Statistics reveal that the rapid spread of pornography cannot be ignored. But it is not just a problem affecting men. Women, teenagers and children are also being caught in the web of pornography at alarming rates.
Many Christians may assume that the church is immune. They see the smiling faces of the people who attend their church. "Certainly, such godly folks could not be viewing pornography."
But many studies and reports have come out over the last several years that show quite a disturbing picture. Not only has pornography invaded churches, but in many cases, the statistics show that Christians—and even church pastors—engage in viewing porn at almost the same rates as the secular population.
What the Numbers Show
The research studies, primarily by the Barna Group and Covenant Eyes, reveal that initial exposure to porn begins in childhood and progresses.
Access to porn is increasingly easy due to the internet and wide variety of formats now available, such as printed materials, DVDs, television and more.
Let's look at some data to see the scope and effects of porn in society and the church.
- Over 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites. The average visit lasts 6 minutes and 29 seconds
- There are around 42 million porn websites, which totals around 370 million pages of porn.
- The porn industry's annual revenue is more than the NFL, NBA and MLB combined. It is also more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC.
- 47 percent of families in the United States reported that pornography is a problem in their home.
- Pornography use increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300 percent.
- Eleven is the average age that a child is first exposed to porn, and 94 percent of children will see porn by the age of 14.
- 56 percent of American divorces involve one party having an "obsessive interest" in pornographic websites.
- 70 percent of Christian youth pastors report that they have had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with pornography in the past 12 months.
- 68 percent of church-going men and over 50 percent of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76 percent actively search for porn.
- 59 percent of pastors said that married men seek their help for porn use.
- 33 percent of women aged 25-and-under search for porn at least once per month.
- Only 13 percent of self-identified Christian women say they never watch porn—87 percent of Christian women have watched porn.
- 55 percent of married men and 25 percent of married women say they watch porn at least once a month.
- 57 percent of pastors say porn addiction is the most damaging issue in their congregation. And 69 percent say porn has adversely impacted the church.
- Only 7 percent of pastors say their church has a program to help people struggling with pornography.
So What Should We Do?
These statistics can be overwhelming. The fact that pornography has such a tight grip on our society does not mean the church is helpless to fight against it.
Instead, Christian leaders must stand up and lead their churches through the battle.
First, leaders must be willing to admit the problem exists in their churches. You can't treat a disease until you know it's there.
Realize that the disease of pornography is growing within your church's body.
The next step is to put a program and process in place. A Barna study revealed that 93 percent of pastors see porn as an increasing problem in the church, but only 7 percent have any plan to deal with it.
Talking about the issue in a sermon series is a start, but in order for real healing to take place there needs to be ongoing discipleship on this subject.
A Powerful Weapon Against Pornography
You do not have to face this battle against pornography alone. The Conquer Series is a powerful two-volume, 12-DVD cinematic study that was created to help men break free from porn addiction.
We've just updated the Conquer Series this year. It's packed with a lot of new content, powerful new tools, real practical strategies and insights from new experts. Overall, this is a much more powerful and effective Conquer Series.
If you're struggling with porn, or know someone who is, then order the Conquer Series. Use it in your men's small group. If you think it wasn't worth the investment, then send it back within 14 days and you'll get your money back. There's no risk. Doing nothing is a far greater risk.
Help set a new statistic of men delivered from porn bondage. Find out more about the Conquer Series at ConquerSeries.com.
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