For some time now I have seen a pattern, not only lived out here on xxxchurch, but in life as well. That for some reason, many reasons, pastors aren’t talking porn. They aren’t speaking about addiction. They have turned their monitors off and yet the computer is still running. I guess the elephant is still in the pew; perhaps it’s in the pastor’s office too.
Kevin Outland just wrote a great piece in our parent’s section about teens and porn; how prevalent the influence of sexuality is in their lives. Yet this issue is not just a teen issue; we know that. It affects everyone. There are certain demographics that are more apt to speak on such things. It just so happens that pastors aren’t in one of those demographics. For the most part, pastors remain silent. Why?
- 51% of pastors say porn is a temptation.
- 69% of pastors started looking at porn out of curiosity.
- 37% of pastors say it’s currently a struggle.
- 53% of pastors have visited porn sites in the past year.
- 18% percent of pastors look at porn a couple times a month.
- 30% of pastors do not talk to anyone about your dirty little secret.
- 4 in 10 of pastors looked at porn today.
Sources: Christianity Today, Promise Keepers, Barna Research Group, World Magazine
As a pastor, I can think of a few reasons we won’t touch this issue. Though I can’t for the life of me find one that would be reasonable. Here are some things I have heard along the way:
- Our congregation just doesn’t want to hear about sex and the ilk.
- Our congregation is not affected by pornography.
- Our congregation would not be benefitting in talking about this issue.
Here are some reasons I think pastors don’t want to talk about this issue:
- They are afraid of what will happen when the light shines in a dark place.
- They are ill-prepared to talk about the issue.
- They themselves are struggling with sexual deviancy.
So maybe pastors aren’t sharing their life out in the open because they are afraid of the consequences. Let’s face it- all we have in ministry is our integrity. Once that is gone, it’s gone. Most likely, if you’re caught viewing porn or are caught in your addiction, you’re toast at your job. This is what we face. Transparent living is crazy scary, but it’s the life we have been called to lead.
This issue is so “in our faces” that we can’t ignore it anymore, no matter how it affects us personally. And it will affect us personally. It’s all personal. When you uncover something that was buried for years, it hurts. When it’s a loved one, it hurts.
The elephant still remains. The elephant is getting fatter… and it’s easier to see. When/if pastor’s start talking about this more in the open, with their close friends and congregation, we will get beyond the awkwardness and start dealing with problem head on.