The Musings of Bek Curtis

Reluctantly Porn (Unplanned Part II): The ‘How’ of My Freedom

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Musings | 32 comments

Reluctantly Porn (Unplanned Part II): The ‘How’ of My Freedom

I find myself writing once again on the topic of pornography, and once again writing with reluctance, fueled this time by different motivators.
I had a few people express frustration with the original article I wrote, due to the fact I didn’t expand on the ‘how’ of gaining my freedom, a frustration I can empathise with.
I am more than happy to share how God intervened, as the glory belongs solely to Him.
My reluctance however, centers around individuals who are struggling with porn addiction and looking at my ‘how ‘ and trying to emulate it to become their ‘how ‘, without checking with God to discover His perfect plan for individual freedom.

We are all unique, any addictions or self-control struggles we face are fed by a multitude of factors that vary from person to person. What drove me, may not be what drives you, and so the process of, and journey toward your freedom may look different to mine.
There are things I won’t write about, things I didn’t do in my journey, but things that may work for you. Tools such as mentoring, household/mobile internet filtering, counselling, accountability partnerships, and countless online support groups and resources.

Our God is a unique God. He is a God of relationship, not religion.
A formula created to unlock freedom is not what He is requiring of you. Instead He extends an invitation for you to have intimacy with Him.
When Jesus healed, He did not use the same ‘method’ each time. Some received healing through prayer, for another it came via a physical anointing of saliva mud, and for one courageous woman, an act of faith, just a touch of His robe was enough to bring about her healing.

When we rely on formulaic prayers and procedures, focusing only on our desired outcome, we miss the relationship, we miss the very key that unlocks our chains.

My freedom journey began with a distinct moment when watching a particular porn video (this is not a reason to keep watching until you have an ‘Ah HA’ moment!) there was a girl positioned in front of the camera, lying on a couch and whilst I truly cannot remember the sexual acts she was engaged in, I do remember her eyes.
Everything else in that moment faded away as I looked into this young woman’s eyes, into the eyes of a women who was clearly under the influence of heavy drugs.
I saw within those eyes a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of abuse and rejection. Her eyes held the burden of a lifetime’s striving for approval, acceptance, attention, love.

The eyes are the window to the soul, and hers was broken, crushed.

I wish that I could say that was it, the glimpse of this woman’s troubled life had changed me so profoundly that I never struggled again, but to say so would be a lie.
What did occur, was a shift in my thinking toward these women, a recognition that beneath the bravado were young women who longed to be loved.

I wanted to help these women.
I suddenly saw in front of me a harvest of souls waiting to be shown the love of Jesus. But how could I ever hope to make a difference, to reach them if I was sowing into their pain?
Each minute I viewed their outward cries for approval, I tightened the chains that bound them, that bound me.

I began to desire to be part of a solution.
I began to desire God and His will in my life above all else.

When I wrote the words: ‘My God is the God of freedom, for those who truly desire it’, in my initial article, I was sharing with you my ‘secret’ my ‘how’.
I desired God above ALL else. Above porn.

1. EMBRACE THYSELF
I resolved to stop making excuses and justifications for why I was drawn to viewing porn.
We humans are experts in defending our poor behaviour. We can make impassioned pleas and excuses for all manner of dodgy deeds.
I’ve raised three children through toddler-hood, I have witnessed my fair share of self-justification-tantrums!

Sometimes we don’t grow out of these tantrums, we just change the way we allow them to manifest.
But in order to face addiction head on you have to coach yourself to an excuse-free place. A place where self-awareness, self-examination, and recognition of self-responsibility is not only embraced, but practiced.
Whilst ever you are seeking to blame all or part of your behaviour on someone else’s actions or lack of actions as the case may be, you make a marked choice; to remain in addiction.

You may have a partner who doesn’t fulfill your sexual desires or appetite, you may be genuinely frustrated, angry, hurt or lonely, but while you allow resentment or rejection to dictate your behaviour you are choosing to give away much needed power that could instead be harnessed and used for self-responsibility and self-control.

2. RESTRICT
I set about putting restrictions on my phone, as that was where I had easiest access to porn.

This made it a very conscious and rebellious decision if I chose to go in search of content I shouldn’t.

3. RSVP
I embraced God’s invitation into intimacy, and I started talking openly with Him.

When I felt temptation coming on, I would tell Him. I would explain what was happening, and I would focus on Him, begin to thank Him, begin to worship Him.
Let me tell you, it’s hard to maintain sexual arousal, and a desire to view pornography when you are speaking, or in my case singing to the Creator of the universe!

Condemnation is an insidious thing and I believe it’s one of Satan’s greatest tools.
How many times have you felt as though you’re trapped aboard the ‘I’m sorry God, I did it again. Help me’, carousel?
Condemnation says, ‘Okay, you can’t keep saying sorry, this is a joke, just stop talking to Him’.
But God says: ‘It’s okay, come to me, I want to help you, let’s walk through this again, I’m here for as long as it takes.’

Brutally honest discussion with God is the key.
What’s stopping you? It’s not like He’s going to be shocked, He knows what you’re thinking anyway! But He is the perfect gentlemen, He will not force you to open up, He allows you to exercise free will and bring your thoughts to Him.

4. TAKE HOSTAGES!
My experience with addiction (and trust me, ’tis plentiful, as addiction and I have been buddies in various forms for many years), is that it is not so much a case of trying to talk oneself out of addiction, but rather into it!

There was always a voice that started out as a suggestion, a mere offering of an idea to view porn or whatever current addiction I was flirting with. *Cue the internal to and fro dialogue:
No, that’s not a great idea, I don’t really want to do that. Sure you do, it’s fine, it’s just this once. No it’s not just once, I won’t stop. Sure you’ll stop! This is the perfect way to prove it, just do it today and you won’t have to do it tomorrow. Hmmmm. You can stop whenever you want, you’re not addicted to this, you’re just choosing to do it. This isn’t addiction anyway, it’s just a habit, you can break a habit whenever you want’.
Repeated daily.

So my next step was learning to take every thought captive.
There is a reason these verses are in the bible (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

When you stop a thought in its track and acknowledge it, instead of allowing it to run with reckless abandon through your mind, you take it captive. That means it not longer masters you, but you master it.
Yes, it takes practice, this is a discipline that can feel like a full-time job. But it is a job that pays well! It even comes with a dental plan… (I may have just made that bit up. But you never know?).

When you take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, you are commanding them to fall into submission under the Lordship of Christ! That is no small deal!
It is here that Jesus takes over. It is in this moment that you are choosing to give Him control, to work and weave and mend and heal.

5. WORD!
I found it really helpful to read through the New Testament when I was struggling. And not just reading for reading’s sake, but asking The Holy Spirit to allow the words to come alive in my heart and mind as I read them.
Again, it becomes very difficult to choose poor behaviours when you have chapter after chapter, verse after verse challenging you, giving you step by step encouragement and promptings on how to live well, abundantly.

6. DITCH THE GUILT
I don’t believe that shame and guilt are good motivators toward effective change. I believe instead that they lead to condemnation.
But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, turn them toward Him, just like the old hymn says, the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace!
Glory and Grace, not condemnation and disapproval.

In the 2012 film, Father of Lights directed by Darren Wilson, there is a brief interview with Banning Liebscher of Jesus Culture, where he says:

“….there’s a generation that is experiencing more options than any generation in all of history.
So the tendency to materialism or distraction, is so available….ability, instant access to entertainment and social networks and internet and travel. There are so many options and choices in this generation. What excites me is that choices are powerful in the midst of options, not in the midst of no options.
And I think we’re going to see the most powerful generation the world has ever seen, come out of an environment that gives them options, and a generation’s going to rise that their “Yes” in their spirit will be so loud, it will drown out everything else.”

His words immediately resonated in my spirit, they told my story.

For me, Banning’s words were more than a prophetic declaration, they were a testimony of what was and is already taking place, for this is exactly what had happened to me during my journey. The ‘YES‘ to God in my spirit, became louder than any ‘NO‘ I would ever have to speak to the world.

That had been my revelation. That “YES” had been my key.

Let me finish by saying, there is hope. There is freedom. There is a light that shines bright in the darkest of places.
There is love, one who is love itself, waiting to enrapture you and lead you in grace.
He who is love, is able to transform you by the renewing of you mind.
Did you catch that? He is not just able, but willing to clear away the garbage in your mind, erasing the memory of all destructive and tempting images, and renew it to it’s created design! Ponder that!
May this be your testimony, because what He has done for one, He will surely do for another.
-Bek Curtis

 

32 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Scott

    Bek,

    As someone who was addicted to porn for 17 years, I can testify that most of what you said is true. The one thing I see missing from the “How To” article is any mention of any type of support, from either a church group, friends, family or such. For me having people around me who knew what I was dealing with and who were fully supportive of me in a non-judgmental way helped immensely. You didn’t make any mention of having support like that or having joined any type of group for porn addiction. I think both can be a vital element in the success in overcoming a porn addiction.

    Thank you for having the courage to be so honest and forthright with your readers about your addiction. Even if they never write a message to you, I’m sure there are those who have read your blog who were affected deeply by it and were encouraged in their own battle with addiction.

    Scott.

    • Bek Curtis

      Hey Scott,

      Thanks for your feedback and encouragement.
      You’re right, I make no mention of church/family/friend support being a part of my journey, because it wasn’t!
      As I prefaced at the beginning of the article, this is just MY journey, other people’s journey may look different.

      I’m happy to hear you were surrounded by people who could walk alongside you without judgement and offer you the friendship and support you needed.

      Bek Curtis

      • Jack Swager

        The beauty of Bek’s story is that she didn’t have a support group, church or such. My deliverance did not come or was support by others but rather the Lord provided the freedom. Nothing wrong with support groups but better if don’t need
        them but the bottom line is being free from the life draining force.

        • Scott

          Jack,

          I disagree with your statement that it’s better without a support group of some kind. I understand your thinking, in that in Bek’s case God delivered her so what could be better than that, however in her case her husband already knew, and obviously supported her in getting “clean”. She was not completely alone. I and so many others like me had hidden my addiction extremely well. So well that no one who knew me had any idea what I was doing. My addiction had taken over me so completely that I had no social life to speak of, never even had a girlfriend etc. The only way I could have dealt with it was to have the support of others. God has and continues to use the friends I now have to keep me in line and out of mischief as it were. God was in my recovery every bit as much as in Bek’s, he simply used different means to achieve the same ends. Having a group around you to support you in no way means God is any less involved.

  2. Bernard

    Hi Bek

    I was reading an article by Michael Brown in Charisma this morning and then saw your article and you are very very courageous to have written what you did, well done for taking up the sword!!. Statistically in the US about 68% – 70% of men in churches are battling and 50% of pastors… so this would not be all that different in Australia. And with women it could be at 30%

    We have a ministry to men over here in Geraldton in WA using material by Ted and Diane Roberts (puredesire.org) because this thing is a Tsunami sweeping the church and we basically have a generation of sex addicts in churches who are crying out for help, but deeply stuck in shame. Its part of my journey to, so I have a real heart for men’s healing in Australia and my wife for their wives. Do check out the conquer series by Ted Roberts: conquerseries.com by Ted Roberts for encouragement – your hubby may really appreciate it as a guy. Anyway, RE your article, if the Lord was using you to reach out to other women and you wanted material, we also have material for teen girls and women (from Pure Desire in the US) with sexual / love addiction called the “8 pillars of freedom” and “the mask” I really thought that this material will come in handy for you to minister.
    Blessings, Bernard.

  3. Benjamin

    I’m curious if you were ever diagnosed by a qualified professional as having a sex addiction/intimacy disorder or if you just diagnosed yourself for the sake of this article as porn “addicted”. This is no small distinction.

    Many of the things you describe in your initial article sound very much like healthy sexual curiosity, perhaps by someone with a strong religious upbringing, made to believe masturbation and/or sexual thoughts/fantasies were inherently sinful.

    • Benjamin

      PS) Your comments also sound like someone who might be attracted sexually to women and because of certain religious reasons, is unable to acknowledge that publicly.

    • Scott

      Benjamin,

      I had to reply to your comment to correct an inaccuracy in your line of thinking. Masturbation, sexual thoughts/fantasies, ARE sinful. There are so many reason’s for that, but I believe the main reason is because God designed sex, sexual intimacy, and sexual pleasure to be between a man and a women within the boundaries of marriage to bring those two people closer in a way which no other relationship can. Therefore any sexual pleasure is to be derived from that relationship and nothing outside it. If you are single and are masturbating and/or indulging in lustful thoughts or sexual fantasy, then you are obviously not deriving that pleasure from your spouse since you don’t have one. Sexual fantasy about anyone other than your spouse is called LUST, which is clearly labeled as sin in so many scriptures. Even if you are married and doing so, you are still getting sexual pleasure from something or someone other than your spouse. There are many many verses in scripture that prove this point beyond any doubt (Try, Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, Corinthians etc, or Leviticus just to name a few books that cover it). I would highly suggest you do some research by reading scripture to get a true understanding of what is considered sin and what is not. And remember it is not what man thinks it is that matters, it is what God says it is that does.

      I’m sure you must think I am a diehard prude, but the fact is I am not. There are many things inside of marriage that a man and a woman can do in of their marriage bed that can lead to and enhance a very fulfilling sexual intimacy between them without having to resort to any fantasies or masturbation, or in Bek’s case porn.

  4. Sojourner

    Excellent stuff, Bek. A damaging habit ripped up by Grace.

    I know it well!

    Thanks 🙂

  5. Benjamin

    Scott, you don’t sound like a prude, you just sound like someone repeating what they have been told.

    The Bible says nothing about masturbation, nor does it say that all expressions of human sexuality (FYI: this could include romantic kissing) before marriage are sinful. I challenge you to search the scriptures for yourself and find where such an idea is expressly taught.

    • Sojourner

      Hi Ben,

      Your line of reasoning sounds remarkably similar to what I’m now accustomed to hearing from the LGBT community.

      Hi Scott,

      I’d encourage you to “work out your own salvation…”, don’t let people who bring “Did God really say?…” questions be the ones that lead you.

      I must encourage you, however, that, in His grace, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. If you have a conviction that masturbation is wrong, then honour your conviction through abstinence, and be humble before God when you fail.

      Kind regards,

      Soujourner 🙂

      • Scott

        Sojourner, Thank you for your encouragement. I can wholeheartedly say that I in no way do I let anyone who says “Did God really say” lead me in any form. I find that the ones who say that, are usually the ones who are trying to make excuses for their own behavior rather than accept what God’s truth really is and in turn change their behavior to match that truth.

        I absolutely believe that God will and does forgive our sins. I have been the beneficiary of that fact in ways I can’t describe here. He has forgiven me for all the crap I did while I was addicted, and has never failed me yet and never will.

    • Scott

      Benjamin,

      I can tell you unequivocally that I am not repeating what I have been told, I am telling you what I have learned through painful experience and through the careful reading of scripture what God’s truth is. Not that I know all, I don’t and never will, but of this point I convinced I am correct.

      You are correct in saying there is no specific prohibition in the bible against masturbation, however like many other things just because it is not mentioned specifically does not mean it is condoned by God or “OK” to do. If God designed sexual pleasure to be solely derived from ones spouse as a means to intensify and strengthen the bond between husband and wife, (and I believe he did) then there is no justification for masturbation outside of marriage, or even in marriage as there again, it would mean deriving sexual pleasure from self instead of your spouse. Masturbation in itself is a selfish act, as it only focuses on the self. We all know that being selfish is sinful, and the total opposite of God’s plan for how humans are to relate to one another, so in that light there is no way masturbation can be thought of as acceptable to God.

      As proof that God intended sexual pleasure only for marriage we only have to look throughout the entire bible. There is example after example of men (in particular) and women who try to get sexual pleasure/satisfaction outside of marriage, and in every one of those cases there were negative and even deadly consequences because of it. There is not one single example in the bible of anyone deriving sexual pleasure/satisfaction outside of marriage that is positive.

      One other thought is this; Paul says we are to beat our bodies to submission (metaphorically of course) which means we are to control our bodies, rather than our bodies control us. Giving in to the urge to masturbate married or single is allowing our bodies to control us rather than us controlling it.

  6. Jack Swager

    Bek,

    You are putting your faith in action. Such an excellent article and sound instruction. This is what the body of Christ needs, not “how to books” but members showing how the word is at work in their lives. We are all different and at times as you pointed out, the answer for our situation may be different than others. Very bold and admirable of you to stand and declare your story.

  7. Mike

    Another really good post. I really appreciate the “no formula” method in this. Your story is honest and hope-giving.

    As someone who also struggled with porn for many years, it’s wonderful to be “over it” but I’m also reminded often that temptation is always at the door and my response to it is not always perfect. As you said in your previous post, it requires ongoing decisions to view people appropriately and to head towards God.

    Thanks for your honesty!

  8. Steve

    I’m now in my mid-40s, and was saved 13 years ago. I was first exposed to porn and illicit sex as a child by magazines I found and “friends” who would “play around” with me. It’s not play. I was drawn into a world of extremely unhealthy sexual activity by my early adult years.

    When I was saved, I put the alcohol, illicit sex and porn behind me. While I’ve never touched another drop of alcohol, within a couple years of salvation porn started creeping back in to my life.

    It started by reading titillating articles and “news” stories. The kind of stuff if someone saw me reading would be easily explained away – yet in my HEART I knew the reason I was on that page was to indulge in lustful appetites. This progressed to the point where I started viewing actual hardcore porn again. Secretly, of course.

    I confessed to my Pastor and my wife this indiscretion after a couple years. They would have had no idea otherwise. As a former IT professional, I’m quite adept at covering my tracks. But I wanted help overcoming this problem.

    For awhile, I did better. But it keeps coming back. I go through phases of several days or even weeks at times where I won’t look at anything questionable. Or if I start to, I quickly back off. But then I’ll give in to the temptation – and I know the routine so well. Once I really start, I can get sucked in for 1, 2, 3 days or longer where NOTHING in my business gets accomplished. I spend every spare moment I can get away from other eyes viewing the garbage. I know while watching it how harmful it is but am drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

    I still don’t understand WHY I’m so addicted, but I DO recognize the pattern at least that draws me back in and can sometimes stop myself in time before I get drawn back in through prayer and just shutting off the computer and going to spend time with my family who I love dearly. I’ve not told my wife that I’ve been back into the vilest porn again these past several years – too embarrassed and too hurtful to her if I were to tell her. In fact, this is rare for me to admit to ANYONE I have a problem, even anonymously.

    I have to tell you Bek, that the part about “Okay, you can’t keep saying sorry, this is a joke, just stop talking to Him’” brought tears to my eyes. I do ask the Lord for forgiveness and I know He does, but oh my goodness I feel so guilty doing it AGAIN. And AGAIN. And AGAIN. I can so relate to that devil’s lie of how God must be sick of hearing from me by now.

    I’m so thankful that His ways are higher than our ways… and that his forgiveness knows no bounds. I’ve been away from porn for over a week at this point. My heart’s desire is to give it up for good. Thank you for your encouraging article.

  9. Benjamin

    Scott,
    You conflate so many issues and make so many patently false religious assertions, it’s hard to know exactly where to begin in bringing a short rebuttal to your comments.

    On a macro level, your misunderstanding of “selfishness” as opposed to simply doing something that brings pleasure to “self” , is a probably a good place to start. Evangelicals frequently have great difficulty with this concept.

    “Selfishness” is a denial of responsibility to another for the sake of one’s own gratification. Selfishness actively excludes an important need for the sake of a smaller, proportionally insignificant personal desire. It is the active taking of something belonging to another– not in some nebulous hypothetical sense, but in the real-time present tense. It is not as you assert, simply bringing pleasure to yourself, sexual or otherwise. Selfishness is stealing what belongs to another.

    Now, a husband or wife who masturbates privately and outright DENIES sexual fulfillment to their spouse is indeed participating in a damaging form of selfishness. But even in such a case, the selfishness and denial of responsibility is the sin, not the enjoyment of pleasure or expulsion of semen which is a biological need. In such a case, a person could be just as equally sinful in abrogation of their commitment and responsibility to their spouse by studying the Bible, going to Church, watching television or any other activity.

    I know it’s very difficult for you to accept, but the Bible is not the healthiest modern sex manual on the market. If you haven’t noticed, it records a wide array of perversity and human sexuality, most of which it never actually condemns. Which of the heroes of the faith DIDN’T have sex with multiple women — married or otherwise (concubines)? Most of the great men in the OT enjoyed sexual congress with numerous women– some in fact reaching Wilt Chamberlin-style triple digits, and yet were never rebuked by God for such behavior. (the most notable exception being David’s adultery, which was a very different type of offense)

    Re: the “did God really say” defense– this circular reasoning is frequently used to block all attempts at critical thinking, by conflating personal questioning of doctrine with Satan’s temptation in the garden. It’s a bogus, cautionary red herring. We should all frequently and rigorously challenge our own positions and beliefs. It’s our responsibility. Most of the time the things that crumble under scrutiny are not the actual ancient moorings of our faith, but peripheral interpretations of that faith that have come to us through well-meaning men over the centuries. The Bible does not speak to masturbation. The New Testament does not state that all sexual expressions for single people, outside of marriage, are sinful. If you have the chapter and verse for such a command, I will be happy to listen and I am open to modifying my view altogether.

  10. Benjamin

    @Sojourner– It would be much more beneficial if you knew exactly where such prohibitions against masturbation and all forms of human sexuality outside of marriage are found in Scripture. The fact is obvious to me– you do not. And as someone who has studied the bible for 30 years, I can confess to you honestly– I do not either. The difference between us is that I don’t feel the need to be dogmatic or judgmental about things the Bible is silent about. (Re: masturbation)

    • Jack Swager

      If you are convinced it’s OK then do it. I find it repulsive for myself and am grateful for being set free from it. The bible doesn’t condemn it nor does it not condone it. ” ,,, all thing may be lawful but not all are profitable.”

  11. Benjamin

    @ jack Swager — I have issues for stating the obvious?

    Bek mentions several times in her posts about being intrigued by women’s bodies, wanting to know what style of pubic hair they had, etc… I don’t condemn her in the slightest for such thoughts. This is simply healthy sexual curiosity, in my view. It also sounds to me — and granted, this is only a hunch based on personal experience — that she may actually be sexually attracted to women over and above men. Time will tell, because if she is, no amount of Bible study, indoctrination or prayer is likely to keep it at bay.

    Bek, if you’re reading this I wish you only the best

  12. Jack Swager

    Benjamin, you are approaching this in a very natural way. What Bek, others and myself have experienced is the freedom and deliverance that comes from the power of the cross of Jesus. It’s a personal spiritual experience and interaction that transcends analysis. We are really free, some for years. That may set off red flags for someone who hasn’t had an encounter with the power of Jesus but is perfectly accepted by those who have.
    It seems like you are trying to promote as acceptable practices that we are convicted of as wrong Scripture says “that which is not of faith is sin”. Even if we are convincingly told what what we were doing is normal and OK, it is still sin if we don’t have faith it’s acceptable to the Lord nor do we don’t want to. Sin (which pornography is) eats at your life and leaves you hollow inside. No amount of analysis is going to change that. The beauty of deliverance is experiencing the power of Jesus in our life to do what we could not do ourselves and the true freedom it brings and closeness to God our Father. Benjamin, do you know Jesus as your savior?

    • Benjamin

      @Jack Swager– You can’t claim something “transcends analysis” while at the same time liberally using clinical terms like “addiction” in your writing; as Bek does in her blog posts FYI: “Addiction” is not a New Testament concept or theme– it’s modern mental health terminology rooted in science.

      I would never encourage anyone to do anything that they feel violates their conscience. However, in the area of sexuality and specifically masturbation and auto-erotic acts, there is much disinformation and outright deception preached from evangelical pulpits. This teaching doesn’t deliver by the power of Jesus, it communicates exactly the opposite: bondage, legalism, self-deception, perpetual states of “transgression” and unhealthy dependence on religious leaders for so-called deliverance. It’s a sham of the highest order. I don’t know anyone who can truthfully claim they are completely delivered from masturbation and/or erotic and sexual thoughts– although I ave met quite a few people who have TRIED.

      How would it affect your life if you were to truly understand that your union with Christ/relationship with God was not affected one tiny bit by your masturbatory practices, or by whether you were curious about someone else’s pubic hair or body types?

      • Jack Swager

        FYI:”There is nothing new under the sun”. Though addition might be a relatively new term, it isn’t a just discovered aberration. You may have never met anyone who has been completely delivered from sexual problems but there are many who have been. You may not be associating with people who know the power of new life in Jesus. Once we give our life to God through Christ we are obligated (hopefully delighted to please our Heavenly Father in which case He can have us refrain from anything. There is such joy in freedom from compulsive sex acts. No amount of justification will ever bring peace and freedom. If you do that which you desire not to do, to that you are a slave. Jesus didn’t save us to be slaves but rather to be free through his death and resurrection.

        • Benjamin

          The crux of our disagreement is that I believe Jesus empowers us by Grace to be more like Him; a state that involves a lifelong journey, but a state that is always fully HUMAN. You are proposing something that smacks of unreality– a triumphalism born more of 20th century charismatic jargon and religious-testimonial fantasy. than the earthy image of Grace we are shown in Scripture.

          You are, for the sake of argument here, trying to convince us that you don’t masturbate and enjoy sexually arousing thoughts, because you are now somehow “set free” or “delivered”, and I am simply saying
          1) absolute bollocks!
          2) such a proposition is not only unhealthy and utterly pointless, it is also contrary to God’s design for human sexuality

  13. Benjamin

    PS) You again appeal to clinical, psychological language in your description of “compulsive sex acts”. While I believe sexual addictions and obsessive-compulsive disorders are very real behavioral/neurological phenomena, I’m curious how you came to define your own sexuality as “compulsive” and what criteria you used to make this diagnosis.

    People who suffer from obsessive sexual behavior, unquestionably have a very real and terrible problem. But this type of disorder is certainly not the result of some moral “slippery slope” caused by repeated masturbating in the shower or viewing images of naked women on your iPhone. This kind of disorder is almost always borne of deep trauma, various degrees of childhood abuse and/or very real mental illness (like bipolar disorder, for example)

    Faith and hope in the power of God’s transforming Grace can be a powerful factor in these people’s lives, but in a normative sense, God works through human means to accomplish his work– especially through the blessings of medicine and science. I have known countless Charismatic believers over the decades (in fact some of them, my very closest friends in this life) who have struggled with mental illness for decades, presumptuously “claiming” healing when in fact they were far far from it. (One need only typically ask their spouse in order to get the real story) For those who wrestle with real obsessive behavior and struggle with mental illness , there is fortunately help with proper diagnosis and medication. In such scenarios, may God be praised.

    • Jack Swager

      Our heavenly Fathers ultimate for us is to be just like Jesus as Romans 8 reveals and other scriptures. Being merely human will never get us there. Being new creations in Christ will as we submit to the Holy Spirit and God’s work in our lives. Being consumed by sexuel mores is the same as idolitry. God did create sex to be enjoyed in purity and wholesomeness but it can’t be our obsession. Jehovah must be our obsession.

      • Benjamin

        Jack,
        Whether you know it or not, what you are espousing is a form of Gnosticism. Read up on it sometime. The Gnostics existed in the first century and their beliefs are directly challenged and denounced in various places throughout the New Testament.

        Even in the process of having our character shaped into the character of Christ by the Holy Spirit, we are always fully human– a fact that should be celebrated. The human body is not evil nor is Christianity an escape from our humanity.

        • Jack Swager

          I am some what familiar with Gnosticism and have no desire to find out any more. I am only promoting as best I can what the word says we can be. There is such victory and joy in the life that Christ has provided for us if we will press in.
          When Jesus walked on earth he was fully human and overcame sin completely. Through faith in him
          we identify with his death and resurrection to live as new creations in victory over sin. The Lord our God works this in our life as He sees fit that we may display the wonders of His great love and the glory of victory Jesus purchased for us. All that I’ve written can be verified by scripture which I would be happy to do if you like.

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