Do evangelical men struggle less w sexual sin?

My son and I get into theological debates often because he joined a christian house church about 2 years ago.

My last discussion was about my son not thinking that my husband is saved. Admittedly, my husband is not on fire for the Catholic faith, at least not the way I am and my son is for his newly found christian faith.

I don’t understand why my husband is very lukewarm about his faith. He is a convert of 15 years. He attends Mass, goes to Confession and prays each morning but a lot of what he does feel like he does it by rote. My son is right when he says that my husband has no passion for the faith. My son says that the reason is because he is in the Catholic church and does not know Christ.

When I met my husband he was an atheist and not living a moral life. I was very young and abandoned by my divorced parents so I latched on to him. I would never do that now but we have grown together and come a long way. I think my husband has minimal faith and he makes an effort to do more even though he does not have the zeal or the motivation to do it. He attends the men’s group at church and he likes it.

My son attended our catholic men’s group and said that some of the men there talk a lot about their struggle with sin, especially pornography. My son said that his Evangelical men friends do not have those problems because they are saved and they have Christ.

My son just got married last week and was a virgin, mostly because of my constant teaching about the importance of saving oneself for marriage :thumbsup:

Could this be true that the evangelical men do not struggle with these serious sins and that Catholic men for some reason do? He is also very down on Catholic priests (I am heartfully sorry to say this because our poor priests have been through so much) because of the sex abuse scandal and this is probably the main reason he did not stay in the Catholic Church and will not give the Church a chance.

Is it possible? What do you think?

I

No, he’s just plain wrong. I’m a 49 year woman who’s been in Evangelical churches my whole life. Mainstream Evangelical churches are usually pretty open about the common struggle with sexual sins; many have men’s groups for plain discussion between male friends about whatever they’re having difficulty with. “Every Man’s Battle” is one nation-wide group I know about which has been around for years.

Hi from Berks County to your north!

I know this is kind of irrelevant and maybe a silly question, but do women struggle with any kind of sexual sins? I know women are not “visual creatures” like men are, but can women have lustful thoughts?

Absolutely.

Wow–I think this all boils down to your son being rather sheltered (good job!) and his Evangelical male friends not being very frank. (And, honestly, they have a right to keep their private struggles private.)

I did InterVarsity (a Protestant parachurch campus group) in college as a young Evangelical and got a lot out of it. There was an episode where the guys (including some guys in leadership) went public with the fact that they were struggling with purity and I believe they formed an accountability group. And these were very fine, very conscientious, very good men.

I remember once talking to a nice young male college student who said that he once decided to start praying for every woman he started to lust for, and then discovering that he was praying for a large percentage of campus. (And by the way, what a great idea!)

So, I think your son just hasn’t had a lot of life experience yet.

Also, “house church” may actually mean “cult,” but I’m sure you’ve thought of that possibility already.

I read somewhere that men are tempted via images and women are tempted via the written word.

Some of those “bodice rippers” books that women like to read are straight up porn.

I also think your son is in for a lot of disappointment if he believes that “real” Christians never struggle with sin.

Also, just so you know in advance how this is going to play out, your son is going to say that any disgraced Evangelical Protestant “isn’t really Christian.”

In logic, this is called the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

I grew up around this idea that “Christians” were inherently much better people than non-“Christians,” and anybody who behaved badly “wasn’t a real Christian.”

It’s an attractive idea, but it certainly doesn’t reflect the world as it is. There are awful people who are Christian (even “saved” Evangelical Christians!) and very good people who are not practicing Christians. It also means that we are always needing to whittle down the guest list for the Supper of the Lamb, every time we discover the failings of our fellow believers.

His view of his current church seems somewhat idealized.
But today he almost had me believing that these evangelical men really have such a good support system in place that these kind of sins are not a problem for them. They confess their sins to one and other. And maybe* I’m* sheltered but I was surprised to hear about serious practicing Catholic grown men still struggling with Pornography. I don’t read much on this site about folks sexual struggles because I don’t have much advice.I understand that young men are highly vulnerable but is this a huge struggle for grown married christian men ?

Wow, I really hate pornography.

As an evangelical man in his 20s, I can say that your son is wrong. His church may preach that real Christians don’t struggle with sin, and as a result, the members don’t admit to any private sins lest their salvation be put into question.

Your husband is obviously a good Catholic, trying to live up to his faith. You should not be concerned about “lack of fire” in him. The “fire” may only be gifted by the Holy Spirit, and it is not given to everyone in the same amount.

Yes.

It could be the case that being in the early stages of a newly-found passion—both towards God and his new wife—can make it seem like old struggles just drop away and temptations lose their allure. That’s fine for a time. But often, once one is miles down the road and love is tested and not so shiny new, that initial ease at ignoring temptation becomes more of a daily decision to stay committed amidst waning and waxing felt passion.

Yep.

Yes, and I hope this is not the case. I hope it’s just his own new passion speaking, but if it is the church actively teaching this regarding any kind of sin, that’s a major problem.

What bothers me about all this is not only the denial of the reality of the Christian struggle against sin, which St. Paul even admits to, but the judgement of your husband. No one can really look into another’s mind and soul except God, and many people have a very deep faith but are not prone to outward expression of it. The judgement of another person’s relationship with God is an area where even angels dare not tread–it is reserved to God alone.

I would caution your son, if he were mine, that he should stick with praying for his family members and leave the judgment of them to God. But if he thinks evangelicals have some sort of advantage when it comes to sin of any kind, let alone pornography, he is sadly mistaken, and having hung around them for a number of years, and having family members who were “saved”, I know he will be in for a rude awakening one day.

I think some don’t honestly have as much trouble because they have a deep faith and commitment to Christ teachings but I also think a lot of evangelicals kid themselves

In the Bible Jesus says to the Pharisees because you say you have no sin you sin.

Whoever is without sin cast the first stone.

Paul talks about sin in Romans and about how the Jewish faith failed to adhere to God’s law because they did it as an empty act of obedience to the letter and not to the spirit of the letter.

I think as Catholics we all run into this we have to go to Mass or we will burn in hell so we go when we really don’t want to and sometimes we are glad we go and others it just doesn’t matter.

For people like myself who have mixed marriage my wife is exploring Catholicism through the Eastern Church but she still has roots from the Nazarene Church so she allows her mother to take our children every other week which does actually allow them to go to camp which is nice and they do have friends there.

That means I have to go to Church twice some weeks either in a day or in a weekend.

I no longer prefer the ordinary form so I don’t particularly always like to go.

This whole having to take my kids to Church to make their Sunday obligation or they and me will burn in hell wears me out.:shrug:

Most times I don’t mind and I like going to the Divine Liturgy or the Tridentine Mass or the Ordinary Form if I have to if it’s not butchered.

But I do have those days I am tired and it’s the last thing I want to do.

So yes I can say I have had moments or periods in my life I was not on fire with my faith.

Your husband just needs to explore his faith look at different devotions or maybe a different liturgy or maybe a different parish something probably needs to change for him to rekindle his faith.

I honestly find Evangelicals have more problems and act more contrary to the Christian faith than some Catholics but it’s not really always a Protestant thing or a Catholic thing.

It depends on the person and whether they believe they need to follow the commandments or not and since Protestants especially evangelicals all differ in doctrine and tradition there’s no specific pattern.

A lot of people who are once savers do not give care to the commandment’s since they believe they are saved and justified or they believe they are in fact sinless which I sincerely doubt.

I found that confession and church teaching is what helped me get over a lot of impurity in my life but to be frank the idea that no Christian will not struggle with sin or tribulation is hogwash even Peter or Paul say this I believe.

Ask your son how can he know if a person is saved or not?

Only God can judge another and knows if a person has salvation or not.

Ask your son what the specifications are for being saved?

Then ask other protestants their ideas of what it means to be saved or how it is done and then report all the statements back to your son and he will see it’s a confounding mess.

Every person ever denomination and sub sect of said denominations have their own version or definition on what it means to be saved and how you get saved and what that experience is suppose to be like.:shrug:

It’s exactly why I am Catholic and if i am wrong it’s only these peoples inconsistency that has lead me astray.

Ask your son how is that he can consider another Christian to be a Christian and to be saved if they are not the same denomination, do not share the same reformers and founders and do not have all the same doctrines and scriptural interpretations?

How is it those people are Christian and not Catholic and Orthodox it’s a bit hypocritical to have all these differences and then yet say we are all the same accept for those people over there those Catholics are heathens.

What’s his definition of being on fire?

Is it shouting and rolling around on the ground or waving his hands in the air during worship service?

It it criticizing others and talking about how great one is and how they have salvation but others do not?

How can he see into other men’s hearts and know if they love Jesus or they are saved?

Being on fire is not just acting charismatically or having a emotional high or euphoria during service it’s knowing you are where God want’s you to be and you are following the Lord the best of your ability and if you fall you get right back up and you never give up on your salvation and you live to please the Lord.

I would tell your son to ask himself these questions and ask himself if he is so righteous why is he judging and condemning others instead of praying for them?

Thanks. This eases my mind because I do see him try to live the faith. I don"t know what my son expects considering how far my husband has had to come.

Give your son some good Catholic apologetic books, such as Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating. Better yet why don’t both of you read it then discuss it. Your husband might enjoy it also.

I do think that he believes that his" brothers and sisters" have conquered sin because the Blood of Christ has washed over them and that they are no longer a slave to sin so they do not become addicted to sin ever again but apparently Catholics are still bound to sin because we practice works , rituals like the Sacraments, the Mass, etc - like the Jews.

I have to say, I’ve visited the house church a few times now and it really does look good on the surface. So warm, friendly, open, joyful, very down to earth folks and no one acting weird in any detectable way. Most are married with generously sized families.
It seems very Utopian, very Christian.

My only criticism of the church so far, and this I formed from listening to the preaching sitting through the service, is that they have a truncated, undeveloped and immature understanding of Christianity. I have begun to call them baby Christians, at least this group seems to be. I should add that half the congregation is Asian, mostly Chinese immigrants so maybe it’s because there is a language barrier. The teachings are Bible based, too literal and superficial. The songs(hymns) are silly and strike me as amateur or childish compared to our hymns, of course there are some exceptions like" Amazing Grace".

But I am highly impressed with the fellowship aspect and still wonder why we don’t have this in our Church . And I am still wondering if my son could be correct that these men don’t suffer the burdens of sexual addictions.

I’ve given him all of the above and more Scott Hahn , Fr Mitch Pacwa but I will revisit Karl Keating again. Thanks.

My husband won’t read Catholic books or watch Catholic TV. He falls asleep.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.