Recently, a man filed suit against Apple Computer for enabling him to access porn on Apple’s products. He blamed Apple for not warning him about the dangers of pornography, his failed marriage and stated he’s stuck with a lifelong pornography addiction.
Most people will look at a story like this and say that the man who’s suing Apple is wrong. They’d say he needs to take 100% responsibility for his actions, and that he had the freedom to exchange his smartphone for one that’s doesn’t have internet access. They would say he needs to stop blaming others to justify his pornography addiction. They’d say he needs to stop playing games with lust and do whatever it takes to break free from it, whether it means going to support groups, counseling, or not even having a phone or computer.
And they’d be right. I would say this too.
What many don’t understand, both in and outside of the church, is what pornography addiction does to a man or woman. Once the snake of porn is coiled tightly around a person and they’re in bondage to it, breaking free is no easy matter. Porn becomes their friend, their lover, their idol… and the thing they hate the most. It’s their comfort and tormentor. They become attached to it and it becomes a part of them. The bondage is so intense that letting go feels like it would be like dying, so they sometimes resist external pressure to face their sin and deal with it with everything they have. This is why the lying, cheating, blaming, and justification always accompany pornography addiction. Telling a person who’s in bondage to porn to “just stop doing it because it’s a bad thing to do” rarely gets results.
This is why churches who are serious about facing the truth that many of their men and women are not only viewing porn, but in bondage to it, will have to do more than preach a nice and tidy “porn is sin, don’t do it” sermon once a year and then walk away. Men and women who are in bondage to lust must be confronted with a no-holds barred message that they will corrupt themselves, destroy their marriage and family, and mess up their relationship with God if they don’t do whatever it takes to break free from porn. “Doing whatever it takes” involves far more than Bible reading and prayer; it always requires taking the actions described at the beginning of this article.
Anything less is delusional thinking and holding onto the problem. Which, it grieves me to say, is what our churches are doing when they won’t face the fact that a pornography addiction epidemic is hollowing them out at the core.