WHAT WORKS FOR ME… In Helping people with sexual addictions, pornography, etc.

i) Matthew Gamble, Teaching Pastor, 24 Seven Ministry Center Seventh-day Adventist Church, Bellevue, WA (WA Conf.)

“I am thrilled to see you tackling this issue head-on. It seems to me that there is an enormous problem with men and woman struggling with porn. Satan does a great way of sneaking this stuff into our lives at an early age to get us hooked in hopes to warp our sense of intimacy, love, and sex. For me pornography/lust came in at the age of 7. With the material now so easily accessible on the internet truly Satan is going to succeed in getting more people trapped in his world wide web. Or is he?

In helping people with this addiction I have found several resources to be invaluable. I will list them below:

1. www.xxxchurch.com – This is a Christian based ministry that is seeking to help people with addiction to pornography. They provide free software that can be downloaded onto your computer that will provide accountability for you while you surf the internet. If any questionable sights are viewed, the addresses will be sent to your accountability partners.

2. www.iprodigals.org – Prodigals International offers training and materials to help local churches establish effective ministries to sexual addicts and their spouses. The director is a good friend of mine and has recently linked up with researchers from Loma Linda University as well as the General Conference to see how these materials can be applied in SDA churches nation wide.

3. www.sa.org – Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover.4. Read the books, “Every Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn and “Not Even a Hint” by Joshua Harris. Above all else I encourage people to recognize that we are more than conquerors through Christ. As we accept His gift of victory on a daily basis and learn to trust Him over self, we WILL have the victory. If you have any further questions, comments, prayer requests, please feel free to reach me at matthew@24SEVENSeattle.com.”.

ii) David Livermore, Senior Pastor, Kelso Longview Community SDA Church, Kelso, WA (OR Conf.):

Your up late, your kids have been in bed since 8:00 PM, an hour ago your wife said good night to you and went upstairs to go to sleep. You’ve been reading your Bible searching for a text to speak to you. Nothing really jumps out at this time. Your mind wanders. You fight it by turning on the TV, by now its quite late nothing really interests you. You turn on your computer, and you know exactly what interests you at this time of night. Your Bible is still sitting right next to you, but something else is driving you at this time. You go online, your breathing is quickening, you listen carefully to make sure you don’t hear anyone from your family stirring. You type into Google: XXX or Porn. Millions of hits come up, you fall hard, you go deep into your private addiction. Your Bible, is still sitting next to you.

One survey says that fifty percent of us pastors visited a porn site in the last month. That’s approximately 60 of us here in the Oregon Conference. We wonder why the Gospel is impotent, our preaching boring, our spiritual life anemic. We have allowed the evil one to get his hands on us and it’s a slow spiritual suicide. There is hope though, into the darkness comes a website that speaks boldly against this cancer. If you got the problem, get help. Because sooner than later, this will cost you your ministry and maybe your marriage,

Kelso-Longview offers a small group called “Pure Freedom” no blame, no shame, just help. You can get the same help on the web by going to www.purefreedom.com.

iii) Aaron Payne, Asst. Pastor, Meadow Glade SDA Church, Battle Ground, WA (Or Conf.):

After sitting down and talking for a while about the youth’s problem I will bring our conversation around to overcoming the addiction. Usually if a young person has come to talk to me it is because they truly want to break free from this habit. I will ask them to do 4 things.

1. Recognize what times and situation they are tempted the most and avoid those times and places. Ex. Don’t stay up late on the internet.

2. When they are tempted have a Bible verse to quote and claim in the face of the temptation. A few verses I have suggested are Is.41:10,13, or Phil. 4:13. I teach them how to claim a promise since many are unfamiliar with doing this.

3. Find an accountability partner. Of course this person needs to be a person that has a strong walk with Jesus, is trustworthy, and does not share the same problem.

4. Ask them to commit to reading a book called “Every Young Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn, assuming I am dealing with a young man. There is also a book out there for young ladies.

5. Only after they have taken these steps will I be willing to anoint them, asking for healing and victory. I find that if I anoint them first they may not follow through with the first 4 steps.

6. Finally I will communicate to the parents (with permission from the young person) and ask them to change their internet server to integrity online, which is a pre-filtered server.

7. There should also be multiple planned follow ups.

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