Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Survey Says: Half of Clergy Members View Pornography Every Month

Here's the disturbing story from the Canada Free Press.com:

The reality of Christian America’s shift away from faith in God and sound doctrine is evident by some staggering statistics.

. . . perhaps the most shocking news coming from these surveys concerns the men (and women) in the pulpit. In any given month at least 50% of priests, pastors, and ministers have visited at least one pornographic website.

Why this decay? Why is the church worldlier than ever? There are many reasons: Liberal theology that denies the inerrancy of the Holy Bible; the attempt by many churches to grow in numbers instead of making disciples; churches that love tell you ‘God loves you’ but don’t preach the need for Repentance.

You can read the entire article here.

Ingrid Schlueter over at the CrossTalk blog adds this salient commentary:

The enemy has used porn to derail more lives and ministries than probably anything else . . . If half of all pastors are watching this filth, you can only guess at what the laity is doing.

We are living at a time that resembles the that of Noah. Everyone, including tens thousands of professing Christian pastors, seems to be doing what is right in their own eyes. Scripture tells us that judgment begins at the house of God. Porn-viewing pastors, and porn viewing Christians in general, have reason to tremble.

7 comments:

Kristin said...

I'm not sure whether to blame depravity of heart or an ignorance of technology. You, Kip, are a glaring exception, but most pastors I know think they are 'savvy' for getting email. Computer viruses DO make things pop up - which I think is the snare.
Along the lines of the church not preaching the need for repentance, I think that the church does not address the 'holier than thou' mentality that Christians can get. I don't mean that which makes them lord their righteousness over others. I mean the thought that they are, themselves, infallible. We need to address what the actions of an imperfect Christian are and how that Christian can get themselves back on track. We have no gray area right now; it seems that you're either saved and perfect or unsaved and imperfect. If you find yourself in the latter category, unable or unwilling to find your way back, I think that's a problem.
Again, that's a type of repentance - you have the type that causes initial belief in Christ, but there's a lot more out there than that. We need to hear about it from the pulpit.

Honestly, I long for a good toe-smashing sermon. I know I'm not the epitome of what God would want in my life, but somehow I hear many sermons and they don't convict. I miss conviction from the pulpit. Sigh.

Pastor Kip said...

Well said, Kristin. I agree that we need that long-lost conviction in the pulpit. I just don't know if people would put up with that anymore.

Then again, if you're preaching what God wants you to preach, does it really matter what the people think?

Kristin said...

Given the state of the world, if you're making people unhappy, you might well be doing just what you should be.

Watcher said...

I wonder at the comment that if the clergy are doing this, imagine what the laity are doing. I searched my NT for the terms 'clergy' and 'laity'. I didn't find them, almost needless to say.
Perhaps part of the problem is that we've artificially elevated some men and women above the mutuality of ministry in the body of Christ to be out of reach of ministry support from the community they are in fact part of. Failures such as recourse to salicious websites would then follow as one consequence. Sometimes failure should call us to look at the system not the failee!

Pastor Kip said...

Good point, Watcher. I agree that there may need to be a change in the system, although that shouldn't absolve anyone of individual responsibility.

There are movements towards home churches (one is called Simple Church) and other small group models that change the current hierarchy structure found in main stream churches.

The only caveat I offer is that 1 Corinthians 12:28 points out that God has indeed appointed some to be pastors and some to be prophets, teachers, etc.

Kristin said...

Watcher, I love what you have said! You're absolutely right, I think. Pastors fail because they've few 'peer' believers to support them. That is an interesting symptom of a problem I see - that people are not mentally involved in their belief as much anymore. So many sit back and let it happen to them, assuming that if they think they could teach something, they aren't being humble. It's a sad state of things. Remembering that pastors put their pants on the same way as everyone else is a good place to start not only supporting the pastor, but becoming a fully emotionally/spiritually/mentally vested member of the body of believers.

I agree with Kip in that this doesn't absolve personal responsibility, but we should be looking at ways to help one another avoid sin. That includes pastors.

And, Kip, regarding your take on that verse. If you consider it less as a giving of a title and more as a giving of a gift, does that change the reverence 'required' of a pastor? (I'm playing 'devil's advocate' - I do think that having a shepherd for a flock is a good thing.) I just wonder at the level of reverence (and subsequent scrutiny) placed on a single person? Also, if any one of those gifts is any more valuable than another. That chapter is on each part of the body being separate, yet equal and necessary. If a pastor is simply there to do the job before him, same as a teacher, prophet, administrator, etc., does that mean he should have any more or less stringent expectation of righteousness than any other believer? I don't think so. (That means there's a higher expectation all around.)
I look at pastors as decisionmakers and leaders for a group. I think today's church looks at a pastor for EVERYTHING - teacher, healer, friend, life coach, example, miracle worker, etc. That is not as it was intended, I think.
Maybe this is a result of my chagrin with the 80/20 principle, but it just seems like Pastors are under too much themselves. People under too much stress DO break, sometimes horribly.

Spenx said...

All good comments!

To piggy-back Kristin's comment, people place too much importance and too many hats on the pastor's head. This article SHOULD sadden me - but I guess I'm too jaded and cynical now to be affected. I just see it as another reason to remember God needs to be God and not my pastor.

Reminds me of the Ted Haggard incident - the pastor at my church at the time was close friends with him and helped start New Life Church years ago - and he, along with SCORES of people, were so tore up and rocked over it.

I don't cheer on someone's demise or troubles... but people reacted as if the man wasn't human. As if he WAS God. I always come back to something my dad tells me "We're all level at the cross Spence". I know it sounds terrible, but I've come to have no expectations with ANYONE in the church because I know what we're all capable of doing: failing.


PS A great website to check out is xxxchurch.com or x3church.com if that's easier to write. Craig Gross, a pastor I enjoy reading and listening to, created it years ago. Amazing stuff on it.