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Friday Rant – At Least It’s Not Porn

by Craig Gross on July 22nd, 2016 in Favorites, The Haps, Men, Women, Students

friday-rant-perry-350x350-px[Note: On Fridays we post new rants from one of our writers, edited only for typos and spelling.This new series is not for those easily offended or for those who only like to play nice. So read this before you start posting your comments.]

The big news to come out of megachurch Christianity lately is that Perry Noble has been fired from the church he founded, NewSpring Church. Why? Because, according to the church’s board, he engaged in alcohol abuse and other “unfortunate choices and decisions.”

Along with the news that he’d be fired, Noble released a statement about it, owning up to his behavior and hoping for the best.

I’m not here to talk about Noble’s behavior or to argue about whether drinking alcohol or getting drunk are good or bad. You can have your own opinion about that. I’m just glad that he’s taking responsibility for himself and I hope for the best for NewSpring Church.

What I want to point out is something that was in Noble’s statement, toward the end:

“Let me be very clear, neither [my wife] nor I have committed any sort of sexual sin. I have not stolen money. I have not been looking at porn and there was absolutely no domestic abuse.”

This is what makes me want to puke.

In case you haven’t caught it, let me make it clear: Noble is saying that being consumed by alcohol is NOT AS BAD as having an affair or beating up your spouse.

Or looking at porn.

So in Noble’s hierarchy of sins, porn is down there with cheating and/or beating. Better to hit the bottle than to hit up a porn site.

It’s infuriating, because I run into this kind of mindset all the time, and it’s what keeps people hooked on porn. They feel like they can’t come clean about their porn usage because they’ll be looked at like they’re some kind of abusive spouse or someone who has hooked up with a coworker.

I don’t want to get into a discussion about which sins are “better” or “worse” than others. I know that all sin is the same in God’s eyes, but, unfortunately, we don’t always see with those eyes. We see with human eyes, and our human eyes put more weight on some behaviors than we do with others.

I just really wish Perry Noble hadn’t equated porn with affairs and abuse. Because it’s not.

If we want people to get free of this thing, then we need to encourage people to talk about it. And they’re not going to talk about it if they think just admitting to an addiction is going to cost them friends, family, or their job in ministry.

I have news for you: if every pastor who looked at porn had to resign like Perry Noble, then over half of church staff positions would suddenly become available. This is a problem in our churches, yes, but it’s a problem we can deal with if we just give people the space and room to be honest about it.

Can we do that?

I’d like to think so. We have tons of resources here at XXXchurch to help people do just that. And if you’re a pastor who struggles with porn, we have something just for you as well. Try it out and find the freedom you’re looking for.

PS. Whether you are a pastor or not, porn use is something you don’t need in your life. If you want to find freedom in this area of your life start by watching these three videos.

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  • David L. Heald II

    I read it differently I guess. I got more clarification. The statement from the church was somewhat open ended, and could have left confusion, even room for gossip. I think he wanted to set the record straight more than make any sort of moral comparison. That’s my $.02

  • Stephenie LaRue Daniel

    I would beg to differ, as a wife whose husband has struggled with porn addiction for the better part of our marriage. The effects of a husband’s addiction to porn for a wife is pretty similar to that of him having an affair, and being put through it is a form of abuse. I Understand what you’re saying as far as the shame involved and men not wanting to come forward about it. But you were angry that he was saying that one sin is worse than the other, but that’s exactly what you just did with your statement “I really just wish “he” hadn’t equated porn with affairs and abuse, because it’s not “. It might not be the exact same thing, but it IS being unfaithful, the effects are just as devestating, and porn addiction can definitely lead to affairs and abuse (just the same way alcohol can). So I agree that in his statement he shouldn’t have compared sins, because sin is sin, but as you said, some sin carries a lot more weight than others. This website seems to be geared more toward men who have “looked” at porn a few times and then come clean about it. I’ve noticed that y’all don’t say much about the men who have devastated their families with the addiction for years on end and never once came clean, but were caught in secrecy and lies every single time. I appreciate what you are doing but I Just don’t feel like you address all aspects of the addiction.

  • Jake

    I posted this on Facebook, but I think it needs to be here in hopes that the author of this article will see it.

    There was a local tabloid here in South Carolina that ran an article two days before this announcement that claimed that he was doing all the things that he listed in his statement that he’s not doing. He included it in his statement to refute that article. I don’t blame you for not knowing that, you don’t live here. I do blame you for using this situation as an opportunity for click bait for your site.

  • Christopher Bunce

    It was for clarification purposes as to rumors surrounding his situation. Also, he’s been very clear about his porn addiction over the years and the destruction that this has caused, which I would imagine played a part in his inclusion of that statement.

  • Dustin Clark

    Very disappointed in this. So sad that you had to take his words out of context to try and make a point you felt needed made. Way to tear down a brother in Christ even further than he already was.

  • Diana

    I did not read Perry Nobles statement as you have written in your post. To me it does not read like one sin is greater than the other. Rather for clarification purposes to those that may know him more intimately or as a statement to his church to give them some information. I’m sure that many people were speculating or even concerned.

  • Lee Boone

    I disagree that this is the way the quote should be interpreted. The context to the incident that unvealed over that week, is that rumors were being spread of a false accusation that he had assaulted his family during one of his spells with alcohol. This quote was intended to crush any and ALL rumors and prove that God was still faithful in Perry’s weakness of pornography that he had overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit a few years prior. Perry was never afraid to talk about his struggles from the pulpit and never placed any sin over another in his sermons. This letter was necessary to keep the facts straight and allow the church to hear the words from their shepherd one last time before he stepped down. I commend his efforts to do everything possible to overcome this downfall, meanwhile continuing to proclaim that “the best is yet to come.” I hope that the author and reader will continue to pray for his recovery and instead of throwing stones, let’s encourage him back on his feet.

  • Michael Sorcinelli

    You are way off Craig. He wasn’t minimizing what he did, he was just clarifying WHAT he was fired for. Do you seriously think that ANY pastor would claim that porn addiction is worse than alcohol addiction? I don’t think so.

  • Dameon Hall

    Pornography use is having an affair and it certainly is abuse. It ushers in sex trafficking and rides on the back of rape. This article is hogwash.

  • effbacon

    Craig’s main point, which I believe is salient:

    If we want people to get free of this thing, then we need to encourage people to talk about it. And they’re not going to talk about it if they think just admitting to an addiction is going to cost them friends, family, or their job in ministry.

    I have news for you: if every pastor who looked at porn had to resign like Perry Noble, then over half of church staff positions would suddenly become available. This is a problem in our churches, yes, but it’s a problem we can deal with if we just give people the space and room to be honest about it.

  • Prisoner of the Highway

    There are a great many people in the world and in the comments who speak with great authority on issues they know nothing about. To you I present a parable.

    A soldier marches along the path toward battle. As he goes, he waves to his family, to his brothers and sisters in Christ. He wins many battles under the command of his great King. One day he sees a bit of darkness off to the side of the path and goes to investigate. As he stands at the edge of deep shadow filled pit, a tendril whips out, wrapping around his ankles and drags him in.
    The gospels of peace fly from his feet in the fall as he notices the light doesn’t seem so bright down here.
    Dragging himself upright he readies his sword and shield to face the beast. But the beast is quick, striking from all sides. Soon the breastplate of righteousness is torn open and his blood seeps through the cracks.
    Suddenly voices echo from above, “Husband, father, brother! Is that you?”

    Ashamed of his failure, the soldier takes off the girdle of truth and tries to bind up his wounds, saying,
    “No, no, that’s not me!”

    As he tires, suddenly hope flares to life in his heart.
    “The King!”, he cries. “The King can save me!” “If my loved ones call Him, He will come!”

    But, looking up, he sees only disgust and contempt in their eyes and the shield of his faith is shattered by a mighty blow and torn from his arm. Collapsing in exhaustion the mighty two edged sword of the Spirit slips from his fingers.
    Clinging to the helmet of his salvation and weakly crying out for help, as the beast rushes forward to consume him, he stares upward into the unforgiving faces of his accusers until his eyes close.

    And he saw no more.

  • mccallister

    Guys – I know this isn’t the main point, but I hear this all the time and it’s just not theologically right. All sins are NOT the same before God.

    If that were true, then why are punishments for different sins different in the Law?
    And if you want a NT example, Jesus at one point tells the Pharisees that they should should not neglect “the greater commandments” in the law, when they were talking about tithing mint and cumin (and here Jesus makes it clear that tithing is a ‘lesser’ commandment, which is interesting because of how much weight it carries with God in the OT).

    So if Jesus calls tithing a lesser command, but the violation of this God in Malachi says is “robbing God,” then we need to consider what the “greater” commands are, and how serious it is to violate those. Jesus calls the greater commands the ones related to justice and mercy. There are lesser commands and greater commands. Therefore there are lesser sins and greater sins.

    Those are not the only two places this shows up in scripture, but they make the point.

    Now, does this negate God’s mercy and love? Absolutely not. For love covers a multitude of sins, and where sin abounds, grace super-abounds. There is no place for shame in the church, and especially with respect to porn and these secretive kinds of sins.

    But we just can’t go on believing that things like adultery (which porn is, of the heart), and theft and alcoholism are the “same” in God’s eyes as speeding or cussing. They just aren’t.

    When we say “all sins are the same,” what we’re really saying is that all sins, no matter how small, are great enough to separate us from God. That’s true. But in God’s eyes, all sins are not the same. One sin means I come home in a slightly bad mood. The other wrecks my marriage and destroys my witness. That’s not the same thing. Not even close.

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