Ted Roberts may have ducked in and out of clouds to avoid enemy jets as a Marine fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, but he isn’t ducking what some claim is one of the most sensitive and destructive issues in society–sexual addiction.
“I realized no one was talking about sexual addictions in the church,” Roberts told Charisma. “As the body of Christ, we have got to wake up to this issue. I didn’t want to do it–I got drafted. I’d much rather travel around and talk about evangelism or signs and wonders. This isn’t funny, ha-ha stuff to deal with. This is serious.”
Roberts, who pastors East Hill Foursquare Church near Portland, Ore., is seeking other draftees all across the country in hope of developing a network of churches committed to leading people into wholeness and healing from their addictions. He has developed a seminar, titled Pure Desire after his recently released book by the same name, that teaches the dynamics of addictions and equips attendees to work through their own issues while helping others through the healing process.
According to Roberts, sexual addiction is no less prevalent among Christians. His own research reveals that 21 percent to 29 percent of pastors have confessed to being addicted to pornography.
“This isn’t a new problem. It’s been an ongoing problem from the beginning of time,” Roberts said. “God says that Israel played the harlot. That wasn’t just an analogy. The believers in the New Testament are riddled with sexual sin all the way through–like the church in Corinth. The real issue with sexual addiction is it’s not about sex. It’s about the way you process life.”
A unique characteristic of Roberts’ ministry is that it reaches both sexes. Roberts’ wife, Diane, travels with him, speaking in mixed crowds as well as in sessions for women only. Together, the couple share their personal experiences as well as the lessons they’ve learned in ministering to others on the topic.
Roberts stresses that his Pure Desire seminars are not a “quick-fix” solution for those who struggle with sexual addiction.
“We tell men when they come into our program at our church to expect the healing process to last anywhere from two to five years,” Roberts said. “I don’t know any man who has been healed of this issue instantly. It takes time.”