The Covenant Eyes Podcast

Culture’s Sexually Explicit Trap, With Pastor Garrett Kell

August 30, 2023 Covenant Eyes, Pastor Garrett Kell, Karen Potter, Brandon Clark Season 2 Episode 48
Culture’s Sexually Explicit Trap, With Pastor Garrett Kell
The Covenant Eyes Podcast
More Info
The Covenant Eyes Podcast
Culture’s Sexually Explicit Trap, With Pastor Garrett Kell
Aug 30, 2023 Season 2 Episode 48
Covenant Eyes, Pastor Garrett Kell, Karen Potter, Brandon Clark

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, we’ll visit with Garrett Kell, author and lead pastor of Del Ray Baptist Church, about:

  • How culture’s saturation with sexually explicit material has numbed us.
  • Why this is a dangerous trap.
  • Forgetting that Jesus is with us always, even when we are looking at porn.
  • Steps we can take to regain consciousness in the cultural battle.
  • How the book Pilgrim’s Progress can serve as a guide for our spiritual growth.

More Information/Resources:


Blog: Pornography and Church Discipline

Blog: The Pastors Progress

Book: Pure in Heart: Sexual Sin and the Promises of God by Pastor Garrett Kell

Book: Rescue Plan by Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes

Book: Rescue Skills by Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes

Follow on Social Media:

Twitter: @pastorjgkell

Covenant Eyes offers a clear path to freedom through trusted relationships and free resources. TRY COVENANT EYES FREE FOR 30 DAYS: (Promo Code: FreePodcast

Stay up to date on the latest news and guests on The Covenant Eyes Podcast by signing up for our newsletter: 



Try Covenant Eyes for FREE today!
Use Promo Code: FreePodcast

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, we’ll visit with Garrett Kell, author and lead pastor of Del Ray Baptist Church, about:

  • How culture’s saturation with sexually explicit material has numbed us.
  • Why this is a dangerous trap.
  • Forgetting that Jesus is with us always, even when we are looking at porn.
  • Steps we can take to regain consciousness in the cultural battle.
  • How the book Pilgrim’s Progress can serve as a guide for our spiritual growth.

More Information/Resources:


Blog: Pornography and Church Discipline

Blog: The Pastors Progress

Book: Pure in Heart: Sexual Sin and the Promises of God by Pastor Garrett Kell

Book: Rescue Plan by Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes

Book: Rescue Skills by Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes

Follow on Social Media:

Twitter: @pastorjgkell

Covenant Eyes offers a clear path to freedom through trusted relationships and free resources. TRY COVENANT EYES FREE FOR 30 DAYS: (Promo Code: FreePodcast

Stay up to date on the latest news and guests on The Covenant Eyes Podcast by signing up for our newsletter: 



Try Covenant Eyes for FREE today!
Use Promo Code: FreePodcast

Hey everybody, welcome back to the Covenant Eyes podcast. Karen Potter here checking in from Michigan and I've got my co-host Brandon Clark joining me from Minnesota. How's it going over there? Oh, I'm doing great. I'm especially great because I just learned that our guest today is a Vikings fan, even though he lives on the East Coast over there in Virginia. So, I knew I liked the guy before. I just like him even more now. Nice. Well, misery loves company is the issue for Vikings fans.

I never said it was a good thing. It's just the fact that we can join arms in our misery, I think is a good thing. Yep. Yes. Lord help us. Awesome. Well, we have an amazing guest for all of our listeners out there today. We are checking in again with Pastor Garrett Cowell, who is one of our favorite guests. He is going to be talking about all sorts of good things. And we are just so grateful to have you joining us, Pastor Cowell. How are you? Hey, it's a joy to be back. Thank you guys for your work and for having me on. It's always a joy.

We really enjoy having you on because we always have great conversations. Since the last time we had you on, you've written a couple of blog posts and we're going to talk about those today because they really get at the heart of what we do here at Covenant Eyes in fighting against pornography and then also journeying towards freedom. So let's start with the first blog post though, Pastor Cal, and it was talking about pornography and church discipline.

So in this blog post, as I was reading and preparing for our conversation, I thought it was really interesting how you talked about culture's saturation with sexually explicit material. And this came up as you were having a conversation with a church member about some of the programs that he was watching. And you asked him whether there was porn in it and there wasn't. And yet there was sexually explicit material and he never tied the two together. So I wonder if we can just start here because it seems like culture has

numbed us to sexually explicit material, even though it's clearly pornography. Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's one of the aims of sin is to deceitfully harden us or to callous our hearts against God, right? And we've got to understand that in our world, there is a constant flow of heart callousing, spirit quenching smut. It's just

It is material that highlights and celebrates sin and that makes a mockery of holiness and purity. And I think one of the tactics of Satan is to get us to just not notice just how dangerous it is. It's the old story of the toad on the stove that if you put a toad, because he's cold

the heat slowly and he would never really notice and could be boiled to death and just because of the way he's made. And I think that sin does that. It slowly, progressively, like if you rewind and look back like the 1950s, what was on TV, I'm thankful for HD and color TV and all that kind of stuff. But if you look at the programming and what was acceptable then versus now, and the 50s had their own issues, but you can just see the sort of stuff.

It's not progress. We are regressing in a way that is really dangerous and destructive. And you know, we just don't realize that we live on a scale of one to 10. We live just commonly on commercials at about a six, you know, and it's constant and it's everywhere. So good. And I like the analogy you used about the toad in the stove. I actually recently watched a movie that kind of

had that same demon a was called nefarious i don't know if you've seen this movie but in the movie and it has undertones of like the c.s. lewis uh... kind of book i'd the screw tape letters but it's where it you know state in like it's little things he chips away at the armor you know the little temptations little things that lures the way in overtime it compounds and before long were you know we're need even our stands in uh... you know cutting creating all sorts of havoc in our lives because of our choices so i just i really enjoyed that

As you're kind of thinking about, you know, kind of going through that article that you wrote, I thought what was interesting is you talk about church discipline in that article, because oftentimes that's something that church leaders are faced with, you know, once somebody has been uncovered, you know, to be in pornography and struggling with pornography, and you list out some steps on kind of how to discern, you know, how deep and how troubling their addiction is.

Would you talk through a little bit of that? Like, what are some of the steps that people have to take as they discern how deep someone is into their sin and their addiction with pornography? Yeah. You know, I think this is, I'm glad to ask because it's not something that, you know, if someone looks at pornography, that automatically they should just be terrified that now I'm going to get kicked out of the church and that God hates me and all of this kind of stuff. This is not what that particular blog...

post was about. This was, this was my aim in writing this post was to help, help us to realize that engaging in unrepentant pornography is a very serious sin. That it's not some kind of, it's not something that can just be winked at or overlooked. Like this is, it is a serious sin against God. So I think first thing you want to do is you want to begin by having a conversation with somebody.

If they've come and they brought it to you, like you want to celebrate that, you want to thank them, you want to encourage them. I mean, anytime someone confesses a sin, that is a, it's an evidence of God's grace. We want to encourage and say thank you, and then help them to make steps toward repentance. But if they, if people prove themselves to be hardening themselves against God and God's people by being unwilling to make those steps, this is where it begins to become more concerning and we need to begin to be more.

more vigilant in pressing in and trying to help them to get released from this sin. So I think we want to encourage them for admitting whatever they do. I think secondly, you have to have patience in this process. So getting someone unentangled from sin sometimes takes time. So you have to be patient, but you have to keep pressing.

And you have to look, are they willing to make the steps that are being recommended? Are they willing to get rid of a smartphone? Are they willing to dumb down their phone in such a way that they couldn't look at pornography? So for instance, I have a smartphone, but right now if you put a gun to my head, I literally couldn't pull up pornography because we've taken steps to be able to block it. Same thing like in our house. We have all sorts of devices that connect to the internet.

We have set up six different levels of accountability in our house to try to block stuff from coming in to help it even from, you know, flowing in. So, follow what Jesus said. You've got to be willing to cut off your hand, pluck out your eye in order to make those steps. And if not, you have to begin to ask the question, why not? Why are you unwilling to take these steps? You know, see that this is, if they're married, you're tearing your sp-

bounces heart out, right? If you have children, you are sinning against your children. If they're not, you're sinning against fellow members. You're sinning against all of us supremely. Christ, do you see what's happening here? And if someone continues to resist that, just as with any other sin, we want to say that this begins to reduce our ability as a church to affirm someone's profession of faith.

To be really clear, I'm not saying that someone who struggles with sin, the Christians can't struggle with sin, we do. I mean, read the New Testament, it's really clear. Who will free me from this body of death? I mean, like, that's the struggle, right? Galatians chapter five, spirit and flesh, warring. But someone who's showing repeated unwillingness to obey Jesus and to humble themselves and to make strident efforts at putting sin to death, it does begin to raise questions. And...

I think it's always going to be a case-by-case basis as to when church discipline might ever be the official answer, but that needs to be a reality for churches. Right. You know, in that article, too, you mentioned true repentance will be marked by queer and often drastic steps. And then you quote Matthew 3, 8, which is, bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

So I just thought that was really interesting. And then it goes on to say, as one friend asked, is there a metaphorical trail of blood following him as he cuts off whatever he must in order to obey Jesus? You mentioned that, like sometimes it's getting the dumb phone, it's taking those drastic steps. And I think that is really, really important that when someone comes to us with a repentant heart, what are those steps? What is the level of sorrow, as you said in the article? That's really important to assess that.

Yeah, I think if someone's not bothered by it, I think that's a really concerning situation. And I just need to help them see that. First of all, if this doesn't grieve you or break your heart, if you're like, it's just not that big a deal, I think that just, it evidences something bad is off. Either you have so calloused your heart that grieve the spirit that you're in great danger or it could just be the fact that you don't know the Lord.

quick to rush to those judgments. But part of what Jesus calls us to is to judge one another. First, judge our own selves. Make sure we're not hypocritically, you know, this is why leaders have to be above reproach and have to be holy themselves. But, you know, I think this is part of the necessary part of doing life together, helping one another to heaven. I mean, I remember for me in 2007 when a dear friend named Reed, he called me out. I mean, he appropriately judged me.

I mean, he said, brother, I'm very concerned about where you are. And by God's grace, it was like some smelling salts for me. It woke me up. I was like, oh my God, goodness, Lord, I have sinned against you. I have sinned against others. I have minimized sin. And it bothered me. I began, by God's grace, to do whatever it took in order to put that sin to death. And I'm not saying that I'm the example. I'm just saying I've been through that too. And you know, I do think that there's something that God uses about getting other people involved.

and your sin being seen in the light that God uses that, and it's very helpful. But I do want to give a word to church leaders. Sometimes overly ambitious church leaders can hurt people in this process as well, so you want to be very patient. You want to be thoughtful. And I think you want to only get the circle of who knows what as wide as it needs to be. So if someone's trying and still struggling, that's one thing. This

In this article, particularly, we're talking about someone who is just unwilling and continues to say, I don't care. You know, I think particularly of a husband or a wife who just continues to give themselves to this and doesn't care how it hurts their spouse or their children or their church or their God. And just, it's a deeply grievous sin. But Jesus is able to help. He can meet us right in the midst of that. We have seen people who have been delivered.

from this sin and he is able and that's why he came, that's why he died, that's why he rose, that's why he intercedes and we have help and praise God for that. It really reminds me of the book of Exodus, Pastor Kell and how every time Pharaoh was come up against God and God's wishes, Pharaoh always just resisted. It said it hardened his heart. And I think that's, there just needs to be an understanding that

when we reject God and God's ways, there's going to be consequences for our actions. This is actually a really dangerous trap. Can you dive into that a little bit? Yeah. You know, I think sin's ambition is to callous us, to numb us, to grieve us, to cause us to lose the ability to blush. It wants us to grow cold toward God. And what God wants to do is he wants to help us to see this is danger.

This is danger because we're grieving. First of all, we're grieving God. Satan wants us to forget that this sort of sin, it is grievous to God. So one of the metaphors that's used throughout scripture of sin is spiritual adultery. It's a picture of us sinning in the most heinous way against God. That's what sin is. And I think Satan wants us to forget that.

to make us as it were practical atheists, to where we don't even think about God being around anymore. We forget that Jesus is with us always to the end of the age and that the Spirit of God indwells us and aims to fill us to make us like Jesus. And Satan wants to do everything he can to, for us to even slowly, as you mentioned, Karen, rightfully slowly allow us to grow calloused and cold, to not even think about God's presence. That you don't even think when we pull up something on our phone that the Lord is there with us, that his Spirit is within us.

Or even to not even listen to that shriek of the Spirit when we see something and just rather than be like, oh, that's the Spirit saying, no, Jesus wouldn't look at this. Jesus wouldn't click on that. Jesus wouldn't follow that. Jesus wouldn't do that. That we push that away and say, but I want that. No. I mean, so I think one of the most helpful things for me over the years is to not forget that we are called by Christ into a personal relationship with God.

that's a beautiful thing, that God wants to commune with us. He loves us and he wants us to know his love and to know the fullness of his joy. But sin wants to do anything it can to degrieve that God, to quench his spirit in us, to degrieve the spirit, Ephesians 4 says, because he hates God being delighting in his people. Also, I think one of the other dangers, not only is it callousness

But it calluses us against other people. So you just, it changes the way you think about people. I mean, I remember there was a young man that I had been ministering to, and he had been looking at pornography probably every day. I mean, he was really bad and snared. And we were going for a walk outside and a young lady walked past us. And when she did, he...

He had like a physical reaction where he turned his, he turned his whole body in his face away from her just so he wouldn't like lust after her. And I just thought, Oh my goodness, like that's not the way we're supposed to like relate to fellow image bearers. They're not just walking temptations all around us. We, his heart and mind had been so warped by sin that he couldn't even be around other humans, rightly. Um, and not only.

you know, having that view, but also it calluses your heart. When you come to church, you know, it, well, first of all, sin will want you to not show up at church because all of a sudden you'll be grieved and you're like, I'm not going to go. I'm just ashamed and whatever it is. But if you do come, like if you've given into sin and your heart has been grown cold and calloused, when you walk in, you're not going to want to obey the Lord and greet one another as you're commanded to. You're not going to want to sing.

so loud to encourage one another with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. You're not going to be listening to the Word in a way that's like, oh, fill me, give me, or give it to me so I can give it to others as well. You're not going to be able to take the Lord's Supper, either take it because you know you've been sinning and not repentant, or you're going to be taking an unworthy manner and taking the Lord's name in vain and sinning even there because you don't want somebody else to see you this. It's like you just go through the whole thing, and then when you leave, like what you're not thinking about is, there's all kinds of lost people around me who are going to hell. I need to share the gospel with them.

your heart just is so, it shrinks as it were in its perspective. And that's what sin does. That's Satan's scheme is to harden us and callous us and help us to lose eternal eyes and to help us to not delight in the presence of the Almighty. And that's serious. Like, that's scary. Matthew 18 It really is. And this numbness can be so hard to break out of. I see it just in my own family members sometimes how they just, they become so, I don't know,

unresponsive to even little acts of charity. It just really draws us closer to the world every time we dive into these things. So I'm curious to know, how do we bust out of this numbness? How do we regain consciousness to be able to accept the Lord and be actually in a place to accept the Lord? Because even when we're numb, it's like...

Are we even in a place to be able to receive the love of God? Yeah, that is a great question. You know, I think the first thing is, so if you were giving counsel to, you know, to a person who was an alcoholic, one of the first things you tell them is stop drinking. I mean, it seems like, well, of course, but like we need to, you're drunk because you're drinking. So first thing, let's remove all of the, all of your opportunities for indulging in that. And I would say in the same way,

One of the things that's important for us to do is to stop drinking from the world so much. So just practically, fasting, literal fasting, where you fast from food and other sorts of things for seasons of time. I think whatever, yeah, our generation of Christians, I'd say most people don't have fasting as a regular part of their spiritual disciplines. And I think that's because

you know, whatever it is, but that's, it's a real thing. And Jesus, I think, expects this to, he says, when you fast, it's not like if you fast or, I mean, it's, I think it should be a part. So there's, there's something where, because then we're training our bodies to say no, so that I can say yes to time with the Lord. I'm saying no, so I can say yes. That's what fasting is, right? So same thing with like social media and entertainment.

So for instance, I am on social media, but I'm really only on social media about half the year because every two months I'll get off for a month or two. And I give somebody else my password and I'm just off. And it has been hugely helpful for my soul to be disconnected, to not try and be omnipresent through social media. But then when I enter back in, I'm often amazed of, wow, people are really angry.

Or, man, there's some stuff on here that is just dangerous. And I think if you're always in it, you get used to it. But when you're away from it, and you're like with normal people who act normal when they're not behind a screen, and then you get back in, you're like, oh, this is bad. You know, and that's been one of the things that's been sorrowful for me really over the years is to watch people who have really changed. And yeah, it's another sermon for another day. But fasting from...

from screen so it's another thing our family right now is talking about in july classes june recording in july uh... taking up a month off of screens uh... now the kids are home for for summer so there may be a riot but we're at least thinking about how can we do this in some form or fashion to where we're not that's not just we're not just receiving from the world right uh... and and you know we're filtering or watching anyway but but there's i think that's one of the most important things you can do

is to build into your rhythm of discipline tuning out from input that even if it's not explicitly sinful, it's still worldliness all the time that's coming in. And I think we underestimate how much that does affect us. So that would be one thing. Not only fasting, but then feasting. So most people who are struggling with porn, I think are, if they're honest, are not having...

20 or 30 minutes a day in prayer. At least typically the people that I counsel or the times when I've struggled, my life has not just been marked by deep, unhurried, rich, communing time with God. 20, 30 minutes. And I'm not saying you have to have that every single day, but, you know, if you were to set aside

you know, so sometimes our church will fast and pray for a week. And we encourage people to have an hour a day in prayer. And typically people take 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes around lunchtime, and 20 minutes a night. That discipline, building that in where you're going to the Lord in prayer, when you're in His Word and you're reading and receiving and not just read it to check it off.

So one of the ways sometimes you got to slow down your Bible reading plan. So if you're like on a Bible into your plan and you're just like, I'm going to make it through, I'm going to make it through, I'm going to make it through, but you're just reading and you're not like getting anything. For the love of God, stop your Bible reading plan. Fail at your Bible reading plan in order to read your Bible to where you can really say, you know what, I made it through a paragraph today, but it was so rich because the Lord, He gave me a phrase. I just couldn't get past it.

So I think the point of reading is to commune with the Lord. Don't forget why we're doing what we're doing, right? So we want to fast, say no to things, even good things, right? And then we also want to feast, feast on the Lord through prayer, through His word. And then fellowship with godly believers is the third thing. The more you're around people who are truly holy, and not in like a prudish kind of stuck up sense, but people who just love God, right? So I can think of a guy named

Eric and a guy named Brian and a sister named Annette who was just in here just a couple minutes ago and another sister named Karen. When I'm around them, I'm just more cautious to what I say, not because they're prudes, but because they're holy. Like they've been with the Lord. And there's something about being around people like that is really good for my soul because left to myself, naturally, my jokes can...

kind of get off color or I can share a meme that maybe I shouldn't or I could, you know, I just can be less sensitive and I'm like, wait, this is not from the Lord. I got to be really careful here and guard my heart and my mind. And the more that I surround myself with people who truly love God and want others to love him, it's contagious. Just as sin is contagious, so is holiness. It's a sweet gift. So I think make sure you're guarding your fellowship. I was actually on a thread.

with some some buddies from a fantasy football league that we do. And somebody, we had kind of gotten into some jokes. Somebody said that, you know, these are people who go to go to church with love the Lord, but it started doing a couple of jokes. And one of the brothers just he put it in, he's like, Hey guys, listen, I feel like this has gotten a little bit, a little bit off color. And I'm sorry for ways I've contributed to it, but let's just make sure we can keep this edifying. I was like, thank you. I was because

I mean, it's easy to just let your guard down and get used to stuff. And sometimes that can be uncomfortable to be that friend, but that's part of what it means to be a Christian. We want to help each other toward heaven. We want to help each other to honor Jesus. And that brother really helped us in that moment. So those are a few things. So that's incredible. And in that, I think it was in that article you mentioned, it takes the church to raise the Christian. And I loved that because we often hear, it takes the...

village to raise a child, but that really struck me because we do, we need fellowship, we need that accountability. We need those brothers and sisters that will politely and sweetly say, you know, that's probably not the right thing to be doing or saying. I love that when my friends are calling me up to who God has created me and reminded me of who I am in Christ. So I love that. That was a great story. I appreciate that.

by somebody who says something like that to us, some of us can get defensive and be like, oh, well, who are you? Or whatever, that should not be our first response. Our first response is, is it true and is it helpful? Because I can get defensive, we can all do that. Well, that's just not gonna help us. Say, is it true, is it helpful? So yeah, thanks. So good, so good. A lot of what you've talked about too harkens back to that second blog post that we wanna talk about, Pastor Kell, about how the book, The Pilgrim's Progress has been something that is just,

that you take with you and you read, maybe not as much as the Bible, but that you read quite frequently. And a lot of what you talk about, like departing from the city of destruction, saturating your soul with scripture, treasuring pilgrim partners, really is about the journey in not just finding God, but a walking away from our sinful lives. So I'm curious to know if you could just dive into that a little bit about how it can guide us in our spiritual journey.

Well, in case someone hasn't heard of this book before, it's called The Pilgrim's Progress. It was written by a guy named John Bunyan. He lived in the 1600s. He had been put in prison for his unwillingness to stop preaching the gospel. He had actually had just been released to go be with his family if he would have just agreed to not preach, but he knew that the Spirit of God had called him to preach and he couldn't in good conscience do it, so he couldn't sin against his conscience.

So, in light of that, he stayed in prison for some 11 years on and off. And during that time, he wrote a book called The Pilgrim's Progress that is basically framed as a dream that he has. And it's an allegory of a guy named Christian who is alerted that the city he's living in is the city of destruction and that God's wrath is about to come upon it, and that he needs to flee to the celestial city, to glory, to heaven, to New Jerusalem. He's warned by a guy named Evangelist. And

Christian becomes very aware that he's got this burden on his back and he doesn't know what to do with it. He can't get rid of it. Well, the burden is his sin. And the whole story is about his journey toward finding how to get rid of his burden, which is to see the cross of Christ and to see Jesus and to trust in him. And then the journey as a pilgrim, pilgrim's progress, progressing toward, progressing toward the celestial city. And it's all the friends and enemies that come along the way. It's a wonderful story, highly commend it.

So I read this book all the time. I'm not widely read. I have a lot of books behind me. That's mostly for show. I've read some of them twice. That's honest. Yes, so some of them twice. Most of them not at all. So, but what I often do is Pilgrim's Progress. And, you know, when I was thinking of fresh about this, you know, the first thing is there's a real caution to temptation that comes when you're reading the book because you're watching Christian everywhere he goes, there's danger with every step.

You don't know whether the person he's about to meet you can trust or not trust. You don't know whether the situation that he's in is going to help him or it's going to be hard for him. And I think what it does is I'm reading through, it helps me to remain sober to every encounter that I'm having, knowing that people are either going to push me toward God or away from God. It's either going to be an opportunity to help people toward heaven or to resist some sort of influence that's going to be trying to drive me away. So

I think there's a caution in the book against temptation, so I find that hugely helpful for me because perseverance is not easy. It's just not easy. It is a long... Life is just long enough to prove thoroughly who you're living for with every instance, and it's just short enough that you can make it by the grace of God.

I've been Christian now longer than I've been a non-Christian by just a couple of years. And the number of people that I've seen who began the journey with me who aren't anymore, it's terrifying. It really is. And the number who have made it and who've made it home and going on to be with the Lord is wonderfully encouraging. So a book like this keeps that fresh. It makes it very alive. It also gives courage to remain faithful.

So one of my favorite scenes in the book is, we've heard of Vanity Fair before, magazine, but Vanity Fair is this place that all the pilgrims have to cross through. It's on the path, it's required course. They need to pass through. Well, you go into Vanity Fair and everything you can imagine is for sale. And it's all the lusts and the pleasures and the, everything, it's all there. And when...

Christian and his buddy Faithful show up there, all of a sudden everybody's like, yup, they're kind of strange. You dress a little weird, you don't buy what everybody's buying, and they're trying to sell him stuff. And we say, we don't, he says, we don't buy from this fair. We have other food that you don't know about. We have other treasure that is in another land. And the people who initially seemed very welcoming and warm all of a sudden become very offended. And they hate Christian and Faithful. And they begin to, they take them to court and they...

bring all these false witnesses against them and they torture him. And faithful ends up being burned to death. It's one of the saddest, I mean, I still, I've probably read the book, I don't know, dozens of times and like I still, when I get there, I still can feel emotionally just watching faithful give his life and his name is faithful. And I think it helps me to remember that following Christ costs a lot. And if you're going to say no to Vanity Fair, if you're going to say no, you will lose friends.

you will lose family members. You might lose your job. You know, you...

you might lose your life, right? But everybody knows that if you lose anything for Christ, that it's a gain. Because we gain, we have Him. And He is the treasure. He is the pleasure. He is the one who's the friend who never leaves or forsakes. He's the one who's better than a brother. He is the one who unites us for the Father. We don't lose, we gain. And that's, I'm very helped by that. And to watch Christian seem to have been deeply affected. So I wonder if Bunyan had a friend, I know he had friends who lost their lives for Christ. I wonder who faithful was for him.

But so those are a couple things. And I think the main thing that the book does for me is it cultivates an eternal perspective. The entire time Christian has before his mind, his heart is just continually, the horizon of his heart is always heaven. Like...

that the celestial city is always before him, the river Jordan that he has to pass through to go into that land of glory. It's always, it's before him the whole time in every scene and situation. And that perspective is something that the world, we started with the culture, the culture does not want you to think about eternity. I mean, when was the last time you're watching a TV show and when it goes to commercial break, you're like, oh, by the way, here's your friendly reminder that soon you're going to stand before a holy God and be judged for everything you've ever thought, done and said.

be sober friends. Like you don't, that's not happening because the world does not want you to be sober minded. It doesn't want you to think about everything here is about fleeting pleasures. I mean, you know, the, the, the new Google or not Google, the new Apple thing where you put on your face, you have a whole nother reality of like not what's in front of you, like anything but the truth. Right. And I'm not saying you can't buy one of those and have a Christian. I don't think it's the mark of the beast. But what I am saying is

You have to be aware that there are schemes, and they're everywhere, and that it's always aimed for you to not be sober about God, about yourself, about others, and about eternity. Because the scriptures tell us that whoever sets his hope on being pure like Christ, 1 John 3.3, purifies himself as he is pure. There's something that happens to us when our longing is to be with Christ, to be like Christ, to be near Christ, to be in the land where Christ has built mansions for us.

to be there, like that's our treasure. When that happens, it changes you. Like after a conversation like this, the last thing I want to do is go look at porn. Last thing I want to do is go like watch some stupid movie. Like I don't, it's just not appealing because when you think about Christ, you think about glory, it changes you. Second Corinthians 3, 18, with unveiled face for beholding the glory of the Lord and being changed from one degree of glory to another. That's what happens. So Pilgrim's Progress helps me with that.

Because he treasures Jesus and wants to be with him and I do too and I need help in it. So that was beautiful. Wow. Well, if you haven't read that book, you absolutely must. It's wonderful. And they even have a version that's for kids as well. I've seen that. So you know, there's a version for everybody out there. So definitely check that book out. That's great.

Well, we're coming to the end of today's session, Pastor Cowell. And so I want to make sure that we're able to point people to a couple of things that you have to offer. One in particular that really addresses the pornography issue. I don't know if you want to just call that out so that we can point people to that resource. I would love to point them that way. Sure. First of all, just on my mind, the really good, the Kids Pilgrim's Progress, there's a new one out called Little Pilgrim's Progress. It's about a rabbit.

and all these animals and they, it's really good though. Don't let it, trust me. Like I write with our kids, it is super good. All right. So highly, highly encourage it. So if you have kids like, I mean, our teenagers like it. So, I mean, it's great. So little pilgrims progress. I didn't write it. It's great. Other resources that I didn't write, Deepak Reju has two books called Rescue Plan and Rescue Tactics that have to do with helping other people.

in their fight against sin really good. And there's actually, I forget which book it is, but one of them has the best chapter on masturbation that I've come across. It's a wonderful resource. So those are two really good ones. I did write a book called Pure in Heart, Sexual Sin and the Promises of God, it's put out by Crossway. That book was, while there's tons of good resources out there, I didn't feel like I had just one book that I could give to anybody in our church, man or woman.

person who's struggling or not struggling, somebody who's struggling with same-sex attraction or not, or whatever the situation may be, that I could just give it to them and say, here, that was very Christ-centered, that aims to be raw with lots of illustrations, but not tempting with illustrations. So it's not like, you know, you don't have to worry. There's a couple books I was reading and studying. I was like, good night, that's TMI right there. It did not help, you know. So aims to be accessible and

try to keep heaven before our eyes the whole time. So I've found that to be... Anyway, that's why I wrote it. There's no perfect book, but it was encouraged for me putting it together and for others, I think, in reading it. And then there's a little series that Nine Marks has done with Crossway, called Church Questions or something like that. It's a very brief little deal.

There's one coming out soon called Fighting Sin and Temptation. It's kind of like a 60-page primer that's a wonderful place to start. That should be out pretty soon. So those are just a few resources. Awesome. Well, you gave us a lot of homework. We have a lot of things to check out, but I'm definitely interested in the Little Pilgrims Progress because that sounds delightful for young children. So I'm going to check that out. That's awesome.

Well, thank you, Pastor Cal. Brandon, this has been a really great conversation. It always is every time we have Pastor Cal on. It's so good and informative. Yeah, it really has. I appreciate both of you. Thank you guys. It's encouraging just to talk with other people who care about trying to help people follow Jesus. So thank you. Yeah. Thank you, Pastor Cal, for all that you do. As far as takeaways today for me, Karen, I would say it's just refreshing to hear that Pastor Cal, even though he's a pastor,

is still a regular guy. And I think it just really shows that no matter where we are in life, whatever we're doing, we still need each other on the journey. We can't do it alone. So it's easy to fall into little, like saying little yeses to the devil, right? Like you were talking about with Nefarious and just having people by our side to be able to say, hey, mmm.

I don't know. I think we should probably switch gears here, head back the other direction is so important on this journey, especially when looking at things like pornography and finding freedom from sins like that. Absolutely. Yeah. It's a good reminder for all of us, even with our TV and even our music habits. I think about some of the music that I listen to when I'm working out and it's like...

You know, is it Gorrifying God? Is it, is it the right thing? Like I, my husband's really good at like checking me on those things. So he's like, I know you like the heavy metal, but you know, maybe switch it up a little. But again, you got to. I know I do listen to skillet too, so that's good. But this has been great. So to all of our listeners out there, we hope this was, um, inspiring and educational, informative. And again, Pastor Kel, thanks so much for joining us today. Yeah, my joy. Thanks. Uh, thank you guys for,

have me on. Awesome. We'll take care everybody and thanks on behalf of Covenant Eyes. We'll see you next time.