Surveys Show Religious Men are Vulnerable to Pornography PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 10:41

Several studies and surveys show that many men, regardless of religious piety, share a curiosity in internet pornography:

• 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a recent survey

• 50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a marital fidelity event, including Promise Keepers, the survey revealed

• 47 percent of religious respondents said porn is a problem in their home, reveals a Focus on the Family poll

• Every second, 28,258 internet users view pornography, according to worldwide porn industry stats. The majority are men

“Here is more evidence that too many of us – including ‘religious’ people – are looking for answers outside ourselves. We have a growing spiritual void in North America, and the ripple effect ranges from pornography to drug abuse to domestic violence as people struggle to fill the void,” says Dennis Bank, author of Sanctiprize (

“Psychology, medications and these other pain relievers do nothing to get to the root of the problem, which is our need to get back to the inherent wholeness we were born with.”

If highly religious men have an advantage over those who are less religious, it’s not much, he says. Beyond pornography, there are pressures that may make pastors and other religious leaders especially vulnerable to sexual temptation, says Bank, a nondenominational minister. They include:

• Leadership is often a lonely job. More than half of the pastors answered that they feel privileged to be a church leader, but they’re also easily discouraged and lonely, according to a LifeWay Research survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors.

• They have a position of power. As the authority on religious leadership in their spiritual community, followers seek a pastor’s guidance and influence. Some followers become attracted to the pastor because of his position and may seek sexual affection.

• A lack of accountability. Ministers tend to have a great amount of flexibility in their schedule, and they are trusted figures in their church. For smaller and more isolated congregations, these factors are especially strong.

• No one to share pressures and struggles with. Most of a pastor’s inner circle of friends tends to be members of his church, and these struggles may be of a sexual nature. For fear of losing trust, he may act out a fantasy rather than tell someone about it.

• They feed off the approval of others. The nature of the job will attract some who have a strong need for constant approval from others. For that reason, sexual advances from a misguided church member may feel very affirming.

There are plenty of mixed messages in churches these days, Bank says.

“The problem is not that we Christians just haven’t found the right gimmick yet – gimmicks are part of the problem,” he says. “The problem is we have become distracted from the inherent goodness that God has given us all. What society needs is a spiritual enema!”

About Dennis Bank

Dennis Bank is a former officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and former businessman. He completed Calvary Chapel Bible School’s study program and attended the University of Saskatchewan, Acts Seminary (British Columbia) and the Royal Mounted Police Academy. He is currently an unaffiliated, non-denominational minister who offers seminars on reconciliation and healing.

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