Local church brings porn to Sunday pulpit

by Bob Grawey
Staff writer
Indoor tailgate parties and highly anticipated Super Bowl commercials are always among the hype to crown the NFL’s newest champion, but for an Elk River church, it is also an opportunity to roll out Porn Sunday.
At the mere mention of a church billing its Sunday services as Porn Sunday, many eye brows shoot upward, daring to question such a move.
But that is exactly what Real Life Community Church in Elk River is proposing.
Pastors at the church are using the big game hype to tie in with a national movement through XXXchurch.com to tackle porn, using NFL players to talk about the subject.
According to XXXchurch.com founder Craig Gross, 54 percent of all pastors admit to struggling with online pornography. He adds that 40 million people visit porn sites every day.
That 40 million represents a growing number of Christians involved with porn, too, indicating that pastors are merely reflecting a social problem that has done more than seep into the church.
At a recent Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation conference, an independent survey was conducted among attending counselors, pastors and other church leaders trained in counseling concerning their clients and any possible pornography use.
The three groups as noted above indicated clients who struggled with porn ranged from 31 percent to 51 percent. Of those totals, 22 percent of the clients were women while 40 percent were men. It does not account for people who are involved in pornography, but have not sought counseling help.
Another poll by the RAW STORY Web site concluded that porn addiction among Christians is high, affecting 50 percent of men and 20 percent of women who identify themselves as Christians.
Other studies and surveys from places like Focus on the Family and Christianity Today magazine say of Christians who regularly attend church, the numbers who are addicted to porn — particularly on the Internet — range in the high 40s to high 50s percentile.
Viewing pornography causes residual problems in homes and churches that church leaders bemoan, but many have done little to address the root of these issues.
In “The Impact of Internet Pornography on Marriage and the Family: A Review of the Research, August 2005, Washington, D.C.,” researcher Jill Manning found her studies show pornography consumption and porn addiction are associated with six trends:
1. Increased marital distress and risk of separation and divorce.
2. Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
3. Infidelity.
4. Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices.
5. Devaluation of monogamy marriage and child rearing.
6. An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior.
Internet or cyber porn seems to be a problem for Christians and non-Christians alike.
Most churches have been more than reluctant, however, to actively address pornography from the pulpit.
P J Stoe, one of the pastors at Real Life Church, says they want to change that trend, starting with Porn Sunday.
“We want to provide hope and healing for any person who is struggling with anything in their lives. Our church is all about leading people who are hurting and feel broken to Jesus,” Stoe says. “We believe pornography is literally killing relationships, marriages and families, so we want to address the elephant in the pew.”
The church plans a series on marriage and relationships following Porn Sunday as well.
“We have a lot of resources that will help any person affected by pornography,” Stoe adds. “Whether it’s a wife looking for help because her husband is addicted, parents of a teen who keeps getting caught sexting or a couple looking for others going through the same thing, we want to provide help and accountability for anyone going through issues with pornography.”
Real Life Community Church meets in Marcus Cinema in Elk River and begins Porn Sunday events at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 6.

If you go:
Porn Sunday Super Bowl Service at Real Life Community Church

When:10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 6
Where: Marcus Elk River Cinema, 570 Freeport Ave., Elk River

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