Inspirational

Dreaming of a Porn-Free Church

There’s a silent killer in the church today, a killer that feeds off the body of Christ like a cancer. It tears apart relationships, destroys lives, drenches people with guilt and shame and ultimately takes them out of the race altogether. It’s affecting our relationships, our leadership, our parenting and our mission.

It’s probably the most dangerous four-letter word in the church.

PORN.

You’ve heard church leaders talk about it, you’ve probably read the statistics on the Web about the magnitude of the industry and, more than likely, you’ve seen it firsthand.

I don’t want to throw around any more stats or paint a bleak picture about the future of the church. Instead, I want to ask you to do something with me … a short little exercise.

I want you to dream with me for a minute.

What if the church was 100 percent porn free?

I’m not even talking about the world, just the church—you know, you and me. What would the church look like if we eradicated every ounce of porn? What if no one in the church ever watched, experienced or clicked on porn again their entire life? What would our marriages look like? What would our parenting look like? What would our pastors look like?

Dream with me for a minute about a porn-free church.

I dream of a church where marriages aren’t dashed to the rocks over porn ever again. A church where marriages are filled with Christ-honoring intimacy, steeped in integrity and the God-given erotic passion that comes only from purity, love and unselfishness—lifting up the other over self. A place where the husband relinquishes his cycle of addiction and replaces it with an addiction to the glory of Christ and the goodness of others. Not some otherworldly prudence, but a down-to-earth gentleness and purity toward his wife that sets her apart like Christ did the church. I dream of a church where men are more passionate about upholding the glory of their wives than the pleasures of porn.

I dream of a church where single men and women are not anchored to the unbearable guilt and shame of hidden sin. A church where singles fear God like the holy hurricane he is and seek him for his unmatched companionship through the journey of life. A place where single men and women are not looked down upon with skepticism for their marital status but looked up to for their passion and purity to serve God in any given status or distinction—free from the choking clasp of porn. I dream of a church where single men and women are a godly force so great that the powers of darkness shudder in fear when they hear their names.

I dream of a church where there are no teenagers stuck in the lonely, grief-riddled cycle of porn and masturbation. I dream of a church where teens view the opposite sex with holy wonder and not a burning, selfish lust. I dream of a church where teens fight for the gospel without the weight of hidden sin tied around their necks, pulling them back to the bottom of the ocean every time they struggle toward God’s presence. I dream of a church where every teen knows their identity is set in Christ, and they experience the full goodness of his mercy every day.

I dream of a church where women are held up as beloved sisters in the family of God. A place where they are protected; a place where they can trust that the men are good and pure and easily trusted. A place where their beauty is not cheapened, their bodies are not objectified and their spirit and strength is not quenched. A place where their value to the Kingdom is fully appreciated and freely respected.

I dream of a church where no pastor watches porn on Saturday and preaches a message on Sunday. A place where every youth leader, senior pastor and worship leader comes in front of the church to lead from a place of integrity and honesty and with a clean conscience. A place where there is no “shoe” waiting to be dropped at the board meeting. A place where there is no need for paid administrative leave to “work things out.” I dream of a church where every leader sheds the cancer of porn like a heavy winter jacket in spring.

If this dream came true, what would the bride of Christ look like to the world? Just remove this sin—not every sin—just this one. How would the world see our marriages, our families, our leaders?

I don’t think it will come true through a sermon series, small groups, accountability partnership or cumbersome set of purity guidelines. No, this kind of radical change can only happen when we pray, confess, repent and ask God to do something miraculous.

I have a dream of a porn-free church. I believe it’s God’s dream, too.

Are you with me?

Brian Orme is the founding editor of ChurchLeaders.com and Faithit.com. He works with creative and innovative people to discover the top stories, resources and trends to equip and inspire the Church.

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