Summary: The curse of Pornography has invaded the church. The Cure for the Curse is found in C.A.P. - Confession, Avoidance, and Partnering

Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledgethese sources whenever possible.


MATTHEW 5:27-30

Introduction: Have you ever done a web search on your computer only to be shocked and embarrassed at what came in over the internet. Accidental hits are symptomatic of a greater problem in our society brought on by the curse of pornography. We are experiencing pornography in our society in epidemic proportions. What is sad is that it is not just outside of the church but many in the church have been caught up in this plague.

I. The Plague of Pornography

A. What is pornography? Pornography, according to the dictionary definition, is sexually explicit pictures, writing, and other materials.

B. The vast majority of pornography users are men, however some women partake as well. Some couples use pornography in an attempt to "spice up" their sex life.

C. Pornography is big business. According to U.S. News and World Report, the industry grosses an estimated $10 billion per year. General Motors, the world’s largest company, now sells more graphic sex films through its DirecTV subsidiary than does Hustler pornographer Larry Flynt, according to distributors of the films. EchoStar Communications Corp., the No. 2 satellite provider, makes more money selling sex films than Playboy does with its magazines, cable, and Internet businesses, records from the companies show. It is estimated that 60% of all web sites are pornographic and that Americans spent $220 million in 2002 at fee-based adult web sites. By the year 2005, the amount is expected to reach $320 million. The United States is now by far the world’s leading producer of porn, churning out hard-core videos at the astonishing rate of about 150 new titles a week.

D. Unfortunately, the church has not been exempt from this curse as many Christians are caught in the deadly attraction to pornography. George Barna says that 28 % of “born Again” Christians feel it is acceptable to view pornographic pictures.

E. As many as one in four pastors struggle with or are addicted to pornography.

F. Josh McDowell’s website states that “virtually ALL” teen boys look at it!

G. Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

II. The Effects of Pornography

A. Defenders of pornography argue that it is not harmful, and thus should not be regulated or banned. But such is not the case.

B. Pornography harms children. Of the 1400 child sexual molestation cases in Louisville, Kentucky, between July 1980 and February 1984, adult pornography was connected with each incident and child pornography with the majority of them.

C. It has been estimated that approximately 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually molested before the age of 18. The relationship of pornography to child sexual abuse is compelling. Seventy-seven percent, of those who molested boys and 87 percent of those who molested girls said they were regular users of hard-core pornography.

D. Pornography degrades women. Women are seen as animals, playthings, sex objects, and merchandise.

E. Professor Cass Sunstein, writing in the Duke Law Journal, says that some sexual violence against women "would not have occurred but for the massive circulation of pornography." Citing cross-cultural data, he concludes: The liberalization of pornography laws in the United States, Britain, Australia, and the Scandinavian countries has been accompanied by a rise in reported rape rates. In countries where pornography laws have not been liberalized, there has been a less steep rise in reported rapes. And in countries where restrictions have been adopted, reported rapes have decreased

F. Pornography desensitizes to deviant behavior.

G. Pornography is as addictive as any drug.

III. The Cure for Addiction to Pornography

A. Confession

1. Do not expect God to cover what you are not willing to uncover. - Duncan Campbell, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 4.

2. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

3. Confession is to bring to light the unknown, the unconscious darkness, and the underdeveloped creativity of our deeper layers. - Fritz Kunkel

4. Being general director of the New York opera took a toll on Beverly Sills; she ballooned into obesity. "It made me sick to look at myself. I’d reached the point where I didn’t want to have my clothes made anymore. It was too embarrassing. So I ordered everything from catalogues." Eventually Sills was forced to face the problem. "I woke up one day and realized I was really ill." She went to see a specialist. "He put me on the scales. They read 215 pounds. ’I cannot possibly weigh that much!’ I gasped. And the doctor said, ’Please look down. Are those two fat feet on the scale yours or mine?’" Beverly smiled. "Once I accepted the problem, I was on my way." – Phyllis Battelle in Ladies Home Journal, quoted in Reader’s Digest 1986.

5. Psalm 32:3 "When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long"

6. Psalms 51:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight; that You might be justified when You speak, and be clear when You judge.

B. Avoidance

1. Matthew 5:29-30 “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

2. Psalm 101:3 “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…”

3. Job 31:1 “"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.”

4. Martin Luther said, “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep him from building a nest in your hair”.

5. There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. Mark Twain.

6. 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

7. On the TV show "Hee Haw," Doc Campbell is confronted by a patient who says he broke his arm in two places. The doc replies, "Well then, stay out of them places!" He may have something there. We cannot regularly put ourselves in the face of temptation and not be affected. When faced with the problem of temptation, we need to take the good doctor’s advice and "stay out of them places." - Source Unknown.

C. Partnering

1. James 5:16a “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another…”

2. Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

3. Being accountable to someone means you sit face to face, look that person in the eye and honestly, openly discuss what is going on in your lives.

4. One person described accountability as this: "I have a few friends that, when we get together, we can share our struggles and weaknesses and support one another. I know that these guys care about me as a person more than they care that I’m doing everything right. The accountability does not come from having a list of questions to answer to each week and make sure that I’m doing everything right. The accountability comes in the form of a supportive friendship and knowing that this person cares about me and is praying for me, regardless of if I’ve had a rough week or if I’m doing great."

5. Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said, "Our people come to us and pour out their heats, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul." In due time all agreed. One confessed he liked to go to movies and would sneak off when away from his church. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking to play cards. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, "Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?" Finally he answered, "It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here." - Source Unknown.

6. Confidentiality is crucial. We need to share with people who know how to keep our confidence and when to confront us about our unhealthy secrecy.

7. Hebrews 3:13 “…exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin”

8. James 5:20 Remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins"