Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us
Current_issue
Subscribe
Spanish
Daily_Boost
Previous_issues
Key_Bearers
Weekly_drawing
Conversations
Guard_your_heart
Bible_reading_guide
ABCs_of_salvation
Questions_Answers
Who_we_are
Staff
speakers
PE_Books
Contact_us
Links
Home

2009 Conversations


2008 Conversations


2007 Conversations


2006 Conversations


2005 Conversations


Benji creator Joe Camp: Moral movies, personal cost (12/26/04)

Gloria Gaither: A Gaither family Christmas(12/19/04)

Allyson Feliz: Olympic medalist  shares passion for following Christ (12/12/04)

Dan Dean: Walking by faith (11/28/04)

J. Don George: Every church can touch the poor (11/21/04)

Brock Gill: Jesus is no illusion (11/14/04)

Ted Dekker: Good, evil and the battle for souls (10/31/04)

Bob Kilpatrick: CCM: Growing and changing (10/17/04)

Eugene H. Peterson: Man with a message (10/10/04)

Caz McCaslin: Fixing kids sports (9/26/04)

Jerry B. Jenkins: A novel approach to evangelism (9/19/04)

Natalie Grant: Living the dream (9/12/04)

Sharon Ellard: A life-changing education (8/29/04)

Steven Curtis Chapman: All things new (8/22/04)

Jim Ryun: Running to Jesus (8/15/04)

George Barna: Today’s church: By the numbers (8/8/04)

Randy Singer: Made to count (7/25/04)

Holly McClure: Morality and the media (7/18/04)

Don Miller and Richard Flory:Taking the Church to today's culture (7/11/04)

Cecil Richardson: Pastoring the Air Force’s 'Pastors' (6/27/04)

Barry Meguiar: Driven by faith (6/20/04)

Thomas E. Trask: Concerned for America (6/13/04)

Dr. David Yonggi Cho: The work of the Holy Spirit (5/30/04)

Tom Greene: High school: A great mission field (5/16/04)

Jennifer Rothschild: Walk by faith, not by sight (5/9/04)

Chaplain Alex Taylor: Forgiveness and restoration (4/25/04)

Joshua Harris: Not even a hint (4/18/04)

Nicky Cruz: Changing America (4/11/04)

Jason Schmidt: Lessons learned on life’s field (3/28/04)

Scott Temple: One church, many colors (3/21/04)

Michael W. Smith: Called to worship (3/14/04)

Representative Jo Ann Davis: Christians in politics (2/29/04)

Darlene Zschech: Sing, shout … just shout the praise the Lord (2/22/04)

Surgeon James W Long: For your heart’s sake, get fit (2/15/04)

Jerry R. Kirk: Battling pornography (2/8/04)

Dr Michael Ferris: A choice to heal (1/18/04)

Chaplain Al Worthley: Outside the four walls of the church (1/11/04)


2003 Conversations


2002 Conversations


2001 Conversations

Battling pornography

Since 1983, Jerry R. Kirk, founder of the Cincinnati-based National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families, has led efforts against child pornography, adult obscenity and sexual exploitation. NCPCF is an alliance of representatives from businesses, foundations, citizen-action groups and faith groups working to educate the public about the effects of pornography and the sexualized messages of the culture. At 72, Kirk, an ordained Presbyterian minister, still works full time for the organization. He recently spoke with Evangel News Editor John W. Kennedy.

PE: By some estimates, pornography has grown to a $10 billion-a-year business in this country. Is there any way to stop it or at least slow it down?

KIRK: It’s actually grown to $10 billion to $15 billion in America and close to $50 billion worldwide. Because I believe in a sovereign God and a victorious, risen Savior, I believe there is a way to slow it down. There is not a way to stop it because of the sinful nature of man and how deeply pornography appeals to something inside of people. But the power of the Holy Spirit can touch individuals and lead them to have passion for sexual purity. We know of victories in marriages and congregations. But we think we can win a whole lot more.

PE: Local citizens in Cincinnati have effectively limited pornography, both on cable TV and in video stores.

KIRK: Cincinnati has done far more than that. Since 1983, the Cincinnati coalition has closed down all adult bookstores, X-rated theaters, X-rated videos and escort services in 16 of 17 counties. The coalition is still the strongest in the nation and 95 percent of “soft-core” pornography has been eliminated.

PE: Is it simply a matter of a community’s will to make this happen?

KIRK: People are dependent on community standards, but during the [previous] administration [in Washington] there was almost no prosecution of obscenity. Subsequently there has been a desensitization of the population that has made the prosecution of pornography much more difficult. But coalitions are emerging and growing in places like Salt Lake City, San Diego, Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Long Island. If they will commit themselves to sexual purity and help build a broad-based, diverse coalition, they can still win in many, many areas.

PE: In recent years has the federal government stepped up its fight against pornography?

KIRK: Yes, we’ve been working with the director of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (in the Department of Justice) and we’ve met with the attorney general. They are committed to tackling this problem. It takes 18 to 24 months to build a case — gathering the information, bringing it before a grand jury, and then making an indictment. They’re working on indictments in various parts of the country now. The pornography industry is clearly aware of their efforts and has pulled back in significant ways.

PE: What are the dangers to society and the church if pornography is ignored?

KIRK: The addictive nature is the first danger, to laypeople and pastors. Teenagers are among the largest consumers because of the availability of pornography on the Internet. It’s not just pornography that has desensitized our population. Consider the false messages of pornography — sex any time with anyone in any way you want and it has no negative results; women only have value from the neck down to satisfy the sexual desires of men; marriage and children are the enemies of good sex; all relationships are sexual. All these messages are now promoted every night on regular television, on cable and satellite programs, in the majority of movies, in a massive amount of music lyrics and in a lot of mainstream magazines. This desensitization has led to the sexualizing of America. We believe this is Satan’s primary strategy to destroy the family, and to undermine people’s passion for the gospel, evangelism, worship, the study of Scripture and prayer. It is absolutely critical that the body of Christ rise up and commit itself to sexual purity.

PE: How has the First Amendment and the right to privacy been used to license pornography?

KIRK: The First Amendment has never protected adult obscenity, child pornography or material harmful to minors. They are all still illegal. It’s a smokescreen to say this material is protected speech. The laws are on our side, but they aren’t being enforced in many venues. They won’t be enforced unless citizens rise up and join together and reasonably, but passionately, communicate to their elected officials that they want the laws enforced and strengthened.

PE: How are children being robbed of innocence in a culture awash in inappropriate sexual images?

KIRK: The average youth of America sees 14,000 sexual images a year, and less than 2 percent have anything to do with abstinence, self-discipline or sexually transmitted diseases. In the Cold War the communists taught us that if you tell a lie often enough and passionately enough, people will believe it. Non-Christian kids and Christian kids alike are being brainwashed.

PE: What can churches do to combat pornography?

KIRK: We have materials at the National Coalition that help a pastor know how to lead a congregation to make sexual purity a priority for the whole church. We have developed materials that help parents talk to their teenagers about sex. Christian young people need help. How often do they hear from the pulpit or from their Sunday school teacher or their youth leader about the importance of sexual purity in such a way that engages them openly and honestly about what they think? The materials are available through our Web site: www.nationalcoalition.org and www.filterreview.com.

PE: You’ve been in this fight a long time.

KIRK: I was first exposed to what pornography does to people as a pastor. I counseled men who were having affairs, women who had been molested as girls but never told anybody, and teenagers who had been raped or who had sexually transmitted diseases. Indignation rose up in me and I couldn’t believe the degradation of these pornographers and the way they were using sex as a means of seducing and destroying lives. I had to do something about it and looked for the people of God with whom I could partner in battle.

E-mail your comments to pe@ag.org.

E-mail this page to a friend.
©1999-2009 General Council of the Assemblies of God