Monday, April 25, 2011

Pseudo-Repentance and Porn

Dr. Russell Moore writes in his book Tempted and Tried,


In our time pornography has become the destroying angel of male Eros. I don’t mean to suggest that pornography is only a male temptation (it is not), but pornography, because of the way a man has been designed toward arousal is, when available, a universal male temptation. It has come to the point now that whenever I meet with a couple in which there is a man who is an emotional shell of himself—dead to intimacy with his wife—and a marriage is fraying apart, I ask how long the pornography has been going on. In every case it’s there.
There is a kind of helplessness that a man engaged in pornography exhibits. He often speaks of it in terms of a “struggle” or an “addiction.” Now both of those terms are accurate, I believe, but they distance a person from his sin in a soul-decaying manner. Pornography is not just an addiction; it is occultism. The man who sits upstairs viewing pornography while his wife chauffeurs the kids to soccer practice is not some unusual “pervert”; he is (like his forefather Adam) seeking the mystery of the universe apart from Christ. That’s the reason the one picture, stored in his memory, of that naked woman will never be enough for him. He will never be able to be satisfied because he will never be able to get an image naked enough.
I say pornography is occultism because I believe the draw toward it is more than biological (though that is strong). The satanic powers understand the “the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). They understand that the pornographic act severs a one-flesh marriage union at the very point of intimate connectedness and instead joins Christ, spiritually, to an electronic prostitute (1 Cor. 6:16). They also know that those who unrepentantly practice such things “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Pornography is, in one sense, no different from any other form of sexual temptation. But in another sense it is even more insidious. Pornography brings with it a kind of pseudo-repentance. Immediately after it is “over,” the participant feels a kind of revulsion and self-loathing. Whereas an adulterer or a fornicator can at least rationalize a kind of transcendent “love” behind his sin, even a conscience thoroughly seared over rarely wants to write love songs or poetry in celebration of his pornographic self-satisfaction.
Typically—at least in those who have some sort of Christian or moral identity—the pornographic act is followed by a resolve never to do it again, to leave it behind and find some sort of accountability. But what masquerades as a repentant conscience is in most cases little more than a sated appetite. When the appetite is “hungry” once again, the demonic powers will collaborate with the biological impulses to find a way to make it seem irresistible again. As the cycle of temptation grinds on, the illusion of repentance keeps the sin in hiding, so that actual repentance never happens until, as with Esau, the conscience is so seared that repentance is then impossible (Heb. 6:4-6, 12:16-17).
And this is, of course, exactly where the powers want any child of Adam—and especially any professing brother or sister of the Lord Jesus.

Dr. Russell Moore via Challies

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Rich Mullins Wrote the Song "Hold Me Jesus"

This is worth the 10 minutes.  Rich was always one of the more honest and unique CCM artists out there.  I really enjoyed listening to to him talk about writing this great song (he starts talking at 3:40 on the video).

 

HT Luke Gilkerson

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

7 Tough Questions for Accountability

Getting started with an accountability partner can be an awkward experience at first.  Two guys getting together to make sure they haven't been "naughty" can feel childish and plain silly.  "Hey Bill!  What ya been lookin' at on the computer?"  or "Bob have you masturbated in the last 7 days caus' you said that was a big problem last week?" (HINT: if you say these with a deep southern drawl it sounds hilarious!)   Accountability meet ups need structure and shape or they will end up just being a catch up on life and not an intentional examination of one's struggles.  We'll talk more about accountability in the future but here is a post by Stephen Altrogge over at his blog The Blazing Center that I found really helpful in bringing some much needed focus to my meetings with my accountability partner.  Let me know in the comments if you have found other activities helpful.

Have you been consistently pursuing the Lord through scripture reading and prayer?

Above anything else, I want to make sure that my friends are faithfully pursuing the Lord. If there is a deficiency in reading scripture and prayer, there will be a deficiency in their relationship with the Lord.

Have you diligently pursued your wife/husband this week?

This questions applies to married folks only. Our relationship with our spouse is our second most important relationship after the Lord. If I’m not diligently investing in my relationship with my wife, there’s a problem.

Have you seen any persistent patterns of sin in your life recently?

Sin usually isn’t an isolated event. The same sin usually occurs multiple times in different contexts. It’s crucial that we help each other identify patterns of sin.

Last week you confessed struggling with [insert sin]. Have you taken steps to fight it this week?

It’s not enough to just confess sin. We want to help each other actively fight against the sin that we confess.

When you gave into [insert sin], what were you believing about God in that moment? What were you believing about yourself?
Sin is the result of believing lies about God and about ourselves. We sin in worry because we believe that God isn’t taking care of us. We sin in lust because we believe that it will satisfy us more than God. We sin in anger because we feel that our “rights” have been violated. Sin is the result of believing lies.

What is the truth that you need to believe in this situation?
We fight against the lies of sin by believing scriptural truth. We must help each other see how scripture applies to every area of our lives.

When you had the conflict with [insert person], what were you craving at that moment?
Scripture tells that conflict is the result of cravings. James 4:1-2 says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” Cravings underlie conflict.

Hopefully these questions get you going in the right direction. Let there be awkward questions!.
Read the rest of his post here

Friday, February 5, 2010

Does Sex Cure Porn Addiction?

Here is a quote from a thought provoking post by Dr. Bernell Christensen over at the Candeo site:

But what about sex? Why would someone continue seeking out pornography and masturbation when they can have sex with their partner? Why would they still have the need? Think of it this way—would having sex eliminate a cocaine addict’s desire for their drug? Of course not, because cocaine addiction is not about sex. The same principle applies to porn addiction. Most people are completely unaware that “pornography addiction is NOT about sex.” Pornography creates a literal chemical dependency in the brain. The individual uses porn as a “drug-of-choice” to escape and “self-medicate” in response to any number of pressures, difficulties, needs or situations in his life. Having sex is not going to heal a chemical addiction.

Read the whole article here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

iPad Porn??

Well, most of you visiting this site must know that a small startup tech company called Apple just announced a major new product call the iPad. I can just imagine hundreds if not thousands of porn site domain names were registered within seconds of the announcement of the name of this product. For the most part each new breakthrough technology is usually harnessed to it's full potential, not by education platforms or hospitals, but by the porn industry. From the invention of the home video camera to the VCR to the world wide web; tech has been the best friend of virtual sex.

Like many of you I can think of a million reasons why i need an iPad (by "need" I mean "want" really-painfully-bad!) There are many justifications for purchasing one of these devices if not just for fun. However, I learned a somewhat hard lesson after getting my first computer. I never knew the problem that internet porn would be for me. I sat in my dorm room and unpacked my new Dell desktop and probably before I had even thrown away the bubble wrap I had searched for something softcore on my high-speed connection. A number of years later I rushed, slightly too fast, into purchasing my first smart-phone and realized much quicker that I would need restrictions. Thankfully, with my iphone I found a way to lock down the device so that my addiction would not ruin my life and devastate those around me once again(click here to see my quitting iPhone porn post).

"We do what we must so that we can do what we want" Forest Whitaker's character in the movie, The Great Debaters, said this to his impressionable son in regards to studying/working hard. I think it relates perfectly to the porn addict. You could also say it this way, "We restrict ourselves so that we can be free." I have found this to be true time and time again as it relates to my addiction to online sex. I must find creative ways to limit and restrict my access to an unmonitored internet connection. Sometimes I can still use a device and feel very free because technology allows me to. Covenant Eyes, XXXChurch, Safe Eyes etc... these programs can be very freeing ways to continue using your PC or Mac without the feeling of restriction. In regard to my iPhone I have been required to give up at times a lot of the functionality of the device because filtering or monitoring technology has not caught up (or been allowed to catch up) with the use of the device. It is for this reason that I must use caution when deciding if/when to purchase a new internet enabled product such as the iPad.

The sinner must remind him/herself of the pain and devastation of enslavement in their past life of habitual sin. More importantly the freed slave must remind themselves of the joy and beauty of their current life in Christ. Paul says this about a life without freedom,
"21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
" -Romans 7:21-25 NIV
If you're reading this article chances are that you resonate quite well with Paul's struggle. Let us serve our new good master in Jesus. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Though we may not get to be the earliest adopters of every shiny new product that Steve Jobs has created; we can wait with joy knowing that our treasure is laid up in heaven. And hopefully just around the bend one of our brothers will create a safe way for us to enjoy this new tech. I don't know about you but I'm quitting iPad porn before I have to.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Willfull Entrapment

A New Film called Willful Entrapment is coming out described as:

A visually arresting short film that removes the veil from the the perception of "innocent fun" from pornography and depicts it as the door to psychotic addiction and destruction that it really is.
Lead character, Alan Gerd (Jayson McDonald), has a social media encounter with pornography and soon finds himself haunted by a force that seems to destroy him and the ones he loves. What starts out as a slightly uneasy realization explodes into a desperate struggle between life and death as he fights to save the life of Bernice (Kathy Quayle), and his own sanity. But is he strong enough to win on his own?


Conceptually influenced in part by the history of the life of Ted Bundy - a seemingly normal man who is estimated to have murdered and raped 35 woman in the US with a strong involvement in pornography, writer / director Francois J Driessen paints a visually arresting picture of the surreal world of sexual addiction and its power to destroy the innocent.

"A serious wake-up call to everyone that tolerated the idea of pornography."




HT Samson Society

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pastors and Porn (Nate Larkin Interview) Podcast # 3

Ministers, pastors, priests etc... are men, and women, just like anybody else. I'm trained as a minister. I personally have an undergraduate degree from the Moody Bible Institute in Bible and Theology. I have never wanted to do anything else with my life but be a pastor. I spent the better part of my part-time and full-time ministry (over a 7 year span) addicted to pornography. Of course I had periods of giving it up but it always came back and worse. Today, the main reason I'm in the marketplace and not in a pastor's study is because I am trying to put some distance between myself and my addiction. I find stories from and about pastors and sexual sin fascinating and heartbreaking. I see myself in every headline of a minister gone bad.

Nate Larkin is one of those stories. You can read about Nate's story on your own. The audio today is from the Covenant Eyes. Nate is a gifted communicator. His video from I am Second is definitely worth the watch.



Download mp3 file here -or- Subscribe to the podcast in Itunes

Updates

"Are you still there?"

This is the question many of you have been asking me recently. If you subscribe to this blog you may be surprised that it still exists. Yes it does but I have neglected it a lot recently. I've also had a couple of "minor relapses." These "relapses" I call "minor" because I still have accountability in my life and those who know me know about what's going on with me. Though admittedly no sin especially that of a sexual nature is "minor." Let's be frank, it leads to death. I'm going to recommit myself to ridding my life of even the smallest sexual sin. I've been coasting on past success' recently and has lead to some sloppiness in my pursuit of holiness. Hopefully, rather Lord willing, you will see a lot of activity on your RSS and Podcast feeds here. I'm going to blog through the book Holiness by J.C. Ryle with a small possibility of producing some original content for the podcast feed as well. Thanks for sticking with me and fighting the good fight with me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Breaking the Power of Porn (David Powlison)

Here is a article by David Powlison that I pray God would be used to help many break a destructive pattern of sin. Here is an excerpt:
Imagine that your heart, your true inner self, is a room filled with your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and perceptions. Some are good and full of light, and some are bad and full of evil and darkness. There are two ways to clean out the evil and darkness and bring light and goodness to the whole room. You can eject the evil bodily: Fight the sin! Say no! Call your accountability person. Repent. Remember the Bible. Cry out to God for mercy. That’s one-half of the battle.

The other way you fight sin is to flood your heart with light. When the room of your heart is filled with light, the shadows, the darkness, and the evil will be pushed out. You don’t just put off your sins; you have to put on something new. Part of winning your battle with sexual sin is learning a new way of living.

Read the whole thing here and here.

HT: Justin Taylor

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Great List of Resources


Luke Gilkerson over at the Covenant Eyes Blog, Breaking Free. Has compiled a list of some great resources for those trying to break free from porn addiction. I'm planning on revisiting this list in the future.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Who Wants the Rose?

Many people, including myself, after failing time after time in regards to looking at pornography struggle with self-worth issues. By this I mean many of us who have failed sexually wonder if we might be broken beyond repair. We wonder if we are destined to continually fail. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a ray of hope breaking this dark place many of us find ourselves in. The good news is that Jesus died for the sexually immoral, not for those who consider themselves "good." This video is a great reminder that we have value and worth because Jesus gave us value and worth. A must watch for the Quitting Porn Guy audience.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Sexual Sin" by Mark Driscoll (Podcast #2)


Today's podcast is a sermon by an evangelical Christian pastor in Seattle Washington named Mark Driscoll. Driscoll is one of the straightest shooting men out there about sex in the church. His books, sermons and articles are great for getting to the heart of the problem. The focus of this website is help for the journey to quitting porn and listening to great messages on a regular basis will definitely help. Leave your thoughts, questions, or concerns in the comments. (NOTE: This audio has been posted for a few days now already so if you have already subscribed in iTunes to the podcast you probably received the download a few days ago)

Download mp3 file here -or- Subscribe to the podcast in Itunes

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Interview with Ex-Adult Film Star, Crissy (Podcast #1)

The second post here on the site is going to be our first podcast. The audio I'm posting is not original content from this site or myself. Encouraging audio for the journey to freedom is what I want the podcast to be all about. For now I'm just going to scour the internet for great talks, podcasts, sermons, shows or just about anything else that might be helpful. Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you've found something that would be of benefit to others.

Today's audio is very special. Drew Marshal, a radio host on Canadian Christian radio interviews ex-Adult Film Star Crissy about how the daughter of a one-time pastor became a porn-star. Her story is heart-wrenching and convicting all at once.

There are two groups of people who should hear this story: First, men should listen and be brutally reminded of the far-reaching effects of looking at pornography. Putting real flesh and bones on the nameless body on the other side of the screen has to move even the most addicted. Second, women should hear about the environmental forces that pushed her into this manner of living. I am convinced that our churches need godly women ready to get their hands dirty in helping to redeem lives like Crissy's so destroyed by abuse and wrong choices.

Download mp3 file here -or- Subscribe to the podcast in Itunes

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quitting iPhone Porn

This blog is going to be very personal and therefore I have decided to make the inaugural post about what I'm thinking about right now. I have a love/hate relationship with technology. The smart-phone is a relatively new addition to my life but when I took the plunge I went straight for the ultimate smart-phone, namely Apple's IPhone. In retrospect it was not something I put enough thought into in regards to access to porn. I stood in line late last July like many other eager IPhone 3G buyers. Not long after purchasing the phone I realized I was going to need to get some sort of accountability for the internet part of the software interface. I spent a long time searching all over the internet for resources or applications to help with this problem. To make a long story short; as of right now no internet accountability or filter of any sort can operate on the IPhone because Apple does not allow applications to run in the background of the operating system (*this may change with 3.0 coming out this summer). So I was left with two options, give up the IPhone or find some way to turn off the internet feature of the phone. I'm happy to say there is a great solution I have found to this problem. To start off here is a checklist of what you will need:
  1. An IPhone
  2. A Good Friend
Yep, that's it...kind of

Things to Remember:
It is important to remember that on the journey to being porn-free one has to give up some freedom. This is not a bad thing. Let me explain, athletes who train for their sport are constantly giving up personal freedoms in order to excel. They pay great attention to diet, sleep, practice, training etc... This isn't only true for athletes but for musicians or college students or anyone who has a goal in mind to go from point a to point b in their life. The same will be true of any individual who has been even marginally addicted to pornography. If you wish to be free of this enslavement; discipline, or giving up freedoms, is one of the most important parts of movement.

Limitations:
With that being said you will need to be willing to limit some of your internet capabilities on the IPhone to make this work. Notice I said some because most of the functionality of the IPhone is still intact. You will not be able to use Safari to look up any old website but you still have thousands of applications to choose from in Apple's "App" store. Many give you access to news, video, music, EBay, Paypal, banking and many other things without needing a dedicated browser. Keep in mind that you will also want to pick out all the applications that you wish to have on your IPhone before you take this step. This is because it is necessary to disable the ability to install new applications along with disabling Safari. Why? Because many RSS readers and other applications have an embedded browser in their innate functionality. This can become one more way to access porn when you are weak. You can still install new applications but you will need your trusty friend who has your password to enable this function for a few minutes and then disable it again after installing your new applications (*NOTE Make sure none of your applications have an embedded web browser in them).

Then Why Have An IPhone?
If you are visiting this website and reading this post and are still asking that question then either you really shouldn't buy an internet enabled phone or maybe you should check the seriousness of your intentions to quit looking at pornography. Whatever it takes is the motto of this site. Think about your life now and ask yourself if you really want to be struggling with this in 5...10...20 years from now.

How To Set it Up:
The IPhone software comes with a "Restrictions" setting. Here's how you do it:

Go under "Settings":
Then go to "General":
Then go to "Restrictions":

Then touch "Enable Restrictions" and you will see a screen that looks like this:

After Your friend enters the password. (do I need to mention you shouldn't watch:-)
You will see this screen:

After you are done the screen should have only these things "on":


Congratulations you now have the greatest phone known to mankind and you don't have to worry about getting into trouble with it. I'm still hopeful that in the future there will be a way to have some sort of filter or accountability software. Covenant Eyes and XXX Church have both publicly stated that they would be more than willing to develop an application if Apple alters their software to allow for this. My other crazy idea is that one of these companies could just develop their own web browser application for the IPhone and when using this application it filters or monitors your browsing. Feel free to email me your suggestions at quittingpornguy@gmail.com or leave a comment to tell us how this works for you or to encourage others.