Wednesday, August 20, 2008

PORNOGRAPHY IN THE CHURCH PART 2

This is the second post in the series Pornography in the Church. I want to have some discussion on the question "What measures should be taken to protect church computers from internet pornography?"

The church I grew up in was recently shocked to find hardcore pornography on a pastor's computer. The rest of the pastors took immediate action to ensure that the computers are protected. What the church did should be a role model for other churches, even those that feel safe. The following is part of a Statement of Accountability that was signed by the pastors. It was adapted from a statement issued by the staff of First Baptist Church in Paducah, Kentucky.

"News of moral failure among ministers of the gospel is sad and alarming. But we know ourselves well enough to know that moral failure could happen to any one of us if we are not careful and diligent in our pursuit of purity. With the apostle Paul we readily admit 'For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh' (Romans 7:18). We know that the passions of the flesh wage ware against our souls (1 Peter 2:11). Because our flesh is weak, we recognize our dire need for accountability in every area of our lives - but especially in the area of sexual temptation.

Thus for the sake of the church, for the sake of the gospel, and for the sake of our families and ministries, we desire to maintain the highest levels of sexual accountability. We recognize the serious dangers of sexual immorality, and therefore we strive to protect ourselves from sexual temptation in every possible way. We cannot, an we will not, sit idly by and let such temptations seize us. We will be proactive in our efforts and dogged in our determination to uphold the integrity called for by our sacred office.

In order to ensure accountability as we pursue integrity, we have set forth the following preventive measures:
  1. Windows are installed in the doors of all offices

  2. Counseling with females and children will preferably be done with another person present. When that is not feasible, counseling with females and children will only be done in a church office, during office hours, and when others are present in the office area.

  3. Each pastor's internet activity is now being tracked by Covenant Eyes which delivers a report detailing internet usage to the minister's spouse and two other pastors who serve as accountability partners.

  4. An internet filter, Ethershield, designed t block inappropriate internet content has been placed on the church's server which restricts such content on all computers in the church.

  5. An internet filter, Safe Eyes, has been placed on computers in the home of every minister.

  6. Ministers will regularly pray for and with one another regarding sexual purity."

The statement is signed by all of the church pastors.

This is a great statement, and the actions taken are very appropriate. The lures of internet pornography are ease and privacy. Protecting church computers may not be enough. Monitoring personal computers is another critical step.

What do you think? Does monitoring church staff members personal internet usage display a lack of trust or does it communicate that pornography in the church is a serious issue? Should all churches adopt such a policy?

2 Comments:

  1. John said...
    Yes, all churches should have such a policy in order to take accountability seriously.
    Luke said...
    It is so good to hear when churches take integrity seriously.

    I'd love to let this church know more about the Covenant Eyes filter (in addition to the accountability program). It will probably save them money and more thoroughly monitor and filter their office and home computers. The filter is designed to work with the accountability program, this way they can stay accountable to where they go online while at home too!

    Thanks for blogging about this important subject, by the way.

    In His Grip,
    Luke Gilkerson
    Internet Community Manager
    Covenant Eyes
    luke.gilkerson@covenanteyes.com

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