Church addresses porn in the pews

By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – There’s a problem in the pews, a local pastor says.

The Rev. Jeremy Gyorke, of Wyandotte Family Church isn’t worried about what’s in his parishioners’ minds during his sermons. He’s worried about what’s in their hard drives.

So at 10:30 a.m. today, his church is digging out the dirty laundry and talking about a taboo topic to many Christians: pornography.

Gyorke said pornography use is a pervasive problem for Christians and non-Christians alike, with 40 million people visiting pornographic Internet sites each day and 54 percent of pastors admitting to struggling with online porn.

“What you have is all these people struggling behind the scenes,” Gyorke said. “Because they want to be a good Christian, they try to hide it. This is about getting free, so they don’t have to walk around in shame or guilt and ruin marriages or lives.”

Gyorke said the program, an offshoot of one run by xxxchurch.org, is part of the church’s commitment to authenticity.

“We thought if we’re going to be authentic, we have to deal with some tough topics,” he said. “No one’s talking about it, so it’s time to address it.”

In addition to urging parishioners to be honest about porn use, Gyorke said the program also seeks to provide resources to those struggling with it, such as literature about how to stop and when to broach the topic with children.

Gyorke said he uses a more high-tech option of avoiding pornography – a computerized program that sends his wife, Julie, a weekly email detailing every Web site he visits.

Gyorke, who started the church last September, said the sermon is just a step in helping parishioners open up about and overcome unwanted addictions.

“In no way, shape or form is one Sunday going to solve the problem,” he said. “But hopefully we can start the dialogue.”

Wyandotte Family Church is in Out of the Box Theatre, 1165 Ford Ave.

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