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Handling the Hard Stuff Pornography and the Church.

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Presentation on theme: "Handling the Hard Stuff Pornography and the Church."— Presentation transcript:

1 Handling the Hard Stuff Pornography and the Church

2 Pornography Today  2013 average age of first exposure to pornography – 11 years  25% search engine requests are of pornographic, roughly 68 million a day!  12% of all internet websites are pornographic  34% of internet users experience unwanted exposure to pornography  Via pop ups, ads, misdirection, etc. rnet-pornography-statistics/

3 Pornography Today  20% of men watch porn at work  13% of woman  9 of 10 users only access free porn  1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography  24% of smartphones owners admit to having pornographic material on their device  Largest consumer of Internet porn is the 12- 17 year-old age group The Story Continues…

4 Pornography in the Church  50% of Christian men admit they are addiction to porn  20% of woman  75% of pastors are not held accountable for their own internet use  Yet 51% of pastors admit Internet porn is a temptation  If 50% of men and 20% of woman claim they are addicted to porn, what is being done in your church to help them?


6 Who is Chris Simon Recovering Sex Addict BA in Bible and Theology MA in Clinical Counseling Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate Therapist, teacher, researcher Owner & Executive Director of Restorations Therapy Center

7 Sex in the Bible

8 How often is sex mentioned in the Bible?  Roughly 254 times!  Examples of Biblical language: Laid with him/her, knew wife, he took her, she pleased Samson well, he loved a woman, virgin, whore, harlot, concubine, homosexuality, sexual body parts, fornication, learn to control his body in a holy and honorable way, and more

9 Song of Solomon  When was the last sermon you heard on Song of Solomon?  “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is better than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you! Take me away with you – let us hurry! Let my king bring me into his chambers.” SoS 1:2-4  “Awake, north wing, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” SoS 4:16  4:1-7

10 So what?  If sex and sexuality is mentioned over 250 times in the bible, why aren’t we talking about it in church?  How many times is alcohol mentioned in the bible?  Roughly 247 times  Many more sermons on alcohol than sex  Why? Because many pastors are uncomfortable with the topic themselves

11 The Message Shared  What message is communicated to congregants when we avoid the topic of sex? (Not a rhetorical question)  Don’t ask your church, pastor, or parents about it  Don’t talk about sex  It’s not that important  We are uncomfortable with the topic of sex  Latent – if it’s important/strong in your life, you are wrong!

12 Shame vs. Guilt  What’s the difference???  Shame – I am wrong, broken, too far gone  Guilt – I did something wrong  Shame (being) vs. Guilt (action)  Such a subtle difference  Trying harder doesn’t always work!

13 Pray for God to Remove  Frequent advise – Pray for God to remove your struggle with sex  What message is believed if nothing changes?  I must be broken, God must not love me, if God can’t help me no one can  Trying harder doesn’t always work The Story Continues…

14 Addiction 101

15 What is an addiction?  “Addiction is a maladaptive pattern of substance use to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three or more of the following, occurring any time in the same 12 months:” DSM V  Tolerance  Withdrawal  Taken in larger/longer amounts or over a longer period of time than intended  Desire or unsuccessful attempts to limit or stop use  Large amount of time spent acquiring substance  Social, occupational, or recreational activities sacrificed to obtain  Continued use despite negative consequences, either physical, emotional, or social

16 What is an addiction?  Any substance or behavior that has  increased amount used for same effect  experiences anxiety when absent  use more and/or longer than intended  attempted to stop but unable  more time spent using/obtaining  affects work, school, family, and/or friends  causes significant harm to one’s life psychologically, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.

17 What can be an addiction?  Substances  Drugs  Alcohol  Nicotine  Caffeine  Process  Sex  Work  Gambling  Video games  Shopping  Anger  Social Media  Process cont.  Anorexia  Over eating  Online dating  Competition  Exercise  TV  Hoarding

18 Substance vs. Process  For many years process addictions were rejected as true addictions, for no substance enters one’s system  What about:  Runner’s high  Rush of pleasure from fatty and sugary foods  Boost of finding a bargain  5 chemicals involved in orgasm  If natural chemical releases are abused for their pleasure, we can trick our bodies for a release, which can become an addition

19 Habituation vs. Addiction  Habits take 21 days to create  Morning devotions, regular journal time, waking up without coffee?  Habituation can be changed with support, a clear plan, and a short amount of time  Remember the addiction criteria: tried to stop but can’t!  Many habituation unable to stop because they don’t have helpful resources  3 of 5 people struggling with pornography don’t need to see a therapist  12 Step, support, and a clear plan will help!

20 Sex Addiction 101

21 What created the pornography epidemic?  The 3 A’s of Internet Pornography  Accessibility  Affordability  Anonymity

22 How did this happen?  2005 the average porn star income was $115,000  2007 Adobe Flash was invented  Result: A huge influx of no cost, amateur pornography  Free online porn became rampant!  In 2012, the average porn star income lowered to $8,000  90% online pornography users only view free porn

23 Internet Porn, the Crack Cocaine of Porn  Rat Love Story  Endless options, constantly new stimuli, continual chemical release in brain

24 What’s so bad about Porn?  Religious beliefs against sexual immorality  Results of pornography use:  _________________???  Partner/spouse seems less attractive to photographically enhanced men and women  Courtship or romancing the partner/spouse decreases; sex becomes only important act  Pleasure from child’s hug becomes insignificant to a constant life of heighten arousal and release of porn  Opposite sex becomes an object of pleasure, not a person  Isolation from increased time spent on addiction  Relationships suffer and fade from lack on interaction  Prolonged exposure to sexual activities, conversations begin to include sexual and crude jokes The Story Continues…

25 How can the Church be involved?

26 Church’s Responsibility  The responsibility falls upon you to set an example  If the bible is glaringly outspoken about sex, the church should be too  The most important goal for the church: to make sex a safe topic  Therefore, the topic must be made safe for ourselves first

27 How do you feel about sexuality?  Am I comfortable talking about sex and sexuality?  Are there experiences in my past that I am shameful or guilty of influencing my beliefs today?  Am I shameful/guilty regarding my current sexual behavior?  How you come to the conversation or pulpit will influence your message  Accept and live your own story!

28 How to Broach the Subject of Sex  Be honest and straightforward  Too many important messages are being assumed today  With Humility – we don’t have all the answers  Saying “I don’t know” goes a long way  Supported by others, you don’t have to do this alone  With Grace towards yourself

29 What can you do to help?  Talk about sex and sexuality from the pulpit/stage  Be willing to say “I don’t know”  Stop the shame around sexual sin  Matthew 5:28 – We have all sinned sexually!  Praying harder often isn’t the answer  Biblical examples

30 Biblical Examples of Growth  Noah, having faith and creating the arc Genesis 6  Joseph, his brothers, the pharaoh Genesis 37-46  David and Jonathan 1 & 2 Samuel  David and Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11  Growth came through repentance, turning to the Lord, and hard work on his heart  Through the difficult situations, we grow in our relationship with God and ourselves

31 Romans 5:3-5  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, who has been given to us. (NIV)  Challenges in our lives are opportunities for more faith in God, but also times to grow through struggle  What if…

32 A Chance for Growth through Hard Work  Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.”  2 Corinthians 7:8-10 “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it… yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leave no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” The Story Continues…

33 How to Assess for Sexual Addiction

34 Simply Ask!  Are you struggling sexually?  Has someone touched you inappropriately, or touched your private areas?  Does your sexual behavior drive you?

35 Tell Them They are Okay!  Shame surrounds sexual sin more than any other  Satan uses this all too well  People believe they are broken or wrong because they can’t stop  Don’t support this idea!  Trying harder doesn’t always work!

36 How to talk about it?  With love and grace  No condemnation  The person must be loved and cared for before anything else  Rebuke must come after love, acceptance and heard  Audience examples: What would you say???

37 When is Professional Help Encouraged?  When any of the following are involved:  Sexual abuse  Suicidal thoughts  Predatory behavior  Strong support doesn’t help  Denial  If you’re uncomfortable with parts of their story  Other Times???

38 Free Assessments  PATHOS  Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts? (Preoccupied)  Do you hide your sexual behavior from others? (Ashamed)  Have you ever sought help for sexual behavior you did not like? (Treatment)  Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior? (Hurt Others)  Do you feel controlled by your sexual desires? (Out of Control)  When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterwards? (Sad)

39 Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST)  Psychological assessment created from 30 years of work with sex addiction  Clinical tool  Use carefully with people, unless the resources are in place if they screen high 


41 “Accountability Groups”  Roughly 95% of accountability groups fail  Accessibility, is more important than accountability  Important factors:  Safe environment  Belief that one will be accepted  No judgment or guilt  Structure  Helpful questions  Leader leads with own vulnerability The Story Continues…

42 Accessibility Questions  What are some fears you have with an accountability group?  How have you struggled over the past week (any realm not just sexual)?  What’s one thing you should share in group you’re hesitant to share?  End: Have you lied or omitted to the group today?

43 Filtering the Computer  Computer’s Parental Controls  Filtering Software  K9  Accountability Software  X3Watch  Filtering and Accountability  Covenant Eyes

44 Don’t’ forget Cell Phones Instant internet access in their pocket!

45 iPhone Restrictions  Settings  General  Enable Restrictions  Turn off Safari  Rating for Apps, no 17+  Download K9 browser

46 Talking with your kids Your best line of defense!

47 Talk with your Children about Sex  If you don’t talk to your kids about sex, the schools and media will!  Parents avoid the “Bird and the Bees” talk  Parents need to educate their children about sex  Average age of pornography exposure is 11 years old

48 What’s the purpose of the conversation?  Tell them what morals they should believe?  Give them lines they should not cross?  Tell them what to do?  What happens when you tell an adolescent what to do?  Talk with your kids about sex, not at them

49 Talk WITH Your Kids  Share your beliefs, and explain why you hold them  Don’t tell them what to believe  People decide for themselves what to believe, give them the best information possible for them to make good decisions  The character you’ve instilled in your children can be seen here  Expectations/standards often shame children when failed  Hiding acts lead to more shame, and more harmful acts

50 Make YOU a Safe Place  Goal: kids feel comfortable talking to you  Your children will make mistakes!  Be a safe place where your child can say, “I messed up”  Show empathy at the start, “I’m sorry you’re feeling bad. What happened?”  “Wow, that’s horrible. I’m sorry. If you were there again, would you do anything differently?”  Make it a teachable moment  Love them, hear from them, and walk forward together

51 Ways I Can Help!  Educate staff and volunteers  Parents of Teens seminar  Sex, Love, & Grace: Exploring Healthy Sexuality in the Church  Be a Resource to consult about ideas or situation  Many other ways The Story Never Ends…

52 I Have a Dream! My Story Never Ends…

53 Questions?

54 Thank You    720-446-6585  Please reach out if you have any further questions!

55 Resources  Sex Addiction  Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes*  Don’t Call it Love by Patrick Carnes  Facing the Shadows by Patrick Carnes  Surfing for God by Michael Cusick*  Partners of Addiction  Mending a Shattered Heart by Stephanie Carnes  Facing Heartbreak by Stephanie Carnes  Technology and Social Media  Closer Together, Further Apart by Robert Weiss and Jennifer Schneider * Highly suggested resources

56 Additional Resources      

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