Preaching on pornography

It might sound shocking, but I preached about pornography on Sunday.  Considering the statistics (here and here, for example) of how much pornography is out there and who all looks at it, it seemed to me to be an important and timely thing to talk about.  And I’m grateful that my colleague Rick Apperson also came to speak on the subject.

If there’s one thing more difficult than writing and preaching about pornography, it’s trying to figure out what song to sing after such a sermon!  Our worship team leader this past Sunday was up to the task: Corey chose Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding’s song “Mighty to Save.”

Christians caught up in the web of pornography often feel deep shame about it.  They not only think their actions are dirty, but see themselves as unfixable, unlovable, and beyond the grace of God and anyone else.  To combat the lie that they are worthless, they need to hear the truth that God loves them and never gives up on them.  He never stops seeking to bring healing, even after the thousandth time you or I have failed, regardless of the sin.  “Mighty to Save” helps bring about this healing.

Consider especially these lyrics:

Everyone needs compassion,
love that’s never failing.
Let mercy fall on me…

My God is mighty to save,
He is mighty to save…

So take me as You find me,
all my fears and failures.
Fill my life again…

Interestingly, there is a hymn out there that actually includes the word pornography.  I don’t know if it’s in any hymnals, but it was featured in the journal Reformed Worship in an article entitled “Made in God’s Image: Two New Hymns on Healing Sexual Identity.”  The hymn was written in 2008 by Robert Bayley, a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and appears here with his kind permission.

O God, who made us in Your image,
as male and female formed our frame,
and in us placed a sexual likeness,
that we should glorify Your name.
That image long has broken been,
confusion reigns through Adam’s sin,
as we define identity.

The sexual images around us
are filled with broken truths and lies.
Pornography now steals Your likeness,
and sex our culture deifies.
Desire for You has turned to lust,
and boundaries moved we cannot trust,
in this terrain we’ve lost our way.

O Lord, ’twas in Your incarnation
that sexuality You bore;
and climbing Calvary’s cross redeemed it,
in us Your images to restore.
Now male and female help us be,
Your sexual likeness healed and free,
that we might glorify Your name.

Click here to listen to the melody composed by Johann B. König.

6 thoughts on “Preaching on pornography

  1. Kristi says:

    BIG KUDOS for choosing to preach on this topic!! Not something we can be silent about when it is all around us. How Satan would love people to just quietly and shamefully fight it on their own without exposing it to Christ’s light and God’s love and mercy. Great job. Those songs are really neat!


  2. SjG says:

    Thank you, Kristi! I appreciate you looking at my blog and commenting on it.


  3. […] My sermon this past week was about the harm caused by pornography and the healing grace we find in Jesus.  I suppose I could have stood in front of the people and said, “If you look at pornography, […]


  4. Corey says:

    I think you deserve “props” for approaching a subject that is typically taboo. Church family should be a place where we can bring any struggle (pornography or not) without fear of condemnation or judgement. Unfortunately that is often not the case. I think you preached a sermon that showed what the “true” Christian attitude should be on a difficult subject. Kudos.


  5. Terri says:

    What a nasty ploy of the enemy. Thanks for shining the light on it.


  6. SjG says:

    Thank you, Corey and Terri, for all your very encouraging comments. They are deeply appreciated.


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