Terry Crews’s Porn Addiction, Hikikomori, Enslavement, And Your Means Of Escape

terry_crews_by_gage_skidmore_3-wikimedia-commons

Read John 8:31-36.

Last post from the book of John we saw Jesus speaking to the crowd and right at the end of that passage, Jesus talks about being lifted up, a reference to his being lifted up on the cross. It’s then that many believed in him. (See previous post: Suicide And Living Forever)

Free From What?

In this post Jesus addresses those Jews who had believed.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,” Jesus said, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

They answered: We’re the descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. What do you mean, “You will become free”?

Jesus explains what he means directly. “Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave doesn’t remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

What Are You A Slave To?

So Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” And the crowd asks, “What do you mean when you say “You will become free”?

Then Jesus answers: You’ll be free from sin. Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.

No doubt you’ve seen it yourself. (Or maybe you’ve experienced it yourself.) People can become enslaved to obvious sin.

Obvious Enslavement: Terry Crews’s Porn Addiction

I just watched a Youtube video in which actor Terry Crews and Russell Brand talk about their addiction to porn.

This is what Crews had to say about it:

“Pornography really really messed up my life . . . It changes the way you think about people. People become objects, people become body parts, people become things to be used rather than people to be loved. Pornography is the intimacy killer. It kills all intimacy. Every time I watched it I was walled off, it’s like another brick that came between me and my wife.”

At the end of Crews’s segment, he says, “I didn’t want to be this way. I didn’t want to continue to do the things that hurt my wife and my family.” He didn’t want to be addicted to porn. (see 5 Celebrities Share Their Experiences With Porn)

But he was enslaved.

Brand had similar comments as did several other celebrities in the video.

Obvious Enslavement: Resentment And The Mystery Of The Missing Millions

Today I also watched a short documentary film (one of the saddest documentaries I’ve seen) about the million or so Japanese men who have dropped out of society and locked themselves in their bedrooms–for years. Some of these people don’t even talk to their family members living in the same house. Those who suffer from such behavior are called hikikomori. It’s a complicated issue but it’s undeniable that one factor in all of this is the resentment and bitterness the hikikomori cling to. As time passes they become more and more comfortable in isolation and less and less comfortable with the outside world. In one man’s case he locked himself in at age 22, he’s now 50 and still lives in isolation. (see Mystery of the Missing Million, BBC)

To at least some degree, these men are enslaved, to their own resentment. I could relate. I’ve had my own issues with isolation and resentment.

Not So Obvious Enslavement (To Not So Obvious Sin)

The idea of enslavement to porn or resentment might be easily recognizable but enslavement to more subtle sin can be difficult to spot sometimes, especially in ourselves. Even good things taken to an extreme can be sin. I know because I’ve been there. At various times in my life I’ve been enslaved to video games, my career, or basketball, just to name a few. Of course there’s nothing wrong with any of those activities in and of themselves, but at various times each one took the place of Jesus. At various times those activities became what I lived for. Maybe you’ve experienced something similar with these or some other activity or habit. Or maybe you’re stuck in a quagmire of not so subtle sin (I’ve been there too). If that’s you I have good news, Jesus’ truth can set you free.

How Jesus’ Truth Set Me Free

Several times in the gospels Jesus talks about abiding in or following his words, and the consequences of following his words. In our current passage he says if you abide in Jesus’ word you:

1) Are truly his disciple, and,

2) You will know the truth, and,

3) The truth will set you free–from sin

He goes on to say that he’s the son, God’s Son, who dwells in his Father’s house forever. And because of that there’s power in Jesus’ words. Power to set us free.

So, to begin to abide and follow Jesus’ word you first have to find a way to receive Jesus’ words, continually. People have many different ways of accomplishing this. Some just read their Bible. Others listen to the Bible read aloud. Others listen to Bible teachers. Others gather in small groups that share among themselves what they understand from a given passage. However you choose to do it though, you have to receive Jesus’ words, somehow, before you can follow Jesus’ words.

But, when you do, your experience might be like mine.

When I really studied Jesus in detail, I fell in love with him. And when I fell in love with him, I no longer desired to do anything that would disappoint him. He, Jesus, became my ultimate. I still enjoy different activities and people, but, none are more important to me than Jesus. It’s made all the difference. The moment I put him in position as ultimate in my life, a large bundle of assorted sin disappeared.

Another part of the process is found in the way Jesus’ words in our passage communicate how I feel: I want to hear him to say to me directly, “You are truly my disciple.” (v. 31) My love for him motivates me to study and follow his words. One of my sins used to be harboring resentment. But Jesus’ words say to forgive. Peter once asked him if he should forgive as many as seven times and Jesus said, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” In other words, just forgive, indefinitely. (Matthew 18:21-22) I’ve written about this before in an article titled The Article About Anger That Might Make You Angry. Following Jesus’ words about anger and resentment improved my life dramatically, especially in my relationship with my wife and other family members, but also with people outside the family too. Life is just so much better when I follow his words, when I do things his way. When I study my Bible and live life the way he tells me to I’m freed. I’m now free from my resentment and anger (most of the time, there’s still room for improvement). And while I’m not perfect, in general I’m freed from other sins as well.

Free To Love

I’m sure you’re familiar with the time Jesus said the greatest two commandments are to love God and to love people. (Matthew 22:36-40) Do you know what I’ve found? Sin gets in the way of doing that. Sin gets in the way of loving. Terry Crews talked about how that works in the video about porn. The hikikomori can’t love anyone from inside their self created prison, you have to engage with people to love them. And when you exhaust yourself emotionally on an activity or interest that you’ve positioned as ultimate in your life, there’s little or nothing left over for loving God and loving people.

You’re a slave when you’re in that condition, and your ability to love is impeded by your sin.

But Jesus gives you, and he gives me, the solution. Jesus provides the means of escape from that kind of enslavement.

Learn his truth,

Follow his words,

And his truth will set you free.

References and Resources:

Bible Gateway

Phil Rees, Japan: The Missing Million, BBC, October 20, 2002

William Kremer and Claudia Hammond, Hikikomori: Why are so many Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?, BBC, July 5, 2013

[Image of Terry Crews by Gage Skidmore 3 via Wikimedia Commons]

3 thoughts on “Terry Crews’s Porn Addiction, Hikikomori, Enslavement, And Your Means Of Escape

  1. Pingback: Who’s Your Father? | God Running

  2. Great word, Kurt! Well written, and really powerful… I went through a similar experience in my 20’s ~ immersed in lust from childhood (pornography, movies, TV, etc), starting to try to follow and love Jesus as a young man… But how? SO much sin to overcome, so many bad patterns in heart and mind (strongholds), and all my self efforts seemed powerless to accomplish any real or lasting change.

    Finally bottomed out, gave up on fixing myself, got desperate enough to cry out for God to change and teach me, and started immersing my mind in His Word (not as religious duty or self effort, but the way that a man dying of thirst reacts to cool, clean water).

    Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 5 became my life, along with many other passages. I was reading the Word, speaking the Word over my life, thanking God that He was using His Word in my heart (even when I felt junked up and like a failure). I’d studied the Word before, but this time it was a response to His love, instead of an expression of seeking a quick fix so I could feel better about myself.

    I also focused more time on worshipping Jesus (not just Sunday mornings), a side benefit of which is softening the soil of my heart to His Spirit’s work.

    I experienced the most incredible thing: I found that the Holy Spirit used the Word to change things in me that I could never change in myself… And strongholds that took years to build up came down in months (some in weeks) when He was the one doing the work.

    I stayed in the Word, in worship, and just made my life about loving and seeking Him. I started finding the strength – even the DESIRE – to obey Him; because I knew He was at work in me to help me want and do His will (Philippians 2:13).

    And I didn’t try to obey anymore so that I would become or feel righteous somehow – I had the power to overcome temptation because I already WAS righteous thanks to His sinless blood and the Cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). I experienced such amazing freedom (just like Jesus promised when His Word enters our hearts and He becomes our treasure). Most incredible to me was how EASY it was to cooperate with God’s work in me – after years of exhausting self effort, I was finally learning what it meant to let the Holy Spirit do His work (instead of trying to do it for Him). Only He can change the human heart; we just cooperate (we raise the sails, and He must send the wind).

    That was in my 20’s… I’m now pushing 50 (whoa! Years go by fast!) And the work He did in my heart in the early 90’s has proven a lasting work… As His Word renewed my mind, it even destroyed the very desire for porn. I became so convinced that in all reality, there’s truly NOTHING good in porn or lust – it’s just a bunch of false promises the devil offers to enslave us. All truly GOOD things come from our heavenly Papa who loves us and always knows what’s best (James 1:17).

    Well, thanks for listening to my story… May you and yours have a blessed and joyful Christmas and New Year’s… Let’s connect for coffee soon! My work schedule will ease some once the holidays are past (lots of Christmas parties to play for) 🙂

    Matthew

    • Thank you for sharing your testimony Matt! What’s funny is that this morning I was just thinking and praying about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, immediately after I looked at my phone, saw that there was a new comment, and read your words. “We put up the sail but He must send His wind.” That’s very powerful and will be an encouragement for others. Coffee soon after January 1, for sure. I’m looking forward to it!

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