Pornography, once a dirty little secret, has become an epidemic. Droves of men and women, youth and seniors, public servants and Christian leaders are admitting they struggle personally with pornography.  Consider the following:

  • Over 50 percent of evangelical pastors report they viewed pornography last year.
  • 34 percent of female readers of Today's Christian Woman's online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll.
  • Pornography is a $10 billion business - bigger than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball combined.
  • 50 percent of Promise Keepers attendees viewed porn within a week before the event.
  • One of 10 respondents to a recent poll said they are "sexually addicted" to Internet pornography.
  • 20 percent of the Internet consists of pornographic content.
  • 300,000,000 x-rated videos were distributed in the US-more than the entire US population - and that was 13 years ago.
  • Hollywood releases 11,000 adult movies per year - more than 20 times mainstream movie production.
  • One in five children (age 10-17) have received unwanted sexual solicitations online
  • 1800 percent - pornography growth over the last five years.

No longer simply someone else's problem, pornography has invaded the hearts and homes of your family and friends, and most likely your church. The good news is the battle isn't over!  But overcoming it requires that you understand it and take action.

Playing with Fire

Those struggling with pornography, whether occasionally or daily, deal with the issue in one of two ways. Some live life telling themselves, "...I can stop anytime I choose".  Rather than confront the demon proactively, they treat it with silence and a bold determination that next time they're tempted, they'll win.  But experience and statistics are not on their side.

Others have given up the fight by rationalizing their involvement.  After all, what's the harm in looking at a few pictures, or in renting an explicit video on occasion?  They've tossed aside scriptural teaching focusing on the importance of moral purity, just as some denominations have rationalized their position on homosexuality.

But regardless of their response, playing with porn is playing with fire.  Consider the findings of the LAPD Sexually Exploited Child (SEC) Unit.  The LAPD-SEC examined the relationship between extra-familial child abuse and pornography in their cases over a ten-year period, dating from 1980-1989.  Their findings are startling. 

Pornography was directly involved in 62 percent of the cases they reviewed and actually recovered in 55 percent of their cases. The study's author concludes: "Clearly, pornography, whether it be adult or child pornography, is an insidious tool in the hands of the pedophilic population... The study merely confirms what detectives have long known: that pornography is a strong factor in the sexual victimization of children."

The New Crack Cocaine

Dr. James Dobson has called Internet pornography the new "Crack Cocaine." Indeed, the similarities between pornography and drug use are significant. Science reveals that the brain releases endorphins while watching pornography creating an intense feeling of euphoria, and making subsequent use much more tempting ... and highly likely.

As with drugs, continued use drives the need for stronger, more elicit forms of stimulation.  What began with a picture has the potential to grow into an encounter with a prostitute. Of course, not all porn users lose their homes and families and become pedophiles. But of those that do, none believed that was a possibility when they first began.