Josh McDowell on Strengthening the Church Against Pornography

“You have to start preparing you children for being exposed to pornography at age five,” said Josh McDowell at an event at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for DC-area faith leaders.

pornography and the churchThe event was focused on equipping leaders of local churches, and other religiously affiliated organizations, with the tools to address the harms of pornography.

The presentation drew nearly fifty area leaders.

McDowell spoke about the neurological harms of pornography, giving an analogy that the chemicals reacting in the brain when someone watches pornography are akin to tattooing the images on your brain.

Attendees included Rep. Linda Smith from Shared Hope International and Donna Hughes from Enough is Enough.

He told a heart-wrenching story of an eight-year-old boy who was accidently exposed to pornography at a neighbor’s house. His mother found him several days later crying in his room. When she asked him what was wrong, the boy replied that he couldn’t get the pornographic images out of his head.

McDowell emphasized the need for parents to begin preparing their children at early ages because it is impossible for any parent to adequately protect their child from being exposed to the explicit content.

According to research conducted by Barna Group, and commissioned by Josh McDowell Ministry, roughly half of teenagers, and nearly three-quarters of young adults see pornography on at least a monthly basis.

How should churches respond?

In an interview with NCOSE’s “Sexploitation?” podcast, McDowell stated that “Every church should have a recovery group…” His advice to pastors, and individuals, regarding pornography, is “don’t go it alone.”

McDowell referenced the positive efforts put forth by the Catholic church, the LDS church, and other religious communities as well.


church event
Patrick Trueman, President of NCOSE, welcomed the crowd.


Josh McDowell
Patrick Trueman, NCOSE, and Josh McDowell.

You can learn more about Josh McDowell and his work at

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NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


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