Ever thought about the societal implications of porn addiction? Today, we're going to take a deep dive into this complex subject with none other than Charlie Kirk, an advocate who has walked this challenging journey to freedom himself. He shares his personal struggle against pornography, how faith and Covenant Eyes technology played a pivotal role in his victory, and his ongoing mission to help others wrestling with similar struggles. Kirk's insights about the prevalence of pornography in our culture and the need for individuals to take a stand are riveting and illuminating.
As we journey through this conversation, it goes beyond just personal battles. We unpack the broader impacts of porn addiction on society, touching on associated issues like domestic abuse, broken relationships, and adultery. Charlie also opens up about his belief that pornography should be outlawed and the transformative power of repentance. Listen in as we discuss the significance of church leaders in addressing this issue head-on and promoting tools like Covenant Eyes. This episode is not just about acknowledging the destructive nature of pornography, but actively working towards a healthier, more respectful perspective on sex and relationships. Tune in and discover how you can join the fight.
Hey everybody, welcome to the Covenant Eyes Podcast. I'm Karen, joined by Brandon Clark, and we are in our Wasso Studios and we have got an amazing guest joining us today. We're super excited about it.Speaker 2:
Yeah, so we were recently at a pastor's summit, and who do we run into but Charlie Kirk, and we're very excited because he's not only doing amazing things and working with the church across the nation, but he's also very passionate about what we do in fighting against pornography. So, Charlie, thanks so much for being on with us for a few minutes today.Speaker 3:
Oh yeah, I love the product. I use the product Covenant Eyes. It's incredible. I've been very open about my previous struggles with pornography, as most young men have in America, and trying to have young people talk about that I think is healthy, and thankfully have victory over that, large in part thanks to Covenant Eyes but, most importantly, jesus Christ. So, yeah, I found Covenant Eyes just through some digital advertisements and great product, great tech and really good philosophy because you can have somebody kind of check in on you and kind of have that check and balance. But really enthusiastic about the product guys and want to try to get more young men and young women because pornography is also impacting young women as well, but especially young men get victory over what is the most prevalent, most widespread and least talked about addiction of the modern era.Speaker 1:
Oh, he's speaking our language.Speaker 3:
Yeah absolutely.Speaker 2:
Charlie, do you mind just going into a little bit of your own struggle for our listeners, because we all have our own journey.Speaker 3:
Yeah, I mean, when you're in high school or college, it's pornography is ubiquitous, right and always knew it was wrong, but it was still so difficult to resist. And growing up in a technological era you know you have these smartphones and growing up even in a Christian environment and knowing it's wrong. I totally sympathize with young men that are still lured into that temptation, because I was one of them and kind of in my mid-20s I was like I want to get victory over this and started to read a lot of different books about how that is and honestly, it's less about the to-do list and it's more about just surrendering it to Jesus Christ, because he's already won that victory for you. And I could tell you that I'm happier, healthier and really what got it in line was, as I started to date my now wife. I was like this is a toxin, it's a poison. I want nothing to do with it. I don't like what it's doing to my soul, I don't like what it's doing to my attitude and yeah, without going into too many of the details of it, it's what almost every man in America is dealing with, including the church, and instead of trying to say that every man is dealing with it and normalizing it. I'm just trying to say that, look, it's okay. It's not necessarily that it's okay. You have it. I'm not trying to make you feel bad. You should try to find victory over it though, right, don't accept it as a given. Don't accept it as a given. I have a deeper and better life and better spiritual journey now that I have overcome that and your technology has helped that. Like, the technology is not going to solve the problem 100% for you, right, and I think and you guys are clear about that, because some people that use your technology will still, you know, get another device or they'll lie about it it's best when someone really wants to make the commitment right. It's an amplifier for someone who has the intent right, because it kind of creates that little nudge on the shoulder, little tap that says are you sure you want to be doing that? It makes it harder to continue in that destructive behavioral pattern. But look, I mean it took months and years of rewiring really broken dopamine pathways that started when I was a teenager, and a lot of young Christian men struggle with the same and my prayer for them is victory.Speaker 1:
Wow, that's great, charlie, what you know. It's really amazing watching the work that you do at Turning Point, I mean, you are on fire. You're out there talking to the young people and getting them motivated, engaged in so many ways spiritually, politically and in just a lot of different ways. What drives you? What is driving you to stay so active and involved in this way?Speaker 3:
Well, thank you, look, I am far from from perfect. I am fighting fun characters every day. I love Psalm 9710, right, and everyone has their calling in the mission field. Some people are called to help the poor. Some people are called strictly to mission work, to the lost. Some people are called to Fighting sexual addiction. My call is to fight evil. So in Psalm 9710, if you love God, you must hate evil. That is not the easiest call, but I I find my giftings to be in alignment to that. I find great fulfillment in that. And there is widespread evil in this country right now. There's cultural evil, sexual evil. We are seeing secularism go wild and rampant in this country, the normalization of a pornographic culture. The whole society has really become pornified. That's even a word, right. And we are seeing it happen with young kids and the trans agenda, not to mention all the other stuff. And so that's that's really what drives me. And what bothers me is when people said idly by and there's something Wretched and inexplicable happening in the country. And I love America, america is a beautiful country. I love our history, love our traditions. Far from perfect, but we are excellent. That's what drives me every single day. That's what we do at TPUSA faith. That's what we were doing at our pastor summit, and every single Christian is called to a certain different mission field. Some people are called to build build a big business, employ a lot of people and give that money back. My, my calling is to try to speak truth, reveal darkness for what it is and be salt and light in a broken culture.Speaker 2:
I absolutely love that you mentioned America, speaking of America. At Amfest last year in Phoenix, arizona, you had Senator Josh Hawley give up and talk specifically about pornography. Now I was deeply encouraged by this. That was amazing. But what do you think it says about what we were facing when it comes to the battles with sexual sin?Speaker 3:
Yeah, I mean, it's it. We should be more open to talking about it. There is a lot of shame around this and Understandably they're shame because it is a sin, right and so, but you should understand that you are forgiven in Christ Jesus. You should be feel comfortable to speak openly if you are struggling with something. Because, look, it's the worst kept secret in the church that nearly half the men there are actively watching pornography, but almost none of them talk about it or none of them admit it, and I think we need to have the courage to speak about it. But we also need to not normalize it and I'm gonna keep on saying that it's not normal, it's not in God's design, it is against the natural law, and I'm not a legalist, that's not my theology. I'm not here to try to you know, say that you should you have your head down. At the same time, I don't want to minimize it because it is a very serious sin. It's a serious sin to lust with your heart and to artificially put your desires towards. Honestly, most times the video is an abuse of a young lady, not even something that is real right Someone that is sex trafficked and someone that is put in that situation against their consent, and so I'm glad Josh Holly talks about it. But we're seeing and Josh is a great friend, he wrote a whole book about it we're seeing the results of what happens when we don't speak openly about it. We don't have the tools or the recovery, the recovery Plans in place for young people. We are seeing a generation that is least likely to get married, that is less likely to have children. They are more suicidal and more depressed. And the porn industrial complex which Involves the abortion industry. It involves even Hollywood, which is basically soft pornography now, and HBO and Hulu. You know those are forms of pornography too. They are all invested, right, they're all invested in trying to Pour money into the media to make you seem as if depression and anxiety are not related with pornography. They 100% are, and I will go to bed. It's not the only reason why people are depressed and anxious. But if you are artificially deteriorating the reward pathways of Dopamine, ergic response, the neural pathways of what is real and artificial, then all of a sudden you are going to be let down by the Natural world. We know this in the most simple neuroscientific studies, and so we have a generation that is completely chaotic and lost and look, you're never going to completely solve it. But there have been entire congressional panels on fentanyl addiction big problem. Entire congressional panels on sex trafficking big problem. You know we talk about drug overdoses. Does anyone have the moral courage to say that we have an even greater pornography addiction right, which does result in domestic abuse and broken marriages and adultery? And the way the porn industry tries to spin it is like well, it's a release for men to not do those things. It's the opposite right. It leads to greater and more violent and vile levels of sin. And so I get I mean I hate to be like the left-winger. That's like I speak my own truth from existence. I could tell you that it's a. You are in a bad place if you are using this, this poison, in your life, and God has a greater plan for you. And so I'm glad Josh Holly's talking about it. I think we should outlaw pornography If we, even if that's ill, even if that's not possible, we should do our best to do it. The age verification is like a very minor step. There's nothing redemptive over it. There's nothing virtuous over it. It's not speech. It doesn't make society better. It doesn't make there. There is zero redeeming qualities in Pornography, and I think we need to be morally clear about that, while also acknowledging almost every single one of us have had our struggles with it.Speaker 1:
Absolutely. I mean, charlie, you are, you are speaking our language, you are talking to our listeners. This is exactly why we're all in this battle, because we see the damage, we hear about it every day here, at covenant eyes, from wives calling in, you know, children that are caught in this trap at ages seven, eight, nine years old. That, as a mother, that breaks my heart. So I'm Charlie. What can we do as a, as a country, as a people, as a Christian family, to fight back against this?Speaker 3:
So there's a verse in first Chronicles that I love I'm a paraphrase that repentance really is the prerequisite to revival right when my people will repent. And If you are actively in this pattern of sin, then you need to repent. You need to acknowledge that you are Denying God's plan for your life and that you are not acting Obediently and in alignment with his wishes. You are not being all that God wants you to be boy, seven, eight and nine years old Praise God, that wasn't my, my life, I mean I mean it was still I was young, but that at least I had some form of a childhood. I mean, look for for wives. You have to speak openly with your husbands, and I will say this wives need to understand how men are wired. It's not a matter of making excuses for any sort of pornography habits, but they must understand that men are far more likely to struggle with this than women are, and a lot of wives Do not quite understand. I know this because I get thousands of emails Charlie, I don't understand how my husband could be struggling with this. I have no such desires to look. Men are far more visually oriented. It's the way God made men. That's not an excuse for men to do it, but I think it could offer a window for women and wives to be an even better partner and counselor and Healer, you know, in that relationship because it does destroy marriages and then men out there, you need to be the man and be courageous enough to admit to your wife and confide into your wife. But you might be struggling with sexual sin early because it does manifest eventually into a wandering eye and then into adultery, broken marriages, divorce and then kids are raised, you know, in split households and a double-mindedness and porn. In a lot of ways an unregulated pornography habit will manifest itself like a tumor and metastasize and take over anything that is beautiful and that is good, and so I think we have to speak more openly about it. And you know what? What the bad guys do that the pornography industry does is they want to make it, they want to celebrate your sin right, so they want you to post online that you watch porn and that you know that it's okay. I'm actually saying the opposite. I'm saying that we should be open if you're struggling with it and say that it's not okay. It looked a lot of people. We have a really built. I think we've actually done. I think one of the most promising parts of American culture the last 30 years is we do have systems that have been proven to work to help people with alcohol problems. We haven't solved alcoholism but we've alcohol anonymous right, and we're pretty welcoming as a society of people that say I struggle with alcohol and like, wow, like you know Perfectly, fine, here's a diet coke right, like you're not gonna push beer on you, right? Do we have the same sort of culture for pornography? Not really at all. It's like don't speak it, don't say it, we all kind of know it's here. Or the opposite is you artificially celebrate it, right, where you just hyper-sexualize the entire culture. So look, god made sex between a husband and a wife wholly in that domain and the more we have introduced the sexual into the society, the less wholly that has become and the more we profane it and the less that it matters and, quite honestly, it desecrates the entire society.Speaker 2:
Well, yeah, because if you don't have marriages, you don't have families, and you know families are the future of our culture, right? They're the future of our communities. They're the future of our church. Let's be real Without marriages and families, our church ceases to exist. So, Charlie, we were all together in San Diego at that pastor summit. You had a room full of a thousand pastors where you could deliver a powerful message. There's pastors and ministry leaders listening. Now, what role does the church play in this topic that we're talking about today?Speaker 3:
Every single pastor in America needs to be speaking about the modern-day addiction that is impacting your youth groups, impacting your young married couples and even impacting the couples that have been married for 30 years. That's number one. Number two they need to be actively advertising or whatever, pushing covenant eyes as a technology that can help the willing. But it's not going to help if you're unwilling. Right, a wandering eye will just go buy another phone and they'll lie about it. But for a husband that has truly repented, that is struggling with this, covenant eyes can be the technology and the tool to allow you to break free, because that's really what you guys are all about. Right, helping people break free from addiction, and it works. But then, look, pastors need to give a series of sermons not to condemn their congregation. Right, not to act as if you're holier than now. Because, again, if you are a man in America and you're trying to tell me you've never struggled with pornography, I really don't believe you. I just I'll be honest like, from my age downward, from 30 below, I find that very, very hard to believe. Right, and it could be a little bit or a lot. With that being said, we all can break free and we can have a better tomorrow. The church has to be the bedrock of it, though. You guys know the stats better than I do, but it's something like one out of four pastors are actively watching pornography or something. I mean, I'm just pulling these numbers from memory here it's more like 50%. Yeah, I mean, wow, that's insane, right. And so this is Satan infiltrating the church, and I'm happy to go as deep as you guys want to that this was not a phenomenon that existed a hundred years ago. It wasn't. This is so much more addictive, far more graphic, far harder to break free of than even heroin is. I mean study after study that you could take heroin addiction and pornography addiction, and for some people pornography addictions are harder to break. In fact, there's a great book written by a secular atheist, gary Wilson, your Brain on Porn I'm sure you guys are familiar with it yeah which. I think is the gold standard of neuroscientific research and it talks about libido issues and relationship issues and attachment issues. And he even talks about in part of his book your Brain on Porn that some people that have that try to go cold. Turkey breaking porn. They have cold shakes, they have anxiety spells, anxiety attacks, no different if all of a sudden somebody gets off meth and they haven't tapered the drug. That's not, that's not talked about enough, right? We act as I don't even know how society talks about porn. Largely it's just kind of accepted. It's there, you know, and we don't realize the damage that it is doing actively to all that is beautiful in our world.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I don't think I could have said it better, because we're looking at this decay continuing to happen and you know you mentioned it earlier our younger generations are growing up with one of these in their hand. From you know, sometimes they're even three, four years old, walking around with a phone and a lot of parents are just not intentional. So what would you say to parents listening about being parents and making sure they're aware of how they can protect and guard the hearts of their children?Speaker 3:
Yeah, I mean, I don't think kids should get smartphones till they're 18 or 20. I don't. I grew up without one and even though I did, I still I grew up in a different era and I still struggled with this. I mean, I can't imagine what 16 year olds now I mean to have this super computer in your right hand pocket. I just I don't think parents here's my struggle is that I think the new generation of parents right now get it more because they might have similarly struggled, but my parents generation, which is 60 years old plus, they would think of pornography as like buying a magazine off the street and looking at Playboy not acceptable, not morally good, but it is nowhere even close as damaging as a pornography website is. And because the pornography website is, you will spend five hours constantly seeking another dopamine hit and another one, and another one, and another one, and so they think of it as like, oh, in innocent terms. You know, boys will be boys. They have no idea what they're talking about, right? And so the kid turns 20 and he's all of a sudden a kind of a puddle of what he used to be, because he's so doled out and he's. And, by the way, sometimes they will go to other physical world drugs to satisfy the high right. If it's not some porn website, then they'll go get meth or cocaine or you know very strong THC laced marijuana. And so, yeah, look, it's for parents that need to guard the hearts. You have to be vigilant. It has never been harder to protect your child from a pornified society, right? And then you also need to train your young men that if they go out into the world, how do they then react when they are tempted? Because you can only guard them so much, right? What are you going to empower them and train them that? Hey, when they're 18, when they're 20, and all of a sudden something pops up on their computer or they have an unregulated device, are they prepared for that temptation? Do they know what it does to them? Right, and that's I don't know. If parents are having those conversations. I sure hope they are right, but I don't see it enough, because we're seeing the consequences and the damage of what this does to our society.Speaker 1:
Well, well, charlie, I know your time is limited and we want to thank you for joining us today To have this conversation about pornography, and thank you for being on the front lines and really talking about this issue. We want to get this message out covenant eyes is serious about helping people find freedom. We thank you, for you know You're part in this, in this war against pornography in the pornified culture, if that is a word.Speaker 3:
Well what we're making? A word, and look, I just want to reiterate you know I'm not doing this as a legalist or try to make people feel bad or guilt people or condemn people. We're all sinners, we all fall short of the glory of God, but hopefully, if just one person hears this and resonates with my story and what I'm saying is that there's a better tomorrow for you. Breaking free of addiction Is a really great thing and today you could start on that path and I encourage covenant eyes. It's a great product.Speaker 2:
Charlie, thanks again, as Karen. Thank you guys for your time and to all our listeners. You heard it. We have a link in our show notes to go and try covenant eyes free for 30 days using the promo code. So be sure to give it a try. If it's something that you haven't done before, and Especially if you're a parent, consider it looking into that so you can protect your homes. If you're a pastor or ministry leader, we we highly encourage you to look into it, not just for yourself, but also in being able to share the powerful message that you've heard today with your congregation. This is a battle, karen, that we really have to win.Speaker 1:
Absolutely covenant eyes, family. Thanks for joining us for this podcast. Take care and God bless.