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Mutuality | Blog + Magazine | Current Print Issue

The print + digital magazine of CBE International

Mutuality offers articles from diverse writers who share egalitarian theology and explore its intersection with everyday life.

The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CBE International or its members.

Volume 29
Number 3

Each author in this issue offers a frank, Christ-centered look at porn use in the church. They discuss how porn use harms women, not just men. They also offer practical ways forward to help us heal. 


The church’s handling of porn use thus far has been undergirded by contempt, shame, and gossip. We have centered men and their personal righteousness over the very real harm done to women and girls. 

The church all too often slants discussions of porn toward men’s struggles. But women also struggle. Ignoring this reality harms women—they are othered and do not have adequate resources to help them find freedom. 

Porn is a counterfeit intimacy. When we allow porn to distort true intimacy, we lose out on the partner work—whether platonic or covenantal—of the gospel, for which God created us. 

Does consumption of porn always lead to a negative result? These authors argue yes, so for the Christian there can be no such thing as “ethical porn.” 

We need to recognize the impact that male church leaders’ porn use has on women and their leadership opportunities within the church. Doing so requires extensive openness, curiosity, vulnerability, attention, and research. 

Far too often, the church has preached a narrow view of sexual immorality, singling out things like homosexuality and pre-marital sex while ignoring or downplaying the everyday instances of lust that we all face. 

Research helps us see the link between porn use and the abuse of women and girls, particularly in the form of intimate partner violence and sex trafficking.