Could half of Christian men have a problem with porn, as so many of the statistics say? Porn is reported to be a 12 billion dollar industry in the U.S… 50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers stadium event… 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a Pastors.com survey… in a 2003 Focus on the Family poll 47 percent of respondents said porn is a problem in their home.

 

12 billion… 50 percent… half. My eyes glaze over at numbers like this. Are we supposed to buy into the idea that half of the men in the church are porn addicts? Maybe it’s just more sensational rhetoric meant to rouse us for battle against the culture. 

 

But In My Church?

 

Certainly half the men in my church couldn’t have a problem with porn. Most the men in our body of 600 are in their late 30s to early 40s, married, and the father of little ones. They have successful careers making good money and are involved in ministry. I couldn’t picture so many of these men I sit next to every Sunday leering at porn.   

 

Wanting to prove the numbers wrong, in the spring of 2004 I approached the leadership of our church and asked if we could survey the men on the topic of pornography. Our numbers will be different; “half” can’t be true here, I thought. Of those who responded, 25 percent had looked at porn within the past 30 days, 44 percent within six months, and 61 percent within the year. The real statistic is probably higher; I heard later that a number of men didn’t fill out the survey “because they were afraid of how it would be used.”

 

Pure Desire

 

Ted Roberts, a pastor who’s ministered to many caught in the bondage of sexual addiction recounts the following story in his book Pure Desire:

 

“I was speaking in the Bible Belt not too long ago. When I asked the gracious pastor what he wanted me to share about during the weekend service, he said, “just tell them about the great work God is doing at your church.”

 

I said, “I would love to do that, but I will end up talking about real life – about the bondage, addiction and trauma that so many people are struggling with today. And I will challenge them to open up these areas of their lives to God so He can heal them and set them free.”

 

The expression on his face changed a bit and he commented, “Well, I don’t think we have a lot of folks dealing with the depth of issues that you’re talking about. This isn’t just the Bible belt part of the country. We call it the buckle of the Bible Belt.”