The Truth About Emotional PORN

Sexually oriented pornography is a multibillion dollar industry annually in the United States. It is estimated that every second, $3,075.64 is spent on sexually explicit material. Nearly 25 percent of total Internet search engine requests (i.e. Google, Yahoo) are pornographic in nature, totaling approximately 68 million hits per day. The average age of first exposure to pornographic material is estimated at 11 years old.

The societal, relational and financial costs of pornography are staggering. According to the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, 47 percent of families in the United States reported that pornography is a problem in their home. The same study shows that the consistent viewing of sexually explicit material increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300 percent. While 40 percent of “sex addicts” lose their spouses, 58 percent suffer considerable financial losses and one-third lose their jobs.

On a sexual level, pornography distorts attitudes by objectifying the sacredness of self-giving sex and turning it into a self-serving sport. It skews reality with an unrealistic fantasy and destroys families and lives. Statistically speaking, men are far more susceptible to the perils of sexually oriented pornographic material than women, and thus more accustomed to being the recipients of strong rebukes and intensive accountability measures within the Church. And rightly so. The Enemy has a strong foothold in the lives of many men suffocating in a fantasy that is destroying their reality. We’re well aware of this in the Church and unashamedly outspoken about it from the pulpit.

We are, however, notoriously silent about a frighteningly similar and equally dangerous epidemic threatening not the sensual faculties of men, but the emotional recesses of women within the Church. The life-stealing effects of sexual pornography for men are real and devastating and evil, but not any more or less than the emotional pornography of TV dramas, reality dating shows, Hollywood blockbuster romantic comedies and even Christian novels many are indulging in on an equally destructive level. The intent of this post is not to prudishly boycott cable or Hollywood, nor is it to legalistically elicit guilt or shame in those who are fans of these types of stories. Its purpose is to bring awareness to a subtly pervasive issue that is running wildly unchecked within the Church, and to simply say — let’s not be naive, but careful.

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jjohnson@churchleaders.com'
Jason and his wife, Emily, live in The Woodlands, TX with their four daughters (adopting the youngest in 2013). Jason planted Woodlands Point Community Church in 2008 where he now serves as the Lead Teaching Pastor. He is a member of The Acts 29 Church Planting Network. In 2011 Jason co-founded The Orphan Care Network which exists to provide Gospel-centered resources to the Church to assist in mobilizing them around the cause of the orphan.