Sex and Porn Addiction: A Hidden Epidemic in Every Church (A Book Review on “Beyond Accountability” by Nate Larkin)

Beyond Accountability: The Life-changing Power of Authentic Friendship by Nate Larkin was recommended to me by a dear friend a few days ago. She shared to me what the book is generally about: a story of a pastor who was secretly a sex and porn addict as well, and how he masked such addiction with two efforts – compensate sin with good works and concentrate on not getting caught.

I got intrigued so I immediately went to discipleship.org, downloaded and read the free eBook.

The book tackles the concealed epidemic of sexual and pornography addiction in every church. It does not water down the fact that such addiction is rampant amongst professing believers of Jesus. The book specifically shares how shame, guilt and keeping a good reputation contribute to the secrecy of such addiction. It also discusses what happens when such addiction is underestimated, denied and dissociated to by people in the Body.

Here is what I like about this book: It does not preach you the must-dos in combatting sexual addiction and pornography. Instead, it takes you to the very mind of a sex and porn addict. Larkin’s no holds barred narration can make the reader uncomfortable because of his share of honest triggers and struggles. But it is relatable at the same time.

In fact, you do not need to be a Christian who is struggling with sexual addiction and pornography in order to relate to this book (although I highly recommend this to those who are!); you just need to be open-hearted about the realities of sin and temptation!

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The solutions provided in this book aren’t band-aid solutions to a deep-seated problem, but bold and specific approaches to the core of the matter. It did not talk about how one could be a better accountability partner; it talked about how one can look past accountability and onto intentionality. I am tempted to spoil the part called “The Four-Point Phone Call” but I would just suggest that you read it yourself.

I initially thought that reading this book would help me help others who are going through the same struggle. And yes, as mentioned, it did. But along the way, I realized that this book is not just for that purpose.

As a Christian girl who used to be bondaged with pornography and masturbation a porn addict for almost three years, and continues to battle against lustful thoughts and sexual temptations recover from it, the contents of this book ministered to me more than anything else.

My eyes were opened not only to the negative dangerous biological effects of porn (like short-circuiting the emotional development of younger users and rewiring the brains of chronic users), but also to the subtle signs of someone struggling and constantly defeated by it (like sudden desire or act of isolation — away from fellowship, being easily frustrated people, dealing with sexual sin in a past tense form).

The book was so good that I did not only read it, I also studied it alongside Romans 7, 8, 9 and Galatians 5. I also watched The Nate Larkin Series via YouTube as an additional audiovisual reference of the book.

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  1. The Nate Larkin Series #1 Sex Addiction Recovery: Porn is a drug?
  2. The Nate Larkin Series #2 Sex Addiction Recovery: Am I a sex addict?
  3. The Nate Larkin Series #3: Sexual Addiction Recovery: Private Problem, Private Solution?
  4. The Nate Larkin Series #4 Sex Addiction Recovery: Stepping into the first recovery meeting
  5. The Nate Larkin Series #5 Sex Addiction Recovery: Going alone Vs. With friends
  6. The Nate Larking Series #6 Sex Addiction Recovery: Radical Self-care
  7. The Nate Larkin Series #7 Sex Addiction Recovery: How can spouses help?
  8. The Nate Larkin Series #8 Sex Addiction Recovery: Getting over denial
  9. The Nate Larkin Series #9 Sex Addiction Recovery: What to expect the first year

If there is one insight (out of the many great insights from this short book) that I will not forget, it would be the conversation Larkin had with his friend in page 43. It goes this way:

“Do you want to know what your biggest problem is?”

Nate Larkin: “It seems pretty obvious to me.”

“Your biggest problem, Nate, is that you think sex is your problem. I am not saying sex isn’t a problem. You need to stop and you can’t stop it on your own. God is ready to help you, and he will use people like me in the process, but if you think stopping that behavior is going to fix you and make you happy, you’re crazy, because sex is not your problem. Sex is your favorite solution. It is the medication you have been using all these years to numb the pain caused by your deeper problems – and those problems, by the way, are common to man.”

This portion kind of reminds me of Jason Mahr’s TEDx Talks entitled “Pornography Isn’t Your Problem”, but Larkin’s friend spoke not from a centre stage but in a way that is personal and intentional.

To know more about discipleship.org’s eBooks, click here.

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2 thoughts on “Sex and Porn Addiction: A Hidden Epidemic in Every Church (A Book Review on “Beyond Accountability” by Nate Larkin)

  1. My husband is a recovering sex and porn addict who greatly respects Nate Larkin and especially his Pirate Monks podcasts. Your review of this book intrigues me. I’m not sure whether or not my husband has read it. I don’t keep track of his recovery materials, just my own. However, I am wondering if this is a book that would be beneficial for me as a partner to read? As Christians, I am concerned with the prevalence of porn addiction in the church and its inability to do much to fight it and support those who are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your life situation with me. Indeed, God is faithfully at work in the lives of His children, molding them to Christlikeness.

      This book of Larkin also shares a side of his wife during his wilderness years. I also recommend you read the book because it gives a perspective on how we can intentionally minister to people, especially our loved ones, who are struggling with sex and porn addiction.

      1 Corinthian 10:13 is a truth so alive, isn’t it? We already have victory in Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Corinthian 15:57).

      God bless you and your family, Cynthia!

      Liked by 1 person

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