The Dangers of Anti-Porn Culture

By Carl Thomas

A couple of weeks ago, ChurchLeaders.com released an article spotlighting XXXchurch and its new mission citing some remarks I made in a previous blog post. Now don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the coverage but I wasn’t a huge fan of the headline…

Anti-Porn XXXchurch Site Owner’s Message: ‘Things Aren’t Getting Better’

Clearly the writer of this article didn’t spend too much time familiarizing  himself with our site, or he would have seen this excerpt from our About Us page (which is also part of our “message”):

It’s time to stop blaming the porn industry for our problems. Legislation and pointing fingers doesn’t work.

In other words, XXXchurch is not an Anti-Porn organization.

Now I realize when some people hear me say this they become incredulous thinking that we must then be “pro-porn.” Crazy jump in logic I know, but they fail to understand that simply because we refuse to demonize something does not mean we are endorsing it at the same time.

Why is this so important? 

Because when we focus all our attention and hate on the object of our struggle we lose sight of the fact that the REAL enemy is what causes us to struggle in the first place. 

Don’t get me wrong…

  • We are not saying that porn (and the sex industry) at large is good thing.
  • We are not saying that porn is healthy.
  • We are not saying that you should use porn.

And yes, we are not saying that porn and the sex industry positively influences culture. Quite the opposite in fact.

But what we are saying is that it doesn’t matter.

Freedom is not living in a world absent of “threats” and “temptations.” Freedom is being able to function in a healthy way even when these things are all around us.

Here’s the hard truth…

Porn and sex are not to blame for your issues. They are just medicants for your issues.

And when we fail to understand this and keep focusing our attention on how “bad” something is, we lose sight of our personal responsibility.

And why is this so dangerous?

For starters…

  • We never get the help we need because we are too busy complaining about how bad things are.
  • We never talk about our struggles because that’s hard and difficult vs. just piling the blame on our “common enemy.”
  • We never own our own crap and seek alternative ways to shift the responsibility for our own brokenness.

And then something like Atlanta happens…

Last week Robert Aaron Long went on a shooting spree visiting three Atlanta-area massage parlors killing eight people in the process.

So tragic.
So hateful.
So disturbing.

But what struck me was his reason… Long told police he believed he had a sex addiction and that he saw the spas as “a temptation … that he wanted to eliminate.”

Now admittedly we don’t know everything about this situation or the motives of this young man. But it’s safe to say that he was driven by a deep hatred for what he recognized as the object of his affliction.

In other words, these spas and individuals were to blame for his problems and not him.

This type of tragedy saddens me because it serves as an extreme example of how we live in a culture that often rather “blame” than “own.”

  • Much easier to target your temptation than take responsibility for it.
  • Much easier to point fingers than look in the mirror.
  • Much easier to find a scapegoat than admit you are the goat.

And again, this is an extreme and tragic example of what can happen when we demonize what we see as the enemy rather than just taking care of our own house. But it’s an example nonetheless.

Let me be clear…

Porn is not your enemy.
The sex industry is not your enemy.
People are not your enemy.

They are just players in a very large chess game where your success or failure comes down to how you decide to move your own pieces.

Stop hoping temptation goes away.
Stop harping on how bad things are.
Stop wishing life would just get easier.

It doesn’t work that way.

We are all broken.
We all have pain.

And we all need to seek our own personal healing so these distractions in life do not become our undoing.

If you are struggling with sex addiction or have been impacted by it in some manner, please hear me on this…

There is help. There is hope. There is healing.

Take a step today and find the communities and resources you need to find the freedom you’ve been searching for.

 

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