Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
What can take out 50 percent of our pastors and 64percent of our men?
There is a spiritual disease that has become pandemic. Merriam-Webster defines pandemic as:
“Occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”
This pernicious disease targets men in particular. It has found a stronghold in men from pre-teen through adulthood.
It cannot be treated by medicine. Millions of households and families are suffering the consequences of this terrible infection.
Most serious of all is that it stops Christian men in their tracks. There are countless Christian men who are trying, really trying, but inexplicably failing in their spiritual lives. Some have absolutely no idea why Christianity is not working for them. Why they cannot connect spiritually to Jesus. Why, in spite of prayers and Bible studies, prayers seem to go unheard.
Hebrews 12: 1 instructs: “. . . let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely . . .“ teaching that we must not allow sin to “stick” to our routine. But this disease consists of a sin that is difficult to shake loose!
What might this terrible pandemic malady be? It is something that is interwoven all throughout our culture, and that is almost impossible to avoid: Pornography.
Studies from Barna Group show that 64 percent of Christian men aged 31-49 look at porn monthly. The rate for all ages is 54 percent. The percentages for clergy indicate that at least half of the men behind pulpits struggle with this sin.
On one hand it seems harmless – after all, it is only “looking,” right? Not so, says virtually every study of the impact of regularly viewing pornography.
The spiritual impact is devastating, but the physical consequences are also dramatic.
Research shows that men’s brains actually change physically as a result of viewing porn, a change that is more extreme than that experienced by drug addicts. Pornography damages relationships, leads to dysfunctional marriages, destroys integrity, and builds a spiritual barrier between men and God.
Does this mean that God no longer hears men’s prayers? No. God hears the prayers of sinners. However, unrepentant sin will hinder our relationship with God. When we are trapped by habitual sin, our spiritual life hits rock bottom. We cannot rise above the sin to reclaim a spiritual victory.
Pornography is pervasive. The ability to access pornography by cell phone and computer seemingly leaps out at the user. So what can be done? How do men free themselves from the addiction?
There is good news for everyone who truly wants to escape this dark bondage! God is raising up effective tools and resources to combat this malady of society.
For example, Ted Roberts a former Marine fighter pilot and founding pastor of a megachurch was himself set free. Out of his experience was birthed his Pure Desire ministry which documents a 95 percent success rate in becoming totally free from pornography. His process involves a covenant small group that meets regularly using two powerful tools from Pure Desire
Another interesting support resource is a web based forum on a site called The Samson Society. In addition to resources they utilize an online forum for mutual support and encouragement.
A favorite tool of mine is a website reporting software product called Covenant Eyes. This software installs on MAC and Windows PC’s and also some smart phones. I learned of this many years ago at Promise Keepers and have been using it ever since to ensure my integrity. This software sends regular email reports to covenant partners that alerts them to any websites you visit that have sexual content..
Other ministries work with training resources that address men, women and event pastors like Pure Man Ministry.
The Rev. Mark Lubbock, deployed staff
General Commission on UM Men
Contact me with ideas, questions or requests for training such as “No Man Left Behind”, “Understanding Ministry to Men” or to schedule a speaking engagement: