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Billy Graham Urges Those Struggling With Lust, Porn Addiction to Turn 'Decisively and Forcefully' Away from Temptation

( [email protected] ) Apr 28, 2016 12:04 PM EDT
Rev. Billy Graham warned individuals struggling with pornography addiction to turn "decisively and forcefully" from such temptation, as it is a dangerous "slippery slope."
A 2014 study by Barna Group found that seventy-seven percent of Christian men ages 18-30 and 55 percent of married Christian men view pornography each month. Photo Credit: Stock Photo

Rev. Billy Graham warned individuals struggling with pornography addiction to turn "decisively and forcefully" from such temptation, as it is a dangerous "slippery slope."

In a recent column for the Kansas City Star, Graham, 97, argued that even dabbling in seemingly innocent lustful acts- such as looking at sexy magazines - can lead to stronger, more damaging addiction.

To make his point, the evangelist cited Ephesians 5:3, which states: "Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity."

Addressing married people, Graham said that giving into lustful temptation goes against the vow you made on your wedding day, to your spouse, your friends and family, and most importantly God.

"In that vow you promised to be faithful to each other and to love each other exclusively, as long as you both are alive. Why break that vow by allowing lust to overtake you, even if it's only for an airbrushed image in a tawdry magazine?" he asked.

He encouraged those struggling with such temptation to refrain from ignoring their sin and to turn from such desires "decisively and forcefully."

"Don't dabble with it; don't go near places where you'll be tempted to obtain it; avoid anything on the Internet that even hints of it," the evangelist wrote, referencing Paul's advice in 1 Timothy 6:11 that calls on Timothy to "Flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness."

"The most important thing you need to do, however, is to turn to Jesus Christ, confessing your sins to him and asking him to come into your heart and life. You need his forgiveness, and you also need his strength to resist temptation. Then - with God's help - recommit yourself to your marriage and put into practice the vows you once made," Graham concluded.

A 2014 study by Barna Group found that seventy-seven percent of Christian men ages 18-30 and 55 percent of married Christian men view pornography each month. A more recent Barna Group study showed that 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors struggle with porn. It further noted that 67 percent of young men and 49 percent of young women consider viewing porn to be acceptable behavior.

In a recent article posted on his website titled "Why Porn Kills Sex," Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, argued that pornography is occultism aided by unseen criminal spirits and it kills sexuality.

"God designed human sexuality not to isolate but to connect. Sexuality is intended to bond a wife and a husband and, where conditions are met, to result in newness of life, thus connecting generations," Moore said.

"Pornography disrupts this connection, turning what is meant for intimacy and incarnational love into masturbatory aloneness. Pornography offers the psychic thrill and biological release meant for communion in the context of freedom from connection with another. It cannot keep that promise," he continued.

"When pornography enters into a marriage, the result is shame. By 'shame,' I am not meaning the feeling of being ashamed (although that may be part of it). I mean that one is, at the most intimate level, hiding. There's something within us that knows that sexuality is meant for something other than the manipulation of images and body parts," he continued.

"Pornography kills sexuality because porn isn't just about sex and because sex isn't just about sex."