The Covenant Eyes Podcast

The Effects of Porn Addiction | Interviews and Testimonies from TPUSA

December 27, 2023 Covenant Eyes / Various Interviews Season 2 Episode 70
The Covenant Eyes Podcast
The Effects of Porn Addiction | Interviews and Testimonies from TPUSA
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover how Ross triumphed over a nine-year battle with pornography, reclaiming his life through faith and the indomitable strength of the Holy Spirit. His compelling story kicks off our heartfelt conversation about the silent struggle within the church, underlining why a genuine relationship with God is paramount in overcoming such addictions. 

We join forces with Joshua Broome and Victor Marx to champion direct, compassionate dialogues in our faith communities, paving the way for confession and healing without the fear of judgment. I also propose that pastors embrace regular 'hot conversations' to fortify themselves and their congregations against these pervasive temptations.

Seth Gruber steps into our circle to dissect the vicious addiction-shame-guilt cycle, especially prevalent among Christian men, and shares key strategies for breaking free. We navigate through the historical influences of sexual liberation, from Augustine to Margaret Sanger, and the profound societal shifts these ideologies have spurred. 

Our discussion extends to the intellectual and spiritual tools necessary to master primal urges, inspired by the wisdom of C.S. Lewis. 

We close by showcasing the significant role of Covenant Eyes software in fortifying personal faith journeys, an invaluable resource that has become foundational to our church's leadership development and accountability structure.

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Speaker 1:

Hello everyone. I'm Rob Stoddard. I'm the co-host of season three of our Covenant Eyes podcast. But before we get to season three, I wanted to let you know our final episode of season two is coming up. It's with Charlie Kurt from Turning Point, USA. You won't wanna miss that. But before we get to that, we wanna share just a short episode of some interviews and testimonies that we shot at Turning Point USA faith conference just a few months ago. We hope you enjoy our guests. So my name is Ross.

Speaker 2:

I was actually born in Los Angeles, living in San Diego, living in Orange County. It's about as so Cal as it gets, but there's a few things that really resonate. You really stand out. Number one I was born by artificial insemination. I grew up in a lesbian household with two moms, and the reason why that's important is because when you don't have spiritual headship or you don't have spiritual authority in your life, we live in a real spiritual realm, and so the enemy whether you believe in the enemy or not can do things that are not right. And that's what we're doing Believe in the enemy or not, can do things in your life. So for me, one of those was the spirit of lust, which led into a porn addiction for nine years. Now here's something that's really key as I got saved at about 15, 16 years old, I had never heard of another man in ministry. Tell me, hey, ross, I am free from pornography, and so my encouragement is twofold. Number one I want you to know that the spirit of God is greater than any other spirit in the world, and so when the Holy Spirit comes in you and you become born again, it's not just some cute Christian lingo, it's actually the new heart reality of your life, and so, for me, I've been completely separate from born for about three years from now. And secondly, I'm so excited for God to be on the earth because he's restoring the family and unit. He's breaking the spirit of lust and bringing the body of Christ together. So I just want to encourage you, wherever you're at on your faith journey with God. The Holy Spirit can set you free and you can stay free as you walk in intimacy with Jesus and you surrender your heart to God.

Speaker 3:

Hey everybody. It's Karen. I hope you're doing well. We are still in California and we just happened to stumble into one of our amazing friends here. Look everybody look who we found Joshua Brunty.

Speaker 5:

Joshua Brunty. Hey, glad to be here. Oh my gosh.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we're glad you're here. So what brought you to this conference?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, so myself and Victor Marx, we were talking about just the problematic thing that we often talk about, just the pornography industry, how it's impacting families, marriages, kids, so many other things. But yeah, we're talking about a generation that really needs to know the truth Absolutely, and it starts with hearing the gospel but also having those difficult conversations that we need to be having in the church and outside the church.

Speaker 4:

Absolutely. That's really important. We speak with a lot of pastors as well as we're at these conferences. What's the message that you would want to leave for pastors listening about addressing pornography?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I would say, not to talk around it but to actually speak into it, because the reality is, if it's a $100 billion industry, it's being consumed by a vast number of people. So just knowing that Romans 8 1 says that there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, so if you're in a relationship with Jesus, there's no shame or guilt that should be keeping you trapped where you are. But you need to understand. Conviction is from the Lord. That conviction is to confess. It's. Romans 2 4 talks about how it's God's love and his patience and his kindness that leads us into repentance. So if we can just create an atmosphere where we're gonna tell the truth and we're broken, we still have a sinful heart. we want to do things we ought not do and sometimes, unfortunately, we do those things. And if we create a space where confession is something that is normal it's not we're not gonna condemn you, you're not gonna be ostracized because of that I think less people would end up in a place where they should never have been or didn't intend to go, because I think it starts with a small compromise that, if it was confessed, it never would have made its way into. Whatever ends up happening, absolutely. So the conversation needs to be at the forefront. We need to talk about it because the world is screaming. We need to be talking about this in churches as well.

Speaker 4:

Yes, correct, I need a little inside baseball here.

Speaker 6:

Yeah.

Speaker 4:

Okay.

Speaker 5:

You're a pastor right. Yeah.

Speaker 4:

We're at this pastor conference. The pastors here are active, they're excited, we're talking to them. But let's face it, you go back. You get back into life. Sure, it's really busy. There's a lot of things going on. How do we keep this topic top of mind? We know that it's not the only topic, but how? Do we make sure it's something that moves beyond this conference into action.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, so for me it's, I think, weekly. You should have one person or maybe a small group of people where I call them hot conversations. So honest, open and transparent. And just hey, every week or consistently, we're going to download what are the things that you're struggling with? Because if you know you sit down with anyone, you interview them. Hey, what are your weaknesses, what are your struggles? If you can't identify those, if you're blind to what you're struggling with, if you're blind to what you're weak in, you don't stand a chance at the enemy. So what we could do to help one another you know, to help each other grow, is just hey, we're going to have these conversations often and I'm going to trust that you're going to be honest and you're going to trust me to not just patch you on the back but also call you out and call you up.

Speaker 3:

That is some great advice for our pastors and ministry leaders that are out there wondering how do I bring my team into this conversation. Joshua, that was fantastic. Well, it's going to be a great conference. There's still a lot of time left. We've got dinner tonight. That's going to be stellar because we've got the famous Rob Stoddard speaking tonight.

Speaker 4:

You're going to get to hear him. It'll be great.

Speaker 3:

Well, everybody listening to the podcast, thank you for joining us for this quick episode. We'll talk to you later.

Speaker 4:

We'll see you.

Speaker 7:

So my husband and I we've been married for 13 years. On year 5 of our marriage, it came out that my husband was addicted to porn and we didn't know what to do. From there, my whole world fell apart and we ended up going to therapy and my husband's actually a pastor and so it opened my world to something I never knew existed and I was really broken-hearted. But Covenant Eyes was used as a tool to help me personally feel safe, secure and start our process of healing and trust, and I can honestly say that I 100% trust my husband and I'm so grateful that he was willing to lose Safari on his phone and add Covenant Eyes and go through Covenant Eyes app and everything to use. He's a pastor and it's not convenient, but it wasn't about convenience and it still isn't. It is worth having it just for the fact that I can feel safe, I can feel confident, knowing that we have something protecting us, I feel like somebody's behind supporting, and so my husband is a big advocate of it. We share it with anybody in our church. He struggles with pornography. We're very open about our journey and this is one of the tools that we give to every single person that comes down our path to do that and it's been such a success in our marriage, in our lives. So I'm really really thankful for Covenant Eyes. It has truly helped make a difference in my life and many others, because I am very loud and proud about it. I'm loud and proud of what God did and how this has just been such a blessing and so many people need it, especially when you're going through the healing process. And then we haven't stopped it ever since and we will stop it. We'll continue to use Covenant Eyes forever.

Speaker 3:

Turning Point, usa. It is one heck of an event, is it not?

Speaker 4:

Oh it is. There's so much energy here, karen, we're meeting great people like Mr Anthony Watson.

Speaker 6:

Oh, thank you very much. You said energy. If you want me to bring it, I'll crank it up in the night. Bring it, brother, bring it.

Speaker 4:

Now, anthony, you're a former Olympian, competed in the 2018 Olympics. What I love about your stories is it's all about overcoming adversity, and we see a lot of that when we work with people like Covenant Eyes is that you know when they want to break free from pornography or their struggle with sexual sin. It's not just a cakewalk. There's a lot of challenges that come into play. So just talk a little bit about your own story going from track, ending up in speed skating, ending up in Olympian.

Speaker 6:

Well, I will give you the quick version. Simply put, at the age of six I wanted to be an Olympian. I wanted to go on track and field, had a really bad knee injury that kept me from going and competing and trying out for the London Games of 2012. Then I joined Team USA. Didn't make the team for 2014 to compete in Russia, so I switched and left Team USA, joined the Jamaican team and actually made Olympic history as the first ever skeleton athlete.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh.

Speaker 6:

And those of you that don't know, skeleton is the sport where you lay on your stomach going headfirst down the ice track. But in all honesty, it's the safest one. That's the safest one Safest.

Speaker 4:

You're only four inches from the ice.

Speaker 6:

So if I fall, you know that that it hurts because you're going about 75 miles per hour. Oh wow, you know. Definitely safer than having 600 pounds of carbon fiber and steel pin your neck to the ice or a sled that has a foot off the ice launch you out of the track.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, it's the safer one. Love it, oh my goodness. Well, great, well, you know you're here. So what brought you to this conference? Why are you here?

Speaker 6:

I am a TP USA contributor so I work and do a lot of the stuff that Charlie does. I actually have a TV show called Campus Crashers drops October 19th. Make sure you guys look for that. I where we go to college campuses and we work with a lot of the young people that a lot of people might feel are targeted or further conservative beliefs with the chapters that turning point has chartered on campuses around the nation.

Speaker 3:

Awesome. Well, you're a busy guy. How do you keep it all put together?

Speaker 6:

Grace.

Speaker 3:

All right, love it.

Speaker 4:

Amen to that, let's just talk about overcoming adversity, because you've certainly have experienced a lot in your life. Also, on the, in terms of purity, can you just talk about your own journey for our listeners?

Speaker 6:

All I'm going to say to make it vague, because everyone's journey is different. Everyone, everyone's circumstances might have been different, the name of the person, the offense, the sin, everything else. All I know is that people in today's world need a fresh and filling of the Holy Spirit. You know, what people don't understand and know is that the less of God you get, the more of the world you take in. And so I was somebody in my past that struggled with what I watched on the Internet. You can't be a guy in 2023 and say that you haven't had that with as much technology that we have these days, and the thing that's making it harder is that now you have people that say sex positivity is an empowering thing, that they're now encouraging people as young as 13, 12 and younger to now get involved in, to now push a narrative that says this is liberating, when really it puts you in spiritual bondage. Bondage, yes, and so what I know to be the truth is that the power of God is greater than that, but it's something that you have to want, and a lot of people do this whole thing where they're embarrassed, like I was. I was embarrassed, but when I finally came clean I came clean the hard way it was because I got caught.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, doing all that stuff.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, and when I was left there I literally felt, like Paul says, like a double minded man is like somebody who looks at himself in the mirror and doesn't know what he looks like as soon as he turns his back, because at that point I had fallen so far off that when I turned back and look, you don't do that and that's the nature of sin. It doesn't. If it showed you where you were headed in the first decision, there'd be a lot more people on the straight and narrow. But what it does is it takes you off by a degree and it's another compromise here, then it's another choice here, and then when you look back, you're filled with so much remorse, regret and shame that you then try to hide yourself from God. And I tell people that you can't do that. When you sin, when you're hiding things, when you're living separate things outside of what God wants you to, in your sexual life and your eye gate, with what you do and how you carry yourself, you're supposed to feel that stuff because that's the result of it, and you're supposed to feel that way so that when you come to Jesus with it, when you repent and you are truly sorry and return from your wicked ways you know, without a shadow of it out, it is God that removed it from you. When you feel free and set free from all of that. And if more people were able to know and understand that by, first and foremost, being honest with themselves, there'd be a lot more men that protect women and pray for them instead of praying on them. And we need to raise a generation of men now that are going to be warped and to be warriors and fighters and fight for women, not fighting to force themselves on them, and so the numbers for righteousness and virtue have always been small, but the fervor that they fight with is 10 times more deadly than the cowards that use a little moment of heat to get what they want. And so for all of you who might be stuck, for all of you people that think that you're past saving and that everything else it's just like, let me tell you something. A criminal hung on a cross next to Jesus when he was dying and in his dying breath, said remember me in. Jesus said today you are going to be with me in paradise. You can't bank on tomorrow, because God only promises today, but the beautiful thing about his mercy is that he says it's good for today because we're living in the present with him right now. We're not in tomorrow yet. You can't bank on yesterday's stuff because it's gone. You only have today, which is in every single moment that you catch breath. God's mercy is ready and waiting for you to change so that he can now fill you with himself and make you the person that he intended you to be. All this other stuff that offers you, the cheap temporary stuff has long lasting consequences. And the world? They don't do things because they fear circumstances. We stay pure for the simple fact that we love God Amen, wow, wow.

Speaker 3:

Well, Covenant Eyes, listeners. I don't think we need to say much more than that. This has been an amazing interview. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Oh my gosh. Thank you, covenant Eyes, listeners, we'll be back next time. Talk to you later, we'll see you.

Speaker 11:

Well, I'm Pastor Lloyd Bowley. I've passed here for 40 years in New Jersey and we've gone through many men struggling with pornography, all kinds of different addictions, and even as a young man I had my own struggle. What I like to pass on to guys is that the part of addiction that works when you know the physiology of it, is that you go through this shame and guilt after you stumble, and when you get through that you and then you fall again and creates this addictive cycle. So every three weeks, every two weeks, one week, whatever it might be, you're trying, you're hard, you're fighting the harder you're fighting, the harder you're feeling bad about it. It creates an addictive cycle. So one thing I found to break that is that the moment you please yourself, that moment, right then, except the Lord's forgiveness, except from His forgiveness, from now don't wait till you have to punish yourself for two or three weeks and then you'll go through that cycle, because that breaks that addictive cycle. That's why Christian men are more addicted to pornography than non-Christian men, because non-Christian men don't have the guilt and shame of it. To them it's just normal, it's just pleasing themselves and they don't think of it as not as addictive. To a Christian man. It's highly addictive because he goes through that process and if you find addictions, that's how it works, the highs and the lows. So, except God's forgiveness, the moment you stumble and you'll find, the next time the thing that will come to your mind is the love and the grace and the kindness of the Lord. You will not look at women's bodies, you'll be more consumed with their soul and that positive aspect won't get you into that addictive thing and you'll find that power being broken.

Speaker 4:

We've got a wonderful guest. We've got Seth Gruber, who's the CEO of the White Rose Coalition. Resistance, resistance and then also host of the podcast Unaborted Unaborted.

Speaker 8:

Yeah, love what you guys do. I use coming in eyes. I have for years and I've been part of men's purity groups and what I tell young men is I say you know, don't tell me that you want to defeat your sexual addiction, your pornography addiction. Don't tell me you're devoted to purity and honoring your wife, your marriage, your own purity and your accountability before the Lord if you're not willing to actually take measures to chop off your own hand. I'm using the big one. Yeah, love it. It causes you to stand to chop it off. It's not literal, but it's like you need to actually take significant steps to take this seriously, and we know the statistics right, you can assume if you're in a pulpit and you're looking out at a church on a Sunday morning, you can assume it might be. Anywhere from 50% of the men are looking at pornography on a weekly basis and I think stats from Barna I've shown that it's about the same in the pulpit. It might be upwards of 50% of pastors who are actively meeting regularly meeting probably weekly or more looking at pornography, and this is one of Satan's footholds, Absolutely. This goes back all the way I mean this goes back centuries and centuries. There's a phrase from Augustine's book the City of God. It's called libido dominandi, Libido dominandi. What it means is sexual liberation as political control, sexual liberation as political control. So obviously I care about purity. What you guys do, because this is this is actually adultery, it's actually form of adultery.

Speaker 10:

If you look at a woman with less in your heart, you've made adultery in your heart.

Speaker 8:

Who was it? Was it Job? Or who was? Who was bound, you know, to literally to bounce your eyes to not look so covenant?

Speaker 3:

with your eyes.

Speaker 8:

This is so much deeper and bigger than that for the high priest of humanism behind our culture of death. Sexual liberation, sexual freedom, sexual chaos has always been one of the linchpins of liberalism because, if you can sexualize people and debase them to their most animalistic appetites, right, feed me. Feed me. Gratification, masturbation it's the more animalistic side of man. So if you can get men and women to indulge those more sexual, animalistic appetites whenever they have them. They're easier to control Absolutely. And as a pro-life speaker who knows the history of a lot of this stuff, I got to tell you this was Margaret Sanger's plan. Yes, she was a kooky, crazy communist, sexual free love revolutionary. Yes, literally. I don't know if you guys know this, but Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, literally like told her granddaughter when she was a teenager. She said I've read her like books and her like leather searcher. Yeah, said I think, about three to five times a day for orgasms and sex is a good number. Like this is what, like the founder of Planned Parenthood was like telling her little granddaughter to just indulge every sexual appetite. And so she once said through sex mankind may attain that great spiritual illumination which will transform the world and light up the only path to an earthly paradise. End quote. That's from the founder of Planned Parenthood, the patron saint of feminism they call her. Yeah, and one of the more successful humanist sexual revolutionaries on the left yes, that's what she believed indulge every sexual appetite and this is why CS Lewis wrote his book the Abolition of man in 1945. He said and I think it was CS Lewis's favorite book actually was. The Abolition of man and he said, the head rules the belly through the chest. What did that mean? He said that the chest is the indispensable liaison officer between cerebral man and visceral man, for by his intellect he is mere spirit and by his appetite mere animal. I know, this sounds maybe a little heady for your listeners, but what?

Speaker 10:

we see is through the saying.

Speaker 8:

he's saying that the intellect, the rational, the thing that makes us different from animals, the rational man, the head rules the belly. The belly's the animal. Gratify me, food, ice cream, sex, video games. So the rational man rules the animal through the chest. So what's the chest? Virtue, honor and morality, character integrity so what are meant without chests? If you remove the chest but the head is supposed to rule the belly through the chest, then the head rules the belly with nothing to temper it in between. Remove virtue, honor and morality or a filter, and you can justify through your rational intellect whatever justifications you want to come up with to justify your more animalistic sexual urges. And this is what has destroyed the family in America. It's ruining marriages and it's ruining the innocence and purity of children, who the pornography industry has always had a particular interest in marketing towards. We know this. I just had Joshua Broome on my podcast, one of the top adult film stars from the early 2000s and now believer, pastor, preacher, evangelist. We've talked. We know that they market and advertise towards young people.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely.

Speaker 8:

Sexualize them. This has always been the plan Biblically. That is how you destroy civilization. Reminds me of the Balak strategy. That's what I call it the Balak strategy. If Covenant eyes haven't done this, you gotta take this, Okay. Okay, so you remember Balak. The king tells Balam to go curse Israel, but Balam says well, I can only say what God tells me to say, right. And so then he goes and blesses Israel every time right. And then remember the donkey right and the donkey talks. So Balak says go curse Israel. And then he keeps blessing him. So what does Balak eventually do when he realizes that he cannot defeat the Israelites militarily? He sends women down into Peor to sexualize the community so that Israel will play the harlot and when the curtains of history next open, Israel's been destroyed. What he couldn't accomplish militarily, he accomplished through moral corruption, by sexualizing a community. This has always been the point and today when you give this to your child for Christmas, you are giving them porn for Christmas. Do not give this to your children. If you need to use it as an adult, use Covenant eyes Amen. And if you really take your sexual addiction seriously, brother, if you're watching this, not only get Covenant Eyes, put your mother-in-law as the male accountability partner who will get your browsing history. Otherwise, don't tell me you take your addiction seriously if you're not willing to literally, metaphorically, cut off the hand.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 3:

You heard it On the Covenant Eyes Five Cards. Those are some bold tips. Is that enough? Yes, I love it. Well, thank you everybody for joining us for this quick segment. Thank you so much for being here Covenant.

Speaker 9:

Eyes. I appreciate it.

Speaker 3:

Thank you.

Speaker 9:

Hey, I've been using Covenant Eyes all the way through college up to now. It's generally it's overall helped my faith and my walk with Jesus, also into my marriage. Now I'm working with our church and most of our men. I'm always coming and dealing with men. They're talking about their struggle with pornography and addiction there. I'm always coming and thinking this is a struggle of theirs, but it has been a huge help. Most of our guys are now on Covenant Eyes. We use the Victory app where there's allies that we're checking in weekly. It's a part of our discipleship process and part of that whole formation of developing leaders. So really this is the resource that has helped us so much to me develop great leaders, especially men and women, especially to break the front of Covenant Eyes.

Speaker 10:

Yeah, so I went to a Christian Bible college and we had to put them on our computers, obviously, but it was just being 18 years old needing that. Accountability is really the word. It just adds such a level of accountability that it really changed probably my whole trajectory in life. And then having friends later on in life utilize it to get free from pornography addiction is just incredible, yeah.

Addressing Pornography in the Church
Breaking the Cycle of Addiction
Impact of Covenant Eyes on Faith