Purposefully porn-free

Read Purposefully porn-free

The Archbishop's Taskforce for Resisting Pornography is preparing an information website for those in the Diocese and further afield who need tools to help support the rejection of porn.

“Many Christian leaders today are declaring that pornography is the single greatest issue confronting the church,” the Rev Marshall Ballantine-Jones (pictured) told members of Synod.

“After extensive research, both qualitative and quantitative, we are aware it is having an enormous impact within our Diocese. We are also aware there is a desperate hunger for resources and help. Parishes and schools want accessible, best practice tools for resisting and preventing pornography use, and so the resisting porn website is a response to that.”

Mr Ballantine-Jones, who is chairman of the task force, said research had shown that pornography is more widespread than ever before, and the church should pay attention to statistics from the general population as it seeks to deal with the harmful effects of pornography.

“The question we regularly receive during our work is, ‘Why does pornography need any special attention?’” he said. “Just recently, the British government released a report entitled ‘Basically… porn is everywhere’. Our own research tells us that the popular statistics found in the literature are not far from the mark when applied to our own Diocese.

Marshall Ballantine-Jones shows the Synod a mock-up of the new website“We know porn can alter desires and can affect self-control and compulsive behaviours. Studies have shown that the brains of long-term porn users behave similarly to those of drug addicts. There are also other effects, such as the way pornography can affect attitudes towards women for the worse, and can also increase riskier behaviours and acting out of negative behaviours – such as increasing incidences of adultery and earlier first-time sexual activity.

“It also goes without saying pornography is incompatible with God’s good purposes for the world.”

The resistingporn.org website will go live soon, with tailored information that supports the shunning of pornography. In addition to providing current research and statistics, the site will also function as a hub for counselling contacts if needed, and as a training tool for those looking to equip others.

“The important thing about the tone is that it is designed to be grace-filled,” Mr Ballantine-Jones said. “We don’t want to browbeat people, but we want it to be a way for people to access resources, counsellors and other tools that they might need. 

“In addition to information for couples and parents, we are also going to provide a section for Christian schools... that will include teacher training materials and curriculum reviews. In the end, this is a website for you, to support your ministries and your personal lives. We want you to have a life clear of pornography, and we want future generations to be porn-free.”

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