Pastor, there are two truths I want to share: (1) Many of your fellow pastors are personally struggling with pornography and; (2) pastors must address the issue of pornography among the people they lead.
Several questions emerge based on these two truths. What if you are personally struggling with pornography? Who can you tell? Who can you trust? What if they break your confidence? What should you do? How should you broach the subject of pornography in the pulpit? I mean, it is awkward and could be controversial. Besides, are that many Christian men (and women) really struggling? Should the whole church have to endure the uncomfortable discussion on pornography in your preaching because a few are struggling?...
I am somewhat hesitant to reply Asa as for one we probably are on the same page, but mainly because I don't want to be seen as one who is lowering the bar on the standard of be holy as God is holy. I don't want to be seen as encouraging light thoughts of sin or of trampling under foot the blood of the covenant. We both adhere to I John 2:3,4 that any saying they know God without a pattern of keeping His commandments are liars. I like the quote I put from Owen as I believe it puts concisely what all believers face. That being said, I am reminded that the model prayer is a daily petition which includes a petition for forgiveness of sins. If believers didn't face besetting sins, Hebrews 12:1,2 would not be in Scripture. The Lord reminded Peter his feet needed daily cleansing. The article lays out a plan to fulfill confessing and forsaking sin to obtain mercy. It specifically talks about those struggling with this sin. Seeing our walk in Christ has been termed a battle and we have been given weapons for the conflict, I would be hesitant to condemn those fighting and struggling to mortify their sins. Romans 7:15-8:1 is a reminder that even the most spiritual battle the world, the flesh, and the devil. I believe those who struggle need our supplication not our scorn.
Be not deceived, habitual sin shows no holy spirit conviction,1john 3:9 , Galatians 5:17., proverbs 28:13. First John 1: to 2:1 deals with acts of sin not habitual sin see Greek new testament . God is not mocked Galations 6:6,7 Hebrews 12:14. Seek grace heb. 4:16 not misquoted opinions
Asa wrote: If you live in sin you are not born again the Gospel has no power for you. For it stands written SIN shall not have dominion over you, Romans 6:14 1:32 8:7 8:13!!!
Form the pen of John Owen's classic work on the mortification of sin,
"To mortify a sin is not utterly to kill, root it out, and destroy it, that it should have no more hold at all nor residence in our hearts. It is true this is that which is aimed at; but this is not in this life to be accomplished. There is no man that truly sets himself to mortify any sin, but he aims at, intends, desires its utter destruction, that it should leave neither root nor fruit in the heart or life. He would so kill it that it should never move nor stir any more, cry or call, seduce or tempt, to eternity. Its not-being is the thing aimed at. Now, though doubtless there may, by the Spirit and grace of Christ, a wonderful success and eminency of victory against any sin be attained, so that a man may have almost constant triumph over it, yet an utter killing and destruction of it, that it should not be, is not in this life to be expected. This Paul assures us of, Phil. 3:12, â€śNot as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.â€ť
I would like to say I am considering not attending a church because of immodest dress of some of the young ladies who are members. This is very serious, grave. Men are notspeaking up because they like looking at yhese women and or are afraid to offend. Fathers and husbands need to lead and not allow the women of their households to wear tight and or revealing clothing. Honestlt, these ladies need to be stopped at the door of the church. Either the mature ladies can offer a shawl and if the person refuses then they are sent away.
I read through the article but didn't notice where it mentioned that 37% of Pastors struggle with pornography. I hope that figure is way off. I'm not sure how much trust I have in statistics anyway. Interview 10 men, 3 of them admit to a struggle with pornography, and suddenly, 30% of the men in the US, or whatever are labelled. If I was a struggling Pastor: How could I, in earnestness, speak out against that which I, myself, am guilty of? But then again, I consider those who were busted in the recent and distant past, such as Jimmy Swagart preaching hellfire but hanging out with prostitutes after the services. Then there was, who was it, Ted Haggard(?) Preaching against all things vile, all the while hanging out with his boy toys after church. The way I see it is that no matter who we are, we have struggles, and whatever struggles we have are between us and God. Although, those who hold lofty positions, I feel, will be held to stricter accountability. What bothers me about church leaders who are guilty of these things is that they are always lusting and can, even have, used God Himself to lure the weak into their bedrooms.
Seeing that the Scriptures admonishes all of us to lay aside the sin that so easily besets us and the article does not talk about those reveling in but struggling with pornography, I feel your judgments are a tad harsh. Even Job, whom God called the most righteous on earth at that time, had to make a covenant with his eyes not to look upon a woman.
"Many of your fellow pastors are personally struggling with pornography"
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness ... and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Not only are many pastors surfing and doing porn every week (37 percent), they will never see God as they descend into hell. Your pastor better be frequently preaching against porn, abortion, homosexuality, SSM, pedophilia, polyamory, incest, LGBTQ, selfsex, etc. If not, he needs to turn in his ordination credentials and find another job.
I am convinced that this sin is very prevalent in many churches, across the board. It is the reason why many pastors cannot/will not address many hot button issues such as abortion and personal holiness. And is a contributing factor to the 'powerless-ness' of the bride of Messiah!(