For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.
— Acts 4:20 —
My Story: Pastor David Martin
My name is David Martin. I am the son of a pastor and have been in full time ministry for most of my professional career.
I was raised in a wonderful Christian home where I learned of my need for Christ and trusted the Lord Jesus for my salvation at an early age.
While not perfect, of course, I was always a good kid. I never really rebelled, and I embraced the faith of my parents who lived Christ’s life before me without hypocrisy.
But at age 13 or so, I was baby-sitting at a neighbor’s home when I happened to find a pornographic magazine. Even though I “knew better,” that opportunity to view something I had never seen before was so tantalizing that I didn’t even consider not looking at it. That first experience was so powerful that thereafter, I constantly found myself drawn to pornographic images.
For over thirty years, even through the years of my formal Bible training, into my years in pastoral ministry, and despite a healthy marriage, I battled the ever-present allure of porn. At times, I was more “successful” avoiding it than other times, but its draw never left me. I tried all of the typical strategies for overcoming lust and pursuing personal sexual purity: prayer, Scripture memory, accountability groups, prayer targeting, and just looking away. All these things helped me stay “clean” to some degree or another, but ultimately, every one of them failed. My commitment to the strategy would falter and the allure of the porn would grow. When an opportunity came along, I always knew I would falter again. And I did.
Like so many others, I measured “freedom” by how many days I had stayed “clean.” The time came in my life that was all the freedom I believed I could ever have. I assumed it was a battle which would periodically get the better of me for the rest of my life. I only hoped to be able to “manage” it… Not too much… Not too often.
In my study of God’s Word, I came to understand the nature of our bodies being crafted in God’s image… Literally… Physically. (If that’s startling to you, I encourage you to read my article about the Imago Dei) I came to realize that the way I had viewed our bodies all my life was actually insulting to the Creator who’s image is found in those bodies. I began to have more honorable thoughts about our bodies. And to my surprise, my interest in porn began to wane.
Soon, I could sense little or no interest in my heart for it. At first, I assumed that it was just a low point in the cycle of interest that I had experienced all my life. At the same time, I could tell that my disinterest was deeper and more abiding than it had ever been before. I found myself hating the porn for the distortions and lies it presented. I had hated it before, but this time, it was not mixed with the secret longing to see it again.
Ultimately, I realized that I had truly been set free. I walked away from pornography without any interest in looking back. I was open with my children, my father, and my extended family about my struggle for the first time in my life… Because, for the for first time, I knew I wouldn’t be going back again.
This was true freedom. I had never experienced it before. The words of Jesus in John 8:32 had been powerfully fulfilled in my life: “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” As a result of my discovering and living truth from God’s Word, freedom literally overtook me.
I wrote The Chain as an expression of my gratitude to the Lord for the change in my life. And I began to dream about starting this web site. God has now allowed me to draw close to some wonderful people who share my hatred for pornography and the destruction it brings upon so many.
If you are reading this, without a doubt you are either struggling with the allure of pornography or you know someone who is. It is our collective prayer that you will experience enduring freedom yourself and/or help others to it.
By His Grace
— David Martin (aka “Pastor Ed”)
P.S. Previously, I only used my middle name, Ed on MCAG, going by “Pastor Ed” instead of the name most people know me by, David Martin. There were a variety of reasons for that decision—such as the fact that there were two other Davids on the MCAG team—but those reasons don’t seem to matter so much compared to being transparent about my identity. So, hereafter, I’ll sign my work, David Martin.