A Sand Springs church gathered its community together Sunday evening to educate them about pornography addiction.
The Church that Matters had a pastor with XXXChurch out of Pasadena, CA speak with the men at the Minuteman Pizza Parlor in their community about porn addiction’s devastating effects on family life.
“It was hard to admit at first, that I am a former porn addict,” said Pastor Ben Sledge. “The first step is realizing you are powerless over your addiction.”
Sledge talked with the more than 50 people about his porn addiction. He is 31-years-old and it started when he was 18-years-old. Then he enlisted in the United States Army.
“In the army porn was everywhere,” said Sledge. “It was actually encouraged. It got weird. We were sharing porn and watching it together.”
Here is a bio of Sledge from the Church That Matters’ website:
During his time in the United States Army Special Operations Command he saw action in both Afghanistan and Iraq and is the recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and two Army Commendation Medals for his actions while overseas. It was during his time in the military that he went from occasional porn user to full-blown addict, viewing it an upwards of 5 to 7 times an evening. After his last deployment and a failed marriage, Ben found himself sleeping on his friend’s couch and battling his addictions to alcohol, porn, women, and suffering from PTSD. Desperate to cure his depression, his atheist friend took him to a church called Gateway in Austin, TX where he found Jesus, life, counseling, and a group of men that took an uncanny interest in loving him. Today he is the college pastor and campus pastor for Gateway Church in Central Austin as well as an avid graphic designer and creative.
Reports show 80 percent of men look at pornography weekly or biweekly. Pornographic sites are visited three times more than major search engines like, Google, MSN and Yahoo. One in six women struggle with porn addiction too.
“MRI research shows that exposing a young person’s developing brain to pornography rewires neural connections to create a lasting addiction to pleasure-inducing brain chemicals and can create a chemical addiction in the same way cocaine does,” said Sledge. “According to the research, when you look at porn the images are not only linked in the brain to feelings of lust, but to other responses you might be feeling such as anxiety or shame. As an addiction forms, lust becomes permanently linked with the more negative emotions.”
Sledge also told FOX23 News the women in porn videos are generally trafficked.
“Trafficked women are on average 13-years-old,” said Sledge. “That means you are watching child pornography and most men don’t even know that.”
Sledge’s goal and the Church That Matter’s goal is to create awareness that porn addiction is a real problem and the first step is to admit it.