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Sexual Addiction and Religion

John Collins5/1/2012 12:32:00 PMThough many elders in the churches will refuse to admit it, Sexual addiction is one of the church's greatest challenges. By nature, men and women have natural desires that are given to us by God so that we can be 'miniature creators.'

Oddly, the ones that suffer with this struggle the most will preach that sex was not God's original creation and that intimate relations are Satan's way to drive daggers into the hearts of Christian men.

Sexuality is an important part of our makeup and key to our existence, and if that is broken, chances are the rest of us—including our spirits—will be too. To make matters worse, culture is gradually changing allowing discussion and appearance of sexuality while the churches avoid change. This leads to fear of society and isolation, which is not Biblical or even natural. This isolation leads to depression, depression leads to the body's need for serotonin, and the lack of serotonin leads to sexual addiction.

Scripture tells us that we have all sinned and the wages of this sin is death. For sexual addicts, death is one concept they understand very well. This addiction can lead to the death of their marriage, job, financial security, hope, peace, self-worth, and in the worst cases their own lives or the lives of others. No matter how successful the addict is in life, they see themselves as worthless within their own hearts.

We can easily compare sex addicts of this day to the lepers in the days of Jesus. The churches avoid these plagued individuals, teaching that their ways have led them to their own demise -- not offering any help to them. These are the people that Jesus came to save, not to turn aside.

Everyone should realize that they are not worthless in God's eyes, and that those who condemn this problem without offering a solution are the ones who are creating the problem.

The truth of the matter is that the problem is going to get much, much larger before it becomes smaller, and will probably never go away. 80% of teens between 15 to 17 in the United States have witnessed multiple hard-core pornographic images or videos, and over 40 million adults in the United States regularly visit smutty websites.

If you show signs of depression, this problem may be a medical issue more than a spiritual downfall. Your body may be failing to produce sufficient serotonin.

Approximately 90% of the human body's total serotonin is located in cells in the gut, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. These include the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. As depression sets in, these functions will decrease, and your body will kick into over-drive trying to compensate.

The truth of the matter is that this is no different than diabetes. Where diabetics face dependency on medicine to add insulin to the body, people suffering depression require medicine to add serotonin to the body.

Pastors should know the signs of depression, and offer assistance to those who are faced with a medical problem:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

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