A reporter invited to experience virtual reality pornography with a Samsung Gear VR headset chronicled the lifelike details of the sexual encounter. He noted, "after trying out VR porn, I don't think anyone who experiences it will be able to go back to 2D porn. It's that realistic." The New York Times reports, "While virtual-reality pornography may feel like something out of a science fiction movie, it already has a formidable, if underground, presence. According to one porn site, views of VR porn are up 275 percent since it debuted in the summer of 2016. Now the site is averaging about 500,000 views." Ready or not, the new frontier of pornography is here. However, as Josh McDowell asks (and answers) in the all- new Conquer Series: "Is the church ready for this? No, because they are not aware of it."
Many pastors are unfamiliar with virtual reality in general, unaware of Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift and the multi-billion-dollar industry around it (such as Oculus Rift being bought and developed by Facebook).In 2016, the Barna Group, in partnership with Josh McDowell Ministry, launched a landmark study on the pervasive nature of internet pornography and its impact on the church entitled The Porn Phenomenon: The Explosive Growth of Pornography and How It's Impacting Your Church, Life, and Ministry. This 800-plus page study investigates the pervasiveness of pornography, particularly among American Christians.
A few of its finding include:
- Nearly half of young people are actively seeking pornography weekly or more frequently.
- More than 1 in 4 individuals between the ages of 25 and 30 first viewed porn before hitting puberty.
- The survey also found that 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors involved in the study are currently struggling with porn use.
However, the unique area of virtual reality has only begun to impact culture. Market Watch writer Jennifer Booton writes these interactive experiences are"... designed to be so powerful and immersive it tricks people into believing they are fully present in a simulated world." The president of one VR porn company has said in an interview with Japan Times, "If people harbor a desire for abnormal or illicit sex, fulfilling that desire may be difficult or risky in real life, to say the least. But VR can make it all possible." The problem for consumers is that they are handing over uncontrolled access to their brains to pornographers.We have mirror neurons in our brain that help us to learn—when we learn to tie our shoelaces by watching someone else, that is those mirror neurons at work. Neuroscientist Dr. William Struthers, who wrote Wired For Intimacy; How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, says,"These mirror neurons are involved when someone views pornography because what they view, they vicariously experience and learn from." Mix that with the illicit sex acts that pornographers are showing in these high-definition, virtual-reality films and you have a deadly recipe that is going to have devastating impacts on the viewers and in turn on the broader community. What these viewers see in virtual reality, they will act out to some degree in reality.
How can men (and churches) prepare for the battle against sexual addiction?
The Conquer Series was specifically designed to prepare you to win the battle for sexual purity. This powerful, cinematic series includes biblical principles and daily practices to help men pursue purity and overcome the temptation to consume porn. You can join the 500,000 men in 70 countries who have learned to move beyond "not watching porn" to start living a transformed life. During the Conquer Series, Dr. Ted Roberts presents two areas that help men defend and recover against sexual temptation.
The Healing Process
The healing process includes three parts:
- The first step is to recognize God's unconditional love for you.
- Next, identify the wounds and ask God for healing.
- Finally, learn to be honest in your men's group because secrets are what make you sick. Because you were wounded in community, you need to be healed in community.
If you've tried to stop viewing pornography on your own and continue to struggle, get help. You don't have to fight this battle alone."God's not a magician. He's not waving some magical wand. God is saying: 'Here's the process of renewing your mind.' Becoming a part of the family of God, being a believer in Christ, there is something that happens instantaneously. But then the Bible says our mind has to be renewed." —Paul Cole
Gripped by Grace
For a man to find freedom and stand in the face of sexual temptation, he has to be gripped by God's grace. God is outrageously gracious. He wants to heal you. When you understand how deep God's love is for you, how powerful it is, you will be able to walk with purity the rest of your life.Grace is not a point of doctrine, not a point of theology, it's a person—Jesus Christ. It's only the cross of Jesus Christ—His shed blood—that gives us any hope. God wants you to have sweet revenge against the enemy, so He gifts you with His grace through His Son Jesus Christ. The very thing that kept you in bondage God now takes and forms it into a weapon in your hands against the enemy.
The Conquer Series website provides a free online Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) to help determine if sex addiction is a problem. You can also confidentially contact someone from the Conquer Series at conquerseries.com.
Start your journey to freedom and order the Conquer Series today.
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