A church in south Alabama is taking action to stop the scourge of pornography by hosting a men's event called "Battle Plan" to speak frankly about what must be done to equip believers for victory.
What they're doing, pastor Ed Litton said, can be replicated in churches across the nation.
Litton has been pastor of First Baptist Church in North Mobile, Ala., for nearly 20 years, and in the past five years or so he has noticed what he calls a cultural avalanche.
"I'm certain other people are seeing it too, but as a pastor I'm watching marriages in my church be ravaged and destroyed. I'm watching men become less directional about their leadership role in the home and the church," Litton, a former president of the SBC Pastors' Conference, told Baptist Press.
"In counseling and trying to deal with these issues, we suspected that one of the major issues for men is pornography."
First Baptist North Mobile's effort coincides with the Join One Million Men anti-pornography initiative (www.join1millionmen.org) set forth at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in June. That movement, launched by pastor Jay Dennis at First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla., calls men to commit to sexual purity and to protect their families from the devastation caused by pornography.
Earlier this year, Litton read "Closing the Window" by Tim Chester, which Litton described as especially practical and honest among various books he had read on fighting pornography.
"The thing that I was most encouraged by with Tim's approach was that it wasn't a shame-based approach," Litton said. "One of the things I will say about the southern culture is that we are a shame and honor culture.
"I was in Japan last summer on a mission trip. That's a shame and honor culture, but I felt the whole time like I was in south Alabama in that sense," Litton said.
What he means by a shame and honor culture, Litton said, is that people refrain from talking about certain subjects openly and publicly, such as pornography.
"That was the driving motivation for us to say, 'We've got to stop this.' If we hope to turn this around, we're going to have to deal honestly and frankly with this subject and lift the lid on shame," Litton said.
"This is every man's challenge at some level. We've worked really hard to present a plan that isn't the broken struggler -- the guy who would identify himself that way. It's for everybody. Many of us are broken and many of us struggle.
"Our basic idea is that it's a frank conversation about porn and manhood and the ultimate beauty for which every man longs," Litton said.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Baptist Press