Archives For freedom

  • 64% of self-identified Christian men and 15% of self-identified Christian women view pornography at least once a month (compared to 65% of non-Christian men and 30% of non-Christian women). (Barna, 2014)
  • 1 in 5 youth pastors and 1 in 7 senior pastors use porn on a regular basis and are currently struggling. That’s more than 50,000 U.S. church leaders. (Barna, 2016)
  • Only 7% of pastors report their church has a ministry program for those struggling with porn. (Barna, 2016)

I serve as a Church Consultant on Pornography & Sexual Purity for Covenant Eyes. Contact me if you’re interested in making a game plan together for your church. I also have a free 60-second survey you can send to your congregation to gauge porn usage within your church body.

I’d love to hear from you on what’s already working and help fill in the gaps. Let’s get those first two stats to drop and that last one to rise!

(If you yourself are struggling with pornography, please join one of my 7-week online small groups.)

Visit www.coveyes.com/beyond if you want 60 days of Covenant Eyes Accountability Software for free.

-Noah Filipiak
15 years of pastoral experience
Author of Beyond the Battle: A Man’s Guide to his Identity in Christ in an Oversexualized World

(You can download a comprehensive Porn Stats packet (2018 edition) via Covenant Eyes here)

Christians are to save sex until marriage and are to keep it there.  (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

And fantasizing about sex outside of marriage is the same heart condition as engaging in it.  (Matthew 5:27-28)

These sound like some pretty strict “thou shalt not’s!”  It’s very important that we understand why God gave us these commands, as it wasn’t just to ruin our fun.  In a nutshell, sex is potent and volatile.  Our world has duped us into believing it’s only about body parts and impulses, but we all know it involves much more intimacy and vulnerability than that.  Deception is played, hearts are broken and selfishness runs rampant.  Instead of looking at another person as a human being, we’ve been conditioned to see them as objects to be used for our consumption and then discarded.

This is a problem. Continue Reading…

What does the Bible say about women in church leadership?  The complementarian case.

Alright here goes, the theological issue that has single-handedly kept me awake at night more than any other: Women in church leadership (Can women be pastors, elders, etc.?).  Maybe it’s cut and dry for you; it used to be for me as well.  Maybe by the end of reading what I’m about to write, you’ll be awake at night too!  And maybe not.  Whatever the case, please read both of my articles on this topic.  I am publishing them simultaneously with the express purpose of helping one side see the merit in the other and to help address some of the many misunderstandings out there.  The two posts are:

The Accusation from Complementarians: Egalitarians are not Biblical.

The Accusation from Egalitarians: Complementarians are Sexist & Oppressors.

The reason the topic of women in ministry leadership has deprived me of so much sleep is because of my love for hermeneutics and because of my deep conviction that the Bible is God’s word.  If you throw out any of it, how can you trust any of it?  Hermeneutics refers to how we interpret the Bible, taking into account the cultural context, the author, the audience etc. and figuring out how to apply the timeless truth of a passage to today, a very different context from when it was written (i.e. Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.).  Some passages of Scripture require no hermeneutics at all.  1 Corinthians 15:3-4 and Galatians 1:6-9 are some homeruns in this category–so clean, so clear, so refreshing.  If only all texts were this way.  In all honesty, as I’ve thoroughly studied the Bible’s women in church leadership texts, I often feel exasperated that both views seem unbiblical!  And then I can’t sleep…

Some quick vocab:

Egalitarian – The belief that women and men are equal when it comes to church leadership.  That women can be senior / lead pastors or elders in the same way that men can.

Complementarian – The belief that women and men are different in function, but complement one another when it comes to church leadership.  Only men can be elders / lead pastors.

There is a relatively wide spectrum within each camp, but this gives you a basic framework so you can follow along.

While there is a related debate about men and women’s household roles, I will be focusing on church leadership roles.  Onward:

The Accusation from Egalitarians: Complementarians are Sexist & Oppressors

Due to their heart and convincing biblical argument, I will attempt to show that to accuse complementarians of being sexist or oppressors is to accuse God and the Bible of this.

Source: Freedom and Boundaries: A Pastoral Primer on the Role of Women in the Church by Kevin DeYoung

Continue Reading…

I grew up in a church tradition that really emphasized hell as a motivation for accepting Christ’s forgiveness of our sins.  In fact, my own salvation decision as a young child was highly motivated by this.  I no longer see overemphasis on hell (often an exclusive emphasis) as biblical or effective in bringing true heart change in people.  I think it typically brings a self-centered mental transaction rather than a love-centered relationship with Jesus.  But that’s not what this blog post is about.hell fire brimstone preaching

I also wrestled for quite some time a few years ago with the idea of if hell existed at all.  It seemed contrary to God’s nature to have a hell where people were tortured forever.  Many like Rob Bell have gotten a lot of press for publicly coming out with an idea similar to this, showing “biblical” claims that an eternal hell does not in fact exist, or at least (in Bell’s case) that nobody is really going to go there.  I really wanted to believe this and I dug into Scripture to prove this point.  I did find some helpful new information from Scripture about hell and saw that there was more ambiguity to what hell is like than I had been taught in my faith upbringing.  But one thing I could not do is show biblically that an eternal hell does not exist, nor could I show that people simply cease to exist when they go to hell (a view called annihilationism, which is quite compelling and indeed has more Scripture than you’d think that points to this).  There were two passages in specific that I could not get around:  Revelation 14:10-13 & Luke 16:19-31.  An eternal hell exists and people are going there.  But that is not what this blog post is about either.

Nor is the blog post about how you should witness to your friends more because they are going to hell without Jesus, though they are and you should.

What this post is about is Continue Reading…

There are many men out there who do not want to look at pornography, do not want to lust over women they see throughout their day, and want to treasure their wives in every way they can.  I am one of these men.

But the decision to do or not do these things is not like deciding which pair of underwear to put on in the morning, or what to have for breakfast.  The reality is, we have been conditioned to lust.  Continue Reading…