Addicted to porn? Local group says Jesus can set you free.
Jack Nordby, a.k.a. Minister RMB, knows first hand how pornography can ruin lives. His own porn obsession began when he was eight, after he and a couple of neighborhood kids found a hardcore magazine in the dumpsters behind their apartment complex. At 14, while his mom was fighting terminal ovarian cancer, he used porn to comfort himself about her impending death. It only got worse as he got older.
“I would view porn on a regular basis, almost daily,” he said. ”I didn’t know the full effect it would have on my life until I was in the midst of a divorce due to my addiction.”
Nordby realized that his addiction to porn was negatively affecting his life, including his intimate relations with his wife. He began seeking help, sharing his problem with friends, as well as his minister. With the help of God, he says he was able to overcome his addiction to porn in 2003.
“It’s been a hard road, but [it’s been] amazing to see how God has healed me from my past,” he said. Four years later, Nordby is helping both those addicted to porn and those who participate in the pornography industry through Project 61, an inner city and homeless outreach program based in Del Paso Heights.
“My slogan is, ‘The Devil’s a pimp, so don’t be his ho,’” Nordby said.
Project 61 takes its name from Isaiah 61:1-4, which states, “The spirit of the lord god is upon me, because the lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.”
The program is sponsored by Arcade Church on Marconi Avenue. Its five to 10 members help inner-city poor and homeless people, mainly in the Del Paso Heights area, by providing food and lending a friendly ear. As the leader of the project, Nordby said he often comes across people who, like him, are battling addictions to porn.
In an effort to bring the anti-porn message to a wider audience, Nordby has released a Christian rap CD, When the Storm Comes, using the Minister RMB moniker. Song titles include, “Stepping On Toes,” “Gangsta do-si-do” and “Still Strugglelatin.’” Nordby and members of Project 61 also participated “Porn Sunday,” a nationwide event sponsored by XXXchurch and held locally at Arcade Church in October.
“Forty-eight percent of Christians deal with porn addiction,” explained XXXchurch founder Craig Gross in a webcast shown at the event. “The fact is that pornography is in our pulpit and in our households.”
Arcade Church pastor Jake Larson often helps men struggling with porn addiction. Watching porn, he said, leads men to look at women as objects, makes sex into an animalistic urge and takes intimacy away from marriages. Before people realize it, porn can ruin their lives.
“Porn boulevard is a long street, sometimes it’s a three-lane highway,” Larson said. “But it has a dead end, and it will catch up to you.”
For Nordby, not only does porn ruin lives, it leads to destruction and crime.
“To those who don’t think it’s a problem, I say just look at the rising divorce rate,” he said. “Just watch Datelines’ ‘To Catch a Predator.’ We can see that porn has played a major part in the lives of these men on that show. Research the majority of serial killers, and you will find that porn was a regular part of their life.”
But not everyone agrees with Larson and Nordby’s argument.
Dr. Humberto Temporini, assistant professor at the UC Davis department of clinical psychology, said that years of research shows there isn’t any evidence that porn leads to criminal behavior.
“In 1970, the first thing that the U.S. Commission on Obscenity and Pornography did was look for a link between violence and watching porn,” he said. “They showed there was no evidence behind it.”
Studies also showed that the use of pornography by criminals arrested on sex crimes was similar to men who had no criminal record. Even in the case of child molestation, Temporini said that pedophiles tend to look at non-graphic images, like children’s movies or magazines, rather than child pornography.
“People, especially some religious groups, like to say that porn leads to crime,” he said. “But there simply is no evidence pornography and sex offences are connected.”
Despite evidence against his argument, Nordby still contends that porn does ruin lives.
“Some say it’s not a problem, but I’ve seen people lose their jobs, lose their marriages to porn,” he said. It’s a problem he will personally struggle with for the rest of his life.
“Am I still tempted and struggle with thoughts of lust and even images that are ingrained in my mind?” he asked. “Yes, but I choose daily to not entertain those thoughts. I am daily getting over it.”