Sexual Addiction: Hope for Real Revival…

Young man seeking real revival for Churches in sexual bondageOne of the questions that has haunted me for the past decade is if real revival in the church is possible in America’s present spiritual condition.

Now, I am not referring to the political climate, or the steady decline of overall church attendance over the last 50 years, or the disintegration of the institution of marriage and family. No, I am referring to a much deeper and more sinister problem.

Over the last 5 years, my wife and I have literally traveled all across our nation and around the world declaring the freedom, which Christ makes possible in our life, sexually. This marvelous deliverance does not come by trying harder to walk in purity, or by reading your Bible more, or by praying more.

Now, all of these are important disciplines to develop, but they in themselves will usually not set men and women free who are caught in the clutches of sexual bondage.

Along the way, we have done clinical studies of the Evangelical church in our nation and discovered that:

  1. 60 to 72% of men sitting in the pews on Sunday are clinically
    sexual addicts.{1}
  2. 25 to 35% of the women are also caught in sexual addiction.{2}
  3. 50 to 58% of the pastors are addicts as well!{3}

These statistics are not wild guesses but come from over 3000 data points. The numbers are indisputable! In the church’s present condition of sexual bondage, there is no way real revival could ever take place. God would have to repent for it to take place, and he is not about to change his moral standard. He asks us instead to repent, which simply means to turn around or turn 180 degrees from the direction we are headed.

To repent, it is first realizing our present approach to the problem is not working. Only 8% to 15% of the time, a man or woman will get free by simply joining an accountability group, trying harder, and being more committed. This is what I call Level One bondage. The other 90% to 85% are at Level Two or Three. James clearly articulated the problem.

“Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15 – New International Version (NIV)

The word “enticed” is a very graphic word picture. It speaks of a baited hook. In other words, hell is making sin look good, or as something positive, so sexual bondage initially starts as a moral problem. This is level one.

Soon, however, things rapidly proceed downhill because desire gives birth to sin. This is level two. The individual is now being controlled by hell as it pushes preset “buttons” in their mind. The problem has now moved from a moral problem to a brain problem.

The person frequently loses the capacity to stop his destructive behavior by tightening the lid down on his impulses. In fact, in the last 25 years of counseling sexual addicts in the church, I have talked to countless men who love God with all their heart, hate their addictive behavior, yet cannot stop their acting out!

The third level is even more deadly because now spiritual death is the end result. The person acts out in such a way that violates his deepest moral values. It is not uncommon for me to counsel a pastor who is a renowned communicator.

He will preach sermons that will drop you to your knees, then go out, and visit a prostitute afterward! What he does is reprehensible, but he is not an inherently evil man. Instead, he has learned to medicate his deep inner pain by sexually acting out. He is a profoundly wounded warrior.

Sexual bondage is not really about sex. It is about the way we have learned to medicate our pain within us. I counsel, on average, 16 to 20 pastors and leaders per month who are trapped in addictive behavior. Our offices see between 40 and 60 leaders per month, and the number is growing rapidly. The great news is approximately 92% to 98% of pastors are healed, and their marriages are transformed.

Despite all the forces pushing the American church off the cliff, I believe God wants to bring a turnaround! It is important to remember that Rome was one of the most sexualized cultures that existed in the Ancient Near East. Yet, it was in the midst of such deep darkness that the early church rose up with such passion and purity, the whole first century was turned right side up! God the Holy Spirit wants to do that awesome miracle once again.

But, for that to happen, the church at large needs to realize Four Critical Truths for real revival. Now, real revival is not just where the church gets happy, but the culture is impacted and changed. Our culture today is overdosing on destructive sexuality and is desperately looking for answers.


#1 Trying harder is not the answer when it comes to level 2 and 3 sexual bondage. This is why it is so important for the men who are struggling to become part of a Pure Desire group and get a copy of “The 7 Pillars of Freedom.”  The 7 Pillars will give them biblically based clinical tools that really work.

#2 The wife needs to get into a “Betrayal and Beyond” group as well. Sexual bondage is a family systems problem. Therefore, the wife will definitely need support as her husband discloses with what he has been struggling. Just having men’s groups in the church will never solve the problem.

#3 The entire church needs to be trained for the battle. Teens and men who are not struggling need to help others and assist the pastoral staff. There is a very effective way to do that through a movie we recently developed for all men (The Conquer Series), and the teen-specific materials we have developed as well.

#4 The pastoral leadership needs a safe place where they can be healed and not shamed. Pure Desire Ministries International has unique capabilities to be such a place where spiritual leadership can process their pain, and they can be healed. All the materials and ministries I have referred to can be found on our website

Article Provided By: Dr. Ted Roberts, Founder of Pure Desire Ministries International, CSAT Counselor, Pastor. Dr. Roberts came to the Lord as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. He was called to the Pastoral ministry after his return to the United States. He entered Seminary, completing his masters at Asbury Theological Seminary and his doctorate at Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary.


1. Ongoing study conducted by Dr. Ted Roberts within his Sexy Christians seminars. Largest clinical study ever done on the sexual addiction rate in the evangelical church, with over 3000 data points. 
2. Ongoing study conducted by Dr. Ted Roberts within his Sexy Christians seminars. Largest clinical study ever done on the sexual addiction rate in the evangelical church, with over 3000 data points. 
3. Rick Warren (2010) Toolbox materials.

Featured Book:   Pure Desire:  How One Man’s Triumph Can Help Others Break Free From Sexual Temptation
by Dr. Ted Roberts

Pure Desire book coverThere is a battle going on with millions of victims trapped in the struggle and no apparent way out. Church leaders and pastors are often called in to help, but these leaders don’t exactly know what to do. Pure Desire is the answer to this desperate cry for help from men and women who have tried to build sexual holiness in their lives and failed…and failed…and failed. This book is also for the shattered souls of mates who are puzzled, shamed and wounded by their husband’s or wife’s sexual bondage and secret life. And, this book is for the Church to come alongside those who have come to them for help. Here is hope for establishing healthy personal boundaries. It will give the soul in Christ an anchor amid rough waters and a new appreciation for Christ’s healing power and presence. The time is now to begin walking in victory and helping others to do the same. Now in its 15th printing, this incredibly powerful book has opened the eyes and hearts of men across the nation. Learn how One Man’s Triumph can help others break free from sexual temptation.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on April 12, 2014
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 4, 2018

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