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Home School of Counselling Release from addiction to pornography: a personal journey - Text

Release from addiction to pornography: a personal journey - Text

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Freedom from pornography: a personal journey.

Amonymous

 

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Introduction

Biblical counseling seeks to address problems in our life by using Scripture to probe deeply in our hearts to find the root of issues.  I want to explore the wrestles that I have had sexual purity.  In particular I want to examine the long struggle I had with pornography.  I want to uncover the deeper issues in my heart, which manifest in sexual sin.  The issue of sexual sin is important to me because of the length of the struggle and the toll it has taken on my honesty with God and others.  Because of my repeated tendency toward sexual sin, it seems wise to carefully examine this struggle in the clear light of God’s Word.   Scripture speaks clearly to my sexuality and I will seek to practically apply God’s Word to provide further clarity and deeper conviction into the underlying issues within my heart.

Background

I had exposure to pornography before my teen years, from people in my primary school.  The handful of images I saw left a lasting impression on my mind.  The exposure was not constant or ongoing, but arose again at various times in late high school and university through friends, siblings and housemates.  The allure and excitement of pornography triggered a cascade of emotions from revulsion and conviction, to titillation and desire. 

In late high school, despite a profession of faith, I selfishly justified the sexual progression of my first romantic relationship.  Despite conviction otherwise, I used self-deceiving and incredibly weak theological arguments to excuse my relationship. Within two years I was at University and feeling convicted that I could not gratify all of my sexual desires and have a clear conscience before God.  The inner conflict brought insomnia and anxiety.  It was then, in my university years, that I made a conscious decision to reject God and pursue another sinful relationship.  

I cannot recall pornography being in my life through those years.  But when my relationship failed, and I entered other sinful relationships, I suffered grief at personal difficulties that I invited upon myself.  At these times of self-pity, opportune exposure to pornography re-excited the reawakened feelings that it had in the past.  Ignoring the conviction that it was wrong; I kindled a relationship with pornography that lasted more than a decade.  Pornography and sinful sexual relationships became entrenched in my life.

During this time, I came to faith and severed the use of pornography.  Based on a heart conviction, I chose God and rejected this sinful vice.  I reprimanded myself for my behavior and willful disobedience and repented to God.  In the coming years, various difficulties came and at times exposure to pornography would again leave me feeling ensnared by its allure.  The use of pornography and associated masturbation was always secret and shameful.  It remained hidden from my relationships and was quarantined as a deeply personal struggle.  I oscillated between repentance, periods of ‘mastery’ and periods of failure.  Despite the joy from intimacy with God, I would hit rough patches in life; times where I failed to avoid pornography and hid from God.

To my shame, my sexual sin encroached on my relationship with my now wife.   From sexual impurity before marriage to periods of pornographic use, I continued to accommodate my sin.  Even after marriage, I failed to reliably refrain from the use of pornography.   Through the use of accountability relationships and computer software, my sinful behaviour was largely controlled.  The most devastating consequence was the hurt caused to my wife when my sexual sin was exposed.  I harboured the habitual use of pornography far too long; at great cost to my wife and at great cost to my relationship with God.  Even though I am forgiven by God and by my wife; I think it wise to unpack the reasons for my long struggle and allow Scripture to speak to my heart.

The Contrast of Secular and Biblical Approaches

The approach of secular psychology and psychiatry to sexual addiction is based on compromised foundations and adopts unacceptably shallow and weak perspectives of the problem.   The American Psychiatric Association’s most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) does not even include sexual disorders. The closest that the previous version, DSM-IV, came to addressing the issues was (it has since removed,) a label in the appendix for “Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified” describing “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used.”[1] Numerous papers[2] and working groups sought to have sexual problems identified in the following proposed, and rejected, diagnostic criteria:

1)   “Recurrent and intense sexual desires, sexual urges or sexual behaviours over the period of 6 months or more with 3 of the 5 following criteria;

i) Time consumed with sexual fantasies conflicts with other important goals, ii) repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies in response to dysphoric mood states, iii) repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies in response to stress, iv) repetitive but unsuccessful attempts to control such behavior, and v) repetitively engaging in sexual behaviours with disregard for physical or emotional harm to self or others.

2)   There must also be clinically significant personal distress or negative effect on social or occupational aspects of life and the sexual behavior must not be because of an exogenous substance. Some behaviors that are specific to this disorder are masturbation, pornography, sex, cybersex, telephone sex, and going to strip clubs.”[3]

This push was rejected in DSM-V because of a fear of “pathologizing or stigmatizing people who do not conform to the norms of their culture or peer group.”[4]  Sadly for people suffering with such problems, the main bodies responsible for addressing treatment refuse to admit a problem even exists.  For those that seek secular treatments, psychiatrists use antidepressants (SSRI medication) and psychologists Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  Neither adequately addresses the heart of the problem.

Biblical counseling seeks to go beyond behaviour modification or numbing the condition with medication, by seeking to use Scripture to explore the struggles of the heart. Unlike secular approaches, who baulk at even recognising obvious problems, biblical counseling clearly identities aberrant sexuality as a sin.  It is on the basis of a firm moral foundation that problems can be named, identified and worked through.  Scripture speaks to all of life and has plenty to say about unchecked desire and the lack of self-control (Col. 3 , Rom. 6 , Prov. 25:28 , 1 Cor. 7:9 , 1 Tim 3:2 , 2 Pet 1:6 ).  Jesus himself raised the moral bar, beyond behavioral restrictions, to address the thoughts and heart of a person (Matt 5:27-30 ).

The approaches of the bible and secular treatments are in such inherent disagreement over sexual issues, that an integrationist position will, by definition, be torn and compromised by trying to accommodate both modalities.  For example, past Christian writers of the integrationist tradition have sought to normalise masturbation as ‘amoral’ because of its prevalence, rather than wrestling with the clear biblical teachings on sexual morality (Matt 5:28 , Mark 9:43-48 ).[5] As a confessing Christian, I think that biblical counseling is more appropriate, more effective and far more honest in the way it addresses sexuality.   For this reason, I have adapted and used a biblical counseling framework[6] to explore the deeper recesses of my sexual struggles. Particularly helpful in looking deeply at the roots of my sin and the questions of “Why?” were ‘X-Ray’ questions commended in a number of Christian Counseling Educational Foundation resources.[7],[8],[9]

Looking Deeply at My Temptation

Common to my use of pornography has generally been a variety of stressors or pressures.  Sometimes this has been loneliness, the desire for physical intimacy or the longing to feel loved.  At other times insomnia and tiredness, frustration, irritation or anxiety is at play.  Emotional pain from relationship difficulties or relationship breakdowns is sometimes a catalyst for giving into to sexual temptation.  Sometimes feeling overwhelmed or overburdened has caused me to retreat to the world of pornography.  None of these things are a cause, but they do give indications of what may be the problems in my heart.

Past trials have driven me towards the snare of pornography – and I have sought to anesthetise my feelings with it.  As is common to all man, I am not free from trials. (I have a wife suffering from a disabling and painful chronic disease, I recently served in the church leadership at time of tumult, because of deteriorations in my wife’s ill health we have had to move interstate, change jobs and suffer financially.) Feeling overwhelmed with my wife’s illness and my inability to bring physical relief is a point of trial for me.  The change in our physical relationship is a trial.  Fears for her future health, and our ability to be able to have children can wear away at me. Emotional and mental burdens from my professional care of people with complex medical and psychiatric afflictions can wear me down.  Conflict at church can be discouraging and lead to self-pity.  In light of the combination of my commitments and burdens, I can at times feel overwhelmed by mundane tasks, or feel that I am failing. I must deal with these feelings in a God honouring way.

Philippians 4: 5b-7

5b The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Exegesis:

Paul writes from prison to suffering readers, exhorting them to defiant joy in the Lord, despite their circumstances.[10] The Lord is present with all who believe (Ps 119:151), and the Lord will soon return.[11] Paul offers a prohibition, ‘Let nothing worry you.’ He then gives them a command, ‘Tell God what your requests are.’ He instructs them on how to fulfill this command “In everything, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” And finally he offers the comforting of the promised peace of God.[12]

Paul letter offers an antidote to my anxiety; by looking first to the needs of others, being thankful for what God has already given me and utter trusting dependence upon God leads to unshakeable contentment and joy.[13]  Paul speaks of four types of prayer: intercessory prayers, petitioning God with urgent needs and worries, specific requests which give words to the desires of my heart and finally prayers of thanksgiving which maintain a right attitude and perspective before God.[14]  It is amazing to consider “the all-knowing, all-foreseeing, all-planning, all-governing God wills for your Christ-exalting prayers to be the occasion of his action.”[15]  Spurgeon challenges me to pray:

“What good is the good of it (anxiety) then to keep gnawing at your own heart, when you get mothering by it? Besides, it weakens our power to help ourselves and especially our power to glorify God.  Cares are the effect of forgetfulness of Christ’s closeness to us.  Care, or worry, is injurious, but if you only turn this care into a prayer, then every worry will be a benefit to you. As your cares are numerous, therefore let your prayers be as numerous.”[16] 

God’s peace is beyond my intellectual capacity to understand. Calvin states “Nothing is more foreign to the human mind, than to hope in the depth of despair, in the depth of poverty to see riches and in the depth of weakness not to give way.”[17]  As Roman soldiers guarded city gates in Philippi and other cities (2 Cor 11:31 ), so God keeps watch over my inner being, shielding me from anxiety, doubt, fear and distress.[18],[19] Paul goes on to paint a self-portrait of a man who has learned unwavering joy, a man content in the Lord (Phil 4:11-13 ).  He has shaken off circumstantial anxiety through his deep confidence in God’s sovereign providence, care and love. 

Paul’s exhortation reminds me that my self-managing, self-seeking worry is idolatrous; I am to keep in mind that my help comes from the Lord (Ps. 121).

Reactions to Temptation – an Invitation to Sin

I have a disposition, when feeling overwhelmed, to aim for comfort, attempt to avoid the cause of my stress or to procrastinate.  When things go badly, I have a history of retreating into self-pity.  I can harbour bitterness, judgmental attitudes, critical words and self-righteousness.  At these times, rather than turning to God, I have numbed myself with distraction, or given way to lust. The lack of control I have demonstrated was an invitation to the enemy to deceive and attack.

James 1:2-4,12-16

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Exegesis

James begins his letter to the Jewish Christians by launching straight into an exhortation.  His exhortation addresses their difficulties, which almost certainly related to their poverty (James 1:9-11 ; 2:1-7; 2:15-17; 4:13-5:11) and ill treatment by fellow Jews (withholding wages 5:1-6).[20] The word ‘count’ urges a conscious decision to ‘consider’ or ‘evaluate’ trials, not with a natural human response, but with a commitment to joy.[21] The joy described is one of pure intensity,[22] and is in some senses an eschatological joy; a joy that looks beyond the present hardships.[23]  Such joy is “an unnatural reaction of deep, steady and unadulterated thankful trust in God.”[24]  Like Joseph in Genesis 50:20 , the people were to respond with the knowledge, “you meant evil for me, but God meant it for good.”

Trials (peirasmos) can be either outward testing or an inward temptation.[25]  Trials are designed by God to reveal the quality of existing faith, to strengthen and purify it.  Trials, like the tempering of steel, add strength.  “For gold is proved in the fire and men acceptable to God in the furnace of affliction.”[26]  The content of one’s conviction eventuates as the purpose of a trial.[27]

The pilgrimage of trial results in steadfastness, a strong enduring perseverance amidst trouble that reflects spiritual maturity.[28] The work of sanctification is ongoing and not complete until Christ returns.  Contrary to the unbiblical desire for ‘self-actualisation” and a pain-free life, our goal is maturity and endurance. “James wants the church to live out its faith in the crucible of life, in all its tests.”[29]

James returns to the theme of steadfastness in verse twelve.  All who endure will receive a future eternal blessing (cf. Ps. 1:1, Matt 5:3-12 ); their heads will be adorned with a victory wreath (akin to the crown of righteousness, 2 Tim 4:8 , the crown of glory, 1 Pet. 5:4 , and the crown of life, Rev. 2:10 .) The crowning with eternal life is not merited by a man’s works or sufferings, but freely given in grace, as promised by God to those that love him.[30]

Every trial carries with it temptation, an inner enticement to sin.[31] The enticement comes from my own sinful nature, not God. Trials and temptations strengthen me when I obey and trust in God, or lead me astray when I doubt and disobey Him.  God tests, but it is I that am tempted.  God indeed tested Abraham with asking for Isaac to be sacrificed (Gen. 22:1), king Hezekiah (2 Chron. 32:31, 2 Kings 20:12-19 ) and God tested Israel that they would trust him to provide (with manna in Exod.16:4 and water in Exod. 17:1-2,7 and at many other times e.g. Judg. 2:22 ).  My failure at times of testing is diagnostic, unearthing my wrong desires.[32]  My fleshy, illicit desires represent a longing for what is prohibited (as in 1 Pet. 2:11 , 1 John 2:17 ).[33]

Beginning with Adam (Gen 3:12 ), when confronted with sin and failure, we are all tempted to blame.  The bible warns us against accusing God, or putting God to the test (Deut. 6:16 ).  James seeks to remind us that far from being a tempter, God is unreservedly good; He is a giver of good gifts (James 1:13-15 cf. 16-19). God, who is holy and hates sin, promises to provide all that we need to endure and to flee temptation (1 Cor. 10:13 ). But our inner longings work to pull us away from the Lord,[34] like the enticement of an adulteress (Prov. 5-9 ) who drags us toward Sheol (Prov. 9:8 ) and away from wisdom leading to life (Prov. 8:45 ).[35] I chose whether to succumb to temptation, or to accept the means of escape provided by God.[36]  Like the lure of a baited hook, or the enticement of a trap, temptation offers what is deadly while promising something good.[37] Every person has differing desires and each person’s battle varies with temptation nuanced specifically to them.  That which intensely tempts me may not even faintly entice another.[38]

 

James uses dramatically vivid imagery to personify the terrible cascade of sin: desire conceives and gives birth to a child, sin; sin itself grows and in turn delivers a grandchild, death. Instead of resisting an illicit desire, the sinful man;

“receives it, and cherishes it in his mind; he dallies and plays with it; he dwells upon it in his thoughts, and hides it under his tongue, and in his heart, as a sweet morsel, and forsakes it not, but contrives ways and means how to bring it about; and this is lust's conceiving.”[39] 

Within every man is the root of our own destruction (Rom 7:8-11 ).[40]  I am prone to deceive myself and doubt God’s goodness,[41] unless I constantly guard and hold firm to truth.[42] By recognising that my hardships and trials are God’s tools to strength and equip me, I resist the urge to feel alone or pity myself triggering the cascade where trials to tempt me toward sin. I protect my heart with the knowledge that God seeks cheer me toward an eternal crown and a steadfast, growing, thriving faith.

Sexual Addiction Through the Lens of Scripture

Our culture says that sex is ultimate; but the Scripture suggests that any good thing given too much importance is an idol.  Few things slide with greater ease, frequency or power than sex.[43]  Rather than a disease, a biblical perspective suggests that addiction represents disordered worship and voluntary enslavement to idols.[44] Though rebellious and fully responsible, the addict is also out of control having pursued the folly of prohibited desire and suppressed the truth through self-deception.[45]Rather than hiding from God, Scripture encourages me look at my state, to turn in repentance and run home to my loving God (Luke 15:11-24 ).

The bible is clear that sexual sin is unique as a sin against my own body; like joining with a prostitute and defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:12-20 ). It is understandable that the wonderful, almost transcendent physiological reactions of sex, which are designed by God to make spouses one flesh, can be easily misused. When the brain is stimulated with wrongful desires, it is neurochemically reinforced and rewired,[46] physically contributing to the enslavement.

Pornography hijacks healthy sexual intimacy, selfishly taking hostage what God lovingly designed for pure and undefiled sexual fulfillment.  God intended sexual desire to be a controlled stimulus for a man to lovingly pursue his wife. In contrast, the message of pornography is that desire can’t be controlled, shouldn’t be controlled, and shouldn’t be limited to one person.[47] “Pornography has unique power to damage a marriage because it is ultimately about self, not union.”[48] Rather than the unifying face-to-face, body-to-body, soul-to-soul nature of sex, pornography offers a fraudulent, counterfeit version imitation.[49] Rather than mutual pleasure and intimacy, pornography is about immediate self-indulgent gratification of perverse desires and psychological isolation.[50] 

In times of difficulty, pornography promises ease, release and escape.  It offers a modulation of feelings through sinful means.  Spiraling out of control, this can become “a compulsive seeking of a change of mood by the use of a self defeating agent.”[51]  I recognise within myself a tendency to self-manage and to reduce distress by physical means, whether it be sleep, food or sex.  All of these things are good if there are place in a rightful place, under God and under sober self-control.

Guilt, Grace and Change – the Gospel Applied

My story doesn’t end with my failures.  I appreciate that the guilt I have experienced is pain with a corrective purpose; “it is not irrational, but a manifestation of God’s grace.”[52]   Scripture clearly reveals God’s providence and provokes deep change within me.  Through His Word and his Holy Spirit, God’s grace breaks into darkness, bringing light and conviction to my heart and mind.  Christ has come to save me from the wrath I so clearly deserve.  While I was still weak and mired in sin, Christ died to reconcile me to God and transform my heart toward righteousness (Rom. 5:6-6:23 ). To continue in sin would be to mock God and thumb my nose at his forbearance with me.[53] The fact that trials remain, that temptations continue to tempt, reminds me of my weakness and my need for God.  My anxieties, my wife’s ill health, work pressures and church conflict will continue to challenge me, but I seek to respond by reaching out to God.  I do not want to be one of whom God says “They do not cry out to me from their hearts, but wail upon their beds” (Hos. 7:14).[54]  Responding rightly to hardship is a source of God’s kindness to us, “If trials do not drive you to your own devices, but to your knees, they will, after all, be blessings to you.”

By reflecting on Scripture, I am reminded of vital life giving truth (1 John 5:20 ).  God’s word is sharper than a sword and pierces to the depth of my being, helping me to discern the thoughts and intentions of my heart. I am reminded that God never puts me in situations where I can’t resist and flee from temptation (1 Cor. 10:13 ).  God reminds me that I can cast my cares and anxieties on him (1 Pet. 5:7 , 4:5b-7).  His word reminds me that my trial and hardships serve to bolster my faith and increase my obedience to him (James 1:2-17 ). 

Applying the gospel to my heart reminds me that God is good; He alone worthy of all my desire and all my affection (Rev. 15:3-4 ), I will not settle for anything less.  And so, I flee from temptation.  I learn to hate sin, and mortify it, put it to death at any cost.

I refuse to defraud my wife by succumbing to the selfish world of sexual sin.  I take delight in my wife and her beauty (Prov. 5:18-19 ). I pursue her and love her with selflessness and love.  I enjoy intimacy and honesty with God, no hiding, no shame.  In the light of God’s precious Word, the lies of the enemy lose power and wither away, to the praise of his glorious grace!

            Rejoice not against me, O my enemy;  when I fall, I shall arise;  

when I sit in darkness,  the Lord shall be a light to me.  Micah. 7:8

The author is happy to be contacted here through the site administrator

He is a church elder with a special interest in biblical counselling and has done training with CCEF.org  

 Also recommended: Politics and Pornography - a summary and thoughts - R Rushdooney and unnamed

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Blomberg, Craig L. Mariam J Kamell.  James. Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. General Editor Clinton E. Arnold.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008

Calvin, John. Commentary on the Catholic Epistles (Vol. 45). Calvin: Commentaries – Complete (The Calvin Translation Society Edition).  Editor Joseph Haroutunian. Westminster: John Knox Press, 1958. Accessed online http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comment/calvin/comm_vol45/htm/vi.ii.iv.htm

Challies, Timothy.  Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys who are Sick of Porn. Cruciform Press, 2010 eBook accessed 23/10/13 via http://www.cruciformpress.com

Calvin, John. The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Calvin’s Commentaries 11. Edited by David W. Torrance and Thomas Forsyth Torrance. Translated by THL Parker. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,  1965

Davids, Peter H.  James. New International Biblical Commentary. NT Editor W. Ward Gasque. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1989

Doriani, Daniel M. James. Reformed Expository Commentary. Series editors Richard D. Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2007

Gill, John.  John Gill's Exposition of the Bible.  Public Domain (accessed 21 October 2013 via http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/

Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. General editor D.A. Carson Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009

Kafka, Martin P. Hypersexual Disorder: A Proposed Diagnosis for DSM-V. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39:377-400, 2010

Kaplain, M. S. & Krueger, B. R. Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment of Hypersexuality. Journal of Sex Research, 47(2-3), 2010

Lane, Timothy S. Tripp, Paul David. How People Change. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2008

Levine, M. P; Troiden, R. R. The Myth of Sexual CompulsivityJournal of Sex Research,  25 (3) 347-363, 1998 

MacArthur, John.  ESV The MacArthur Study Bible Online. Crossway 2013. accessed online 21/10/2013 via esvbible.org web app

MacDonald, James. (Gen Ed). Christ Centred Biblical Counseling: Changing Lives with God’s Timeless Truth. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 2003

McDonald, Sean M. “Philippians.” in The ESV Study Bible. Edited by Lane T. Dennis, Wayne Grudem, J. I. Packer, C. John Collins, Thomas R. Schreiner and Justin Taylor, 2275-87. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Bibles, 2008.

Moo, Douglas J. The Letter of James. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. General Editor D. A. Carson.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2000

Osborne, Grant R. "James." in The ESV Study Bible. Edited by Lane T. Dennis, Wayne Grudem, J. I. Packer, C. John Collins, Thomas R. Schreiner and Justin Taylor, 2219-40. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Bibles, 2008.

Piper, John. Let Your Requests Be Made Known to God. Philippians 4:4 –7. Sermon transcript 2003. Accessed 15/10/2013 via http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/let-your-requests-be-made-known-to-god

 

Plantinga Jr., Cornelius. Not the Way it's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sins.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1995

Powlison, David. Seeing with New Eyes. Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture.  Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R, 2003

Powlison, David. The Sufficiency of Scipture to Diagnose and Cure Souls.  The Journal of Biblical Counseling. Spring, 2005

Powlison, David. X-ray Questions: Drawing Out the Whys and Wherefores of Human Behavior. The Journal of Biblical Counseling. 18, No 1. Fall 1999

Silva, Moses. Philippians (2nd Ed.) Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.  Edited by Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005

Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. Prayer the Cure for Care. Sermon transcript 1888. Accessed online 13/10/2013 via  http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols40-42/chs2351.pdf

Struthers, William M. Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2009

Tidball, Derek . Wisdom from Heaven,  The Message of the Letter of James for Today. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2003

Welch, Edward T. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel.  Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R, 2001

Welch, Edward T. Depression: Looking up from the Stubborn Darkness. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2011



[1] American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision)

[2] Kafka, Hypersexual Disorder: A Proposed Diagnosis for DSM-V, 377-400

[3] Kaplain, M. S. & Krueger, B. R. Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment of Hypersexuality, 47

[4] Levine, Troiden,  The Myth of Sexual Compulsivity, 347–363

[5] Perkins, When Good Men are Tempted, 1997 and  Dobson, Preparing for Adolescence, 1978 quoted in Challies, Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys who are Sick of Porn, 28-35

[6] I have modified and used the heat/thorns/cross/fruit metaphor to spend much time considering my personal struggles.  Although I have not used their nomenclature, (I have used temptation in place of heat, reactions to temptation in place of thorns etc.) I am indebted to the work of: Lane and Trip, How People Change, 1-196

[7] Powlison, The Sufficiency of Scripture to Diagnose and Cure Souls, 2-13

[8] Powlison, X-ray Questions: Drawing Out the Whys and Wherefores of Human Behavior, 2-8

[9] Lane, Tripp, How People Change, 142-145

[10] Hansen, The Letter to the Philippians. The Pillar New Testament Commentary, 287

[11] McDonald, “Philippians” in The ESV Study Bible,  2286-7

 

[12] Silva, Philippians (2nd Ed.) Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 254

[13] Fee,  Philippians. The IVO New Testament Commentary Series, 196

[14] Hansen, The Letter to the Philippians, 290-291

[15] Piper,  Let Your Requests Be Made Known to God, accessed online

 

[16] Spurgeon, Prayer the Cure for Care, accessed online.  

 

[17] Calvin, The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Calvin’s Commentaries 11, 290

 

[18] Hansen, The Letter to the Philippians, 294

[19] MacArthur,  ESV MacArthur Study Bible Online, accessed online

[20] Moo, The Letter of James. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. 52

[21] MacArthur,  ESV MacArthur Study Bible Online, accessed online

[22] Moo, The Letter of James. 53

[23] Davids. James. New International Biblical Commentary. 26

[24] Tidball, Wisdom from Heaven: The Message of the Letter of James for Today.     22

[25] Moo, The Letter of James. 53

[26] Sirach 2:5 in Davids, James. 27

[27] Blomberg, James. Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.  49

[28] Osborne, “James” in ESV Study Bible, 2391

[29] Doriani, James. Reformed Expository Commentary. 15 

[30] Gill, John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible. accessed online

[31] Moo, The Letter of James. 72

[32] Doriani, James. 38

[33] Moo, The Letter of James. 75

[34] Blomberg, James. 71

[35] Doriani, James. 76

[36] MacArthur,  ESV MacArthur Study Bible Online, accessed online

[37] Osborne, "James" in ESV Study Bible, 2392

[38] Blomberg, James. 71

[39] Gill, Exposition of the Bible.

[40] Calvin, Commentary on the Catholic Epistles. Calvin: Commentaries – Complete (The Calvin Translation Society Edition).  Vol. 45, vi:ii:iv.  Accessed online

[41] Davids. James. 37

[42] Blomberg, James. 73

[43] Challies, Sexual Detox, 54

[44] Welch, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel. Xvi, 18, 31, 47

[45] Welch, Addictions, 9, 21, 34, 57

[46] Struthers, Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, 13

[47] Challies, Sexual Detox, 16

[48] ibid 23

[49] ibid 56

[50] ibid 16

[51] Plantinga, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sins. 131

[52] Challies, Sexual Detox, 38

[53] Challies, Sexual Detox, 74

[54] Welch, Depression: Looking up from the Stubborn Darkness, 43

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 12:29  

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