Tag: lust

Day 39: Finding God after a Long Search

Augustine, wanted to be a committed Christian, but he couldn’t get to resolve one issue in his life, which was the lust of the flesh. He was determined to leave his mistress, and to start a fully Christian life for some time, but he did not know how to break with this sin, which was captivating his life.

One day, Anthony’s friend, Simplicianus, came to visit, and shared a story about a famous Roman philosopher, Victorianus, who converted to Christianity, and publically acknowledged it. This impacted his life strongly, as some of the Christians in higher ranks of society were not public about their faith, fearing being ridiculed.

Soon afterwards another friend visited him, Ponticianus, who was a high official in the emperor’s court, a Christian. Seeing the apostle Paul’s writings on Augustine’s desk, he shared with Augustine news about Anthony, the Egyptian monk, who lived in a solitude in the desert and many others were following his lifestyle of prayer and fasting. He told him about two of his friends, “secret service agents” from the emperor’s court, who visited a Christian house and found a book talking about life of Anthony. Upon reading the stories form that book, they wondered:

“Tell me, I beg you, what goal are we seeking in all these toils of ours? What is that we desire?…Can our hopes in the court rise higher than to be ‘friends of the emperor’? …But if I choose to become a friend of God, see, I can become one now.”

They were so touched and changed just by reading this testimony of a hermit, that one of them exclaimed:

“… I enter into that service from this hour in this place.”

While Ponticianus was talking, Augustine felt an unusual urge to reconsider his life. He was fighting within himself, remembering his prayers and suffering. He somehow tried to compose himself by rejecting the grace which was falling upon him, but after Ponticianus’ departure, he went to his other friend and exclaimed:

“What is the matter with us? What is this? What did you hear? The uninstructed start up and take heaven, and we – with all our learning but so little heart – see how we follow in flesh and blood!!!”

He went outside to a garden and his soul was struggling within him to say the final FIAT to God, started to cry with tears and with his voice:

“Will You be angry forever? How long? How long? Tomorrow and tomorrow? Why not now? Why not this very hour make an end to my uncleanness?”

Suddenly he heard a voice of a child chanting over and over:

“Pick it up, read it”.

Quickly he opened apostles Paul’s writings and his eyes fell on the passage:

“Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

He was freed instantly. And that’s how the saint was born, know today as St. Augustine, one of the brightest minds and hearts of human kind.

Prayer on Finding God after a Long Search

by Augustine

Too late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient, O Beauty so new. Too late have I loved you! You were within me but I was outside myself, and there I sought you! In my weakness I ran after the beauty of the things you have made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The things you have made kept me from you – the things which would have no being unless they existed in you! You have called, you have cried, and you have pierced my deafness. You have radiated forth, you have shined out brightly, and you have dispelled my blindness. You have sent forth your fragrance, and I have breathed it in, and I long for you. I have tasted you, and I hunger and thirst for you. You have touched me, and I ardently desire your peace.

all citations from “Confessions” by St. Augustine

Statistics on Pornography and Sexual Addiction

Pornography is marketed as harmless fantasy, but what happens to pornography when it breaks the confines of the “fantasy” world and unleashes itself on humanity?

Pornography Addiction and Industry Statistics

As of 2003, there were 1.3 million pornographic websites; 260 million pages (N2H2, 2003).

The total porn industry revenue for 2006: $13.3 billion in the United States; $97 billion worldwide (Internet Filter Review).

U.S. adult DVD/video rentals in 2005: almost 1 billion (Adult Video News).
Hotel viewership for adult films: 55% (cbsnews.com).

Unique worldwide users visiting adult web sites monthly: 72 million (Internet Filter Review).

Number of hardcore pornography titles released in 2005 (U.S.): 13,588 (Internet Filter Review).

Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%; 28% of those are women (internet-filter-review.com).

More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month (comScore Media Metrix).

More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 10/8/03).

Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children (National Center for Mission & Exploited Children).

100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography (U.S. Customs Service estimate).

As of December 2005, child pornography was a $3 billion annual industry (internet-filter-review.com).

“At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago.” (Divorcewizards.com)

Christians, Pastors and Church Pornography Statistics

A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event.

51% of pastors say cyber-porn is a possible temptation. 37% say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001).

Over half of evangelical pastors admits viewing pornography last year.

Roger Charman of Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20 percent of the calls received on their Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.

In a 2000 Christianity Today survey, 33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.

29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group).

57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005).

Statistics on Women with Pornography Addiction

28% those admitting to sexual addiction are women (internet-filter-review.com).

34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman’s online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll and 1 out of every 6 women, including Christians, struggles with an addiction to pornography (Today’s Christian Woman, Fall 2003).

Statistics on Pornography’s Effect on Families and Marriages

47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003).

The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2003 – divorcewizards.com).

Statistics on Child Pornography Use

9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).

Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old (internet-filter-review.com).

Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 – 17 year-old age group (various sources, as of 2007).

Adult industry says traffic is 20-30% children (NRC Report 2002, 3.3).

Youth with significant exposure to sexuality in the media were shown to be significantly more likely to have had intercourse at ages 14 to 16 (Report in Pediatrics, April, 2006).

“Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.”
– U.S. Department of Justice, Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, at l, ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (1996).

Statistics on Online Perpetrators

1 in 7 children who use the internet have been sexually solicated – 2005. (Internet Filter Review)

1 in 4 kids participate in Real Time Chat. (FamilyPC Survey, 2000).

1 in 5 children (10 to 17 years old) receives unwanted sexual solicitations online (Youth Internet Safety Survey, U.S. Department of Justice, 2001).

2 in 5 abductions of children ages 15-17 are due to Internet contact (San Diego Police Dept.).

76% of victims in Net-initiated sexual exploitation cases were 13-15, 75% were girls. “Most cases progressed to sexual encounters” – 93% of the face-to-face meetings involved illegal sex (Journal of Adolescent Health, November 2004).

safefamilies.org