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Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic.
[tweetable]If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, put the relational component ahead of the sexual one.[/tweetable] RNS: How can a history of sexual abuse impact the way these rules function in your life?
And your girlfriend’s body or your wife’s body is not enough for you.” If you’re going to get married, you should tell your fiancé that.
It sounds absurd, but if porn is going to be part of your life, you need to tell the other person that.
RNS: Is it true that when you taught this content to your church, you talked about “bitches” and “hos” on Mother’s Day. I received one complaint via email from a guy visiting who felt like I was picking on a particular “culture.” I emailed him back and told him a culture comfortable referring to women as bitches and hos is a culture that views women as a commodity. AS: Twenty years ago, most of us considered pornography a pastime, not a pathway.
A culture that views people as a commodity is a culture sliding towards softening their position on slavery. There was not that much information about the addictive nature of porn. For the guy who says, “This is just entertainment, and there isn’t anything morally wrong with that,” then I say, “You apparently think that a real body isn’t enough for you.
I challenge guys face to face and have told our whole congregation this, and they are aghast. Men don’t want women to bring secrets into the relationship, why shouldn’t we be open as well.
RNS: You say that “love is unnatural.” A lot of people would say love is inherent to who we are as humans and one of the most natural things we can feel or express or do. AS: Love is natural in terms of a feeling, but not in terms of doing.We have to become the type of person that the person we’re looking for is looking for. But somehow when it comes to love and romance, there is an assumption that we don’t need to ourselves.That somehow commitment will trump the needs for preparation.The pastor of one America’s largest churches is peeling back the covers on topics that might make some Christians squirm.Andy Stanley, pastor of the 30,000 member North Point Ministries, addresses a range of issues from human sexuality to pornography in his latest book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating.Our sexuality goes way beyond what is physical, and we see that especially in the realm of sexual abuse.