Driving through Wisconsin on vacation, a Leadership staff member passed a huge sign in the middle of the bucolic countryside. "Naughty Things for Nice People," it proclaimed, and as if to prove it, a gigantic cuddly bear peered out from beside the words "Adult Novelties."

"What's that mean, Dad?" came the question from the 10-year-old boy in the back of the station wagon. "Yeah," piped up the siblings, "what's that all about, Dad?"

Such questions abound these days, as media penetrate our homes and station wagons with not just sleazy sex but carefully packaged titillations. One report has it that a recent convention of youth pastors prompted the most rentals of adult movies in the hotel's history. More than 80 percent of all customers signing up for cable TV opt for the erotic films. The availability—the near-ubiquity—of so much sexual enticement, the constant barrage of innuendoes, and the nonstop polemic for indulgence inevitably attracts.

Many rationales tempt the mind of the Christian leader: "I have to know what's going on. Voyeurism is better than adultery. I need moderation—total deprivation isn't necessary."

Admittedly, there are no easy answers. We cannot shut off either our brains or our glands. But consider the following chapters by individuals in full-time ministry. The chapters are blunt. But we felt it important to be just this blunt and realistic. Sexual temptations in many forms have always lured Christians, but today's opportunities and climate make this article especially relevant to all of us.

Chapter 1, "The War Within," is written by a Christian leader who prefers to remain anonymous so he can speak more personally and with more candor. This chapter was originally published as an article in ...

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Lust  |  Pornography  |  Sex  |  Spiritual Warfare  |  Temptation
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