A church in Steinbach, Manitoba decided it was time to stand up and fight back against sexual sin. In response, the equivalent of nine per cent of that city's population took part in a life-changing program.
Pastor Ray Yoder is the Freedom House Pastor at Southland Church in Steinbach. He says that as the church began to go through a sermon series on sexual sin conversations began to pop up in the church and they realized they needed to do something more than simply talking about it.
That's when they decided to start a small group multi-week series called "Conquer." Over 1,400 men signed up, in a city of just over 15,000 people.
Southland also runs a program for women dealing with pornography as well. Yoder says that it's not just men who struggle, and many women have found freedom from another program they started running there.
That pornography is not a problem within the Church is what Yoder says is a "happy delusion." He listed off the following stats which are from the United States. However, he points out, the numbers are very likely to be similar in Canada.
- 47% of families reported that pornography is a problem in their home
- Use increases infidelity by over 300%
- Out of Christian young adult men aged 18-24 76% actively search for pornography
- 33% of Women aged 25 and under search for pornography at least once a month
- 68% of church-going men use porn on a regular basis
- And over 50% of pastors use porn on a regular basis
Yoder says the response has been overwhelming, but would not have been possible if the church had not created a culture of confession and repentance first.
"These are topics that lots of Christians have questions about," Yoder said "but who's talking about it? We have to have biblical, reasonable answers for people that are interacting with culture. Everyone else is telling us something out there. If we don't have a gospel answer, what can we do other than get watered down and washed out?"