Return to Innocence Resources

Compiled by
Randy Willingham, D. Min

             I remember and can never forget his honest struggle as an incredibly gifted man told me about an earlier time in his life when he gave into sexual sin. Repeatedly. Again, and again, did he yield to a growing appetite of his body. Eventually, he was enslaved.
            Some call it addiction. Others call it sin. A few say it is sin and addiction. Some say it is an addiction that is like any other disease. Others nuance their terms and say it is a “disease of choice.” I say it is slavery to sin. Of course it is addictive. Of course it alters the brain. So does jogging or lifting weights. 
            My friend wanted so badly to stop acting out. He had gone through a time of affair after affair as he travelled from place to place doing what others considered to be very respectable business. His own wife was totally unaware of his double life. He had become a pro at playing a hypocrite. He didn’t want to be a hypocrite. He just slipped into it. It was almost as though he woke up to it. He realized he was a hypocrite and then began living consistently with his beliefs about himself.
             I don’t doubt his desire to stop his sinful behavior. I also don’t doubt his inability to control his various forms of acting out. He was caught in a battle with himself. One part of him wanting to stop and another part did not want to stop. He was self-medicating in many ways and his sin allowed him to avoid deeper pain. He was also torn as his desires and commitments pressured him to change his behavior but his expectation and assumptions pressured him to try halfhearted. He intended to change; he just expected that he wouldn’t.
            Again, I don’t doubt his deepest desire. He did not get caught but he did turn himself in even though that risked his job, risked his marriage, and guaranteed humiliation. Years after he made his sin known he pushed me to make sure that I encouraged people with sin problems not to admit them publicly. He was burned and became confident that people would not be able to forgive as God is capable of forgiving.
            He lost what he did not have to loose. The church lost a motivated servant. I wish so badly he would have had access to competent, loving, and spiritually based caregivers. At the end of these materials I want to offer a devotional reflection for anyone struggling with sexual sin.  I hope you know. There is hope.

Contents

A Caution
Bethesda Workshops
Claudia Black
Confidential Caregiver
Institute for Sexual Wholeness
Joe Dallas and Genesis Counseling
Pure Heart Vision Reading Reflections
PureOnline
The Mouse Trap
Devotional: God’s Humility & Grace

A Caution:

     If you go through the webinars on your own it is very important that you do so while connecting with a caregiver as a sidebar conversation. The person whom you engage needs to be someone who understands enough to have a non-patronizing compassion but needs to understand enough to challenge your capacity for self-deception.

     If you reach out to someone and learn that they have the same battle you have do not continue leaning on that person! If they have had the battle in the past but are victorious at the level of what Changing for Good (see earlier reference to our Reading Reflections) calls the “termination” stage then this person could be excellent.

This person needs to have certain characteristics such as the following:

  • Someone you have not connected to in the past 
  • Can keep a confidence 
  • Good judgment 
  • Awareness of the power of shame and guilt 
  • Free with long term “fruits of repentance” 
  • Caring tenacity to follow-up on conversations 
  • Not only freedom from legalism but needs a deep awareness of the power and healing of God’s grace

     If you go through the material by yourself you may become more absorbed in the behavior and things could get worse. If you connect with a person who is not currently bearing the fruit of true purity then things could get worse.

Bethesda Workshops

     Many resources are offered by this group in Nashville, Tennessee. They are a ministry of the Woodmont Hills Family of God. They are a faith based group who has attempted to integrate the typical models of shame, addiction, and recovery into approaches that work. They will be expensive for ministers but will work with you on finding what is needed if you are serious about healing. Their web site has a lot of useful information.

Click here

 Claudia Black

     Claudia Black is a world renowned expert in addiction and has been very helpful to one we know personally. Her web site is loaded with useful information. She is helpful both to people struggling in various addictions as well as helping caregivers to provide better care. She has not been spiritually focused but her work has grown out of her own painful background. Additionally, she had a conversation with one of my friends who has successfully assisted many find freedom from addictions in which he described his view of the addiction cycle. She told him he left out grace and that without grace the cycle could not be broken. He is a minister so he was surprised to hear her push him on that reality. He speaks very highly of her. She has informed much of what he has done as well as helped him personally.

Click here for her web site.
Click here for a video of her that gives you a good feel for her as a person.

Confidential Caregiver Counselor

     You can reach out for a caring minister who understands ministry from a minister’s perspective, will listen, will not add extra guilt to an already heavy heart, and will help you see grace as a break through to freedom out of the self-defeating cycle of pornographic slavery.

     We know a few people whom we trust to provide biblical, informed, and effective care on an individual basis. However, these few people become overloaded quickly and are often unable to serve all the demands for help. We would be happy to connect you with trusted caregivers known to have successfully assisted others in the past as long as they are available.

     Call (501) 279-4573 and set an appointment to speak with Randy Willingham regarding our Wounded Warrior Ministry or click here to go to our contact page from which you can email a message requesting a call or more information. 

Institute for Sexual Wholeness

     One of my students went to seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary to become a pastoral counselor. I was asked to evaluate some material on sexuality they were using in a required course as part of training counselors for sex therapy from a Christian perspective. The materials looked very good and they strike me as being serious about being Christian in their approach.

Click here to go to their website and click here to find a therapist certified by the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists. You can also click here for a potential workshop.

Joe Dallas and Genesis Counseling

     Joe is one of the leading authorities on sexual purity. He is biblically focused and has a deep history in sexual sin as well as significant victories in Christ. He is very informed from a counseling perspective and does a much better job than most integrating biblical insight into current understandings of sexual sin, sexual addiction, or sexual slavery.

     Joe also has an effective 30 Days to Purity program that some others have used. He gave me permission to use one of his messages in a Christian Home class I teach. The message is one of the best I have heard on Peter’s failure as he denied Christ and has application way beyond sexual sin. I have seen many gain new hope just by hearing that message.

Click here

Pure Heart Vision Reading Reflections

     Our Reading Reflections on the Pure Heart Vision web page includes a number of sources that would be good. Some of these materials provide insights for some of the programs we’ve recommended here. Books that you can find speaking of shame or addiction are relevant but some of the less obvious ones may be Getting to No, Changing for Good, and The Key to Triumphant Living.  

Click here

Pureonline

     Pureonline has a number of good resources that you can go through confidentially. Webinars are available for men, women, spouses, and couples. The webinars can be completed in complete confidence.

Click here

The Mouse Trap

     The Mouse Trap by The Center for Christian Broadcasting is material that includes some of the most well-known practitioners in the country (including Patrick Carnes and the Bethesda group in Nashville, TN). The promotional video is on our Resources page under Return to Innocence. However, the full series is 8 DVDs with 18 lessons and a 154 page workbook. You can see more by going to http://www.wefightporn.com. CCBC also does a workshop designed to help get the study going in a congregation. Here is the contact information

 

Lou Butterfield
Ryan Butterfield
129 Sunshine Acres, Suite A
Searcy, AR 72143
cfcb@sbcglobal.net
501-368-0157

The following is from the Center for Christian Broadcasting web site.

     Once thought of as just a "Man's Problem," this is no longer the case. Do you remember the old cigarette commercial targeted to women which bragged, "You've come a long way baby?" Unfortunately, such can also be said today about the number of women using and becoming addicted to porn. Current figures are showing that up to 40% or more of women are regular users of Internet porn.

     Now more than ever, "We fight porn", needs to be the mantra of every family.

     Pornography is the number one problem in marriages today. It is a primary factor in breaking up homes, tearing families apart and causing emotional and psychological disorders. It is also setting children up for failure in their relationships as well.

     In this series, 14 therapists are interviewed, along with another 14 men and women who are recovering addicts and/or their spouses. Eighteen lessons, on 8 DVDs, with a total time of about 10 hours, explore the issues, causes and heartbreaks of this addiction. However, hope is also expressed with suggestions, guidelines and insight from professionals as they give their best efforts in helping provide freedom from the mouse trap.

Ideal Curriculum for:

  • Individual Study
  • Group Work
  • Recovery Meetings
  • Church Classes
  • Men’s meetings
  • Women’s meetings
  • Addicts
  • Spouses
  • Parents

Includes 8 Disc set & 154 page workbook

Lesson 1. Introduction to Sexual Addiction
Lesson 2. The Addiction Cycle
Lesson 3. Victimless Crime?
Lesson 4. An Intimacy Disorder
Lesson 5. Vulnerable Host - Abuse
Lesson 6. Vulnerable Host - Abandonment
Lesson 7. Freedom - Willingness
Lesson 8. Freedom - Relationship
Lesson 9. Freedom - Spiritual Partnership
Lesson 10. Spouse’s Heart
Lesson 11. Spouse’s Work
Lesson 12. Spouse’s Questions
Lesson 13. Female Addicts
Lesson 14. Church - Facing the Issues
Lesson 15. Church - Providing Help
Lesson 16. Differnt Porn, Different Drug
Lesson 17. Talking with Kids
Lesson 18. Tips for Parents

Devotional Reflection:

God’s Humility and Grace

     God’s frustration in communicating with Israel is clear by his command that Hosea marry a whore.  The marriage illustrated what kind of a wife Israel had been to a faithful husband, i.e., God.  Can it be that God actually did this or is it some sort of symbolic thing that happened?  One thing is clear.  God was very frustrated in his efforts to communicate with an ungrateful, presumptuous, and blind people.  Although God cared for Israel he was rejected for false gods, false hopes, and what I call “substitutionary love.”  Oh sure, Israel was willing to include God among her panoply of “lovers” but the “Faithful Husband” rejected the insult.  After Hosea lives out God’s unmerciful portrayal of Israel’s wickedness the silence sets in before the storm.  The point has been made on deaf ears and the silence prepares for battle.  Then, the words from God “I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim.”  The storm for which Hosea is braced passes over. God gives the shocking reason why he does not strike.  “FOR I am God and not man – the Holy One among you.  I will not come in wrath” (Hosea 11:9, emphasis mine, RW).  Because he is God, he does not strike!

     Actually, we expect the opposite!  After an enumeration of Israel’s sin we expect the build up is to torture!  Surely, the most righteous, the strongest, or the purest have the least patience with other people’s failings!  God says because he is God – and not a human being – he will not carry out the full extent of his wrath.  Because he is the strongest he is the most gentle.  Because he is the purest he has more pity.  Because he is the righteous one he has the most patience.  This does not imply that God has no lightning with his thunder.  In 722 B. C. he devastated Israel.  God moved out of the way to allow Israel to be made secure by her false gods, false hopes, and false lovers.  Israel’s desires were granted and Israel was crushed.  Long before, however, at a time when Israel was feasting, the “Faithful Husband” was crushed.  What we see in Hosea 11:9 is an open, honest, and vulnerable expression of a Faithful Husband’s desire.  Every mouth that criticizes God’s eventual wrath should be silenced by such “divine humility.”  Assyria eventually led much of Israel from freedom into slavery but God always experiences the pain of rejection first.  God only brings judgment after he has suffered and revealed his pain, the whistle has blown, the thunder has exploded, the lightning has flashed, he has retreated from destroying us, tried, again, and then again.  But, don’t ever forget, God’s thunder is no bluff!  Yet, if we turn to him, place him “on the highest throne,” and live humbly with him then we will have the grace of a God who humbles himself by loving us.  We will understand that his humility is strength not weakness. 

     The story of Hosea was before “God became a man.”  No one could have figured out that the depths of God’s love and that credibility for God’s wrath would be lived out in such a remarkable truth.  The “God-Man” understands, he gives grace in both judgment and hope.  The people who develop in His image do the same.  The power of grace be with you!

Randy Willingham

Harding University

Harding University

Harding University

Yeakley

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