Why Church Workers are Prime Candidates as Porn Addicts

Orginally published on Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 7:15 AM
by Todd Rhoades

Wow... an interesting cover article in this month's Christian Century about pornography. Here's a paragraph that struck me: "What makes a person vulnerable to pornography? Addiction is prevalent among people who have high-demand but low-structure jobs and who spend a great deal of time at their computers, initially for work-related reasons, but also for social connection and entertainment. He points to three elements that foster sexual addiction: loneliness, anger and boredom." Houston, we have a BIG problem...

The article continues.  Mark Laaser, the director of the Institute for Healthy Sexuality of the American Association of Christian Counselors says that pastors and church staff “often fit this profile: their jobs make high demands, they work in large part independently and they often struggle with loneliness, anger and boredom. Pastors are often isolated and work in contexts where they have few if any peers. Friendships, too, may be rare for pastors. While they are caregivers themselves, pastors may not have care extended to them.”

There are quite a few stories being written about pornography use among pastors; but I think we’re probably just scratching the surface of the real problem.  The description that Laaser uses above describes a great percentage of pastors; all of who will have to deal with this temptation sooner or later in a weak moment.

There’s more here.

What are you doing to lessen your temptation?  Have you ever had a period in your church work that you were addicted?  If so, how did you escape?  Are you dealing with it now?  What steps are you taking to get past this struggle?

And… is an addiction to pornography grounds for at least taking some time off of your full-time ministry job?

I’d love to hear your story.


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  There are 7 Comments:

  • Posted by

    Get a filtering s/w that won’t allow you to surf to these sites in moments of weakness. Get a monitor that will track your URLs and email a list of them to people you designate (called X3Watch found at www.(type 3 Xs here)church.com - I tried to paste a link here on where to find it, but wasn’t allowed to - filter assumed it was porn).

    If this is or might be an issue for you, Do something about it NOW. Don’t think it can’t shipwreck your ministry & private life. Don’t be so arrogant as to assume you can beat this yourself. Don’t think it can’t ever happen to you!

  • Posted by

    Been in recovery for 3 years.

    One of the things the article points out is that filters don’t work.  Anybody can move around a filter.  The issue is a spiritual issue and though a person may feel that pornography is not hurting anybody in the church it really hurts ministry.  One is the sense of shame and helplessness of the addiction, the inability to connect with folks.  People use pornography to handle stress, numb out.  The addiction takes away from energy and time.

    Key thing.  Quit praying and bartering with God.  Find a 12 step group that deals with sex addiction.  Not celebrate recovery, not everyman’s battle groups.  Get into the trenches with hardcore addicts and most folks in those programs are church folks.  Spirituality and Sexality are two sides of the coin.

    The hardest step is to go into a room and feel the sense of fear that somebody might enter into the room you know.  The greatest feeling in the world is to be in a room tell your story and know that there are folks who understand.  Letting go of the fear and shame.  God, the let go of the shame of being an addict.  Of the hours spent and of the energy wasted.  of the insanity of being an addict.

    For pastors that is the hardest realization that they don’t feel understood but in that room there is understanding and empathy.

    The realization comes that gospel that has been taught and preached finally is true for the addict.  “Jesus can heal even me.”

    Unfortunately, a person can’t move to the point of healing from an addiction until they are willing to give up trying to fix the problem.  Addiction can’t be monitored with filters.  Prohibition is not the issue.  Spirituality is the issue.  Dealing with intimacy is the issue.

    Time off from work...no daily maintenance will do.  Leaving work is not that beneficial.  Why?  The problem is work, so the solution to me has to be found while at work.  The problem is that the solution will screw up work relationships.  OVer working will wind up leading to addiciton.

    If a person is an addict...call Mark Laaser.  If a person is an addict go http://www.sexhelp.com.
    Start the process of recovery.  Will it make life perfect, hell no.  No, but to be able to understand the saving power of Jesus Christ...yeah, it helps with that.

  • Posted by prevacid

    The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time.

  • Posted by Maria Ozawa

    I think it’s rather simple logic. “When you Resist it persists”. The more energy you pretend something that is no there, the more force it will come back to you.

    Church Workers always think porn is not a good thing. But how come it’s a bad thing? Sex is the greatest happiness in this world. I think most people love it. If they love sex in their deepest heart, they will use a lot of energy to resist it.

  • “loneliness, anger and boredom”. Not sure about that comment. Which came first the chicken or the egg? The porn may have caused those problems, not the other way around. Just my thought.

  • There is no doubt the internet has its evils. My opinion is that these types of issues that make people addicted to porn are the result of earlier in life. Obviously a difficult question to answer. Debate is helpful though. If people want the help or get to the point of need the help, it is out there. Perhaps better education is needed in that regard?

  • Posted by Clara

    It is fine written. Positive certainly comes short, but read on one breathing.

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