The Haps

A few weeks ago I found stuffchristianslike.net, a similar take on the website stuffwhitepeoplelike. The founder, Jon Acuff, grew up in the church as a pastors kid, frustrated with the mediocrity of Christian advertising and culture.

Jon throws out some of the most honest and hilarious commentary on all things Christianese from Testamints - sending bad breath to hell, and war themed ministries to boycotting stuff and he does it all without coming off like a know it all jerk.

He has a real mission to see that Christian culture and the church step it up. I had to invite Jon to talk to us on the Dirty Little Secrets podcast. We'll post that interview soon, for now, here's an excerpt from Jon's "porn post" he promised us over at stuffchristianslike.net.

 

#172 - Letting Porn Win.

"When I was in the eighth grade, I used to pretend to go sledding at the dump so that I could find porn the workers kept in the bulldozers there.

There are 12 billion reasons for me to write that sentence and 2 for me to not write it. The two are my in-laws, as this is bound to be the kind of post you hate for your mother-in law to read. And the ladies in her bible study aren't much better. But every year, the porn industry makes something like $12 billion a year. So there we are.

I hope that your church is proving this post wrong right now. I hope programs like Celebrate Recovery or Walking Free in Atlanta, or the Samson Society in Nashville are changing the lives of the men in your community. That's possible and powerful and I hope it's working.

But according to the magazine, Psychology Today, 66% of men between the ages of 18 and 34 look at porn at least once a month. And some studies estimate about 25% of men look at it while at work. Stat after stat seems to indicate that in many ways, porn is winning.

Why? I think there are a few reasons:

1. We give the world a head start.
A counselor once told me the average age that a kid is exposed to hardcore porn is 6. Let's pretend he was off by two years and assume 8. Most parents talk with their kids once or twice when they are 12 or 13 about sex. So porn and the world have had almost a five year head start on with your kid. If you took karate for five years and I took it for one day, how long would it take you to crush me?

2. We forget to mention porn is magic.
Yes, porn is gross and ugly, but the first or second time a guy ever sees porn is an incredibly captivating experience. I've heard guys describe it as "more colors than I knew existed," and "I felt drunk." It's a powerful, intoxicating experience. It's like staring at the sun through a kaleidoscope. And when the extent of our "don't look at porn" lesson for kids consists of us saying "don't look at porn," we leave our kids really vulnerable.

3. We write iffy books.
There aren't a tremendous amount of Christian resources when it comes to pornography and some of the ones we do have are questionable. Take for instance the bestselling series, Every Man's Battle. Here is what they say on page 118, “your wife can be a methadone-like fix when your temperature is rising.” On 120, the wife of one of the authors continues this idea, “Along with prayer, there are other ways you can help him win this battle. Once he tells you he’s going cold turkey, be like a merciful vial of methadone for him. Increase your availability to him sexually, though this may be difficult for you since your husband might have told you some things that repulse you.” Some of the byproducts of porn are selfishness and objectification. To encourage guys to objectify their wives as methadone and tell them that even though I did things that repulsed you, I have needs, is horrible. And if we're supposed to love our wives like Christ loved the church, did Christ ever get a "fix" off the church? The drug reference is used in the book because they say that men have a sexual need every 72 hours. Like Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, I'm proud to say that I have gone longer than 72 hours and lived to talk about.

4. We think we can handle it.
I spoke at a rehab clinic the other day to a small group of drug, alcohol and sex addicts. I promise you that everyone in that room had at one point said, "I can handle this." But here's the thing, if you started looking at porn when you were 13 and you're 23 now then you've spent the last 10 years rewiring the way your body works. That's not just spiritually. For a decade you've changed how you chemically, physically and emotionally deal with the hormones in your body. You've created a million man army of synapses that are desperate for dopamine. You've made your body your worst enemy and all the self control or "try harder" in the world can't beat that alone. (The first half of that sentence sounded like a Creed lyric. Please accept my apologies.)

5. We let the world tell us crazy things.
I recently wrote about a liquor ad I saw in Rolling Stone with the headline, "Your mom wasn't your dad's first." I love that. So that my dad was a slut is supposed to make me want to drink more whiskey? That makes no sense. But every day, the world comes up with these crazy ideas about sex and we don't do a good job pointing out how foolish they are.

Those are a few of my ideas, but ultimately, porn isn't my ministry. But there are people out there that have really wise, important things to say about the subject. XXXChurch.com is a great ministry and can hook you up with filters and other resources. The book "Breaking Free" by Russell Willingham is a brilliant look at the porn problem. But above all, tell somebody. If you struggle with it, don't buy the idea that it's "just something guys do" or that "you're the only one." Isn't it funny that porn gets to use both excuses? On the one hand it tells you it's a widely accepted thing and on the other it tells that if people really knew what you did they wouldn't love you. What a lie.

That's the porn post. I promise that "#173. The Crock Pot, a Love Letter" is roughly 87% funnier."

 

» Check out all of Jon's posts at: www.stuffchristianslike.net.