Don’t Waste Your Life on Porn, Video Games When the ‘Real World Is on Fire’: Ben Stuart

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(Screenshot: live.erlc.com)Passion City Church Pastor Ben Stuart speaks at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s national conference in Grapevine, Texas, on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

A pastor who’s part of a multisite megachurch has implored Christians, especially those who are single, to not waste their time on pornography and video games while “the real world is on fire.”

“The average young person today by the time they turn age 21, has spent 10,000 hours playing video games. Takes less than half of that to earn a bachelor’s degree. So I beg young men, don’t spend your time saving fantasy worlds while the real world is on fire,” said Pastor Ben Stuart of Passion City Church in Washington, D.C., during his talk on singleness and relationships at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s conference in Grapevine, Texas, on Thursday. 

During his remarks, he stressed that Christian singles should “pursue an undistracted devotion to the Lord” and not be derailed by screen time entertainment, like television and video games.

“The average American spends 7.5 hours looking at a screen every day. Don’t spend your life watching other people’s lives on a screen and miss out on your own. God has given you this time to leverage it for His purposes.”

(Screenshot: live.erlc.com)Passion City Church Pastor Ben Stuart speaks at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s national conference in Grapevine, Texas, on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

Stuart also spoke about the prevalence of pornography and its harms, listing it as one of many factors contributing to the declining marriage rate and explaining to those gathered that “we have a young generation awash in pornography.”

“All the studies we’ve seen say it makes them presume sexual exclusivity is unrealistic, hold cynical attitudes about love, affection, and marriage,” Stuart said.

“It’s also encouraging the self-reported awkwardness you see among young people as they even deal with the opposite sex. We have young people who are in crisis.”

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Stuart’s remarks came as part of the ERLC’s national conference, titled “The Cross-Shaped Family,” which began on Thursday at the Gaylord Texan.

“Family Life can be difficult with broken people in a broken culture,” read the official event announcement for the conference.

“This is a conference for parents and pastors, for lay leaders and youth workers, for young and old to come and learn what the Bible has to say about families that live on mission for God in the 21st century.”

Earlier on Thursday, Andrew T. Walker, director of research and senior fellow in Christian ethics at the ERLC, gave a speech in which he said that Christians shouldn’t reject LGBT family members.

“Do not abandon them,” Walker stressed. “I do not know how this poisonous thinking infected evangelicalism, but in my role at the ERLC I’ve heard from parents who have a gay or lesbian or transgender child who think that because their child is identifying as one of those categories, it means they have to abandon them and banish them away.”

“If you have that attitude toward others, you should crucify it. If you have that attitude yourself about your child, you need to crucify it. Here’s why: because there is nothing, I repeat, nothing that can nullify the relationship between a parent and a child.”

Randy L. Stinson, provost at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also gave remarks on Thursday, in which he talked about having a “peaceful home” despite it being crowded with eight children.

“What do I mean by peaceful? Let me tell you what I don’t mean. I don’t mean quiet, as in ‘peace and quiet.’ Our home is not library-like. In fact, you can have a quiet home and not have a peaceful home,” explained Stinson.

“What we’re trying to cultivate in our own home is what the author of Hebrews calls the ‘peaceful fruit of righteous.’ Where there is right behavior, there is peace. And when members of the family are rightly related to one another, there is peace.”

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