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Thursday, May 2, 2013
The national average for a young male's introduction to pornography is 9 years of age.
40% of parents surveyed report being greatly concerned about their teen's possible exposure to Internet pornography, exceeding concerns about potential depression, alcohol, cigarettes, drug abuse, and violence from the other teens.
A study of 30 adolescent sexual offenders showed 29 were first exposed to pornography by age 7. Deviant sexual fantasies began at age 9 (on average). 87% committed sexual offenses at 10 years of age.
A recent study reported 9 out of 10 young men and 1 out of 3 young women admit to using pornography.
The average onset for pornography addiction occurs within 2.5 weeks of regular usage.
Do you find these statistics disturbing? I do. Just 20 years ago these types of statistics were unheard of. Where will we be 20 years from now?
In recollection of my youth, it occurred to me that we (Generation X) had minimal exposure to mainstream pornography. As children, pornography encompassed the dirty magazines propped behind the counter at the drug store, out of arms reach and wrapped in plastic. As for pornographic videos, my friends and I could not have ventured an educated guess as to where one would procure such media. Point of fact, in order to obtain adult entertainment, one had to risk public exposure by braving the "naughty room" in the back of a video store. Us kids didn't dare step behind that curtain. Instead, we had to settle for the National Geographic centerfold and the women's underwear section of a JC Penny catalogue.
These mild and not-so-pornographic anecdotes may seem comical now, but the term "pornography addiction" didn't exist in our world. Nowadays it's an afterthought, a buzzword, a punchline.
We were weened on TV, a media controlled by the few and censored by the FCC. This generation (Millennial) has been weened on the Internet, a media controlled by the individual and censored by no one. It's a free-for-all of worldly expression, free speech, and sexual commendation with little parental control or fear of censure. If ever there existed the perfect soil for Satan to plant his seed and masterfully carry the world into hell, the Internet has won the blue ribbon. To be sure, it's the devil's playground.
The above opening statistics represent but a drop in the bucket of disturbing societal survey reports stemming from widespread Internet pornography abuse. Are you ready for the most mind blowing statistic of all? ... "40% of religious leaders polled admitted to finding nothing wrong with the recreational use of pornography."
I know what you're thinking... how is this possible? How can ANY ordained man or woman of God fail to see the lustful abuse of women perpetrated in pornography and deem it anything other than sinful? The Enemy holds great sway over this world, so much so, even God's own people grow blind to blatant perversion.
So, what do we do about this scourge?
To (mis)quote William Booth, "Why should the devil have all the good [media]?" Simply put, we must stop viewing the Internet as a self-serving mode of entertainment and begin viewing it as the ultimate means of evangelism. We must rip away that which Satan holds dear and apply it to our own arsenal.
A Missionary returning from a recent trip to Africa reported that even the most remote tribes in the country have cell phones. These people represent the poorest of the poor in our world. They have no electricity and no running water or plumbing, but they will walk for 2 days to charge their cell phones on a car battery in order to maintain Internet access.
What does this mean? It means we have instant access to the ENTIRE world at the click of a mouse button! If we, as Christians and Salvationists, fail to use such a gift for evangelistic purposes, we fall short of fulfilling the Great Commission of Christ - go into ALL the world and spread the Gospel.
Here's yet another disturbing fact: Baby Boomers and Gen Xers currently carry the torch, providing critical financial support for our great Army. In 20-30 years, we will be dead and dying off, at which point it will fall to the Millennials to pick up the torch and carry on. If The Salvation Army has failed to meet them at their point of need (online) and failed to reach them with the Gospel where they live and congregate (online), they will have no course or desire to support our movement. Our Army will be in big trouble.
When Willie Sutton, the prolific American bank robber, was asked why he robbed banks, he answered, "Because that's where the money is." The same can be said about our Founder, William Booth. In 19th Century England there was no Internet, TV, X-box, or modern distractions. In as such, the average citizens took to the street corner as a meeting place to drink, socialize, and occupy their time. General Booth recognized the need and created the "Church of the Open Air." He preached the Good News of Jesus Christ on the street corner because that's where the people were.
My friends, though I do not possess the gift of prophecy, I can plainly read the writing on the wall. To quote a grand ole tune, "We're all very grateful to the old folk, who started the Army on it's way. But the hope of the Army, yes the hope of the Army, is the young folk of today." We have two choices: We can stick to our patterned traditions and ignore the gathering place of our youth, whereby allowing Satan free reign over their hearts and minds (and likely spell doom for our mission), or we can pick up our armor, meet the Enemy head on, and deliver the Gospel directly to our young people on the digital street corner where they live and socialize.
At SAVN.tv, we strive to develop modern ways of reaching the unsaved amidst a highly distracted culture. We don't claim to have all the answers, but we're doing our best to forge new territory and deliver our message to a generation who lives, breathes, and socializes through the wireless networks. Satan has a strong foothold in the World Wide Web, but he does not have a monopoly. He can be defeated. Our young people can be saved, but we need you, our soldiers, to pick up your swords and fight the good fight. Won't you join us?