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Trends
Most pastors believe pornography has adversely impacted the lives of their church members, but almost half cannot estimate what percentage of their congregation views porn. That is the finding of a newly released survey by LifeWay Research of 1,000 American Protestant pastors. When presented with the statement, “Pornography has adversely affected the lives of our church members,” 69 percent of pastors surveyed agree. That includes 42 percent who strongly agree and 27 percent who somewhat agree. Nine percent somewhat disagree and 8 percent strongly disagree. Fourteen percent do not know or preferred not to answer. “Most pastors know pornography’s poisonous effects,” LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer said. “They’ve seen it destroy marriages, wreck lives and warp America’s moral compass when it comes to sexuality.” When asked to estimate the percentage of men in their congregations who view pornography on a weekly basis, 43 percent are unable or unwilling to respond. Of those able and willing to estimate, a majority (62 percent) say less than 10 percent, 24 percent say 10-24 percent, 10 percent say 25-49 percent and 4 percent say 50 percent or more. via Baptist Press – Pastors: porn a big problem among members – News with a Christian Perspective. QUESTION:  What do you think the percentage of porn use in your church is?  among men?  among women? How has porn affected your ministry in your church? Todd
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Trends
Foes of pornography are losing, and an onslaught of sexual attacks likely will result, Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land believes. “We’re losing this war. We haven’t lost it, but we’re losing it,” Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said at a conference on porn and sex exploitation. “And if you don’t think we’re losing it, you spend time with college-age young people, and you’ll find out we’re losing.” He described hardcore, online pornography as “the greatest danger this country faces.” “[I]t is destroying our culture. It is destroying our families. It is destroying our children,” Land said. “Internet pornography is in your church. If your church has got more than 50 members, it’s in your church,” he told the audience. “I can tell you hardcore pornography is on the seminary campus. It’s on the Christian college campus. It’s in the pastorate. It’s on the staff.” Its prevalence among staff members has been disclosed when some churches have decided to begin daycare centers to reach out to their communities, Land said. In preparing to provide coverage for churches, insurance companies typically research what is being viewed online in the church’s buildings. “I can’t tell you the number of broken-hearted pastors who have called me when they have discovered what some of their trusted church staff have been looking at on church computers,” he said. (Via Church Executive.) QUESTION:  Has porn ever been a problem at your church?  Among staff? How has the ugly side of porn affect your personal or corporate ministry.  Leave an anonymous comment in you want… Todd
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Current Events
Not to be outdone by LifeChurch.tv’s Porn Event, Hugh Hefner has announced that Playboy will soon feature their first 3D centerfold.  According to a report in Mashable, the centerfold will appear in the June issue which hits newstands this Friday. Also according to the Mashable article:

Consider this a grab for attention more than anything; Playboy editorial director Jimmy Jellinek was quoted by MSNBC saying, “In today’s print environment you have to create newsstand events.” The environment he’s talking about is one in which Playboy circulation has dropped almost 60% in just four years.

The really interesting part of the article (for me) was that Hugh Hephner actually took 3D pictures of naked women back in the 1950s but decided against running the images when he found out how expensive it would be to include the 3D glasses with each copy of the magazine.  Hugh’s smart though… he found a sponsor to pay for the glasses this time:  HBO, who’s using the opportunity to promote a new show. I guess that means it’s time to organize a boycott against HBO (again).  We’d probably organize a group of Christians to boycott Playboy, but no one would ever admit that any Christian ever looked at that (except for the articles). Todd
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Current Events
OK… well, I bet that headline got your attention.  Actually, they’re calling it ThePornEvent.com.  The heart behind the event comes from the realization at LifeChurch.tv, especially through the ministry of Church Online, as to how many people are hurting because of addictions to pornography and it’s effects. We are partnering with XXXChurch.com to bring some experience to the conversation and we are going to have a call to Christ at the end to connect with people. You can check it out here…
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Outreach
There was a great piece over the weekend in the New York Times that highlighted Westside Family Church’s ministry to women who are addicted to porn… Here’s the start of the article… It was the final session for the women at Westside Family Church’s Victory Over Porn Addiction group, and the youngest member, a 17-year-old named Kelsie, had not had a good week. “I slipped two nights this week,” she said, to nods of support from the other women in the group. “I decided that every time I’m tempted I’ll just let everything out to God,” she said, “then pray specifically for someone else, do selfless acts, to get away from being selfish.” The group’s leader, Crystal Renaud, offered gentle counsel. “Pray for yourself, too,” she said. To the wide array of programs offered by evangelical megachurches like Westside, the group adds what Ms. Renaud says is something long overdue. While churches have addressed pornography use among the men in their congregations and among the clergy, a group for women who say they are addicted to pornography is new territory, she said. “In the Christian culture, women are supposed to be the nonsexual ones,” said Ms. Renaud, who also runs an Internet site called Dirty Girls Ministries, choosing the name to attract people searching for pornography. “It’s an injustice that the church is not more open about physical sexuality. God created sex. But the enemy has twisted it.” Read more here… What do YOU think?  Would you / could you offer this type of program at YOUR church?  Why or why not?
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