Pornography and Injustice:  The social impact of sexual sin and what the church must do – Part 3

Pornography and Injustice:  The social impact of sexual sin and what the church must do – Part 3

This is the third of three posts that explore the connection between porn and personal and social injustice, and what steps the church needs to do about it.  The first post is here, and the second post is here.

As pornography becomes increasingly accepted as a part of cultural life today, we will continue to hear more stories about the impact of sexual brokenness in the lives of individuals, families, and even in the wider society. Christians will not be exempt from this brokenness.  The church needs to begin moving along four fronts in order to stop the drift and to begin healing the damage.  

One: Acknowledge that the problem exists—in the church

As stated repeatedly, take action about the porn usage epidemic in your church.  It exists. Remember, it’s a secret sin, so it won’t come easily to the surface. By admitting that Christians struggle with sex (it’s not just a problem “out there”), we give people hope that God’s gift of sexuality can be used for good.  Acknowledge that we all struggle with this powerful gift, and that help is readily available for strugglers.

Teach about biblical sexuality to all age groups of people in the church. Don’t just focus on the negatives — teach about sexuality in a positive way because Christians today especially need to hear a compelling apologetic about why God’s design for sexual expression is for our good. Pray for and seek out men and women leaders to start and lead support groups for sexual strugglers. Contact us at info@harvestusa.org and we can help you get started on all of this.

Two: Begin to take action on injustice issues

The evangelical church can no longer be silent on social issues like the commercialization of sex and sex trafficking.  Scripture repeatedly talks about God as a God of justice and mercy, and that his people should reflect to the world what God is passionate about.  Isaiah 1:16-17 is only one of countless passages that direct us as God’s people to actively do justice and bring restoration to the broken.

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;

remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;

cease to do evil,

learn to do good;

seek justice,

correct oppression;

bring justice to the fatherless,

plead the widow’s cause.

Consider organizing a church committee or team that explores and teaches on justice and mercy issues. Ask God to develop in you and your church a heart of mercy to those who have been abused, mistreated, and manipulated into sexual sin. The scope of the problem is enormous, but don’t get overwhelmed.  Start small; start locally. Look for local resources to get involved in rescuing those who are abused and trapped. Shared Hope International is a good, national resource to start. VAST (thevast.org:  the Valley Against Sex Trafficking) is an excellent local resource in the Philadelphia region.

And check out this ministry that reach out to rescue men and women who work in the sex industry:  victoriasfriends.com and shelleylubben.com.

Three:  Start talking to youth—especially to boys and young men

Of all the demographics in the church, none is more critical to reach than our youth—but especially boys and young men.  Why?  Because our youth are almost universally immersed in looking at porn today, and they are being frightfully impacted by it. New research is showing how porn usage is shaping the minds and hearts of young men, “rewiring” as it were their brains toward aggressive and dysfunctional sexual behavior and addiction.  We need to reach this generation of boys and young men in particular in order to stop the demand for sexual trafficking that is growing around the world.

But don’t forget young women, as well!  They, too, are buying into the lies of the world when it comes to sexuality. The youth in our churches today know little about God’s design for sex, and are increasingly abandoning the Bible’s teaching on sexuality morality.  And the major reason for that is the church’s failure to talk openly and give a compelling reason for following God in this area of life.

Four:  Learn how to help by focusing on the heart—not just stopping behavior

Finally, it’s not enough to simply talk about the dangers and the personal/social implications of pornography and sexual brokenness.  There are reasons why men and women get hopelessly ensnared in sexual sin, as both offenders and victims.  All of our biblical teaching on sexuality must aim for the heart, where sinful behavior starts (Matthew 15:18-20).

Helping a sexual struggler means learning the unique contours of his or her heart.  When we see the broken idols that we live for, the idols that promise life but deliver destruction, and when we see them in the light of God’s mercy toward us in Christ, then deep repentance and   transformation begins to take shape—moving outward from the individual to family, church, neighborhood, and even to the far reaches of society itself.

Read Phil Monroe’s blog post, “Protecting Desires,” from his blog, Musings of a Christian Psychologist, to see how our desires function in our hearts to lead us toward belief or unbelief.  

Harvest USA
About The Author
Nicholas Black is the Education & Resources Director at Harvest USA. Along with being part of the teaching staff, he oversees the writing and editing of all Harvest USA publications. Prior to joining Harvest USA, he was the Shepherding and Children’s Pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church, Glenside, PA for 14 years. He is a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). He is married to Nancy, and is father to two adult children.

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