At Running Light Ministries we desire to stay clear of the label of sex addiction. We have blogged and done Podcast on this issue on many occasions and I imagine we will do more in the future, Lord willing. We are not opposed to its general use, but we try our best to not overuse this term which has become quite popular in our media and Christian recovery climate regarding sex & pornography.
Here are reasons why we believe the way we do.
- We believe that heroine, cocaine, alcohol and other chemical dependencies are different from unwanted sexual desires. When someone is labeled a sex addict, we are not saying that we never want them to have sex, but we want them to have sex a certain way within a Biblical framework. The equating of sexual desire or visual sexual stimulus with substance abuse is confusing and logically problematic.
- The Bible speaks of sexual sin, iniquity and transgression. So we like to use those terms. We are not psychologist.
- Addiction models create the same problems which started the problem. To call someone a porn addict or sex addict can create the feeling of shame, guilt, frustration, fear, & stress that lead them into the decisions they have made.
- Religious people tend to self diagnose themself a sex/porn addict due to the conflict with actions not fitting there belief.
- Society’s use of sex addiction is constant when there is no understanding of a baseline of what constitutes healthy/good/proper sex. This again is confusing.
- Your identity is in Christ. You have the ability to say No! And under the right circumstances we all do and will!
- The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, so we desire to understand the Gospel better in our groups. This is why we lay a heavy emphasis on our time in the Bible.
- Calling someone a sex addict oversimplifies the issues in a persons life that cause them to act out. Dissatisfaction with ones life, resentments, anger, fear can lead one to states of depression and unhealthy decisions. Underlying stress too leads to ways of acting out. Others simply enjoy sex & sensuality. There are many reasons why a person does what they do. The Sex Addiction label can bread a fear to talk and work through these complicated issues.
- Calling someone a sex addict minimizes the Bible’s teachings on the infectious nature of sin. This creates a separation between other sins and sexual sins, which in turn leads to blame, judgement, shame and feelings of separation from “normal” people.
- Sex addiction tends to place blame on the lustful culture or our biological inability to make healthy decisions instead of on our misplaced worship.
- We do not subscribe to your brain on porn. It is again confusing due to the differing studies available on the subject, and what is defined as pornography. The teaching that you are incapable of making right decisions due to your VSS (Visual Sexual Stimulation) undermines the teaching that we can make decisions. This is confusing.
- Calling a spouse a sex addict can create shame, undermining the Bible’s teachings of how to respond to the sinful actions of another.
- When we call someone a porn addict, we are not meaning that looking at sex is wrong. We are saying that looking at the wrong people having sex in the wrong contexts is not glorifying to God and therefore wrong. Using the term porn addict is an oversimplifying term.
- The Bible does not call those that sinned repeatedly in sexual matters sex addicts. They are identified as people of faith.
- Addiction models and it’s accompanied psychological concepts can change over time within society (i.e. LGBTQ & masturbation were once thought of as addictions and/or a disorder, but is no longer). We would rather focus on the clear instruction from the Bible as our guide in helping others.
- Using the term addiction distracts from conversations on sexual desire, wants or wishes which are needed in a relational context.
- 2nd Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
“The great tragedy is not mainly masturbation or fornication or acting like a peeping Tom (or curious Cathy) on the internet. The tragedy is that Satan uses the guilt of these failures to strip you of every radical dream you ever had, or might have, and in its place give you a happy, safe, secure, American life of superficial pleasures until you die in your lakeside rocking chair, wrinkled and useless, leaving a big fat inheritance to your middle-aged children to confirm them in their worldliness. That’s the main tragedy.”
Pastor John Piper