Freedom Begins Here is confronting the issues no one else wants to talk about. We've created numerous video resources for individuals, small groups, youth groups, and counselors to help people find freedom from porn addiction and other sexual sin.
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Before I gave my heart to Jesus in January of 1980, I used to think that pornography really didn’t hurt anyone. Even psychology painted a picture that it could be helpful to detour rape by giving an outlet—and, boy, that sounded good and right to me, until Ted Bundy did his interview with Dr. James Dobson.
I had hoped it was a good thing because I was drawn to it. Men are hardwired to be visually stimulated. God made it to be that way. God created godly marital sex to be an intimate bonding—a wonderful, exciting moment between husband and wife. Fornication includes all forms of sexual sin like adultery, premarital sex, multiple partners, pornography (fornicea), homosexuality, and masturbation. It destroys God’s beautiful purpose for sex.
Pornography is not harmless but hurtful. The first one it hurts is God. Joseph said to Potiphar’s wife when she was trying to seduce him, “How could I do this thing and sin against God?” King David said, after being convicted by Nathan the prophet of his sins concerning Bathsheba, “Against God and God alone have I sinned.” We all have sinned against others and have had others sin against us, so we deserve what we get. But God deserves to be honored and revered, so any sin is firstly against Him. Secondly, we hurt our wives, our children, and ourselves. We also support an industry that supports all sorts of ungodliness, including human trafficking. One thing God used to get my attention was this question, “How would you feel if you were to open a porno magazine or watch a porno DVD and see your beloved daughter? The ladies seen in these magazines or films were somebody’s ‘baby girl’ and made in the ‘image of God.’”
God says in His word that sin is “pleasurable for a season” but it will ultimately destroy us. Sin is not bad because it’s forbidden, it’s forbidden because it’s bad.
On a personal note, I was exposed to pornography at a very young age. I wasn’t looking for porn at six years old, but it came looking for me. I wasn’t addicted immediately, but through other circumstances (I’ll blog about that at another time) I became addicted, and it was instrumental in causing my two divorces. Porn is a fantasy world—not reality. It’s staged and posed and doesn’t portray a true picture of reality. It’s generally perverse and a definite deviation of God’s plan.
Even after I gave my heart to Jesus I didn’t see pornography as a sin, because it wasn’t real—only fantasy. It’s not like I was having an affair. I didn’t understand what the word fornication meant. I didn’t read through the Bible completely until 1997, and it was probably five years later before I heard Jesus’ teaching about lust being adultery. Even then I tried to convince myself that I really had no interest in any of those women personally. And until recently, churches just didn’t address pornography until it was an epidemic in the church. Once I was convicted of my sin, I couldn’t seem to stop.
Finally, after my second wife filed for divorce, I followed the words of James 5:16—I confessed my sin and began the process of deliverance. About ten years later when I was depressed, like an alcoholic returning to the bottle to self-medicate, I started slipping back into porn.
As God would have it, a little company in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, developed some material to address porn and sexual addiction. And again by the providence of God, my brother-in-law was approached by this company to come on board to help promote the product. Then he sent me the material to get my opinion. The material was called Freedom Begins Here. This material convicted me of backsliding, but more than that, it made me realize I was not alone and that there was hope. Like any addict, I always have to be on guard because pornography will always be a strong temptation, but with God’s help and materials out on the market and churches that promote transparency and seeking help with our issues, there is a future and a hope.
By: Dan Wobschall
Quite literally every decision, conflict, battle and resolution to life's situations, begin and end in the mind.
Therefore, if you and I are to walk in purity with Christ and honor our wives, children and above all else, God, don't you think we should be on a vigilant watch over what we introduce our minds and thought life to? (might be a run-on sentence, but oh well)
Here's just a couple of verses of New Testament scripture on the subject.
Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
I could stop here and let us ruminate on these verses. In fact, do that. Read them over a couple of times. Digest them a bit before moving on.
The brain performs an incredible number of tasks including the following:
All of these tasks are coordinated, controlled and regulated by an organ that is about the size of a small head of cauliflower. And it does this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and never shuts off to rest!
Understanding a small bit of the science behind the mind gives us a pretty good insight on the power of the mind. It also tells us that we need to care for this body organ quite well. So, 'take captive every thought' to protect yourself from letting creeping crud enter your mind.
Be mindful (pun intended) of what you watch, read, listen to, and think about. Everything you take in via your senses affects how you view the world around you. The avenues from which we receive information are nearly endless. From newspapers to the highest of tech methods to intake news, entertainment, music and you name it.
Old but true
As the old saying goes, accurately so, garbage in - garbage out. Out of our mouths come that which dwells in the heart and mind. What dwells in the heart in mind is what the mind receives and we feed it.
What kind of mind food are you feeding on today?
The Mind on Porn
The neural pathways of the brain are much like roads that take us to and from places, with the option of a few to choose from to make the journey. And the shortest path or most familiar roads are often what we choose. We're familiar with that road. We know it well.
So it goes, as we create pathways of thought and behavior in the mind.
Neuroscience Speaks: How Using Porn Destroys Your Willpower
Neuroscience now knows that willpower is a function of the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Scientific studies have also confirmed that using porn over and over actually reshapes these areas of the brain, literally eroding our willpower and our moral compass.
Neuroscientists call it hypofrontality. Hypofrontality is a state in which there is decreased blood flow to the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Hypofrontality is observed in schizophrenia patients, and is also observed in all manner of addictions.
What is Hypofrontality? In his book, The Porn Circuit, Sam Black explains what hypofrontality is for the porn viewer.
“Compulsiveness is a good descriptor of hypofrontality. Many porn users feel focused on getting to porn and masturbating even when a big part of them is saying, ‘Don’t do this.’ Even when negative consequences seem imminent, impulse control is too weak to battle the cravings.”
The porn-addicted brain has trouble thinking logically. When impulses and desires come from the midbrain, instead of being moderated, the brain feels these desires as compelling needs. The prefrontal region is supposed to be able to weigh consequences and situations and judiciously shut down cravings, but hypofrontality means the addict’s ability to do this is impaired.
To the addict, when the craving for porn surfaces, their whole body gears up for action. As unhindered hormones are released and neurotransmitters fire, the craving consumes them. The heart begins to race, blood pressure rises, and the addict is consumed by a single thought: “Just one more time.”
Speaking from experience
Changing my thought processes was the single hardest part of recovery from my porn addictiveness. My ability to think logically about sexual needs, desires and behaviors went out the window when the impulses were running with a head of steam.
The addictive pornography behavior cost me valuable, unretrievable time lost away from my wife and children.
What I found myself capable of thinking, watching, saying and doing on the internet is today scary and honestly sickening. Yet I did them over and over and over again, seeking relief from the very pain the behavior was bringing me.
How to break the cycle
Just how do we abandon the old pathway of thinking and build new ones? That's a huge question with multiple correct answers. See the three verses at the beginning of this post, and start there. Here are a few others:
We are and will become a product of our own self imposed mental environment. That is truth and fact. Choose wisely.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Sources for this article:
When you read the bible, you realize that sexual sin issues and strongholds are NOTHING new. It is an area that will always be satan's battleground this side of heaven. He horrifically takes the beauty of what God created for GOOD and twists it and darkens it only to bring destruction. That is why, as followers of Christ, we need to hold on the the GOOD and expose the bad by speaking TRUTH about such things.
However, most churches just skim the surface and/or avoid addressing these subjects all together and the TRUTH that brings freedom is being replaced with the LIES that are holding many captive.
Unfortunately, it is so difficult for there to be transparency within the body of Christ when it comes to sexual sins and addictions. If an alter call is given for those struggling, the alter, in most churches, will remain empty. It is far too shameful and risky. WHY is that? In a world where we are bombarded with sexual images and promiscuity, it really makes NO sense!
Just walk through the halls of your local high school campus. NO fear there! Teenagers are talking about it and not even batting an eye. Young girls are becoming comfortable sending pictures of their nude bodies or "selfies" to their boyfriends. Sexting is now the "popular" was to communicate. Our young people are being trained at an early age that sexiness is what's important and brings significance to who you are. Our young boys are believing it, as well! Girls bodies are only objects to be glorified! As a senior girl in high school if you are not happy with how your are built, parents are giving the gift of boob jobs to only confirm what the world is telling them. UGH!!!! We are all buying into what the world says is important.
NO doubt, the pathway to destruction is an easy one. It starts with lust...with one look, with one selfish thought. Why arn't we talking about these things?
Where is the LIGHT that the church is called to be? Could it be that our light is being overshadowed by gray, luke-warm Christianity?
WHY isn't the church a safe place to address such things? Our young people WANT answers and guidance and WE as a whole are failing them in a huge way! WHY do we make it such a taboo subject when it is ALL around us?
These issues are REAL and they are destroying families and tearing our nation apart including "christian" homes.
Statistics prove that the majority of those addicted to porn are NOT outside the church any longer, but sitting in our church pews, leading our youth groups, teaching our children, and even preaching from our pulpits. Last I read was that 52% of the men sitting in our congregations are struggling with porn. That does NOT include all the young people who are struggling!! What? 52% is HUGE especially when you think of all of the wives, families and homes that are affected. These men are our spiritual leaders!
Yes, satan knows exactly what he is doing! It's the secret sin in our churches today! You can dress your Sunday best, speak your christianeese, attend every church service, give a great sermon, all without anyone ever knowing about the bondage that holds you captive. Sadly, even though the stats say that at least half of the men in our congregations are struggling, it seems that the church as a whole doesn't want to believe it nor address it! What's it going to take?
The TRUTH is, our men and boys are being bombarded with sexual JUNK everyday! How DOES a man live in this society and remain pure? Are they being equipped to handle the enemy's seduction or are they just being patted on the back and sent on their way as prime targets?
The silence has left ALL of us vulnerable and an open door for the enemy and his destruction to invade us to the very core. Shouldn't Pastors EVERYWHERE be speaking TRUTH about these issues and WARNING the body of Christ about these types of seductions? NOT just once a year, but continually!!! After all, let's be REAL....what do most men and yes, even "christian" men think about? What do most teenagers think about. SEX. Now days you can't avoid it with the way the world blatantly displays it!!! Our silence is allowing the dark seeds of this world to permeate and grow in the confines of our own churches and homes! Seriously, are we being courageous or cowards? Think about it!
Our culture handles it just the opposite. NO guessing what the majority boldly proclaims! They make it quite clear with no apologies! The MORE skin the better. Sex sales! THEY are not ashamed of it at all!! The bombard us with sexual images and innuendos day in and day out. It's ALL over the TV, the movies, in the media, the news, sporting events, billboards, on the internet....it is EVERYWHERE! The world is portraying a twisted, tainted, view of sexuality and they have everyone's attentions, including those who claim to be followers of Christ. They ARE influencing our hearts and we just accept it without saying a word.
The longer the church keeps silent the MORE casualties there will be in this WAR against the enemy!
How are our boys AND men going to know how to handle this kind of assault if they are not equipped? How will they learn the proper way to view women? ALL men need to be equipped BEFORE the addictions start and families are destroyed!! Isn't that what the church is for...the equipping of the saints? How about being PRO-ACTIVE instead of having to be reactive when a marriage is on the brink of divorce because of such things! Instead of practicing damage control why not educate, encourage, and speak TRUTH in hopes to HELP them avoid the minefields and the traps that satan sets for them on a DAILY basis?
This rant is long, I know and I have repeated some things over. However, it is my heart's cry to encourage Pastors, leaders and parents everywhere to be BOLD, to speak the REAL hard TRUTHS, and to expose the LIES of the enemy when it comes to sexual sin issues. Last time I checked, God takes it pretty seriously, why shouldn't we?
Let's get the conversations started! Let's talk about the MANY consequences that the world ignores! I won't go there on this rant but there are not only spiritual consequences but physical consequences, as well. UGH!!! There is a high price to be paid alright for our silence and you can be assured that our future generations will be paying for it long after we are gone if we continue to put our head in the sand. These issues are NOT going away, actually I am confident that the worst is yet to come! Then what?
The TRUTH is we need to teach AND equip with regards to these kinds of issues as boldly and unashamedly as the world portrays them! We need to take back the values that exemplify the character of CHRIST!
Sadly, instead of finding FREEDOM from such things at the alters of our churches, in community with believers...those held captive are walking away bound, wounded and fearful of being exposed. If our alters are empty because men and women are afraid to admit they are struggling (because MANY are), then something desperately needs to change! We need to create an environment of FREEDOM and HOPE where they can be REAL and transparent. Where else can a man or woman turn who desires HELP and needs deliverance and support? THEY NEED JESUS. They need the church to act and be as CHRIST intended. A place they can run to, not run from. Just sayin'. What do YOU think?
1 Cor 6:18 FLEE from sexual immorality.
Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to CONTROL his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the gentiles who do not know God.
Ephesians 5:5 FOR YOU CAN BE SURE OF THIS, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous (that is, an idolater) has no inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When I see the stats regarding “Christian” men who are struggling with an addiction to porn my heart breaks! Why? Because for every husband who is struggling there is a wife who is broken. She is left hurt, isolated, full of shame… not knowing where to turn. Her husband’s secret is now her secret and she is being destroyed from the inside out. These wounded sisters need help. They need a safe place where they can be understood and encouraged. I am SO thankful to share with you that Freedom Begins Here is offering such a place. We have created a closed Facebook page for these women to find HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT from other women who have experienced healing and wholeness in Christ. The Facebook page is called "In Your Shoes" and can be found by clicking on the link above.
We also have a support group of women in Northwest Arkansas who meet on a monthly basis. You can find out more info about that OR encouragement for starting your own by visiting www.freedombeginshere.org and clicking on the contact tab.
SO……………. How can YOU help?
**If YOU love someone who struggles with a porn addiction, this ministry is for YOU! It may be a husband, daughter or son. It doesn’t matter. This is your personal invitation to join us. You do NOT have to walk through this difficult season alone. There is HOPE in Christ and in community with sisters who will love you, support you and encourage you on your journey towards healing and wholeness! Friend, be courageous and join us today!
**If YOU are a woman who has experienced healing in Christ from this kind of betrayal, please carefully consider joining us in ministering to those who are wounded. (2 Cor 1:3-4) The pain in your past can be used for GOOD! Friend, Trust me, you do not have to be a counselor or psychologist...all you have to be is available. As God has comforted you, you can comfort others and give them HOPE. You WILL be blessed by being a blessing!
**If YOU know of anyone who you feel would benefit from this ministry, please pass this information along to them.
**If none of the above applies to you, we STILL need YOUR support. We ask for your prayers.
Pray for our sisters, husbands, children, families, churches, and nation to be set FREE from the seduction of porn that is running rampant in our world today. Pray that darkness would be brought to light. Pray that the body of Christ will step up and address sexual issues as boldly and unashamedly as the world portrays them. Pray that our churches, families and future generations will KNOW the TRUTH and be equipped to handle this war strategically and intentionally.
Together we CAN make a difference!