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Pastor 'Excited' About 'Porn Sunday'; Says Porn Had 'Death Grip' on His Life

Pastor 'Excited' About 'Porn Sunday'; Says Porn Had 'Death Grip' on His Life

Church at Hampton Roads Pastor Joel Brown says his congregation is hosting "Porn Sunday" despite community criticisms because he has seen what pornography has done to his family and wants to educate others how avoid its harmful effects.

The Chesapeake, Virginia pastor says he's "excited" about the church's plans to talk about X-rated material and its connection to drugs, alcohol abuse and sex trafficking from the pulpit Sunday, October 5. He has also invited former porn star Shelley Lubben to join him in discussing how the porn industry destroys lives.

"I have experienced the death grip of porn in my life. Early on in my marriage it almost took everything from me. But God, in His mercy and power, delivered me from the lies that were fueling my addiction," Brown shared on his blog. "It is time for us to reach boldly into Satan's kingdom and snatch those who are being led away to death."

The church at Hampton Roads has posted signs advertising Porn Sunday and plastered the message across a church bus in order to draw as many people as possible to the discussion. Brown said so far only one family in his church has expressed concerns about the event. However some outside the church are critical of his plans.

Local residents expressed their concerns with a local television station, asking "Who would advertise like this?" One resident questioned if such a discussion should be held in church, let alone at a church set inside of a school.

The Church at Hampton Roads meets inside Grassfield High School. While Brown and his church have permission to worship at Grassfield High School, school officials have reportedly voiced some concerns.

Brown acknowledges in his blog that some have cringed at the thought of talking about X-rated material in church. He wrote some may be thinking this subject makes me uncomfortable or wondering if talking about porn opens the door for it to affect their families.

However Brown strongly believes that this issue must be addressed. He writes "Porn is everywhere. It is pervasive. It ranges from ads to music videos to beyond hardcore – take my word for it. It is a destroyer of intimacy and physiology. It has more of a grip on our culture than we know because we do not discuss it much. We live in a self-regulated bubble where we do not seem to care about the plight of others."

Brown said of his own experience, "I grew up in a generation where not many took the time or effort to tell me about porn. And when I became affected by it, resentment built up in me like a flood." He continued "I can understand if you, the older generation, sent me out into the world equipped for what I was to face. But to stay fearful? To leave me defenseless and open to something like this? That is not love."

Brown believes Porn Sunday is "a wake-up call" for the church and encouraged people of all ages to join this discussion – especially parents and their children.

"You might say your kids will pursue it if you talk about it. I say Satan is going to lure them whether you think he will or not. And if you do not talk to them about it they will have to fight off possible future resentment because you were too afraid to instruct them, train them, and discipline them about things that really matter," he explained.

Lubben, founder of porn recovery ministry Pink Cross Foundation, praises Brown for his boldness. "I applaud them for tackling this issue because at least 60 to 65 percent of men in the church are viewing pornography and about 25 percent are women so obviously pornography is a major issue in the church."

Lubben and Brown will be talking specifically to teens and young adults Friday at 7 pm for "Porn Friday."

Saturday morning the church will host "Porn and Pancakes" for men to "connect, eat and get informed on the dangers of porn."

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