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CleanA PROVEN PLAN for MEN COMMITTED TO SEXUAL INTEGRITY
By Doug Weiss
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2013 Doug Weiss
All right reserved.
Chapter OneA Dirty War Declared
Legend has it that there was a day not so long ago when men were more sexually pure. There was a day when a man gave his word on his wedding day to forsake all others, and he did exactly what he said he would do. He stayed married and faithful to the wife God gave to him to cherish. In that day, it was expected that men would keep their word to their wives and to others. A man was as good as his word, as the stories say.
There was a day when a man would run from wicked women and avoid the porn store located on the dirty side of town. Some with grey hair still talk of the era when a man's word was as good as gold. Then the war started. This wasn't a conventional war with bombs, planes, and navy ships, raised by some faraway nation. This war was raised against us, the church and our culture, from the very pit of hell itself.
The enemy of our souls began a sexual campaign—or as we would later call it, a sexual revolution. This campaign would question the very core biblical view of sexuality. The vicious weapons of pornography, drugs, and sexual immorality were raised against our educational institutions and churches, and the onslaught spread throughout the land. The fight pitted sons and daughters against the truths and values of their parents and grandparents like no other cultural war in the history of mankind. These young people talked of free love, or rather free sex. Pornography was a right and sex was a right without consequences or responsibilities.
This mind-set developed in many ways over the next decades. The Internet has taken this sexual combat to every home, computer, and cell phone. For most of us men, pornography is only a click away, and it grants the enemy's army easy access to our hearts, lives, and families.
This has an impact on every church in this great nation and many nations around the world. Some churches are active in the fight against sexual sin, and some have no idea they are in a war; half or more of their men are dead inside because their silent sins are keeping them from reaching their full destiny in Christ.
Clean is a solution manual for all of you engaged in this great war. You didn't ask for it; you just happened to be born when the enemy declared murderous intentions on you and your family, church, and nation. You had no say, but you are called to help our God set free a generation. No church community in history has had to reckon with such an intense and sophisticated inundation of sexual perversity. And we are God's only warriors in this battle. Our culture says we are crazy to believe God's Word about sexual fidelity and purity, whether we are single or married.
If we win this war together, we might see a return to Christian sexual values in our culture. We might return to a day when sexual purity is the standard once again, and perversion is seen for the damaging entity it really is. After I share with you some sobering statistics about our precarious situation, I will take you through this warrior's manual to help you get and stay free your entire life, and to help your brothers in Christ.
I write this handbook from a place of absolute compassion. I never met my father. I was placed in foster homes, sexually abused, and fully sexually addicted as a teen and young adult. I know the damages of this enemy personally. This soldier has the scars and has experienced the shame of feeling flawed and disconnected from God and the body of Christ, much like many of you do. The memories of this war are real for me, and so is the victory I will share with you in future pages. Victory is so much sweeter, since this is what God has made each of us for—victory!
I have been sexually clean for more than twenty-five years. I have not masturbated, viewed pornography, or had any sexual behavior outside of my marriage. My clean lifestyle has been validated repeatedly by a polygraph, so I am telling you the truth man to man, soldier to soldier.
You may ask, "Why a polygraph?" Well, several years ago when my pastor fell sexually, one of the female group leaders in my office began to wonder who she could trust. After all, her husband was unfaithful and her pastor as well as mine was also unfaithful. She sincerely asked me if I was really clean. I wanted everyone to know the other clinicians in my office as well as myself are clean. So all of the counselors agreed to take a polygraph annually to verify our years of sexual freedom. We felt that this was the least we could do for those hurt by this pastor's falling.
In the last two decades of counseling men who were sexually addicted, their wives, and families who were impacted by the man's addiction, I have seen the ravages of this war. You could fill a room with the tears I have witnessed from the men, women, and children who have been wounded. I have also seen the miracle of men getting clean and staying clean and their marriages and families healed, and I have written several books related to sexual addiction. I am considered an expert in the field of recovery, having appeared on Oprah, Dr. Phil, and many other national television shows, and I've even had a Lifetime Network movie made about our treatment for sex addicts called Sex, Lies and Obsession. I am also the president of the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy (AASAT). We train and certify counselors and life coaches to help those who struggle with sexual addiction both nationally and internationally.
The book you're holding contains tested and tried weapons for you to get and stay clean, not for a week, month, or year, but for the rest of your life. Our culture needs men committed to win this war, today more than ever, and my prayer is that you would answer that call, for those you love and who trust you to be a man of God.
I am now going to take you through an introduction to relevant facts and statistics, and then in the following chapters give you the tools to be that sexually clean man you deserve to be. Even if you never struggled in this area, please read and join the men who need help to see them cross over the finish line and hear "well done, good and faithful servant," by our precious Lord and master Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:23).
Many of us older guys grew up in a totally different world than the one we have today. In those days, you were likely to never see porn in your adolescence, unless you had an adult neighbor or family member who left it around. Today pornography is available on every cell phone connected to the Internet and on computers everywhere, and that doesn't even include the magazines on full view at convenience stores.
So, how big is this monster we are talking about? One comprehensive online article, "Internet Pornography Statistics," compiled by Jerry Ropelato, has much to say about this. Unless otherwise noted, the facts in this section are attributed to this resource. It's a great way to get a broad overview of this subject.
I don't know about you, but I think three thousand dollars a second is a lot of money. In one hour, that would add up to $10,800,000. Given those statistics, you don't have to be a mathematician to understand porn brings in an enormous income per year. Sadly, some of this money is coming right out of the wallets of churchgoers. Let's look at the money being spent on a national scale.
Now that we have seen some of the financial aspects of pornography, let's walk through frequency and scope of Internet searches on sex and porn, as well as get a broader look at the sexual side of the Internet.
America leads the way as the top producer of video and DVD pornography. Also, we are number one in porn Web pages. In 2006, the United States had 244,661,900 porn Web pages. The next largest producer of porn pages is Germany, with ten million porn Web pages. This dubious type of world leadership on pornography has come to pass during many of our lifetimes. This tragedy signals a shift in history. I am sure you agree leading the world on this matter is not the leadership you and I desire for our nation or for our children. The question is, what will we do with this battle? Will we fight it, be taken captive by it, or simply ignore this attack on God's bride, the church?
Men and Pornograpy
Now let's take a short look at some realities about men and pornography viewing. The Internet Filter Learning Center (2008) states "It is estimated that approximately 13% of the US population regularly views Internet pornography, 75% of whom are males."
Christian men also have issues with looking at pornography. A speaker at one Christian conference noted: "At a recent men's conference in Southern California, nine out of ten of the 565 men in attendance said that lust, pornography, and fantasizing were the habitual, continual, or fatal disconnecting factor in their relationship with God."
These statistics are alarming. If 90 percent of the men at a Christian conference see this as a big issue in their relationship with God, we all need to take this war seriously. If we do not mobilize those of us who believe porn hurts, no one will grow. Even worse, Christian men could easily grow coldhearted and believe that viewing pornography is not even a sin. The Word of God has several admonitions about lusting after women as sin, and yet pornography is corrupting even this most basic Christian belief.
Men today are not the only ones viewing pornography. In the last decade, my office treated more female sex addicts than in the previous decade.
The next category of porn viewers is pastors. Half of the pastors or their wives at churches where I have been a member have fallen to sexual sin during my thirty years as a Christian. This reflects our current reality; but thankfully many pastors, priests, and clergy do not struggle in this area.
This is evident in statistics collected by Dr. Lynn Anne Joiner in her work, "Congregants' Responses to Clergy Pornography Addiction":
Surveys of Protestant evangelical clergy in the United States reported that 33% to 43% admitted to viewing Internet pornography (Gardner, 2001; Reed 2001). Of these numbers, approximately 6% to 18% viewed pornography multiple times per month and one survey cited 37% of clergy who described Internet pornography as a current temptation (Reed, 2001).
The National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families reports,
In an informal survey of pastors in Seattle, Washington, conducted by the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families (2000), 11 percent of the 58 pastors surveyed intentionally had accessed a sexually explicit website; 9 percent viewed by choice and felt that it may be a problem for them. Five thousand pastors were questioned through the website www .pastors.com, and 55 percent indicated that they had visited a pornographic site within the last year; 33 percent had visited a sexually explicit site within the previous three weeks.
According to national surveys by Christianity Today and Leadership Journal, porn viewing is an issue for some clergy today.
In a nationwide survey conducted by Christianity Today, 4 in 10 pastors with Internet access reported they have visited a pornographic Web site ... and more than one-third have done so in the past year. Slightly over half of the pastors (51%) say Internet pornography is a temptation for them; 37% admit it is a current struggle. Among the laity, 11% report at least occasionally viewing pornography.
I love pastors. While I was in seminary working on my master's in divinity degree, I was also an associate pastor. I have nothing but compassion for pastors who struggle with pornography or sexual issues. Over the past twenty-five years, I have worked with many pastors who have gotten and stayed clean. I have seen their churches grow amazingly after they were free in this area of their lives. One counselor in my office has a telephone therapy group just for pastors, and he is so proud of those who walk out their purity alongside their brothers and colleagues.
I also have great respect for pastors who have taken some heat for talking about these issues or starting groups in their churches for men who struggle. Pastors are a major part of the solution to helping the bride of Christ become clean without stain. My hat is off to all of them. If you have a pastor, encourage him or her in the ministry of the local church.
A study done in 2009 by Deborah Braun-Courville and Mary Rojas states that in the United States, the percentage of young people looking at sexually explicit material ranges from 56 percent to 86 percent of young men and 31 percent to 56 percent of young women. But apparently, "rates of pornography use among females are increasing, with nearly half of female adolescents reporting viewing pornography in the past 6 months."
Viewing of pornography has ramifications. Young people today have been impacted significantly by viewing pornography.
Pornography can affect each adolescent differently. In years of counseling I have seen many men significantly attach to early images. This subject of the impact on adolescents was also a discussion in the US Senate. The US Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property welcomed Jill C. Manning's testimony on the impact of pornography on family life in 2005. She offered this disturbing information:
When a child or adolescent is directly exposed to pornography the following effects have been documented:
1. Lasting negative or traumatic emotional responses.
2. Earlier onset of first sexual intercourse, thereby increasing the risk of STDs over the lifespan.
3. The belief that superior sexual satisfaction is attainable without having affection for one's partner, thereby reinforcing the commoditization of sex and the objectification of humans.
4. The belief that being married or having a family are unattractive prospects.
5. Increased risk for developing sexual compulsions and addictive behavior.
6. Increased risk of exposure to incorrect information about human sexuality long before a minor is able to contextualize this information in ways an adult brain could.
7. And overestimating the prevalence of less common practices (e.g. group sex, bestiality, or sadomasochistic activity).
In 2008 the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy teamed up with the website Cosmogirl.com to present a study on "Sex and Tech," which offers these statistics:
20% of teens overall have sent or posted videos or pictures of themselves that are either nude or seminude.
39% of teens post or send messages that are sexually suggestive.
71% of teen girls and 67% of teen guys say they have either posted or sent content that is sexually suggestive to a boyfriend/girlfriend.
21% of teen girls and 30% of teen boys have sent sexual content to a potential boyfriend/girlfriend.
15% of teens have sent or posted nude/seminude images of themselves to someone they never met.
51% of teen girls as compared to 15% of teen boys say pressure from the opposite sex is a reason they send sexual messages or images.
23% of teen girls and 24% of teen boys say friends pressured them to post or send sexual content.
66% of teen girls and 60% of teen boys cite the most common reason for sending sexually suggestive content is to be "fun or flirtatious."
40% of teen girls say it was "a joke" to send sexually suggestive content, messages or images.
34% of teen girls say they "feel sexy" when they post/send sexually suggestive content.
38% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have had sexually suggestive e-mails or texts shared with them that were originally meant for someone else
25% of teen girls say they have had images that were nude or seminude shared with them that were originally meant for someone else.
All the statistics we have covered are shocking, but especially those about our young people. They are the future of our church and our society. If this trend continues, the majority of young people will be scarred by the most diverse and perverse pornography in world history. Now is the time to become and stay clean, and to give hope to our sons and daughters so they can shine the light of Christ to their generation.
Wow. I know it's a different world from the way many of us grew up. However, this is the real world, and the future generations of the church are growing up in this unclean soil.
Let me digress for a minute and talk about soil, or "the land," as the Bible refers to nations. Part of the reason I penned these pages is that I believe God is crying out for a clean nation to rise up and reclaim our unclean culture.
In Jeremiah 3:1, we read, "'If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—would you now return to me?' declares the Lord."
And in verse 9 we read, "Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood." These verses allude to the fact that the immorality of the people affects God's perspective of the land. I want to take you even further through this principle, and explore how our sexuality affects God's view of a land or a nation.
Leviticus probably isn't a book you spend a lot of time in, but there are some real jewels in its pages. In chapter 18 you will find listed all the sex acts God disapproves of. In short, God says to only have sex with your wife. Verses 24 and 25 say, "Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants."
God commands them not to be sexually immoral, because this is how the land became defiled or unclean. Then he says something really interesting. As the people are immoral, "the land" will vomit them out.
To reiterate his point to the Israelites that their sexuality determines whether or not a land is defiled or unclean, he says in verse 28, "And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you." The consequences of making a land unclean is that they would get kicked out of the land God wanted to give them.
Most men or pastors I share this with have never heard that God looks at a land as clean or unclean based upon sexuality. This truth was verified several times as Israel was forced to leave the physical land that they defiled in this manner.
Sometimes, I feel we Christians are being kicked out of our American culture. Our God has been taken out of our schools, and his commandments have been taken out of our courthouses. Even his nativity scenes have been removed from some public places. I don't know about you, but it feels as though we are being kicked out of our own land.
Excerpted from Clean by Doug Weiss Copyright © 2013 by Doug Weiss. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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