Christians struggling with porn are going to need more than Jesus to get over their addiction, and that's no heresy, says apologist and author Josh McDowell.
"Porn is by far the greatest cancer ever to the church," McDowell said in an interview with The Christian Post, noting that the problem is particularly relevant given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is right at this moment destroying more churches, more pastors, more marriages, more people's lives, more relationships than any one thing has ever done simultaneously in history," he stressed.
Fueled by the 24/7 accessibility of the internet, the porn scourge is worsening at the moment, he said, in light of how everyone is staying indoors and increasingly isolated because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The author elaborated that when the pandemic passes, there will be an explosion of porn addiction because of the increased exposure, but far too many pastors will not address the issue because of shame, fear of exposure and fear of ignorance.
"If pastors do not rise up and address this issue, then we are pretty well spinning our wheels in so many areas," McDowell said. But they are going to need more than Jesus to get through addiction.
"I put it this way: When it comes to porn and most things in your life, you need more than Jesus. And oh, that just irritates some Christians because they don't know the Bible.
"I need more than Jesus, you need more than Jesus. We all do. Why? When it comes to my salvation, all I need is Jesus, not Jesus plus works or this or that or church. He paid the entire price."
He continued, "But we need the church, the Body of Christ. In the New American Standard version, 161 times the phrase 'one another' is used. And 30-some times it says 'each other.' I believe that 98 percent of people who start watching and become addicted to porn will not make it out [of the addiction] without others around them."
McDowell added that he also expects a greater need for professional counseling after this pandemic passes.
"Don't hesitate to get professional help. That doesn't mean going to the church and meeting with someone who will counsel you. You need a professional person to walk you through this, and you realize that it's not going to happen overnight."
He believes that for the average person who gets ensnared in porn, it takes around three to four years to break its grip in light of how it rewires the brain.
In recent years, the Christian apologist has dedicated a considerable amount of time and use of his platform to address the pornography scourge. At a May 2017 gathering a the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in Washington, D.C., he urged parents to begin talking to children about the dangers of pornography when they are 5 years old.