Kingsport Youth Pastor Glenn Stewart reaches a broader audience in his mission field by writing articles on Facebook about tough issues that matter. He writes sermons as part of his L3 Student Ministry position at Preaching Christ Church, as well as these articles to reach beyond the doors of the church.
This is the second of his articles that have been published by Odyssey, the first which discussed suicide. You can find all his articles on Facebook. Glenn is a graduate of Emory & Henry College, with degrees in Ministry as well as Education.
“The first time I was exposed to pornography was when I was 11 years old on a Sunday morning before church, and it was merely an accident. Porn has a funny way of slithering into your life unexpectedly and making its imprint in who we are. Therefore, I could tell you exactly what I saw and how it made me feel on that Sunday so many years ago. I never thought it was wrong until one night I was searching the Internet until 3 am looking for more, and realized how much of me it had hijacked. I wasted my youth, my passions, my time, and energy looking for more.” - Mikel Hawks
Mikel is a man of integrity and honesty, but most importantly, he is a child of God who doesn’t shy away from his past. Instead, he uses it as a testimony. While thinking about this article, he was one of two people I thought of to share their story.
Pornography is on the rise throughout the world. A large amount of pornography is illegal. Below are some statistics for pornography.
– 1) Porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined each month. (HuffPost)
– 2) 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related. (WebRoot)
– 3) 34% of internet users have been exposed to unwanted porn via ads, pop-ups, etc. (WebRoot)
– 4) Porn increased marital infidelity by 300%. (WebRoot)
– 5) At least 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn-related. (HuffPost)
– 6) The most common female role in porn is women in their 20’s portraying teenagers. (Jon Millward.) (In 2013, Millward conducted the largest personal research study on the Porn Industry in the U.S. He interviewed 10,000 porn stars about various aspects of the business.)
– 7) Child porn is one of the fastest growing online businesses. (IWF)
– 8) 624,000+ child porn traders have been discovered online in the U.S. (Innocent Justice)
– 9) Child porn is a $3 billion industry. (TopTenReviews)
– 10) Porn is a global, $97 billion industry, with $12 billion of that coming from the U.S. (NBC News)
– 11) In 2016 alone, more than 4,599,000,000 hours of porn were watched on the world’s largest porn site. (PH Analytics)
By looking at the statistics above and reading the first part of Mikel’s testimony, you can see you are not alone in this matter. I have heard stories of people in every type of work including pastors, evangelists and musicians struggling with pornography their entire careers. Based on the stats above, pornography is not a closet issue anymore. I have seen retweets of it on Twitter and shares of it on Facebook. I have heard people bragging about watching it with the dream of being in these movies.
Let's face it: porn is not an issue we can just sweep under the rug and hope will go away. What Christians do not realize is if we attempt to just sweep it under the rug we are giving the authority over to the world to rule it. It also allows the devil to sneak in and take control over more lives. There are numerous drugs used, females being kidnapped and beaten, and many other inhumane acts taking place in these videos.
Here is a testimony of a woman who was sold as a child. Her name is Christina.
“I started being bought and sold when I was 3 years old by my mother for drugs. I started escorting at 14 for money and entered the club life at 17. I got out when I was 31. A group of women started a ministry that came into the clubs on Wednesday nights. They never preached to me, always just loved me. For 11 years I saw them... crazy to think how long they were in my life. One day they took me to lunch and asked me to church the next day. They never asked me for a thing but love. Because they never gave up on me and never pressured me, I was able to slowly dip my toe in the “Jesus water” so to speak. Asking me to explain how Jesus has helped me recover is like asking me how to find the depth of a black hole. I don't think I could ever explain it, honestly. I just feel His love. I feel the warmth of the love and forgiveness every time I pray and talk to Him. I feel like He was always there for sure. How else did I make it out of situations where I should have died? I have been beaten, kidnapped, raped and tortured. Somehow, I am the happiest, most perky person I know. I shouldn't have made it. I shouldn't have beat the odds. I only did because God was walking beside me the whole time. He let me get so broken that only His love could fix me. I used to ask myself why God do that.. His answer was so that I could share my story and share His love of course.”
Sex trafficking is all over the pornography industry- drugs, abuse, kidnapping and more. All these things are taking place behind the scenes just to make these so-called movies. There are more than 27 million slaves in the world, with the majority being in sex trafficking and pornography.
So what are we going to do with about it?
As Christians, we must take on the battles of this world with the Gospel and the Holy Spirit to lead us. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 to flee from sexual immorality. It also says, “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
If we are distracted by porn, how do we handle it?
The book of Psalm 119:37 says, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” We have to be conscious to this and make it a priority to turn your eyes away from things that are sexually immoral- including pornography. It will be challenging; however, we must stand on 1 John 4:4. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” We have a platform of victory in Jesus to stand on. We are not fighting for victory we are fighting from victory.
Lastly, let us finish the testimony of Mikel. “With that being said, I fight. I fall sometimes, yes, but I still stand up against it because when I gave my life to Christ in 2014, He said, "Porn is not your identity, you are worth more." I believe God hates porn, not because of what it is, but because of what it does to the ones He loves. The most deadly sins are the sins that are hidden. These things we hide in the dark feed on the dark and grow until we can't handle it anymore. So my advice to anyone who is struggling through that darkness is allow yourself to be transparent because that darkness can not survive in the light. Find a mentor who will listen, care, love, and challenge you in these times of vulnerability. There is hope. I truly believe God uses catastrophes and turns them into masterpieces. Now I get to reach out to others hurt by this and help them in their walk to recovery. You are not alone, FIGHT. I fight alongside you.”