Porn: One Of The Greatest Threats to Christianity

Pornography is out there, and it’s not going away any time soon. So to help your kids guard against it, you have to prepare them. According to Josh McDowell, author of books including ‘Evidence Which Demands a Verdict’ and ‘More Than a Carpenter,’ who has turned his attention of late to the devastation of pornography on our culture and the Church, this may rank among the greatest threats to Christianity we’ve ever seen.

Bad morals
“I am an apologist,” says Josh. “I set forth positive reasons why to believe, in order to see young people come to Christ. But about five or six years ago, I kept sensing that there’s a problem out there. When I would interact with young people, something had become a barrier. I realised it was pervasive sexual immorality and pornography on the internet.
As an apologist, the one thing that can undermine everything that I teach is not in the area of apologetics, it’s in the area of morals. If you don’t deal with this issue, you won’t fulfil your role as a Biblical apologist.”

The trap
Josh’s son, Sean, who is the head of the Bible Department at a Christian College as well as an author, speaker and apologist, works with youth full time. In that process, Sean has gathered a litany of sad stories of apparently model Christian young men and women who have fallen into the trap set for them by a culture saturated with sex and lust.

A secret sin
“That’s just the problem – most children and students aren’t looking for pornography. Pornography is looking for them,” says Josh. “Of those teenagers who have seen pornography, between 78% and 91% were never looking for it. Research shows that 38% of those will become addicted.”
How big of a deal is this for the Body of Christ? Stats that Josh has documented “show that upwards of 50% of pastors struggle with pornography. 62% of men who attend Evangelical churches regularly struggle with pornography, and 68% of teenagers.
This is probably the greatest threat to the cause of Christ in two thousand years of Church history, because it undermines your life, your walk with Christ and your beliefs. My fear is that many pastors are not addressing it because they too are involved in it.  We have to address this.”
Poisoning faith
“Apart from shame and loneliness,” explains Josh, “pornography produces a question about the authority of the Scriptures, of Christ, of the Resurrection, of the Church and of parents. It starts to darken the door of the brain to consider truths of the Christian faith. Once you become involved in pornography, it takes over all your thinking, your morals, and your life. You have to understand: pornography just takes over your life. It takes over your relationships – your view of people, of women, of children. And as a result, it doesn’t leave room for your faith. You can’t become involved with pornography and have a healthy walk with Christ.”

There is hope
Pornography and sexual promiscuity actually change the physical structure and chemistry of our brains, making it more difficult to love, bond and have sexual relationships with our spouses. That, says Josh, is why he’s launched ‘Just 1 Click Away,’ a website devoted to networking the old and young with resources and help.
Another critical issue which the McDowells seek to address with this new campaign against pornography is the dreaded task parents have of educating and preparing their children.
“Your kids will encounter pornography,” says Josh. “It’s so sad, but it’s true.” We can take away internet access, tv and smart phones from our children, but these measures will barely stem the tide of pornographic images and themes which bombard them from other sources we cannot control, such a friends and classmates.” Even if we isolate our kids and teens from the outside world, they will still become adults and have to confront all at once the sexual culture we tried to stifle. Our job as parents and mentors, believes Josh, must now be to focus on preparing our children to respond in a godly way when faced with porn. provides resources and training for parents and adults on how to open the channels of conversation with their children, how to arm them to face the battle ahead, and how to consistently say “No” to the degrading influence of our culture’s worst addiction. 

SHANE MORRIS regularly writes for , this article was first published on their website.

Come All Who Are Weary

Time magazine noted that back in the sixties, experts predicted that advances in technology would radically change how many hours a week people worked. They forecasted that the average person would be working 22 hours a week within twenty years. “The great challenge,” the experts said, “would be figuring out what to do with all the excess time.” Fifty years later, after major advances in technology, how many of us have excess time on our hands?
Finding spiritual rest
Let’s see how many of us are being dragged through life. Fill in the blanks:
• I’m ready to throw in the…
• I’m at the end of my…
• I’m just a bundle of…
• My life is falling…
• I’m at my wit’s…

Apparently we’re all experiencing the rat race. Just when you thought you were getting ahead, along come faster rats. But remember, he who wins the rat race is still a rat!
We need to learn how to experience rest. If all we needed was physical rest, we can always take a nap. If we needed only emotional rest, we can always take a vacation. But where can we find spiritual rest? How can we obtain relief regarding the deepest issues of life at the deepest level of our hearts?
You need to come
Over and over again God urges us to come. It must be one of the Lord’s favourite words. It is used approximately 1 825 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
• “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord.” Isa 1:18
• “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…without money and without price.” Isa 55:1
• “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31
• “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37
• “And the Spirit and the Bride say: “Come!” And let him who hears say: “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:17.
The greatest invitation
Jesus regularly invited people to come to Him to meet their needs. Christianity begins with meeting Christ personally. Going to McDonalds does not make you a hamburger. Going into a garage doesn’t make you a car. Going to church does not make you a Christian – you must meet Christ personally.
Gathering information about Jesus does not make you a Christian. Joining a group does not make you a believer. Having Christian parents doesn’t make you one too. You become a Christian through a moment of time when you chose to answer His invitation to turn from your own ways and come to Him.
You will find that He’s been waiting for you all along. Have you done that? Can you look to a time when you decided to answer His call to come?
You say: “but my life is really a mess, I don’t think I am ready to come.” His invitation is to come as you are!
If you’re hungry, He is the bread of life. If you are thirsty then come and drink from the fountain of life. If you want eternal existence, He promises you an abundant life that will never end.
Jesus is the ultimate gift
The search to satisfy these needs on our own leads down many empty roads. The tiresome search of the soul…this is what Jesus is referring to. He has the ultimate gift to give. There is rest for those who labour: there are many people who put so much effort into good works and trying to please God. They are sincere, conscientious people who are trying to balance the scales of good deeds versus bad deeds in an effort to be accepted by God. You never know how your account is balanced at any time.
You will find rest at the Cross
Human effort falls far short of the standard God requires. The Cross is the place of exchange where what I am is placed on Him and what He is, is given to me. My bad deeds are removed and placed on Him. I rest on His perfect deeds credited to my account.
There is rest for those who are heavy laden, for those who stagger under the hefty weight and burden of sin. It is also available for those living for possessions, prominence and pleasure.
Finding peace with God
In Jesus Christ the full penalty has already been paid. You can begin life anew and have the page wiped clean. God did not send Jesus to rub our sins in, but to rub them out. He bore the guilt and paid the penalty, there is nothing left to pay! Come and rest in what Jesus has done for you.
The sense of relief of burden is real for all who’ve come to Christ. The Bible calls it “peace with God.” You can come to Him right now, by faith!
Don’t struggle alone
In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus invites us to “take My yoke upon you and learn of Me…For My yoke is easy.” A better translation of the Greek would be “well fitting”. Jesus was a carpenter. He knew what it was to measure the neck of the oxen so that the yoke exactly fitted and didn’t chafe or gall the neck of the ox. When Jesus places His yoke upon you, it exactly fits your circumstances. His yoke fits well and is lighter than the one we’ve been pulling alone. 
A yoke is a type of harness that connects a pair of oxen. Yokes are made for two, not one. We were not meant to go through life living apart from God. We are not meant to struggle through our problems on our own. He says that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
The idea of a yoke pictures the forward motion of two connected together. You cannot be yoked to Jesus and go your own way anymore. We follow Him and His direction for our life. His yoke is easy compared to man made religious yokes. His burden is light compared to the burden of human effort.
Salvation is a free gift
In Acts 15, the Apostle Peter warned the leaders of the fledgling church in Jerusalem about the danger of imposing the yoke of following rules and religious system to be accepted by God.
This is the way most people are familiar with the idea of relating to God – through rules and religion. This is not the yoke that Jesus speaks of. Which yoke have you been under? Jesus’ or man’s?
Rules and religion don’t fit the need for personal relationship. There are scores of religions around the world and all of them urge their followers to work out their salvation. Only in the Gospel do we find a way of salvation based, not on our own efforts. God has intervened in human history and stepped in to lift us up.
The Apostle Paul explains it in this way: “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Eph 2:8-9.
Stop trying to earn your salvation. You will never find peace and spiritual rest in rules and religion, but only in a personal relationship with God based on the finished work of Jesus.
The Lord’s invitation to you
There is a standing invitation for you to come. Come with your burdens and issues. Cast them on Him. Turn from your efforts to climb the infinite ladder to Heaven. Rest in Him and find that perfect peace, a peace that is beyond comprehension.
If you have never answered the invitation of Jesus to come and you have no assurance that you are a child of God, that your sins are forgiven and you have eternal life, we invite you to contact us to request a free booklet, “Steps to Peace With God.” Simply email: and we will be happy to send this to you.  
Nico Bougas is the International Coordinator of  Hellenic  Ministries. For more information email: or

Accessing The Miraculous

I was interviewed on a well-known television show and was asked by the host: “What is the secret to accessing the miraculous?” My first thought was, “I wish I had thirty minutes to talk about this, instead of thirty seconds!”
The reason is that I know that many people will dismiss my simple and un-convoluted answer as a corny spiritual cliché.

What is the secret?
“The secret”, I told him, “is that there is no secret.” Or at least, it shouldn’t be a secret. The key to accessing the miraculous power of God is the simplest and most basic belief of Christianity. It is what brings us into the Kingdom of God, justifies us before God and allows us to please God in the first place.
 The key to accessing the miraculous is having faith in the finished work of the Cross. I know no other secret and I challenge anyone to point to anything in Scripture that gives us any other key to accessing the miraculous power of God besides faith.

Keep it simple
Remember when the lame man at the Beautiful Gate was healed? Peter said to the crowd of amazed spectators that gathered: “Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? By faith in the Name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ Name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.” Acts 3:12,16.
The greatest spiritual discoveries are really simple and basic truths. It is as if everyone were searching for a tip, a trick or a new revelation.
New books keep piling up, training centres are springing up everywhere, teachers are a two a penny. Yet it seems that the more we learn about the miraculous the less we experience it.
Faith versus fear
Years ago I asked Evangelist Bonnke that same question: “What if I pray for someone and nothing happens?” This was his answer: “If you have to pray for 100 people in a prayer line and the first 99 don’t get healed, pray for the 100th one as if everyone before him had been healed!” My friend, that is faith! It is unmoved by what the eyes see. It rests on the promises and power of God.
If you are always afraid of what will happen if you pray for someone and they are not healed, you will soon stop praying for people. Faith and fear are at opposite ends of the spectrum and fear is bondage (Hebrews 2:15). Fear enters in where there is a feeling of personal risk.
So if you are afraid of what will happen if you pray for someone and they are not healed, it is a good indication that you may have claimed personal ownership of something that does not belong to you in the first place: God’s glory.

Rest in the Cross
Until you are able to rest in the finished work of the Cross, you do not understand faith. Until you are able to be unmoved by what you see, you do not understand faith. Until you have unhitched your reputation from the train of God’s glory, you do not understand faith. It’s not about you!

It is God’s glory, not yours
I do not claim to know all there is to know about faith. In fact, the longer I am enrolled in the school of the Holy Spirit, the less I know. But there is one thing I am sure of – once I had unhitched my ego from the train of God’s glory, I experienced a freedom that I had never known before. Now I could pray for the sick without feeling any pressure or anxiety. If they were healed, it was not my doing and if they were not healed, it still was not my doing. I relinquished both the credit and the blame.
What was important for me to do was simply to obey and to believe and the rest was His responsibility. Do you know what I discovered? I discovered that faith is rest! That is a liberating truth!
Never stop praying, rest in the finished work of Christ
The more we try to make miracles happen, the less we will see them. The more afraid we are of what might not happen, the less we will pray, obey and believe. The more we rest in faith and move forward in obedience, the more we will experience the miraculous. Our job is not to be the saviour, the healer, the wonder worker or the deliverer. Our job is to lay our hands on the sick, to pray for them in Jesus’ Name and to believe God’s Word no matter what. The rest is up to God.
So, in answer to the question: “What if I pray and nothing happens?”, here is my advice:  Keep praying! 

DANIEL KOLENDA  is the president and CEO of Christ for All Nations Ministries international. For more information or to purchase some of their resources,  see

What Did Jesus Look Like?

There is no physical description of Christ in the Gospels. Neither Matthew, nor John, nor Peter, James and Jude, who were His disciples during His earthly ministry, recorded any details about His physical features. We do not read of His height, size, hair colour, eye colour, or hair length.
Did Jesus have long hair?
The best that we can say about the artistic portrayals of Christ are that they are highly imaginative. The portrayal of Christ as long-haired comes from Renaissance era artwork, in the 15th Century, when long hair was fashionable. However, the earliest artistic depictions of Christ are of someone with short hair.
The Scriptures declare: “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonour to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her…” 1 Cor 11:14-15. The Scripture refers to Samson as having long hair, because it was so unusual. However, there is no mention of our Lord Jesus Christ having hair any longer than what was normal for that time.
The earliest artistic depictions of Christ, on the walls of the catacombs, carved in relief on sarcophagi, or set in mosaic tiles, depict someone with short hair. The general tendency in the first century was for men to have short hair.
The Shroud of Turin
For those who find some significance in the controversial Shroud of Turin, Professor Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia wrote the following description, on the basis of the shroud: “The man who was wrapped in the shroud was a man of great beauty and uncommon stature. He was about 1.8 metres tall, with a perfectly proportioned physique, lithe and harmonious. We can see that His face was a very soft and gentle one, rather long and with a broad, straight forehead. The nose is straight and turned slightly downwards; the cheeks are large and slightly protruding…”
A modern description
For those who are interested in the contemporary record, a physical description of Jesus does exist from a copy of a letter from the Roman Consul, Lentulus, to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.
The letter of the Consul was dated to the 12th year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius. The Jewish historian Josephus, in his book ‘Antiquities of the Jews’, mentions the Roman Consul Lentulus. In his letter to the emperor, Lentulus describes the condemned man, Jesus of Nazareth, as having: “A noble and lively face, with fair and slightly wavy hair, black and strongly curving eyebrows, intense penetrating blue eyes and an expression of wondrous grace. His nose is rather long. His beard is almost blonde, although not very long. His neck is slightly inclined so that He never appears to be bitter or arrogant. His tanned face is well proportioned. It gives the impression of gravity in wisdom, sweetness and good, and is completely lacking in any sign of anger.”
There is evidence to indicate that Tiberius was so impressed by the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead that he attempted to have Him declared a god. However, the Roman Senate refused to approve this condemned man’s admission to the Roman pantheon of gods.
A Biblical description of Jesus
Those who say that there is no Biblical description of our Lord Jesus Christ are actually wrong. While the Gospels make no mention of His physical characteristics, we do have a description of the Risen, Ascended Christ in the last Book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle John describes what he saw: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…’ then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me…and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded above the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. He had in His right hand seven stars. Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me: ‘Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of hades and of death.’” Rev 1:9-17.
The most important thing is not what Jesus looked like, but what He said and did. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If the Apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who at the Last Supper could rest his head on the Lord’s shoulder, could fall at the feet of the Risen, Ascended Christ as a dead man, how do you think you and I will respond when we are confronted with the Risen, Ascended Lord in all His Glory and splendour?
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:12. 
Second century Church Father, Justin Martyr, pointed to Isaiah 53:2: “…He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him”, as an indication that He was not remarkable in appearance.
However, Oregon cited Psalm 45:2: “You are fairer than the sons of men…” as an indication that the Lord was the most handsome of men.
Isaiah 52:14 prophesied that His appearance would be so disfigured “marred more than any man” in the crucifixion so graphically described in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

Do not be distracted
If it was at all important or relevant for us to know what the Lord really did look like, the Gospels would give a description. The fact that they do not, shows that we should not allow ourselves to be distracted by these external irrelevancies.

What really matters?
Church Father, St. Augustine, in ‘On the Trinity’, noted that everyone has a different mental image of the Lord. He wrote: “The physical face of the Lord is pictured with infinite variety by countless imaginations…”
Although “as regards the Faith we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is (not) in the least relevant to salvation what our imaginations picture Him like…” What does matter is our understanding of His nature, His life and His teachings.

Dr Peter Hammond is a Missionary Pioneer and Author. Tel: 021 689 4480;;