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Slowly, methodically without much warning, it creeps into the mind, the heart and eventually rests in the soul. Deliberately devouring those it inhabits.  Chuck Swindoll calls it the “#1 Secret problem in your church.”  The world calls it pornography.

Today I start a series on this paralyzing addiction.  It will run three to four days, depending on all God wants me to share.  Today will be the introduction along with statistics.  The next two to three days will be our story.

Before I get into the statistics, let’s make it real.  This addiction is not a group of numbers with little or no effect on our society.  I fully believe it affects every one of us.  Oh, you might not be the one actually struggling to get free, but you know someone who is! Perhaps you live with a spouse or child that is caught in the snares of this destructive addiction.  Pornography isn’t an addiction for the old or young, the white or black, a man or woman. It crosses all racial, denominational and economic barriers.

Years ago, pornography was limited.  The limitation came at the means of distribution and consumption. Not anymore, one click of the mouse and these sites are in our homes within seconds.  Do you know the largest consumers of internet pornography are 12 – 17 year olds?  It sickens me to think the effect this will have on those teens life.

The tentacles of this addiction are destroying men, women, teens, marriages, family and churches. Shockingly, 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian woman admit they are addicted to pornography. Addicted!  Webster defines addiction as a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

In our story, I intend to share how it is living out the “compulsive use of substance known by the user to be harmful.” Show the effects it has on the addict, the marriage and family life.  Our story will show the aftermath of this enslavement. More than that, we intend to reveal Gods restoration and healing grace.  Offering hope to those who long to be set free.

The statistics confirm to me, the time is now. It is time for our society, as well as “the church”  to speak up and against pornography.  If we don’t this addiction will be the means which destroys the moral fiber of our families and our nation.  Actually, it already is and will continue at an alarming rate, unless we bring this secret out into the light.  Mark 4:22 states, “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.”

Taken from the website Freedom Begins Here www.freedombeginshere.org , are the startling statistics:

• Sex is the #1 thing people search for on the Internet
• There are over 420 million Pornographic Internet pages
• 12 to 17 year olds are the largest consumers of Internet pornography
• 42.7% of Internet users view pornography
• The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink
• 70% of women keep their cyber activities secret
• Women, more than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs.
• 68 million porn search engine requests daily
• 2006 Worldwide Porn Revenues = $97.06 billion

Source: http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-statistics.html

• 7 of 10 lay leaders in the church admitted to visiting adult Web sites at least once a week
• 4 out of 10 pastors said they did the same.

Source: http://www.thealabamabaptist.org/print-edition-article-detail.php?id_art=3316

• 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography.
• 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust;
• 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year; and 20% of the church-going female participants struggle with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis.

Source: http://christiannews.christianet.com/1154951956.htm

While these statistics are shocking, as I stated earlier it is more about the people represented in them.  These numbers include our spouse, or sons and daughters, friends, neighbors, pastors, lay leaders, bosses and employees.  The numbers represent broken hearts, homes and lives.  Broken people who need set free! Isaiah 61:1 tells us that Jesus came “to heal the broken-hearted and set the captives free.”

I urge you to stay with us for the next few days.  We intend on revealing pornography’s devastating entrapment on an individual and family. More importantly as our story unfolds we hope to show that Christ can and does breathe life back into those once entangled by this addiction.

The addition posts for this series has been removed by request from my husband’s employer.  If you or someone you love are struggling with this paralyzing addition, feel free to contact me: bgraciesmith@gmail.com