In his Breakpoint commentary for April 20, Eric Metaxas writes: “America’s leading news sources seem to have awakened from their long slumber. They’re finally recognizing pornography for what it is: an unprecedented public health crisis.

TIME magazine, for example, just ran a cover story about the grassroots backlash against internet erotica. Belinda Luscombe documents a movement of former porn addicts helping their peers find ways to break the grip of online voyeurism. Guys like Gabe Deem, the 28-year-old founder of Reboot Nation, offer “advice and support for [fellow] young people who believe they are addicted to pornography…”

The reason some are swearing off smut, Luscombe explains, is simple: These mostly non-religious twenty-somethings who’ve been guzzling porn since puberty are realizing that porn has rewired their sexuality, leaving them crippled in real-life relationships.

The new crusaders against porn, writes Luscombe, “are convinced that their sexual responses have been sabotaged because their brains were virtually marinated in porn when they were adolescents. [They] feel like unwitting guinea pigs in a largely unmonitored decade-long experiment in sexual conditioning.”

And this experiment involves a lot of guinea pigs. One online traffic-monitoring company recorded 107 million hits on explicit Web pages in the U.S. alone, just in the month of February. The Huffington Post reports that in 2013, x-rated sites got more monthly visitors than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. And one of the most popular “adult” pages reported that its visitors last year watched nearly 4.4 billion hours—or 500,000 years’ worth–of explicit video.

Other news outlets are coming to their senses on this issue, as well. Writing in The Washington Post last week, sociology professor Gail Dines argues that the scientific question of whether porn is bad for society is settled:

“Just as the tobacco industry argued for decades that there was no proof of a connection between smoking and lung cancer,” she writes, “the porn industry, with the help of a well-oiled public relations machine, [has] denied the existence of empirical research on the impact of its products.”

But Dines cites a wealth of peer-reviewed studies showing that men who consume porn are more accepting of rape, sexual assault, and harassment, and that kids who watch porn engage in sex sooner, and at greater risk.

Even the New York Times chimed in, admitting that the number of teens who are getting their de facto sex education from porn should worry us. Peggy Orenstein complains that women today have to cope with men who’ve been conditioned to treat them as objects to be used, rather than people to be loved. And ironically, the ubiquity of sexual imagery has had a chilling effect on sex, itself.” [Read the full commentary here]


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Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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In a post at his blog, R. Albert Mohler talks about the addictive power of pornography for men: “even as technology has brought new avenues for the transmission of pornography, modern research also brings a new understanding of how pornography works in the male brain. While this research does nothing to reduce the moral culpability of males who consume pornography, it does help to explain how the habit becomes so addictive.

“As William M. Struthers of Wheaton College explains, ‘Men seem to be wired in such a way that pornography hijacks the proper functioning of their brains and has a long-lasting effect on their thoughts and lives.’

“Struthers is a psychologist with a background in neuroscience and a teaching concentration in the biological bases of human behavior. In Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, Struthers presents key insights from neuroscience that go a long way toward explaining why pornography is such a temptation for the male mind.

“‘The simplest explanation for why men view pornography (or solicit prostitutes) is that they are driven to seek out sexual intimacy,’ he explains. The urge for sexual intimacy is God-given and essential to the male, he acknowledges, but it is easily misdirected. Men are tempted to seek ‘a shortcut to sexual pleasure via pornography,’ and now find this shortcut easily accessed.

“In a fallen world, pornography becomes more than a distraction and a distortion of God’s intention for human sexuality. It comes as an addictive poison.” (Click here to read the full article.)


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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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