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Megachurch Pastor Confesses: I Almost Walked Away From Ministry Because of Porn, Doubted My Salvation

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By Jessica Martinez , CP Reporter
July 2, 2014|9:29 am
Perry Noble

Screenshot of Pastor Perry Noble delivering a sermon at his South Carolina megachurch.

Pastor Perry Noble doubted his salvation after getting addicted to porn, which began at the age of 14. However, he found ways to get over his lustful obsession after realizing that he was doomed to ruin his marriage and ministry if he continued to feed his flesh's desire.

In a guest blog post for XXXChurch.com, Noble, who leads NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, admitted that he did not consider porn to be a big deal at first, but now he realizes how big a deal it is.

"Porn was my 'secret sin' no one knew about. The struggle was real and emotionally and spiritually intense," writes Noble. "I doubted my salvation, I almost walked away from the ministry, I thought that God hated me…I just could not get control of the addiction."

As surprising as it is for a megachurch pastor to admit such addiction, porn remains a prevalent issue within the church and it is a topic that rarely gets addressed. According to porn watchdog organization Covenant Eyes, 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women say they are addicted to porn. What is more surprising according to their statistics is that 91 percent of self-identified fundamentalists are more likely to watch porn than regular church attendees.

Although some Christians will admit to viewing porn, 75 percent of pastors who have the addiction do not make themselves accountable to anyone for their internet use, which was the first step Noble took to overcome his addiction.

"Ask for accountability. I am challenging you to find someone who does not struggle with the problem…and ask them to get in your face," writes Noble.

To this day, Noble notes that one of his best friends and teaching pastor at NewSpring, Clayton King, helps to keep him accountable. He writes that the two made a pact that if either of them watches porn, they have to write the other person a check for $1,000. Although it might not work for everyone, Noble says there have been times when he has been tempted but stops when he thinks about his checkbook.

Furthermore, he suggests staying away from the internet completely in order to avoid falling into temptation.

"Jesus said if your right eye causes you to sin then gouge it out so I don't think it is a stretch to say if your computer causes you to sin then get rid of it," writes Noble. " … For about five years, I did not have the internet in my house because I did not trust myself…"

When it comes to accountability, men should not travel alone, urges Noble. He emphasizes that especially those who serve in ministry should continue to be held liable because temptation is oftentimes "a big deal" when travelling.

Since porn use thrives in privacy, church members who are addicted do not find the help they need because of their shame. However, Noble says an important step to overcome addiction for married men is to tell their spouses.

"I told Lucretia about my struggles before we were married and she still prays for me and holds me accountable today," writes Noble. "This will hurt her and it will put a strain on things but if she finds out in some other way — and she will — then not only does she feel like you cheated on her but she feels lied to as well."

In addition to the steps above, Noble says it is important to ask God to help an individual develop a healthy view of women. He notes that this realization was especially hard for him even before he became a father.

"When I realized that woman is some man's daughter and when I have a little girl I don't want other men viewing her in a lustful way, I have to admit, this one really impacted me. I have a daughter and I want her to be treated with respect and not as an object for someone's self-gratification," writes Noble.

For more information on overcoming porn addiction, visit XXXChurch.

 

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