addiction

The Gospel for Porn Addicts: An Interview with D. Scott Hildreth

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Scott HildrethD. Scott Hildreth is the George Leile Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies at Southeastern Seminary. Normally, he thinks, teaches and writes about missions — and how we can bring gospel hope to the nations.

Yet in his latest book, Bondage and Freedom, he tackles a decidedly different topic: pornography. In it, he brings gospel hope to enslaved individuals in our own churches.

We had the privilege to talk with Dr. Hildreth about his new book, and how you can find hope in your own battle with pornography and sexual sin.


The book is an attempt to apply the balm of the gospel into a real life situation — no shame, just a helping hand.

Why did you decide to write Bondage and Freedom?

I wrote Bondage and Freedom to give a biblical view of sexuality and to provide a practical tool for those who were struggling with pornography. In January 2018, I published a book about the mission of the Southern Baptist Convention. When it came out on Amazon, we all realized there was another author who writes under my name. His material consists of graphic porn/erotica novels. I scrambled to figure out what to do.

Then, I thought, if people see his material when they search my name, it is possible readers will see my material when they search his name. My hope is that the book provides help and hope for those who may even accidentally stumble on it while they are searching for porn.

Some people approach the topic of pornography with a judgmental tone. Your book takes a decidedly different approach. Why?

I am glad you noticed that. The tone was intentional. In my experience, guys and girls who struggle with porn already feel defeated and ashamed. My hope was to meet the reader at the point of struggle and say, “Hey, let’s walk out of here together.”

I open the book with the analogy of an MMA cage fighter who is beaten and laying on the mat. This book is my attempt to step into the cage, help the reader get up and fight on. The audience I have in mind are young men and women who want to be free, but for one reason or another, remain defeated. On the cross, Jesus bore our shame. The book is an attempt to apply the balm of the gospel into a real life situation — no shame, just a helping hand.

What tips would you give to pastors and church leaders who are counseling people addicted to pornography?

If statistics are true, we should assume that the majority of young men and a large number of young women in our churches are using some type of pornography. They may be watching videos or viewing pictures online. They might be reading erotica novels or be engaged in any number of other mediums. Some say it is a health crisis and epidemic. Lust has been a struggle for as long as men and women have been on this earth. The Bible is quite clear about this.

As a pastor or church leader, we need to assume our people are in this fight, and are losing. They need to know that the gospel is for them too. It exposes sin. It forgives sin. It covers the shame. It strengthens us in and through the fight. Pastors and church leaders don’t need to avoid this topic in sermons and lessons, but they can make clear connections between their teaching and the struggles with pornography.

On the other hand, if statistics are true, pastors and church leaders are not immune to this temptation either. We don’t stand in a place of authority, untouched by the dirt and shame of sin. If any pastor or church leader is using porn, I encourage them to stop immediately and get help. The consequences of your fall are too great. Paul told Timothy to guard his life and teachings because both would serve to save some (1 Timothy 4:16). I would encourage all pastors and church leaders to deal seriously with this temptation in their own lives.

I have intentionally priced the book to make it affordable for anyone. But if you are a pastor or church staff member who needs help and doesn’t feel comfortable purchasing it, I am willing to send you a free eBook copy if you will contact me here: https://www.dshildreth.com/request-for-book. I will keep the contact completely anonymous. I am not a counselor, but this is my way of trying to be as helpful as possible.

Order your copy of Bondage and Freedom by D. Scott Hildreth.

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  • addiction
  • culture
  • interview
  • pornography
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