Thursday, March 29, 2007

Porno Pastors

Interesting article from last week’s paper. It talks about pastors specifically because of a conference that was held to help pastors.

I know that some people who read this article will look down their nose at church leaders, thinking of them as hypocrites. I think that if pastors are having such a problem with porno then the problem is probably as widespread if not more with the public.

Of course, there is a segment of people who want to praise porno, they see nothing wrong with it and think of it as beneficial. I think they are probably in the minority. It seems that even a lot of people who use porn see it as a problem.

The Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Colorado spoke out after the pastors conference. Here are some of his comments:

The sexual confusion at the top of U.S. society now has an echo in every corner of American life. Sexually transmitted disease, child sexual abuse, adult Internet predators, divorce, cohabitation and nearly every other indicator of a dysfunctional society stand at epidemic levels. But very few people want to name the biggest single environmental crisis we face: a multi-billion dollar pornography industry that pours garbage into our homes every day through the Web and other media.

Forty years ago, when steel mills pumped hundreds of tons of toxic waste each week into the Great Lakes — literally “killing” Lake Erie and damaging the health of tens of thousands of families — citizens got organized. They forced the mills to clean up or shut down. We need to do the same today. Citizens need to stop the pornography industry now — not out of some kind of Victorian prudery, but because pornography poisons the human heart, imagination and soul just as those steel mills once poisoned our air and water, only worse.

Pornography is never “innocent entertainment,” no matter how private it might seem. It turns human beings into objects. It coarsens our appetites. It darkens our ability to see real human beauty. It creates impossible expectations about sexual intimacy. It kills enduring romance and friendship between the sexes. And ultimately it’s a lie and a cheat. Pornography is a cheap, quick, empty copy of the real thing — the real joy of sexual intimacy shared by a man and woman who have joined their lives in a loving marriage.

Click here to read his complete comments.
I think the ideas behind his comments will be echoed far and wide. People will crystallize in their understanding of the damaging effects of porno and a change will happen similar to what happened with cigarettes. More and more people will see the damaging effects and the groundswell of public opinion will turn the tide. At least I hope so.

So back to pastors. I’m sure it is hard for a pastor to admit a problem with sexual immorality. One reason is many times it means an end to his job. As hard as that is, there probably isn’t many other options. It is good when he can continue to be supported for a time while he undergoes rehabilitation. If you are a plumber or carpenter, you are not going to face the same consequence but Scripture does say that there is a higher standard for leaders. (James 3:1) Something that makes a big difference as well is if he admits it on his own or only after being caught.

Regardless of who we are talking about, it is a horrible thing to be caught in any addiction. Sin can surprise in how quick it gains control and then where it leads. The internet has brought the porno bookstore into our home. That has helped people come across material they would have never sought out on their own or at least would have been afraid to. It’s way too easy now.

Various filters and accountability software can help push that bookstore out of our home. I am not very familiar with most of them. If you are, I would appreciate if you would pass on your tips.

I do know of one and have used it for over a year. My son came across it and installed it on his computer. I did the same on mine. Every few weeks it sends a report of questionable internet sites you have visited to you and another person you designate. It’s not perfect, there are sites it questions that are fine. My blog is flagged on occasion because of content like what you are reading right now. Aside from that, it is a good, free option in the right direction. The software is called X3watch. You can find the free and a paid version at http://www.x3watch.com.

May God help us to be what we should be. May we help each other as well.

In the battle together,

Philip

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