Sam Johnson [name changed], 41, a coach and educational assistant at Community High School, was arrested Thursday on sex abuse charges. He is charged with four counts of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sodomy that allegedly occurred with a girl 14 or 15 years old. The girl is a student.
We read these reports virtually every single day in our newspapers, right? Teachers, pastors, police officers, and on and on. This particular story is in today’s newspaper in my area and it involves sexual abuse of a child. But just about every domestic violence abuse victim I know says that their abuse also included sexual abuse. And guess what else they will tell you? Over and over I hear it. The guy was into pornography.
It has not been fashionable in our culture and political climate for a long time now to call for, get ready for a dirty word — “censoring”. We insist upon freedom of speech and that has come to mean just about anything goes. As a bit of an aside, back in about 1970 or so when I first began in police work, we could actually arrest someone for giving an obscene hand gesture in public. And we could arrest someone for disorderly conduct for using various four-letter words in public. But then, those were the old days when we were much more “primitive”. Over time, all of those statutes fell.
It should not take much common sense (now we should probably call it UN-common sense) to realize that if people, especially men, ingest into their minds a diet of graphic pornos, complete with all of its perversions and abuses of women — and now, of children — something really bad is probably going to happen. Such a man will begin to want the same things from his wife. And in this regard, I have learned something else. Men who are abusive and who become sexually abusive (often as a result of porn), also often become impotent apart from receiving more and more bizarre, abusive stimulation. I told you this is an ugly topic, but guess what. Probably most of our readers are right now saying, “that’s right. That is exactly what happens!”
Pornography must not be tolerated in a marriage. To the degree that a wife can do so safely, she needs to draw some very firm boundaries here. And those boundaries can even be “If you persist in this, I am going to leave you and ultimately divorce you.” After all, what is pornography if not adultery? Stern measures will be required. This one only comes out “by prayer and fasting” — i.e., “cutting off the right arm stuff” — (“no! no! not that!” “Yes!”)….the internet service and the television cable. “But how will we live! What shall we do!” Cell phones with internet will need to go. High accountability will need to be established. An abuse victim will soon see if her abuser is really serious about change or not. His marriage, or porn. Time to make the choice.
Because it won’t get better. Garbage in, worse garbage out. Count on it.
[March 16, 2023: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to March 16, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to March 16, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to March 16, 2023 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (March 16, 2023), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
Do you tell others about the sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse in marriage – what should a Christian wife do?
The Bible’s view on pre-marital sex – is the remedy always “get married”?
The unique nature of sexual abuse makes its abuse uniquely destructive
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
9 thoughts on “An Ugly Topic: Pornography as a Fuel for Abuse”
Thank you for this post. When first married, my husband thought sharing porn with me was alright. Who was I to argue? I was being submissive. (????) After a time, I told him I knew this wasn’t God’s way. I refused to watch or look at porn with him. Over the years, he came to realize pornography was not right, but he tried to make it my responsibility to keep him from it AND making more demands on ME sexually and saying it was my fault when he wasn’t satisfied! This is a hard subject, but one that needs to be addressed. I am so thankful for God’s healing in my life and pray each day that others will experience the amazing grace, faithfulness and freedom in Jesus!
Kay – yes, there it is. You lived it. Thank for sharing your experience. We are surrounded with this stuff now — every online device is a person’s own personal porn shop. Women should be angry — really angry about it. Ironic, isn’t it, that Hollywood, that claims to be so liberally minded and a champion of women’s rights and equality, is one of the chief producers of porn and other trash that fuels abuse!
As an extension of this topic, I do not understand why a “Christian” man’s love of pornography is necessarily projected onto women, particularly those who attend church. Surely, it is a problem for men, which they themselves have created.
If you could, I would be grateful if you could explain why churches require women to wear certain attire (e.g. skirts below the knees). Maybe it is a “Holiness Church” standard (I realise that you are Baptist?), but I do not understand it.
Well, I suppose I am going to be speculating a bit here. First, I know that there is Scripture that instructs the Christian to dress modestly:
Also see 1 Peter 3:3-5. The emphasis in these Scriptures is on inner beauty, not focusing on external appearance that is over-the-edge and designed to call attention to oneself. Of course any seductive dress or appearance would be covered by many verses in Proverbs. Every Christian is to flee from immorality. People today are intentionally dressing or undressing with the intent to not only attract attention, but to incite lust in others. You are right that much of this does originate in men — young women for instance are pressured to dress immodestly because “the guys like it”. In our day however it also seems like increasingly even women are taking the offense in these things. Pornography is male-driven primarily, but as I say, it really does seem that nowadays women are increasingly responsible for it too, but people more knowledgeable about culture and psychology can probably provide more insight here.
Churches making rules about how to dress — hmmm. Well, it is unfortunate that anyone in the church feels the need to have to draw up a specific dress code — skirt length, etc. That kind of thing could be about power and control, but it could also be initiated because of immoral manners of dress by church members. It seems to me that biblical teaching on modesty, coupled with individual instruction and admonishment to those who are sinning or ignorant about modesty is the best approach.
Let me tell you a personal story: I observed a church some years ago in which I noted that numbers of the women, both young and middle-aged, dressed notably immodestly. I was not imagining it, as my wife and daughter noticed the very same thing. It was strange because the church itself was extremely conservative in doctrine. The immodesty seemed totally out of place. Until, some time later, I learned that there were some abusive husbands in the church who were dictating to their wives how they were to dress. Thus the immodestly. A visitor might put the blame on those sneaky, seductive women out to make poor men fall into sin. It was quite the opposite. MANY readers of this blog will testify to the fact that their abuser husband pressured them to dress immodestly many times.
Part of the point which I was making — your personal pastoral testimony is much appreciated. My thanks for your prompt reply.
Yes, I realise that modest dress before God> is required; it did not seem that men as such figured into the equation! 😉
The pastor asked me what my grounds for divorce would be. I said, “adultery”.
He had been “counseling” with my husband since our separation, so he was surprised. He asked if this was something new?
I said, no, he’s addicted to pornography. He regularly looks at it, and then comes into the bedroom and rapes me. I believe he is pretending he is having sex with the women he has just been looking at. I asked if my husband had told him, in their “counseling”, that he was a porn addict. The pastor said that he hadn’t.
The pastor said, this is not adultery, and is not grounds for divorce.
Maybe it’s worth asking what marriage vows are supposed to mean, and what use counseling is if the pastor is not actually getting to the heart of the relationship.
A vow is supposedly a more serious form of a contract. So, let’s say I sell a car to a fellow church member who can’t afford to pay me upfront, but we agree on a contract that I pay him $200 a month for three years. After one year, this person decides that he can’t even afford $200 a month, so he stops paying.
If I’m a “good” Christian and I take our case before the Elders, would they say that I need to forgive the loan and give him the car? Or would they say that he failed to uphold the terms of the contract, and therefore the car is now mine?
Marriage vows are terms on a contract that is established by God. We can’t renegotiate the contract on our terms (although I know a couple that vowed, “so long as we both shall love”). If the pastor says that porn is not grounds for divorce, then he must also say that porn is not breaking marriage vows. This calls into question “degrees”. Jesus established that porn is adultery. If a pastor says that porn doesn’t constitute adultery enough to be grounds for divorce, then what is that line? I honestly think it’s the other way around. My wife and I have done many things to each other that have broken our marriage vows. In Christ, we can extend each other grace, but that doesn’t mean that our marriage wasn’t broken, and it doesn’t mean that we get a free pass because we’ve chosen to overlook some sin before.
I think it’s a good thing for a church to try and bring reconciliation and restoration, but I don’t think it’s okay for a church to flatly say, “no grounds for divorce”. The church wants, theoretically, to be part of the restoration of a groaning creation, but that cannot be forced through fear and violence. That’s, unfortunately what I see happening. The church wants to restore the marriage, but instead of working in the Spirit, the leaders use the threat of discipline to preserve a false peace, and instead of being part of the restoration of creation, they become an unwitting part of the destruction of creation.
Yeah. We have some posts about marriage vows.
Marriage Vows: What Are We Really Vowing to Do? (by one of our readers)
Marriage Vows: Should Herod have kept his oath?
Marriage, Vows, and Divorce
Pastor Jeff posted on pornography, citing his personal observations on the changes in attitude towards what is considered acceptable in clothing, language, and the various forms of media.
I, too, have watched how things considered pretty serious no-no’s in the not-so-distant past have become everyday fare. In the last year, I discovered I was only skimming the surface. Comparing information seen in recent, well-researched documentaries to the information presented in a university course documentary I took some years ago, I am beyond words appalled.
Pornography is so insidious. What was risque is now on mainstream media. And there are those who argue people can’t become desensitized.
From what I have seen, from what I have read on ACFJ, I beg to differ.