Freedom from Porn


(Vili) #1

Hi all,
Lately I’ve seen testimonies that as soon as people have accepted Christ into their lives, they’re free from pornography, whilst others have had to work a while in order to be free. Here’s my question:

Is the reason as to why some become free almost immediately whilst some take a while because when the former accepted Christ in their lives, they understood what they were getting into, or is this an issue that affects people in varying degrees, and thus should be dealt with according to the individual?


(SeanO) #2

@AlphaOmega I think the classic statement that the two most important things in life are to understand God and understand ourselves applies in this situation. Someone with a very strong self-knowledge who is living a life of sin and then accepts Jesus may find it easier to alter their way of life than someone who does not understand their own mind / body well. Some people are naturally more organized / self-disciplined / introspective - they may possess qualities that aid in living wisely generally even before being saved due to upbringing or experience. Also, the level to which people are addicted may vary. So I would say that this issue should be dealt with on an individual basis because peoples; psychological state / experiences vary widely.

I do believe the Holy Spirit could work in a person’s life in such a way as to give them a clear / sound mind miraculously, but I do not think that is normative. In fact, Paul even advises believers who struggle with self-control to marry, which implies that not everyone who becomes Christian is suddenly given the gift of singleness / effortless self-control.

I Cor 7:9 - But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Lewis Quote

Some thoughtful words from Lewis to cause us to pause and think.

“The bad psychological material is not a sin but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, that is very important. Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing does dome tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God’s eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.

It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say, of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. Most of the man’s psychological makeup is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises.”

Connect Thread on This Issue


(Claire N Streb) #3

I think it is [quote=“AlphaOmega, post:1, topic:13554”]
an issue that affects people in varying degrees, and thus should be dealt with according to the individual
[/quote]

Just like other things, such as gossip, lying, getting drunk, and swearing, some people have a hard time stopping and others not. I smoked cigarettes for over 30 years. I still have the desire to smoke from time to time, but I know if I even had one puff, I’d be right back at it. That’s what addiction does to people. I detest gossiping, and I wasn’t addicted to it by any means, so it was easy for me to say never again to that.


(SeanO) #4

@clairestreb I think one thing that is amazing about how God has made us is that our brains can recover from addiction if we are abstinent. Below is an image showing a healthy brain, a brain 1 month free and a brain 14 months free from meth use. Amazing how being free for 14 months had such a profound impact. I think that should give anyone struggling with addiction great hope - God has made us so that we can ‘renew our minds’ (Romans 12). We can recover from those addictive patterns and experience healing, even physiologically.


(Claire N Streb) #5

True, some people can be completely freed from addiction in some situations, but not all. Being addicted, in some circumstances, is more than a “brain” (physical) thing. No amount of science can “prove” someone is no longer addicted. I am truly born again (my mind is renewed), yet I know without a doubt I cannot smoke one puff of a cigarette. It’s no big deal, because my renewed mind understands that and the Holy Spirit helped me stop smoking, so I will never go down that road again. There are thousands of alcoholics who are born again that know they will always be addicted. I could have a glass of wine if I really wanted to without any problems, but it could send someone else who is addicted spiraling down to oblivion even if they haven’t had a drink in 20 years. Hope yes, but tempting fate, no. It is miraculous what God can do, for sure! One miracle is taking away the craving once the physical aspects have been overcome. Some religious Christian sects claim if one has a physical, mental, emotional, or psychological problem that it’s because they don’t believe enough, or that their mind isn’t really renewed, or God is punishing them. Hogwash I say to that.


(SeanO) #6

@clairestreb I agree that we should not put ourselves in situations that we know will lead us into temptation - such as a past alcoholic taking a drink - especially if they still feel that pull. That would be simply unwise. I also agree that having faith in Christ does not automatically take away temptation - Galatians 5 is clear about that fact.

The only point I was making is that it is possible for the brain to be healed - to experience freedom from past addictions - to breath cleaner air, so to speak. I am not saying that would be a quick process or that it would be possible for every single individual - some peoples’ minds may have been so affected that total healing will not occur until they receive a glorified body.

May the Lord Jesus bless you as you continue to live tobacco free and serve His Kingdom.


(Billie Corbett) #7

Hello Claire,

As believers love is the motivating, guiding principal.
We can’t and shouldn’t judge others when it comes to these deep personal struggles.
Salvation is of the Lord. He has promised to “will and to do of His good pleasure.” We can trust that!
Having said this, it is harmful to put a stumbling block in a brother’s / sister’s way. It behooves us to be mindful of one another. To be respectful and supportive. God is honoured and glorified when we offer His love to each other.
There is only one source for deliverance and salvation from addiction or any other bondage to sin. JESUS!


(Claire N Streb) #8

OK, thanks for clarifying! :slightly_smiling_face:


(Claire N Streb) #9

Hello Billie, I am unsure about your comment. Are you implying I have not acted in love, have placed a stumbling block in someone’s way, and that I judged someone? If so, could you please be specific since I am at a total loss for why anyone would think that. I answer all questions honestly and empathetically. I try also to be humble, but I do stumble once in awhile, and I am sorry if I have offended anyone unintentionally and unknowingly.


(Billie Corbett) #10

My apologies, that my communication has caused you concern.
My comment was meant to be a generalized principal…for all of us, all the time. It is easy to give offence, or cause stumbling…without being aware of it. (My response is a good example of that! :blush:)
Your post was just fine…
I just wanted to add that biblical mandate to be cautious of causing stumbling through our ignorance or self righteousness.
Again, my apologies. :disappointed:


(Claire N Streb) #11

I forgive you.


(Burnell Wenger) #12

Greetings in Christ’s name. My addiction to porn began when I was 14 years old, and has continued to plague me ever since. After giving my life to Jesus, I found victory and freedom. At the same time, this is the one area of my mind that has been compromised; brain tracks have been laid that will never go away, and therefore I expect this to be the point of conflict in the spiritual battles I will face until the end of my life here on this side of eternity. This fact does not need to be depressing; the apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him.” Non of us can expect a free ride to heaven.
A few recommendations I have is to first and foremost, connect with believers on a frequent and regular basis for accountability and encouragement; don’t neglect to spend time daily reading and meditating on the Bible coupled with prayer; implement strong boundaries over which you are committed to never crossing; be aware of your thoughts, and force them to be subject to your will to pursue the sacred instead of the profane. This fall at a men’s frat called Encourage Men, we went through the Valiant Man course by Careforce Lifekeys. The information was incredibly insightful and life-changing.


(Billie Corbett) #13

Hello bjwenger,

Praise God for His great love and mercy in “translating you out of the kindgom of darkness…into the Kingdom of His dear Son.”
Each of us, as believers, can be grateful for the grace given, in our day to day struggles, as we journey heavenward.

Yes, our brains are deeply affected by our experiences and life choices. Thankfully, we are being “renewed in our minds”…which you were alluding to in the deliberate “change in direction”, which must be implemented, to create new neuropathways in our brain structure.

When I finished reading your post, a question arose for me and now, I am curious. (I don’t know much about the Christian programs / ministries which labour to support men who are struggling with this issue…)

Would you be comfortable explaining how the program you mentioned helped you, and why it did?

I am curious whether it involved female testimony to facilitate an understanding about the emotional, psychological, sexual, and spiritual repercussions women experience…as a result of porn’s presence in relationship with their loved one.

It’s a difficult topic to write about, because of the vulnerability involved, but, this side of the equation is important to me, as a woman.


(Burnell Wenger) #14

One of the most insightful and impacting concepts I learned was on how “brain tracks” are laid down by repeated stimuli to conscious decision to action habits. (I’m assuming what Dr. Allan Myer referred to as brain tracks is the same thing as the neuropathways you mentioned. I’m a teacher not a doctor.) Therefore, renewing the mind is predominately an act of our will coupled with the power of Christ living in us. To renew our mind, we need to consciously reject the automatic negative thoughts that flash along our brain tracks by choosing to interrupt them and redirect our thoughts toward sacred subjects rather than the profane. Quite frankly, until I was made aware of how often my mind gravitated toward erotic fantasies, I had little idea how depraved I actually was, even though I was raised in a very conservative Mennonite culture, went to church every nearly Sunday since I was an infant, and considered myself a born-again Christian for 7-8 years! I have felt incredibly liberated after being able to identify the battle in my mind at this stage and therefore being able to put a stop to the temptations at a much earlier and more manageable time.
All ten of the sessions feature Dr. Allen Myer, the author of the program, and his associate Scott Hawkings (both of Australia). Most of the sessions at some point brought in the importance of how we treat our wives and how much our moral integrity or lack thereof affects not only our families but also every one else, especially the women, we interact with. To bring it to a more personal level, I have seen vividly the effects my compromises have had on my wife and children. Porn is demonic. Not every time my wife had a rough day at home did I have indulged in illicit activity in my private life, but every time I had indulged in illicit activity in my private life my wife had a rough day at home. Like clockwork. The connection was obvious and undeniable.
I encourage you to explore Careforce Lifekeys website ( www.careforcelifekeys.org ) as well as EncourageMen ( encouragemen.org ). EncourageMen is a men’s ministry I have been involved in for several years and we have used the Valiant Man program published by Careforce Lifekeys. Careforce also has numerous programs to minister to many other needs.
Yes I agree that it is a difficult subject to discuss, and especially so cross-gender in my culture. However, I believe the failure to discuss it with and educate about this topic is largely the culprit for many of the broken homes and marriages that plague the church. If my vulnerability can be a blessing to someone else, I am willing to become vulnerable.