Special Groups

We have sections you must join to use. You can see the full list here. Most you can join with a click. The medical and pastoral groups require approval.
Note, some groups were not accepting new members properly. That is fixed.

Is Porn An Addiction?

Addiction, fantasy, habitual masturbation ...
Forum rules
Post in this section can be seen by guests and search engines.
User avatar
SeekingPerspective
Single
Single
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:00 am
Contact:

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by SeekingPerspective »

Perhaps the problem isn't whether or not porn can be an addiction, but rather how we deal with addiction.

I have a loved one with an addiction. Calling it that helps us understand why it is a struggle for him to quit instead of just being an easy thing as it is for many others. It gives us insight into the challenges he faces. It gives us compassion for him when he falls, and it helps us know how to pray for him.

Calling it an addiction does NOT make us—or him—say that he shouldn't deal with it, nor does it remove the consequences of his use. If we were to avoid calling it addiction for fear that he might use that as an excuse, that makes it no less and no more of a problem for him.

If people claim that their addiction gives them permission to keep doing what they've been doing ("hey, man, I can't help it"), then let's deal with that. What we call it doesn't matter as much as encouraging people to do what they need to do to get past it.
PaulB wrote: But some see that as an excuse for taking years to deal with the sin.
First, people who want to avoid doing the work will use anything as an excuse. If it isn't the addiction label, it's going to be something else.

Second, while this quoted bit is true in some situations, there's a lot where I have to say "it depends."

Healing takes as much time as it takes. Someone may be seeking the right kinds of support and doing all the hard and painful work, and it may legitimately take them years before that sin is dealt with. Being convicted that what you're doing is sin doesn't necessarily remove the temptations that our crafty enemy has placed right in front of us. Dealing with a pornography addiction/problem/habit/whatever may take years of hard work and lots of sweat and tears.

To me, that is quite different from someone who uses "I have an addiction" as an excuse to take years to get around to even starting the work.

I've seen studies that show how porn is an addiction, and I've seen studies that say that it isn't. I honestly don't care. Whether it's a sinful addiction or "just" a sin, some people have a much harder—and longer—time than others in dealing with it. In that case, chances are that the individual has some deep wounds that need healing, and our energy would be better spent supporting that healing than in worrying about what it's called.

/rant
Long-time sexual avoider transformed into sexual intimacy writer and speaker. God DOES perform miracles!
User avatar
SeekingChange
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4612
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:45 pm
Location: All I know is I'm not home yet

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by SeekingChange »

Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:17 pm Do you honestly believe that changing what word we use to describe it is able to add to or subtract from the conviction. Do you believe you can convict yourself to change? Can one spouse convict another to change.
I am not speaking for PaulB, but for myself, I absolutely believe the words we claim and speak indicate how we think and what is in our hearts, which will affect our behavior. We are to be being transformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom. 12:2). Death and life are in the power of our tongue (Prov. 18:21). And, we are to be taking every thought (which would include speech) captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

I am not sure I can explain this adequately, but I believe there's an identity issue at play. This may be something some won't get unless they've experienced it, but in our church we have had to deal with people with a "sinner" mentality (and it's often been around addictions). "I'm a sinner.... saved by grace." Which is true, but the mentality stays in the identity of being a "sinner" or "addict", it's almost a defeated attitude (or justification), rather than taking on the identity of the saint Scripture says they are and taking ahold of the victory we are promised. Who does God say I am, or you are, in Christ? I am pretty sure we aren't referred to or seen as sinners when we are IN Christ and He IN us.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
Doug
King bed
King bed
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:00 am

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by Doug »

No argument from me. That is all true. But how do you reconcile that with Pauls words, within the context of this discussion.
Romans 7:
18. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
19. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing.
User avatar
SeekingChange
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4612
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:45 pm
Location: All I know is I'm not home yet

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by SeekingChange »

Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:10 pm No argument from me. That is all true. But how do you reconcile that with Pauls words, within the context of this discussion.
Romans 7:
18. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
19. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing.
I wanted to link this but couldn't see a way since it was shared with me on FB, but here's a perspective on reconciling it:
THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING ROMANS 5-8

These four chapters, wow. If one can get a grasp on the truths the apostle Paul presents in this quartet of chapters, the puzzle pieces for the whole Bible will start to fit.

I bet I’ve read these chapters hundreds of times. In my 20s, I memorized the entire 6th chapter, but had not one clue what Paul was talking about.

Over time, and with a continual reliance on the Holy Spirit, the fog began to clear a fair amount.

The key is not reading the chapters from the mindset of good and bad deeds. The key is reading from the mindset of seeing contrasts in WHO a person is, not WHAT a person does.

Any reference to what a person does in these chapters (mainly ch 7) is described from the standpoint of who that person is. In other words, what a person DOES occurs because of who a person IS.


Huh??

Let me explain....

Each of these chapters contrasts two sets of people. EVERY person who has ever lived falls into one of these two sets of people.

With that in mind, here is a basic framework of each chapter and the contrasts Paul uses to describe each of the two sets of people.

ROM 5- Paul goes into great detail describing the two sets: those IN ADAM vs those IN CHRIST.

All persons are born in Adam due to Adam’s original sin, which he passed on to all persons due to no bad thing we had done. We are ALL born with Adam’s spiritual DNA- dead spiritually, separated from the life of God.

Likewise, those who are in Christ are also there due to no good thing we have done; only by the grace of God through faith. Those in Him are reborn with Christ’s spiritual DNA- alive spiritually, filled with the life of God present in us.

ROM 6- The contrast Paul describes in this chapter is between being IN SIN vs being IN RIGHTEOUSNESS. Those in Adam are in sin by birth. Those in Christ are in righteousness by rebirth. This also has nothing to do with anything we have done.

Someone in Christ can NOT be in sin. Someone in Adam can NOT be in righteousness. If we read these chapters from a behavior mindset, we will not understand what is being said.

Most people read the word “sin” and automatically think of “sinning.” That is not the case! Paul does mention sinning in verse 15 however.

ROM 7- This chapter contrasts LAW vs GRACE. Those in Adam are under the Law. Those in Christ are under grace. Again, these locations only come by birth, not works.

A person in Adam can never be under grace. Grace is a gift of God only to those who believe in Jesus. Anyone in Adam has not believed in Jesus.

Likewise, anyone in Christ can never be under the Law. A person in Christ can place themselves under the Law in their mind (and often do) but that doesn’t change the fact that they are under grace and stand in grace from God’s perspective, always. Someone who does this, though, is committing spiritual adultery against Jesus (v3), their husband, by going back to trying to obey their former husband, the Law.

Starting in verse 7 and going through the end of the chapter, Paul describes his life of being under the law. It’s a mess.

The great debate is whether Paul is describing his life before or after salvation. Personally, I believe he is describing his life before salvation. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. What Paul describes is the life of anyone who tries to live in obedience to a set of rules or laws.

ROM 8- The final contrast is between those IN THE FLESH vs those IN THE SPIRIT. Those in the flesh are in Adam. Those in the Spirit are in Christ. Again, by birth.

To be in the flesh is not referring to our physical bodies. It is a life lived on the basis of the senses- what we can see, hear and feel. It is getting by in the world apart from God. To be in the Spirit means that God Himself lives in you. Only believers are in the Spirit.

A believer can never be in the flesh. A believer can walk ACCORDING to the flesh but will never be IN the flesh. Someone in Adam can never be IN the Spirit and can never walk according to the Spirit because the Holy Spirit does not live in an unbeliever in Adam.

‘IN’ is HUGE in these chapters. The word “in” describes WHERE a person is, not WHAT a person does.

So to summarize, there are only two kinds of people:

IN ADAM (ch 5)- In sin (6), under the Law (7), in the flesh (8).

IN CHRIST (ch 5)- In righteousness (6), under grace (7), in the Spirit (8).

What determines whether you are in Adam or in Christ?

Everyone is born into this world in Adam and will stay in Adam unless they believe in Jesus at some point before they die. Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again to offer His Eternal Life as a free gift to anyone who believes in Him.

You either believe in Him or you don’t. Those who don’t will remain in Adam, in sin, under the law, in the flesh, dead spiritually. Those who do will be reborn in Christ, a new creation, in righteousness, under grace and in the Spirit, alive spiritually forever.

So, when reading Romans 5-8, do not see behavior when reading these chapters. See position, where a person is. This is the key that unlocks these crucial chapters.
By David Moss
emphasis mine
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
Doug
King bed
King bed
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:00 am

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by Doug »

I am nowhere near knowledgeable enough to refute that. I don't agree entirely with that interpretation, because Paul specifically talks about the act of sin (I do that which I do not want to), as well as talking about being in sin.

Assuming that I agree with that entirely, that speaks to ones identity (addict) as opposed to ones sin. Personally, I find the term addict to be demeaning, particularly when applied by a Christian to himself. It re-labels whom the Bible claims we are.

But, you can have addiction without having addicts. You can have a sin problem without identifying yourself by your sin. Addiction is a medical term. Addict is a social construct.

You absolutely can and should separate the sin from the identity.
LBD
On the floor
On the floor
Posts: 1503
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:00 am
Location: Heart of Dixie

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by LBD »

Apostle Paul labeled himself “chief of sinners”.
Paul didn’t know anything about DNA.
Why did Jesus say that “unless you become as one of these (referring to the little children and their inherent innocence) you will not inherit the kingdom of God?” if we are born with sin? Total depravity is a false doctrine.
It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance. -Thomas Sowell
::dog
User avatar
PaulB
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 713
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:53 pm
Location: Eastern Washington
Contact:

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by PaulB »

LBD wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:48 pm
PaulB wrote: I don't expect it to be as "easy" for everyone as it was for me. But I have a hard time with someone who literally thinks they can not.

I have been at the place where I thought I had no power over it. I would humbly suggest when you encounter someone who feels that way, to issue as much grace as you can and help them find a way to see things differently.
I have, more than once.
And in that situation, I have no desire to argue about it being an addiction or not. But what I have noticed is those who call it that are far slower to get free, if they get free at all. I've not done it enough for that to be anything more than anecdotal, but it's what I have seen.
My feeling is that believing it to be an addiction limits expectations in a crippling way.
Happily married for 36 years and living the good life near two of our grandsons!

Marriage and Sex Educator & Blogger
The Generous HusbandThe XY Code
User avatar
PaulB
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 713
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:53 pm
Location: Eastern Washington
Contact:

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by PaulB »

Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:17 pm I still don't understand why you believe it has to be an "either/or" scenario. Taking the word addiction out of the equation really doesn't change anything. Anyone who will use that to excuse their bad behavior is not going to be swayed.
Sure. But what if they believe that because they have been told it? And what if that changes how they see things? It makes it seem harder to get free because our perception has a great deal of power. If you expect to struggle and fall back a number of times, you will. If you are told it's possible to just walk away, then that is at least an option in your mind. Of course, the danger is making it out like everyone can and will do that first try, because then those who don't will fall into condemnation and just give up.
Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:17 pm People really don't need an excuse to do wrong. It is as natural as breathing. Removing a word doesn't change that. I was loath to describe myself as an addict when I was using. Nobody could have convinced me that I was one, and it would be a pretty unpleasant conversation for all involved if you tried to tell me I was an addict.
I get that.
Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:17 pmDo you honestly believe that changing what word we use to describe it is able to add to or subtract from the conviction.
It changes how you see yourself, and that has a great deal of power. It's like someone who has been abused seeing themselves as a survived rather than a victim. Plug people who have been abused into either a group that sees them as victims or as survivors and those in the second group will, on the whole, do much better. I would expect the same from how porn users see themselves.
Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:17 pm Do you believe you can convict yourself to change?
No. But how you label yourself does change how you see yourself and the problem, and that has got to make a differenct
Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:17 pmCan one spouse convict another to change.
That never ends well!
Doug wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:17 pm
I really do understand where you are coming from...
Do you now? Not do you agree, do you understand why I think it matters?
Happily married for 36 years and living the good life near two of our grandsons!

Marriage and Sex Educator & Blogger
The Generous HusbandThe XY Code
User avatar
PaulB
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 713
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:53 pm
Location: Eastern Washington
Contact:

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by PaulB »

SeekingPerspective wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:42 pmIf people claim that their addiction gives them permission to keep doing what they've been doing...
Rather than permission (and yes, that was my word) how about expectation?

We understand that addiction is a very difficult thing. We expect change to take time, and we expect there to be falling back.

But if something is NOT an addiction and we call it that, then we put all of that on it when it's not valid.

People tend to see and do what they expect. And while those things may happen with those trying to escape porn, I don't think it's as universal as it is for something that is a true addiction. And suggesting to people they will probably struggle seems to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Happily married for 36 years and living the good life near two of our grandsons!

Marriage and Sex Educator & Blogger
The Generous HusbandThe XY Code
User avatar
PaulB
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 713
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:53 pm
Location: Eastern Washington
Contact:

Re: Is Porn An Addiction?

Post by PaulB »

SeekingChange wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:47 pmI am not sure I can explain this adequately, but I believe there's an identity issue at play.
Exactly!

And this is why I started this thread. I wanted to get a better handle on this so I could voice it better. Many thanks to all who have helped me do that.
Happily married for 36 years and living the good life near two of our grandsons!

Marriage and Sex Educator & Blogger
The Generous HusbandThe XY Code
Post Reply

Return to “Pornography / Erotica”