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So. Baptist Woman's Mission Union Works to Eradicate Porn From Families' Lives

  • (Photo: The Christian Post)
    Pastor Jay Dennis of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla., shares the "Join 1 Million Men" project in the exhibit hall at the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston, Texas, on June 11, 2013.
June 16, 2013|11:51 am

HOUSTON – The Woman's Mission Union made a bold proclamation at this past week's Southern Baptist Convention in Houston, Texas, by announcing the partnership between the WMU, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Pastor Jay Dennis of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla., to eradicate the poison of pornography that is destroying marriages, hurting children, and fracturing the mission of the church.

Wanda Lee, executive director of national WMU, told pastors and church leaders at the convention that "the church must be vigilant in the fight against pornography, demonstrating the power of God to redeem those who have been trapped in its grip."

"Through this campaign," she said, "we are calling out a million men to live free of pornography. And challenging one million women to come alongside them and commit to pray for their spouses, their sons and their friends, as we work together to combat this evil that is destroying our families and invading our churches."

In her speech, Lee noted that in Ephesians 4:1, Paul challenges believers to "walk worthy in the calling for which you were called."

"You may be thinking, 'why on earth, if WMU is focused on missions, are they tackling such a difficult issue?' And my response would simply be, if not WMU, then who?" Lee asked.

Her challenge to Southern Baptist pastors is not to ignore the problem that is infiltrating their congregations, but to acknowledge that it's a real problem; and in order for the church to be a light in their communities, they must eradicate pornography from their members' lives, so their marriages can flourish, and Christ's Great Commission can be fulfilled.

"Who will join us in the campaign to bring all men and women, boys and girls, into awareness of the seriousness of this issue, and the knowledge of God's love for all, as we try to live a pure and worthy life of devotion to Him?" she asked. "Missions will not happen if we are not pure and holy before the Lord."

For those who don't believe that pornography is becoming increasingly problematic in Christian households, Debby Akerman, president of national WMU and a member of Ocean View Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, S.C., shared the following statistics:

  • Every 39 minutes, a new pornographic video is made in the United States.
  • There are at least 100,000 websites that offer illegal child pornography.
  • The average age of a child's first exposure to Internet pornography is 11 years old.
  • More than 11 million teenagers engage in Internet pornography on a regular basis.
  • Of divorces, 56 percent involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.

This year, the WMU is celebrating 125 years of service to God through missions, and Lee reminded Southern Baptist church members that they can "impact churches, communities and the world through the message of God's love and forgiveness if we continue to battle the obstacles that Satan places before us."

During the first two days the exhibit hall was open at the SBC's annual meeting, more than 1,200 pastors and church leaders had already stopped by the "Join 1 Million Men" information booth to learn more about the program and how they can share it with their congregations.

"Pastors are beginning to see that we've got to deal with this issue," Pastor Dennis told The Christian Post during an interview on Tuesday. "And I was so pleased today, Richard Land of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in his last report before retirement, embraced this and said, 'I'm asking every church to do this.' That means so much, coming from him."

Dennis is adamant in his belief that the problems associated with pornography cannot be ignored, especially by pastors who have a platform to address this issue in the pulpit and help families that are hurting.

Although pastors might face some criticism when they introduce the program to their church members and leadership, Dennis said he wants pastors to know that, "once you start dealing with this, you're going to have a full army of people at the church, like moms and wives, saying 'thank you' and men saying, 'finally, I understand that I'm not alone.'"

"I just see the time is so right. It's past right," he said. "The pastor can start from the outcome and think about how many people it's going to help. … I think knowing that a senior pastor wrote the material with this in mind: it's sensitive, it's truth driven, but it's also very grace oriented. … It does require that the pastor understand that pornography is destroying marriages and men. We have to understand that our calling is to share truth and this is the ugly truth."

"Join 1 Million Men" is a church-based initiative, and the campaign includes a variety of books, a DVD, website, Facebook page, and a free app that provides access to a daily scripture and other resources to help believers as they battle against pornography.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/so-baptist-womans-mission-union-works-to-eradicate-porn-from-families-lives-98065/