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10 May 2013

Dealing with porn in the pulpit

Dealing with porn in the pulpit

Churches can tend to shy away from topics such as pornography and sex but a Portsmouth church is seizing an opportunity to raise awareness and address the growing problem of porn.

In recent years internet pornography has become increasingly mainstream in society. It is estimated that the pornography industry is worth over £1 billion in the UK alone and that eight out of 10 men and six out of 10 women have viewed porn.

Portsmouth’s youngest pastors, Dan and Laura Harman (both 29) from City Life Church are seeking to deal with what has been labelled as "the elephant in the pews" by hosting Porn Sunday on 19 May.

Nathan Ferrera and Gerald Coates the co-authors of a new book called Sexual Healing: Identity, Sexuality & Calling, will be sharing their insights. Nathan Ferrera - an ex-porn addict - will share his story of how pornography drove him to the brink of despair and suicide before receiving some help and guidance.

Dan Harman, pastor of City Life said: “Porn is a massive and growing problem in society today and is more accessible than ever. The Church can either bury its head in the sand and pretend that this is not an issue (both inside and outside of the Church) or it can stand up and offer a help and support based on the non-judgemental love of Christ.

“Church should be a safe place where we can be real ab out struggles that we face. When we start to bring problems like this into the light, straight away it disempowers a lot of the shame, guilt and fear. Many will be affected by these issues or at least know people who struggle with porn and the Church can be a source of hope and help.”

During the service, prayers and practical advice will focus on those who struggle with porn and those who know people who struggle in this area. Donations raised on Porn Sunday will go toward A21, a charity that helps support children and young people caught up and exploited in the sex and porn industry.

Organisers hope that Porn Sunday will inspire other churches in the nation to follow suit and raise awareness and offer hope and healing through the non-judgmental love of Christ.

The Harmans have a young daughter and are expecting another. Laura said: “I’ve never personally been affected by pornography and I grew up in a time where it was only available in paper form, but now I am a mother I have a deep desire to protect my children and all who may be affected by it.”

Dan Harman is a pastor, husband, friend and father of two. He leads City Life Church in Portsmouth and explains why I'm tackling porn from the pulpit..