By Josh McDowell
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” — Isaiah 6:8
Where do you stand?
As a Christian apologist, I stand for truth. I would be remiss if I watched our culture self-destruct and did not make a stand for truth.
Living a pure life as a follower of Jesus Christ has been my passion for over 55 years. Why? It is because the nature and character of God is true and pure. As believers, God calls us to live our lives characterized by truth and purity. As a father and grandfather I am concerned for my children and grandchildren as they face life in a culture where truth and purity are no longer valued.
Last month, a study I commissioned from the Barna Group found that among Christian young adults:
- 76% actively seek out pornography on the Internet.
- 93% say they talk with their friends about porn in neutral, accepting and encouraging ways.
- 52% say that not recycling is wrong while only 32% say pornography is wrong.
- Only 1 in 20 have a friend who says that pornography is wrong.
This represents just one of the groups surveyed. The statistics for men, women, children, and especially pastors and Christian leaders are equally startling.
Technology has ushered in many wonderful improvements into our lives. Having access to biblical content on a mobile device is facilitating the spread of the gospel around the world. Social media allows us the privilege of staying connected to the world around us. But there is another side to technology. Internet pornography is a silent epidemic that is eroding our credibility as Christians. Chuck Swindoll put it this way:
“Pornography is the greatest cancer facing the church today.” — Chuck Swindoll
It is not a popular topic — most churches and pastors are not addressing this issue within their churches because it is difficult to discuss. And in many cases pastors themselves struggle personally with porn — this remains hidden while it insidiously eats away at intimacy in one’s relationship with Christ and with family members. Even more concerning, our kids and grandkids are exposed to pornography at earlier and earlier ages. It is no longer a question of if they will be exposed to pornographic images, but when!
When I realized that the scope of this crisis was greater than my preliminary research indicated, I decided it was time to take a stand on this issue. I began working toward positive solutions that every pastor, every leader, and every layperson can embrace and promote. I am convinced that pervasive Internet pornography has become the greatest barrier to faith in Christ, and we simply must do something about it.
Pastor, I am personally inviting you to join me April 4–7, 2016 in Greensboro, North Carolina for the Set Free Global Summit. Over four days, 30 experts in the fields of medicine, neurology, psychology, theology, and other disciplines will present proven solutions to this pervasive issue from scientific, sociological and spiritual perspectives. Twenty percent of the Set Free Global Summit will explore the impact of this issue on men, women, young people, children, families and pastors. Eighty percent of the Summit will focus on solutions. Special emphasis and tools that pastors, youth pastors, churches and leaders can use to help equip their congregations to take a stand and help change our culture will be presented by some of the top Christian experts.
Please let me encourage you and any other ministry leaders from your church to attend the Set Free Global Summit. Let’s take a stand for truth!
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Well known as an articulate speaker, Josh McDowell has addressed more than 25 million people, giving over 27,000 talks in 125 countries. In 1961, Josh joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International. Not long after, he started the Josh McDowell Ministry to reach young people worldwide with the truth and love of Jesus.
At the Set Free Summit, Josh will be presenting a call to arms to take a stand in the fight against pervasive Internet pornography.