Trouble is, sexual sinners in the church typically live a double life. It is too easily hidden. Think of the many spiritual leaders who have been discovered in their sexual sin leading to shock, dismay, and disbelief when their sin is publicized. “How is this possible?” people ask. “God was using him in such a powerful way…”
If you have no “known” sexual sin in your church, you can be pretty certain it’s going on in the private darkness of men’s lives. The following excerpt, taken from a Covenant Eyes report, provides some sobering statistics regarding Sex and the Churchgoer. The full report can be found under the FAQ tab question about Sexual Sin Statistics.
Pornography and Churchgoers:
In 1994, a survey showed 91% of men raised in Christian homes were exposed to pornography while growing up (compared to 98% of those not raised in a Christian home).80
In March 2005 Christianity Today published the results of a study called “Christians and Sex” in their Leadership Journal. Out of 680 pastors surveyed, 57% said addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation.81
In August 2006, a survey reported 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year.82
Pornography and Pastors:
In August 2000, Christianity Today conducted an exclusive survey of its readership—both laity and clergy—on the issue of Internet pornography:83
• In August 1999, 11% of the calls received on Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Care Line were about pastors and online porn. In August 2000, online porn worries prompted 20% of the calls (It has risen well above 50% today)
• 33 percent of clergy say they have visited a sexually explicit website
• Of those who have visited sexually explicit websites, 53% say they have visited the sites a few times in the past year; 18% of clergy said they visited explicit websites between “a couple of times a month” and “more than once a week.”
• Among the clergy who use Internet porn, 30% do not talk to anyone about their behavior
In 2000, a survey of 564 pastors showed:84
• 40% of pastors have visited a pornographic Internet site, with over 33% doing so within the last 12 months.
• 75% of pastors do not make themselves accountable to anyone for their Internet use.
In 2002, of 1,351 pastors surveyed, 54% said they had viewed Internet pornography within the last year, and 30% of these had visited within the last 30 days.85