Perry Noble: Porn was my 'secret sin'

The South Carolina megachurch pastor bravely admits to struggling with pornography for 10 years

Published 02 July 2014  |  
(Photo: Facebook/Perry Noble)
Perry Noble

Today, Pastor Perry Noble is a hugely popular pastor and head of the flourishing NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina.  And as a hugely popular pastor, you could easily think he's got no cobwebs in his closet and there's an invisible halo over his head.  

But Noble will be the first to admit he's no saint and it's not an admission just quietly whispered under his breath to a few friends at an intimidate dinner party.  

Instead, he's written a confession accessible to anyone and everyone who cares to visit the XXXChurch.com blog where he bares all in a recent post about the struggle he had with pornography and an addiction so strong he feared it would bring down his ministry, his marriage and his salvation.

It all started at the age of 14 when his dad bought a satellite dish, giving him easy access to pornography channels.  Later, he started buying pornographic magazines and looking at porn just became a regular part of his teenage life.  

The result was that he "developed a very unrealistic view of sex and an extremely unhealthy view of women".  

He admits that in his high school years, he didn't see anything wrong with what he was doing.  That is, until he accepted Christ.  

"And my life was changed.  I knew pornography was wrong and not what God wanted for me, but I had sown the seeds of a porn addiction into my life for more than five years. I wanted the desire to look at porn to go away overnight, but it didn't.  In fact I struggled with it for the next 10 years," he writes. 

"Porn was my 'secret sin' no one knew about.  The struggle was real and emotionally and spiritually intense.  I doubted my salvation.  I almost walked away from the ministry, I thought that God hated me ... I just could not get control of the addiction." 

He gave his life to Christ in 1990 but the worst wasn't over yet.  When the internet arrived "things almost spiralled out of control", he says.  While he could go months without looking at porn, without warning the craving would return and he would surf the net for several days in a row just indulging his desire. 

Things reached a head in 2000, the year he married Lucretia.  

"I knew a pornography addiction would destroy my marriage," he writes. 

But it wasn't something he needed to keep from his wife.  In fact, it was a struggle he was honest with her about from the start and she became a crucial pillar in his fight back.  

In the blog post, Noble lists "Tell your wife" as one of his five tips for overcoming porn addiction.  "She has a right to know ... and she can pray for you in powerful ways," he writes.  

He may have been porn free for 14 years but Lucretia is still praying for her husband and "holds me accountable today", says Noble.  

Asking for accountability from a trusted friend is another one of his tips, although he stresses that it shouldn't be from someone who has the same struggle as you.  

His other tips are: 

  • Get away from the web - "I don't think it is a stretch to say if your computer causes you to sin then get rid of it.  I had to take this step ... for about five years I did not have the internet in my house because I did not trust myself." 
  • Do not travel alone - "Temptation is real so having accountability with you when you're travelling is such a big deal." 
  • Ask God to help you to develop a healthy view of women - "When I realised, 'That woman is some man's daughter ... and when I have a little girl I don't want other men viewing her in a lustful way!' I have to admit - this one really impacted me." 

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