When a Porn Convention Comes to Town

Our Reclaimed ministry fights sex trafficking in a variety of ways. In light of this weekend's porn convention in Downtown Dallas, they offer this "letter."

Watermark Family,

As you may have seen in recent news or on billboards posted on our major highways, a porn convention has come to town. Starting on August 7th, an estimated 15,000+ attendees will descend upon the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center downtown to peruse the booths of porn vendors, producers, and performers at the 3-day event.

Our culture would have you believe that porn is harmless and inconsequential. Our peers think it’s perfectly acceptable and expected for everyone to be a porn user at various points in their life. But as followers of Jesus Christ, our gut (informed by the Holy Spirit!) tells us something different.

But how do we communicate to a watching and waiting world why we’d counsel them away from indulging in what the porn industry offers? Are we just being uptight and acting like out of touch grandparents? Or is there a reason we believe porn’s a problem?

Why Porn Impacts Everyone Involved

Luckily, our Watermark leadership has never been silent on the realities and harms associated with porn. From the truths of scripture, reaffirmed through science, we know that God uniquely designed sex to function as a bonding agent. When someone uses porn to reach the same climaxes that sex has to offer, that bonding agent is used outside of its design. Instead of the neurons in your brain bonding over and over to one committed-for-life spouse, the brain is trained to bond to different images ... or in other words, the brain becomes trained for variety. As porn is made increasingly more violent, the brain is impacted in the same way, desiring new thrills to remain engaged. (For a recent sermon discussing these facts, click here.)

In addition to this, we know the porn industry is not a safe place for the men and women who create content. Over and over again, the world will tell us that women are only in the porn industry because they want to be. We’re told they’re treated well, that they’re paid for their services, and that measures are taken to enforce health standards.

But our friends in (or coming out of) the porn industry have revealed something different, as have large-scale studies about their work.

Women (and men) in the porn industry often have a history of sexual abuse (one study says 90% were abused sexually) – which their experience in the porn industry just compounds. Usually pain from drug addiction adds to the list of scars – because drugs and alcohol are a natural escape when your days are filled with supposedly meaningless sex. Yet sex is never truly “meaningless” – God has designed sex to impact us deeply! – so these experiences leave a mark on the soul, whether these men and women originally realize it or not.

And while their smiles might try to tell you a different story, we have heard from enough women to know that many of them are abused, manipulated, drugged, and trafficked after getting involved in the porn industry.

We know these things aren’t part of everyone’s story. But these realities, experienced by so many in the industry, devastate us. It’s not only male and female porn users who are enslaved in their sexual addiction, but those involved in making the materials for consumption are also enslaved - in a life of pain. This industry is hurting those we love, and more than that, it’s hurting those GOD loves….while our culture is sitting idly by proclaiming it’s all okay.

Responding

So as the Church, we must do something. Here’s how you can help this weekend – and beyond – as we attempt to care for our city best.

1. Pray Boldly

That’s always number one, isn’t it? For good reason! Our prayers can do powerful things… because of the One listening to them. Join us in praying this weekend according to the prayer requests found here. Many local ministries have been praying for women and men involved in porn for years, and they are seeing individuals leave the industry!

2. Fight for Freedom

If porn is part of your story, one of the best ways you can help fight the porn industry this weekend is by committing to seek help. We know that men and women in the church struggle with porn too (some statistics suggest upwards of 50% of “church people” do). So it would be a mistake for us to point you towards a bunch of ways to speak out against a convention in our town without first inviting you into the freedom Christ has to offer you personally. Confess your struggle to a trusted member of your community and join us at re:generation to start working through the hurts, habits and hang-ups that have been caused by porn, sexual sin, or any sin that comes to mind as you read this.

3. Share the Truth

Don’t be discouraged when people don’t understand the harm of porn. The cultural current is a swift one, and many are caught up in it. But truth will always be truth, and it is our duty to share it. Part of the reason porn is now “normal” in our culture is that the harm it brings is rarely communicated.

We’ve created an infographic that quickly and concisely shares some stats on why we believe porn is a problem. Share this with anyone, including the friend that won’t watch a sermon or read a blog. (Find and download it below, or find the same facts at the prayer page.) And once their interest is piqued, invite them to understand further through the links on the infographic, or the sermon linked above.

4. Join Us for One Night or for the Fight

On Saturday night at 8pm, a number of our young adults will be gathering near the Convention Center to pray and worship our God and to remind who happen to stumble upon our worship event that they are loved deeply by God and His people. If your community agrees it's wise for you to be there, join us.

Or for some of you, the Lord is inviting you into more deeply investing in this particular issue. If you’d like to be a part of the fight against human trafficking and the ways our overtly sexualized culture contributes to it, join us at reclaimed431.org for more information on how you can serve.

Don’t be discouraged, Church. While the realities of the harms done by pornography are sobering to realize, our God is still bigger. He is DAILY freeing men and women from all kinds of slavery, and this weekend will be no different. We are excited to partner with you for the welfare of our city.

Your fellow watchmen at Reclaimed


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