senior pastors saying porn is a “much bigger” problem for the church now compared to 20 years ago, only 7% of them report that their church has a ministry program for those struggling with porn.
For far too long we have remained awkwardly on the sidelines, while our families and brains literally disintegrate, euphemizing porn as everyman’s “struggle” and laughing about its references that are well woven in our favorite TV shows.
While important not to shame men and women who are “struggling,” shying away from talking directly about porn has had the unwanted effect of de-spiritualizing and normalizing it.
There is nothing normal about pornography.
Porn use must never be casually lumped in with the other sins of the flesh like overeating, or overworking, though the consequences of those sins are very real and damaging.
With porn, we have to remember that every click contributes to the demand for further exploitation and abuse.
For people who grew up before internet porn, it is hard to comprehend what horrors are now available with a few taps on a screen.
Porn is not naked women gazing seductively at a camera, though that alone would not be acceptable.
Porn is way beyond watching consenting adults having sex, though again, that would be destructive as well.
Pornography, as it is today, is an unimaginable world of brutality and cruelty, based on dominating and dehumanizing women and children.
ROSIE MAKINNEY (@RosieMakinney) is the founder of Fight for Love Ministries, a community of women who offer biblical tools to fight the effects of pornography use on marriages. She’s the author of Fight For Love: How to Take Your Marriage Back from Porn, from which this article was adapted with permission from B&H Publishing.