How Should the Church Speak About Pornography? - Radical

How Should the Church Speak About Pornography?

How can churches better minister to those who struggle with pornography? How should the Church address this issue? In this video, Heath Lambert emphasizes the cruciality of preaching against pornography in the Church, and how to be equipped to handle this issue. The Church simply does not have the luxury of avoiding issues such as pornography, as they are both incredibly prevalent, and inherently detrimental. Not only should pastors be speaking about pornography on Sundays, but they must also be able to minister to those walking through this struggle. The Church itself must become a place of accountability and guidance to declare war on the problem of pornography.

  1. Preach About It on Sundays
  2. Pastors Must Know What to Say
  3. Train the People Well

How Should the Church Speak About Pornography?

First of all, churches have to engage the issue of pornography and sexual purity. And the very first way that churches need to engage this issue is by having pastors that are going to preach about it on Sunday. Now, that might seem like a really obvious answer, but I’m telling you it is not. I’m talking to guys all over the country who are saying a couple of things.

First of all, they’re saying, “What’s all this talk about pornography? Pornography is not a problem in my church.” And I’m going, “How many people are in your church?” Because if you have two people in your church, it might not be a problem. But if you have much more than that, this needs to be on the radar. And so, one, you’ve got pastors who are well-intended, but they’re just not aware of how pervasive a problem this is for men and women.

Pornography today

A couple of years ago, the statistic was 40% of online pornography was consumed by women. So this is not just the guys’ problem, this is men and women. So first of all, got to preach about it. A second problem that I run into when I’m talking with church leaders about this is they’ll say, “Listen, I know that this is a problem. I just can’t talk about this on Sunday morning. I just can’t do it. I’d be a nervous wreck to bring this up. Or I have people in my church who would be scandalized that the word pornography would be mentioned. Or the kinds of things you’d have to talk about, to talk about these kinds of things are just not something I can do.” And I say, “Look, all the more to talk about it.” As a pastor, I don’t get the decision to preach on the things that are non-controversial. As a pastor, I have to preach on the whole counsel of God.

A Controversial Problem

And so if this is a problem in your church, and particularly if it’s a controversial problem in your church, then all the more to talk about it. So first of all, we’ve got to preach on these things. Secondly, every single pastor must, in fact, I wish it were different than this, but this is the hardcore reality of the world we’re living in. Every single pastor must know something to say and something to do for men and women who are struggling with pornography. We don’t get a pass where we say, “I don’t know how to help you, but I’m sure going to pray for you.” It’s over. It’s the 21st century. Porn is everywhere. It’s in your pocket, it’s on your iPad, it’s everywhere. And you have got to address it or you will be guilty of pastoral malpractice. That’s all there is to it.

A third thing that you need to do is you need people in your congregation who’ve been trained to deal with this. No one pastor can deal with it all by himself. You need people in your church who have wisdom about how to help people who struggle. You need people in your church who can host small groups and accountability groups and prayer groups for these kinds of people. So that’s a different way of saying you need to be creating resources in your church to do this. So preaching, pastors with skill, pastors who are equipping others to have skill, which is all a long-winded way of saying, as a church, we have to declare war on this problem.

We cannot allow it to be the situation as it is right now where the culture is being overrun with this problem and churches just don’t have any resources to address it.

Heath Lambert, M.Div, Ph.D. is the Executive Director at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and also serves as the Executive Pastor for Discipleship and Family Life at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. He is a faculty member at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College, where he has taught since 2006. Heath is also a founding council board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.


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