Spiritual Crack Cocaine

  Kevin was hunched over his computer late one night. A deacon at his church and the father of three, Kevin wondered how his wife and his church friends would react if they could see him now. Because Kevin was searching for sex on the Internet. Online sex: It's a disturbing—and growing—phenomenon that affects many Christians. Our friends at Focus on the Family conducted a survey recently to find out how widespread the problem is, and the results were shocking. It appears that one out of five adults may have visited a sexually-oriented Website—nearly 40 million people. And of those who identify themselves as "born again" Christians, nearly 18 percent confessed to visiting such sites. Calls from ministers to Focus on the Family's pastoral counseling lines reveal that even pastors are not immune from the siren song of pornography. So what's behind this voracious appetite for Internet sex? It's partly that the Internet acts as a pipeline for pornographers, allowing them to pump raw moral sewage directly into our homes. But the Internet would not be able to sell this product if the craving for it did not already exist. The authors of a new book say that sexual addiction—like all addictions—represents a deep hunger for God. In their book, The Sacred Romance, Brent Curtis and John Eldredge point out that humans are designed for intimacy with God. Sometimes we allow the world to drown out God's voice. But our need for communion with Him never goes away. Instead of seeking fulfillment in Christ, the addict tries to fill the emptiness with other things: pornography, an affair, or a fantasy life. As the authors put it, "We put our hope in... some form of immediate gratification, some taste of transcendence that will place a drop of water on our parched tongue." And they add that, "This taste of transcendence, coming as it does from an obsession with... pornography... has the same effect on our souls as crack cocaine." The addiction "attaches itself to our desire [for God] with chains that render us captive." That's why addiction expert Gerald May calls addiction "the most powerful psychic enemy of humanity's desire for God." Nothing (and no one) can free the captives of addiction except God—something even the secular world has begun to recognize. Joseph Califano, who served in President Carter's cabinet, once told me he was stunned to discover that nearly every ex-drug addict he meets cites religion as the key to breaking the addiction to drugs. If there's any good news in this recent Focus on the Family survey, it's that two-thirds of those who seek out Internet sex believe they're unlikely to find fulfillment online. That's at least a good place to start. If you know someone who's struggling with sexual addiction, ask if what he's doing is satisfying or fulfilling. More than likely, if he's honest, he'll say "no." And then tell him about a website that will do some good: It's called PureIntimacy.Org, a website run by Focus on the Family. Those seeking insight and restoration from addiction will learn how God's power and love can free them from the chains that bind them.


Chuck Colson


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