Seminarian Porn

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God.”

It’s interesting that here in 1 Thessalonians Paul defines sanctification in sexual terms, that is, in how one possesses one’s vessel. He gives two ways to possess it, positively, in sanctification and honor, and, negatively, not in lustful passion. I think that this legitimately relates to things other than actual intercourse — other sexual acts arising from lustful passion. So obviously, (and it’s not like we don’t know this), it’s a big deal.

That said, I know tons of Christian guys who struggle with porn.

Including seminary students. Some have overcome it, but many, however, have not. Maybe even the majority. I’ve known too many guys, and the testimonies are too consistent — a pornography struggle. My guess is a large percentage of male Southern students have a consistent sin issue related to pornography. I mentioned this high number estimate to a friend recently, and his response was, solemnly, “probably more.”It keeps coming up in conversations, and I’m beginning to think this is a big issue with seminarian guys.

Now, please don’t think I’m coming down hard and hypocritically — because I’ve struggled, and it’s not easy to say so. Pornography, by God’s grace, never was an every-day “addiction”, but there were seasons when it was not uncommon. But, by God’s grace, I have had victory for some time now. I don’t, honestly, know exactly how it was conquered in my life. Maybe it never got a strong foothold. But I am so glad that God has saved me from it. (And I pray he will continue to. I tell Laura to pray for me too, that I might keep my way pure).

Dustin, our pastor, mentioned this issue Sunday in his message, about people in Bible college and seminary being afraid to confess this sin. “Get help,” he implored them.

That, basically, is my motivation for writing this. Because it affects too many guys, and many of these guys, I’m sure, feel like they can’t tell anybody.

But, like I said, I’ve heard too many stories of too many people — people losing ministries and/or almost losing spouses. It’s hijacked so many. In today’s world, it might kill more ministries and marriages than any other single sin, directly or indirectly. That’s just a guess, but an informed guess.

I’ve found personally that I can easily wave an understanding and sympathetic (and apathetic!) hand at this when guys tell me about it. If my experience can be an accurate gauge, then I think quite a few guys have or will confide in others guys about this issue — but it doesn’t seem to help.

I think pretty much every story (and there are quite a few) is the same: The guys who have killed this issue seem to be guys who have been seriously raked over the coals for it. Guys need someone (often the significant female in their life ) to tell them how big a deal it is, how much it hurts them.

Man, knowing how much lust hurts Laura has given me a completely new perspective on how serious this is. I have glimpsed more clearly how God sees it.

So, I would plead with every guy out there — “Deal with it now!” Find someone who won’t let you get away with this. Find someone (like your wife) who doesn’t “understand” it. Find someone who will call you out and kick you toward holiness. Get help, and get it now.

Deal with it. Kill it, by the Spirit, so that you might live (Rom 8:13, as expounded by Owen). And do it now:

If you’re not married, before you drag into your marriage.

If you’re not in ministry, before you drag it into your pulpit.

If you are married, before it leads to something worse…

If you are in ministry, before someone else exposes it, and God’s name is defamed.

The gospel teems with hope for this. Believe me. I’ve know a lot of guys who have killed this sin in the power of the Spirit (myself included), washed in Jesus’ blood and have come out clean.

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About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
This entry was posted in Community, Gospel, Marriage, Pornography. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Seminarian Porn

  1. That last part really sums it up. This absolutely has to be taken care of before getting into a marriage otherwise a codependance is created and the addicted person may have what they feel to be some success but the addiction will show up again because it was never resolved. Good post!

  2. Lee says:

    John 8:31-36 (NAS)
    So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
    and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
    They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”
    Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
    “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.
    “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

    Danny – thanks for your post. The more that this sin, possibly above any other, is aired out in full daylight (see Psalm 19), the better for the believer fighting to overcome this sin, his (or her) family, and the church as a whole. As you and I have discussed, pornography had a huge stronghold in my mind and heart for many, many years – but, praise be to God, He has set me free! True repentance, along with confession, are a vital part of the process of maintaining victory – as is having a solid accountability team to lean on. One resource that really covers these and many other important aspects of gaining lasting victory over any sin relating to sexual impurity is the ministry of Setting Captives Free. There you will find an online, 60-day mentored course. They also have a hardcopy workbook covering the same material, which is useful for a group study. Going through the course, you’ll find many testimonies from guys in full-time ministry (which reflects what you wrote in your post about seminarian struggles). Many — in ministry and not — also tell of failed or nearly-failed marriages which resulted from their bondage to this sin, which also may go to your point about possibly needing a significant wake-up call for someone to accept that they really do need to kill this sin. Another resource that has helped me is Owen’s tremendous work, Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers.

    I’m glad you’re helping to keep this issue in the daylight where you’re at!

  3. Good thoughts man. Check out this sight, its got some really good testimonials by current and ex-porn stars (once you get past the stupid flash intro) http://www.shelleylubben.com/
    Read especially her “truth” sections.

  4. dslavich says:

    Thanks for that link. It’s amazing what the power of the Gospel of Christ can do!

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