LINN, Mo. — “There
is an 800-pound gorilla in the church auditorium that most congregations seem
to be ignoring,” pastor David Krueger said.
“That gorilla is pornography.”
The Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) Christian Life Commission, with Krueger
as chairman, plans to tackle the problem head-on through two upcoming
“Last year when we were discussing our priorities for 2011, pornography and the
sexualizing of our culture was a top issue,” said Krueger, pastor of First
in Linn. “We committed ourselves and our resources to attempting to raise
awareness of the problem in our churches and to provide them with resources to
combat this scourge.”
Titled “Providing Moral Leadership in a Sexualized Culture,” the workshops will
train pastors, church staff, and congregations for helping people trapped in
the web of pornography. The first workshop will be Aug. 27 at Canaan Baptist
Church in St. Louis; the second, Sept. 17 at Sycamore Hills Baptist Church in
Independence, Mo. Each workshop runs from 8:30
a.m. through 12:30 p.m.
John Splinter, executive director of Pure
in St. Louis, will be the keynote
speaker. Attendees will be able to choose from eight different topics during
two break-out sessions.
“We’re targeting Missouri Baptists through our mailings, but the conference is
open to pastors, staff and church members of all faith groups,” Krueger said. “This
is not just a Baptist problem.”
The Internet has been a game-changer in porn delivery, Krueger stated. Previous
generations had to seek out illicit magazines or movies in retail stores, but
now hardcore content is available anytime free of charge to anyone with
“When you had to go into a drug store or video rental place to purchase porn,
that kept a lot of Christian men from yielding to the temptation because of the
public shame of being seen acquiring such material,” Krueger said. “But the
anonymity of the Internet has been too big a temptation for many Christian men
and women to resist.”
Among the findings Krueger cites from various surveys about the nation’s
- 12 percent of all web content is pornographic in nature.
- 35 percent of all Internet downloads contain pornographic material.
- Porn revenue is larger than the combined revenues of all professional
football, baseball and basketball franchises — $12 billion a year in the United
States and $57 billion worldwide.
- The largest consumers of Internet pornography are teenage boys age 12-17.
- 57 percent of pastors say addiction to pornography is the most sexually
damaging issue to their congregation.
- More than 50 percent of evangelical pastors admit to having viewed pornography
in the last year.
- 34 percent of readers of a Christian women’s online newsletter admitted to
intentionally accessing Internet porn.
Krueger said the workshops reflect the Christian Life Commission’s mission to
educate and to encourage Missouri Baptist churches to challenge their members
toward Christ-like living and the development of a biblical worldview in such
matters as family life and current moral issues.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Reported by The Pathway, newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist
Convention. For more information on the “Providing Moral Leadership in a
Sexualized Culture” workshops of Missouri Baptists’ Christian Life Commission,
visit “Christian Life Commission Workshop” at www.mobaptist.org/moral_issues
or email David Krueger at [email protected].)