‘Shamed’ The Movie

You know someone currently being affected by porn or sex addiction.  Maybe the man who sat next to you in church last week.  Maybe the woman leading your bible study.  Maybe the middle schooler who withdraws from youth group, or even the most involved student who makes straight-A’s, quarterbacks the football team, and just got back from that mission trip to Africa.  Perhaps your mirror knows well the face of hidden sin.

But, because of the guilt and the stigma still surrounding the issue, this debilitating addiction goes unconfessed and unhealed in the church which can be a painfully embarrassing place to confess sexual sin.  Ironic, because most of us struggle with it.

Shamed is a Christian film addressing the crippling shame surrounding pornography and sex addictions – helping us to “SPEAK openly, LISTEN compassionately, and HEAL completely.”

People are falling headlong into this addiction by the thousands.  Sin’s appetite is insatiable, and it is at all of our doorsteps – it waits for us on every billboard, every sitcom, every cell phone.  Our friends at Shamed The Movie reinforce how candor about sexual secrets lets the light of truth and grace into our own hearts and then helps us become that light of compassion and challenging accountability to others.

The film is currently in the making and has the potential to invite many into freedom and revolutionize our thinking as the body of Christ.  Watch the footage of everyday people sharing their stories of human shame and God’s redemption, and learn why the local church needs to be the place where the problem of pornography is addressed and liberty is found.

Click here if you want to learn more or support the completion of the film project.

Women Struggle With Porn Too

Porn and masturbation.

Two things men are confessing to in droves.  Two things women, are becoming increasingly addicted to, yet keeping quiet about.  Porn is dominating the internet, making record sales in the form of erotic novels, and it’s attacking the minds of Christian women.

Rather than hiding that truth deeper and deeper in the silent darkness of their hearts, Shelley Hitz of Christian Women and Porn is courageously calling scared and ashamed women to walk in the light.  Her new book A Christian Woman’s Guide to Breaking Free From Pornography is a bold confession and expounds on Shelley’s personal battle with pornography and the redemptive and compassionate work of Christ.

In her introduction Shelley writes, “I decided to write this book because I know what if feels like to be caught in the trap of pornography as a Christian woman.  Yes, I have struggled with pornography.  It is not something that I am proud of, and to be honest, it is something that I wish never happened, but God is using this dark season from my past for His good.”

Today she is giving away free copies of the book on Amazon Kindle.  If you or someone you know is struggling, has struggled, or is ministering to women who struggle in this area, then click here to get your free copy!

Women, men, girls, and boys… we do not have to continure to succumb the enemy’s schemes.  He is the accuser of saints, “you’re too dirty to find freedom” he laughs.  “Come into the light, I’ve already paid for your freedom” our Savior whispers.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Strategic Thinking With Josh McDowell and Friends

Yes, that is a chilling video.  Yes, sexual brokenness is a pervasive and painful issue. Yes, there is an attack on our youth just 1 click away.

But yes! There are ministries and individuals rising up, saying “Here am I, Lord” (Isaiah 6:8).

Yesterday some of our most respected ministry partners as well as other organizations from across the nation connected at a Strategic Thinking session hosted by Josh McDowell Ministry.  We discussed the greatest barriers to reaching people with gospel truth as it pertains to sexuality, and how to overcome those obstacles.  Among many practical ideas, there was resolute consensus that to be of any help in this arena, we must constantly receive Help from Christ and make accountability a priority – we need Him and each other (John 15:5, James 5:16).

Highlights from the day included a tangible sense of unity in the body of Christ, the sharing of innumerable resources, and a blanket of prayer from over 20 ministries to One Awesome God.  We are excited for the collaborative efforts sure to stem from yesterday’s event.  Know that this will deepen our well, from which we can draw more wisdom and engagement points to offer you.

News & Notes This Week

A Pastor’s Struggle With Sex and Porn Addiction (Huffington Post)
Sex addiction experts meet in S.A. (KSAT News)
ADDICTED: Aussie porn addicts watch porn ‘five hours a day’ (Herald Sun)
Parenting styles often colored by our own childhoods (Washington Post)
‘Sexting’ teens more likely to have actual sex, according to study (Deseret News)
Human trafficking discussion warns, ‘It does happen here’ (The Gazette)
Florida man convicted of sex trafficking for pimping 14-year-old girl in New Orleans area (The Times-Picayune)
The ‘Butner Study’ Redux: A Report of the Incidence of Hands-on Child Victimization by Child Pornography Offenders (CA K.I.D.S Coalition)
Economics 101: Porn creates demand, trafficking supplies the product (Baptist Standard)

Notes From the Road (Purity Is a Struggle Everywhere)

We have had a busy and rewarding past week! Our team has traveled from a school in Ohio, to a church in North Carolina, to a church in Texas, to a country club in California.  We’ve interacted with parents, pastors, church leaders, women, men, 20 year olds to 80 year olds, law enforcement, and business professionals.

At Miami Valley Christian Academy, our Vice President, Noel Bouche and Director of Parenting Ministry, Dan Martin talked about s-e-x with parents and school officials.  They shared Biblical foundations and God’s compelling story and design of sex. Partnering with Covenant Eyes, they helped families put systems in place to navigate the ever-changing world of technology and the internet.

In North Carolina, Dave Brown, our Director of Counseling and Support, spoke at the Band of Brothers men’s conference for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Purity is not automatic for pastors and church leaders.  These courageous saints have to pursue purity like anyone else, with the hope of Christ and leading of the Spirit.  Dave shared with these men some equipment for the battle.

In Texas, we had the privilege to partner with Traffick Stop an initiative to educate, advocate, and engage people on the issues of human trafficking. Tomi Grover, founder of Traffick Stop, and Noel met with East Texas area men and women, pastors, law enforcement, and advocates to discuss the church’s response to the prevalence of sex trafficking, as well as the correlations to pornography, and the normalization of sexual exploitation and objectification.

Finally, Noel finishes our long week of traveling by touching down in Orange County tonight to bring the Word to the workplace!  The marketplace is arguably one of the most dangerous places for a man or woman of God on a pilgrimage of purity.  Business can take us miles away from home where secrets can creep and thrive, work can make us tired and susceptible to temptation, the office is often a cesspool of the secular and over-sexualized.  Men and women attending the Christian Leadership Business Forum will be strengthened in their resolve to pursue purity even during the nine to five daily grind.

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind, but a valuable thing we are reminded of this week: Folks, purity is a struggle everywhere — whether in Ohio or California, in school or in the office.  Be encouraged, you are not the only one battling.  You are not the only one with questions.  You are not the only one to act out in doubt that God’s design is actually best.  You are not the only one who has been hurt.  Our God sees.  And He is touching hearts and lives, healing wounds, redeeming impurities, setting His people on a trajectory of freedom and justice.  It has been truly humbling to be a part of His reach these past few days.  May His truth ripple out and multiply fruit in many lives– maybe even yours!

Let us know how we can encourage you! And hey, knowing that we’ll go just about anywhere, let us know if your church, or school, or fill-in-the-blank could use some of our resources and teachings at your next event.

News & Notes This Week

5 Reasons Purity Rings and Pledges Don’t Work (Covenant Eyes)
5 Failures in the Church’s Treatment of Sexuality and 5 Ways Forward (DTS Magazine)
Breaking the Silence About Human Trafficking (Land O’Lakes Patch)
Instaporn: Porn, ‘KikSex’ Lurk Just Inside Instagram’s Photo Eden (Huffington Post)
New sex trafficking charges filed in Oxford massage parlor case (News Telegram)
Women and Pornography: Fifty Shades of the Same Old Color (Huffington Post)
As sex trade increases around conventions, faith-based groups step up efforts (CNN Belief)
Feds: Pediatric doctor charged with receiving child porn (CNN Justice)
At Abercrombie & Fitch, Sex No Longer Sells (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Pervasive Perversity

Twelve years into the twenty-first century, it’s official: porn is ubiquitous.  Check out the infographic below if you’re not yet convinced (click the image to enlarge).

If you are familiar with the ministry of pureHOPE, you know that we are about equipping people to pursue purity through the pray/understand/resolve/engage lifestyle.  Part of the understanding we need to have is of the cultural terrain around us.  Whether we are pastoring, parenting, or just trying to follow Jesus, we need to understand our environment, and it is imperative that we understand the pervasiveness of porn and sexualized content and attitudes around us–sin that so easily entangles.  It’s a fundamental part of living a Spirit-empowered life that is not outwitted by or ignorant of our enemy’s designs (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Understanding of “the facts on the ground” provides the proper motivation to acquire the necessary tools and strategies, and the proper context for implementing those tools and strategies in our lives, families, and churches.  Check out the following posts for practical, biblically based resources to equip yourself and those around you to pursue purity in a pornified age: