Lately we’ve received many questions about My Pilgrimage.
Questions like …
“Why are you promoting this?”
“What do you find so exciting about this program?”
“What is your involvement?”
“Do you agree with everything in the book?”
We read every single email we receive and do our best to respond to all of them but since we’ve received so many questions I thought it would be helpful to provide some of these answers to all of you who may not have actually emailed us, but have been asking the same things.
Let me first tell you how the My Pilgrimage series came to be.
I received, through a mutual friend that Seth and I have, an early draft of Seth’s book, “Feels Like Redemption,” and as I read it, I was struck by how outside-the-norm it was. Yes, there was a lot in there I didn’t really dig, but the core message of it—that many people don’t actually struggle with PORN but rather USE porn as a means to cover up some deeper hurt or wound—was something I really wanted to share with others.
At XXXchurch we pride ourselves on having a lot of different resources, because the longer we’ve done this the more we’ve started to see that there’s not really a one-size-fits-all approach to finding freedom from pornography. Some things work for some people, but some of them just don’t. And that’s what Seth’s book spoke to and what I responded to.
So I started talking with Seth to see if we could create a series of resources around this core message that would go both broad and deep enough to really help people get it. To help them find freedom when nothing else worked.
Seth also had an idea for a guidebook to help people work through the practices he talks about in the regular book, so we took those two things and gave them to a writer and editor I trust both with words and with theology and let him have at it. This writer and editor is someone that has worked on every book I have written and is the one person who edits all the blogs from various bloggers we have at XXXchurch.
One thing that I personally think is great about Christianity is that there are so many different streams of it, where we all agree on the basics but disagree on the details. We welcome that kind of thinking at XXXchurch. We’re not all of the same denomination and we don’t all agree on every single point of doctrine, but we all love Jesus and have a passionate desire to see people find healing in their lives, especially healing from the use or creation of porn.
So our editor went through the book and guidebook and trimmed them down to make them more practical and understandable, and he also stripped down the theology in order to help people find their way to freedom instead of getting hung up on a minor detail. We then sent these edited versions around to our whole team to make sure we’d created something we could all stand behind. And every single one of them signed off on it.
Now a word about Seth Taylor. This is a guy I’ve come to really respect and, in a lot of ways, love.
There are A TON of things we disagree on, but I can tell you without any doubt: Seth loves Jesus. Period.
Now, Seth is an outspoken guy who really takes a lot of pleasure in shaking things up, so I can’t always stand behind everything he says on a podcast or an interview somewhere. And I’m not going to try to censor him or make him say something he doesn’t believe.
But I can tell you that I stand behind all the resources of My Pilgrimage. The video series features Seth and David, yes, but it also features more people from our team, and it is something I would proudly show at any church in America. The video series was something that I personally worked on making sure it would tie together all these resources and be something that fit the tone of the book and guidebook but also worked for our audience at XXXchurch.
I love this new approach.
It’s radical, it’s real. It’s going to help a lot of people find freedom from porn AND a completely renewed walk with Christ. But it’s not for everybody.
As someone who is often criticized by “both ultra-conservative and ultra-liberal Christians,” I know that you just can’t please everyone. And I’m okay with that! Some people get uncomfortable when you do anything that runs counter to their theology, and when that happens, we can only work to get back to the common ground we share as Christians, a love for Christ and a belief in his life, ministry, death, and resurrection.
That’s where we’re all coming from when it comes to My Pilgrimage.
One last thing … while we have received a lot of questions about My Pilgrimage we have also received emails like this …
“As a former youth pastor who is now managing a store in a high stress, balls to the wall environment, I have been looking at a ton of porn… I was driving home to finally spend some well deserved time with my family, listening to a podcast while driving home.
I paused it and went to MyPilgrimage.com right away, mid-podcast. I thought man, if this [Seth] guy is serious, I’ll buy in. I know it isn’t just porn for me, I’ll die early (like everyone has told me since I turned 21) because of the amount of alcohol I consume on the daily. I only have (I think) two more chapters to listen to in the book, there have been many pauses for exercises and what not, but that book got me to pray for only the second time since moving here six months ago. The last time I prayed I was face down in my stand up shower (an impressive feat for such a big dude), curled into a ball, drunk, asking God why am I here? are you even real?
For a guy that used to masturbate 4 or 5 times a day while he watched his marriage and sex life with his wife fall apart and who drank a half a gallon of whiskey every two days, it feels like a miracle. I can’t explain everything going on in me right now, I can’t even explain my morning prayers and thoughts I have while I sit in my truck and wait for the windshield to defrost. It is borderline insane to me that I can walk like this, feel like this, still even be doing what I’ve been doing, but to be able to watch it slowly die? Yeah I still desire some things, but this…..it’s….free. It’s turned into something I just kind of want at moments instead of a driving force that I must have and fulfill the second I walk through my apartment door. I’m not entirely sure what is at the end of this book, or even this path that I’m on, but I have to say this may be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen step foot out of your ministry…
It changed and is changing my life. I can’t express my gratitude enough, I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried Every Young Man’s Battle, Every Man’s Battle, software, and nothing could stop the monster I felt I had become. I always wanted it bad enough at some point that I would start the lies, the bait and switch, the whatever whatever whatever to get me to my end goal. This is truly revolutionary and I am so thankful for this, the message, and the group of you guys out there right now that aren’t living in the “under a rock” mentality and ignoring real issues that real people are having.
Thanks for a new outlook, thanks for at least a little less cloud and depression and confusion on the daily. I wish I could think of something better to say than just thanks, but there really aren’t words for this freedom.”