The Elephant in the Room

Protecting the Young from Pornography

The Elephant in the Room


Last Fall the CCM Board was sitting around a dining room table, discussing issues that beset our youth. We shared a common experience of most any parent in Juneau, a list that includes everything from latch-key kids, to homelessness, to drugs and alcohol. We were discussing an idea of going to the different churches in our community to discuss these issues. But as we shared our understanding of the challenges faced by young people, we were suddenly aware of the elephant in the room.


The single most devastating and shocking issue faced by young people today is pornography. Back in my youth, it was the thing amongst boys in my crowd to come across a Playboy magazine left lying around somewhere. Libraries kept them behind the counter if they had them at all. The Supreme Court was just then beginning to rule that pornography was a form of free speech. Even so, it was usually kept hidden away in dark corners.


Then came cable TV. Sure, our parents and many others did the right thing – they would never subscribe to an adult channel. But that did mean the neighbor down the street had different standards, the same house your kid was entering to watch “cartoons.” For older men, the temptation to view pornography was presented at most hotels.


Then came satellite TV. It would be my surprise encounter with pornography. My father, a very moral man, would never subscribe to pornography. But satellite TV in those days was like the wild West. For every channel that people subscribed to, there were “feeds” streaming over the satellite that were not published. Most of the time they were news channels. But some were pornographic. Porn channels wised up soon after, encrypting the feeds and protecting their stream of revenue.


Then came the Internet. It was at that time that I was advancing my skills in computer security, employing techniques to track anomalous activity. I saw where the technology was going before anyone had it in their homes. The genie was now out of the bottle.


I kept a watchful eye over what my children were exposed to on the Internet. But like every parent, I struggled with what was the best method. I tracked their favorite sites and visited them. One, a very innocent site frequented by kids, had ads displayed on the right column. In three clicks I was in a child pornography site. This was deadly.


I tried several different technologies to protect my children from pornography when they were in my house. I could not say the same every else they went. This struggle was one of the factors that led me to favor bringing Pure Desire Ministries to Juneau for the Building Healthy Families conference. Combined with their realization of how pervasive and deep is the problem, I believe they provided the best option out there for protecting our kids and, for all concerned, an avenue of recovery.


This is a letter to pastors. No argument – the best way to cure the trauma of the young being exposed to pornography is through a community founded on the grace and love of our Saviour, and the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. It is the desire of CCM to provide pastors with the support and the tools necessary to fight this battle.


For this reason, we are asking pastors to join us in the effort. We are designing a web site that will direct parents and children who are seeking help. We would like to see churches listed on that web site. Pure Desire Ministries was developed by a pastor. He, above anyone else, knew that to win this battle would require long-term commitments. Those commitments are best developed in our local church.

Youth ministers are also a part of this battle. We want to be sure they have an opportunity to share their experiences, and to provide them with the materials and support necessary to confront this issue amongst the young people they mentor.


We need to pray for each other, encourage each other in the spiritual battles we wage, pray for our youth, pray for the adults that are addicted. Pray and extend helping hands to the innocent who have been harmed, from broken marriages to sexual and physical abuse.


Author; Eric Niewoehner Categories: Youth Ministries

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