The Problem of Pleasure by Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias speaks on the problem of pleasure.

The Problem of Pleasure Part 1 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-1-of-4-2/

The Problem of Pleasure Part 2 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-2-of-4-2/

The Problem of Pleasure Part 3 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-3-of-4-2/

The Problem of Pleasure Part 4 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-4-of-4-2/

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Masturbation or Gratifying the Flesh?

This article tries to get down to the core issue; if masturbation is a sin. Here are two testimony’s of people who have struggled with addiction to self gratification. I have not made up my mind on the topic, but I want to share this to see what others opinions are on the matter.

If you don’t have time to read the article read the below testimonies and tell me what you think in the comments.

http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/resources/article/masturbation-doorway-slavery/

One is from a gentleman in his last week of The Way of Purity course, and he is now set free from slavery to masturbation. He writes this testimony:

“My problems began when our youth pastor told me that the Bible does not mention masturbation, therefore God must not condemn it. He told us that as long as we were masturbating with thoughts of our future spouse then we were not sinning. My masturbation began slowly—only using it once a week or so. I felt guilty, like I was giving in to sin rather than denying the flesh, but my pastor said it was a helpful tool, and that it even prevented sex crimes when used correctly. Gullible as I was, I believed him. I soon began discovering that offering the parts of my body to self-gratification did not permanently decrease desire or relieve pressure–quite the opposite–the more I masturbated, the more I engaged in it.

I honestly do not know what happened–one day I had just finished masturbating along side a farm road, for the 3rd time that day, when it dawned on me that I was a slave to masturbation. What started innocently, and with the full approval of a religious authority, trapped me into a vice that completely choked out all spiritual life in me.

Oh how I wish that pastor had preached the Word correctly, even if it would have made him less popular. I wish he had explained to me that unless I denied myself (not indulged myself) and took up my cross daily I would not be worthy to be His disciple. I wish he had told me about the principle of slavery–that we are slaves to whatever we offer ourselves to. I wish he had told me, plain and simple, that it is so much easier to totally and completely refuse masturbation–that it is not even an option for a Christian–than to attempt to ‘control it’ and ‘only use it under certain circumstances.’ If only he had not used that worn-out phrase ‘the Bible doesn’t mention it;’ and instead taught the principles of Scripture.

I am not blaming my former pastor; my own deceptive heart loved hearing what he preached, and I am responsible for my own actions. I just wish I would have had a man of God who could have helped me learn to deny and crucify, rather than rationalize and justify.”

Another enrollment in The Way of Purity Course came in as we were completing this article. This 17-year-old young man writes:

“Every time I get the urge, I can’t resist masturbation. I have tried to fight it for many years, and, although I have had a few temporary victories, I never completely defeated it. I desire to live all of my life for Christ, and this can’t be done until I defeat this fiend. I also want to remain pure for my future wife, and if I continue down this path, I know that wish will not become true.”

What do you think about this?

For Those Who Can Acknowledge They Have a Problem with Sexual Sin

There is hope of being freed from sexual sin. I know that God has set me free with a lot of hard work, time, and sacrifice.

Search your heart and see if you truly do want to quit living under the slavery of sexual addiction. Think of this, if being truly freed meant getting rid of (Facebook, Youtube, Google image search, freedom on your PC and smartphone, or even embarrassment), is it still worth it to you?….

Sacrifice for the sake of fully giving all of you to Christ always reminds me of an awesome story written by C. S. Lewis in one of his books named “The Great Divorce”. You can read it here. It’s about a “ghost” who makes up every single excuse to not be freed from sexual sin, “the red lizard”.

If we can be honest with ourselves, our flesh does not want to be freed from the grip of sexual sin. It is a comfortable place for those who are addicted. In fact, if it wasn’t comfortable then you wouldn’t return to it. There is something inside of you that wants to hold on for dear life to this comfort.

For those who do not believe this will be complete foolishness, but there is a spiritual battle which binds us to this addiction. If you do not give this over to Christ it will always feel like freedom is out of reach. The idea that sexual sin is a comfort and that our minds think its a necessity, is completely subconscious. I have found that journaling, although tedious in my experience, is very helpful to bring thoughts to the surface which have been buried and locked in our subconscious for quite some time.

There is also a physical battle against sexual sin, if we have access to this garbage we will not have strength to use self control. This is the part which takes true sacrifice. It.. Is.. not… fun.

Blocking access to something that makes us feel comfortable will not help in itself. What it will do, is put up a first defense to your own thought life.  Try to stop and ask yourself, ” Wait a second, what am I doing on this website in the first place”.

Do not be discouraged when you start to look for ways around the filters/blocks. I have found that our brains are able to trick us into justifying almost anything! Just “patch” any loopholes you find by tweaking the filters/blocks on your PC/smartphone.

Find an accountability partner that is just as passionate about helping you succeed as you are about helping them. This is another crucial element to fighting the physical battle with your “brothers/sisters in arms”. Like Aaron who held Moses’ arms up when he was too tired to continue.

For those who have tried and tried again,

1. Gain a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the first and foremost step. If this is not completed, you will ultimately have no fruit.

2. Get rid of all access to sexual sin. (Burn, delete, destroy, etc.)

3. Put blocks/filters on your PC and/or smartphone where someone else has the password. (*I recommend K-9 web filter, and netnanny)

4. Get involved in accountability of some sort. (Friend, family, Leader at church, spouse, or online accountability.)

5. Try settingcaptivesfree.com – Free 60 day course to freedom and daily accountability partner. ( for sexual sin, smoking, drinking, eating, etc.)

6. If all else fails seek paid/free in person counseling. Often times there is something deeper that has hurt you and you are running to sexual sin to be your safe heaven (comfort). A Christian Counselor can help unveil what may be holding you back from living a life free from sexual sin.

Please, check out the free resources on the “resource tab” or click here.

Setting Captive’s Free 60 Day Course

**UPDATE** This post is no longer valid. Setting captives free course is no longer available, I am not sure if it will ever be returning. I have left this post up in case the comments below are needed.

 

For all who are interested…. I will be restarting a free 60 day course called “The Way of Purity”. I would encourage any and all who struggle with pornography and self gratification (masturbation) to join me in getting a free mentor who will help you with your struggle and be true accountability, along with anyone else you like to send your answers to. The lessons only take about 45 mins to an hour per day, and they are filled with truth and life. Please let me know if you join, and we can help each other with accountability.

http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/courses/way-of-purity/

Here is a very short excerpt from the “The Way of Purity” course.

Continue reading

Good Filters Do Not Block Legit Browsing

CaptureI have heard many times the excuse of “I don’t want to put filters on my computer because it will block stuff that it shouldn’t”. On one hand I understand where the concern is. For some, computers are a foreign language and on top of learning how to fix regular issues that come up, you are being asked to add a new complexity to it!?!

From personal experience I know that web filter companies have figured out how to simplify the interface so the average Joe (mom, dad, or any person) can use these tools to their advantage without all of the hassle. What I want to do is show the average user that it is possible to set a filter to exactly how strong/strict you need it to be.

One Example is a free PC/Apple Web-Filter called K-9 Web Protection. You can find the link on the resource page. I have used the program through and through. In a way, it has helped getting out of the slavery of pornography addiction much easier. It blocked what it needed to block and it was flexible to change when it needed some tweaking. The good news is, it has multiple levels of security as shown in the picture below from high, moderate, minimal, and custom. These settings allow you to make it very generic or very specific. Did I mention it is free?

Levels of Security

Custom Categories

For the parents of little ones:

You should start at a young age, as soon as they can hold a tablet in hand ;), by speaking to your children about what they should do when they see inappropriate content online by accident. Go tell mom and dad right away! Next, put a parental filter on any and everything electronic (including websites). This will help create an atmosphere of safe browsing, and set a standard to show your children by way of experience what they can and cannot look at. This could include social networking if you would like, or even all image/video searches…but you can choose which category to filter on.

You may be thinking this will never happen to my little one I don’t need this, but remember the average first viewing age of pornography is 11 years old. This of course can happen by accident, but it can also happen when the neighborhood friend comes over and decides to show your son what his brother was looking at online. It could only take that one time to ruin a kids life, especially if they aren’t told beforehand how to deal with something like this.

For the parents of teens:

Sadly, by this time your kids may already have some secrets. According to the statistics on my previous post “here” :

– More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13.

– More than 7 out of 10 teens hide their online behavior from their parents in some way.

While I was a youth leader at my local church I spoke to parents about what issues their kids will be dealing with during their teenage years. Most of them were oblivious to what their teens were doing outside of the house let alone what they were doing online. One way to help make sure your teens/young adults are doing what they are supposed to online and on smartphones/tablets is to use the same filters and to check their online activity on a regular basis. K-9 also allows you to put certain times that it does not allow internet activity like say… 11pm -6am Mon-Fri.  Why in the world would a teen need to be online that late when no one else is awake?

For those who struggle with a true addiction to pornography, these filters/blocks are a mandatory action. Some of you may need to ask someone else to keep the password for you while you have the filter on the strictest settings. “Because if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell”. -Mathew 5:30

Even then, this alone will not get you out of the slavery of addiction, there is usually a deeper issue than just having access to illicit materials. I will be writing a separate post on this soon.

*I promise, I am not getting paid to endorse any of these products. I just have a passion to serve Christ by pointing out awesome resources which are already available on the internet.

Web Filters Are for Kids and Adults!

There are no boundaries to the demographics. The disease of sin and sexual temptation (heterosexual and homosexual) is far reaching to every country, age group, and walks of life.

-42.7% Of internet users view pornography

-28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography every second

-53% of Promise Keeper men viewed pornography in the last week

-47% of Christians said pornography is a major problem in the home

This is not just a problem for men..

-20% of men admit to accessing pornography at work

-13% of women admit to accessing pornography at work

-72% male – 28% female — breakdown of male/female visitors to pornography sites

We need help! Internet filters are an easy way to help take the temptation away from our spouses, children and ourselves. The good news is, if you are not looking for this garbage then you might not even notice that the filters are on your PC. It is always better to be safe, than to be sorry when your child accidentally sees something they ought not to.

Parents, read the statistics..

– In a 2010 national survey, over a quarter of 16 to 17 year-olds said they were exposed to nudity online when they were not seeking it (unintentionally).

– More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13.

– Average age of first internet porn exposure: 11

– In a survey of hundreds of college students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before they turned 18.

– In addition 20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-olds have received a “sext” (a sexually explicit text message).

– More than 7 out of 10 teens hide their online behavior from their parents in some way.

Our kids also need help! We cannot be there to watch our kids on the internet every second, but programs like netnanny and k-9* web protection (*Free) can be there to direct your children away from accidentally (or purposefully) seeing inappropriate content.

*I promise, I am not getting paid to endorse any of these products. I just have a passion to serve Christ by pointing out awesome resources which are already available on the internet.

Helpful Resources (For those with sexual temptation and parents of all ages):

www1.k9webprotection.com -FREE* Web filter for PC/Android/Apple (*Recommended for PCs)

www.netnanny.com/products/netnanny/ – Laptop/PC/Android/IOS Web Filter (*Recommended for Android Devices)

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ – FREE* Pre-Screen Movies, Games, Books, and Apps. (*Recommended for Parents!!)

http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/ – FREE* Online Addiction 60 day Course /Accountability Partner (*Recommended)

Statistics References:

http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/02/19/pornography-statistics/

http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html

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

http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/

http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php