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Finding Victory Over the Struggles That Hold You Back

Pastor Johnny Hunt discusses breaking spiritual strongholds so you can move forward in God's will. Read Transcript


Well, we've get a shocking revelation for you right now.

Picture a man who is a Bible-believing Christian,

regularly attends church, but he also regularly gets drunk,

has a couple of affairs.

You think this man is an exception?

Well, according to megachurch Pastor Johnny Hunt,

this man is the rule, not the exception.

NARRATOR: Johnny Hunt has made it a mission

to help people break strongholds,

which he defines as any habit that has got a hold of you.

Johnny is the pastor of one of the largest

churches in the US, First Baptist

Church in Woodstock Georgia.

He says, to break the chains of addiction and bad habits,

we can't do it on our own.

In his book "Demolishing Strongholds,"

he shares the secrets to breaking free

from destructive behavior.

Well, please welcome to "The 700 Club"

a leader of the Southern Baptist Church, Pastor Johnny Hunt.

Johnny, it's good to have you with us.

Thank you.

It's a joy to be with you.

Thank you.

Hey, listen.

You know, you've pastored a lot of guys.

Aren't these men a little ashamed

to talk about all these sexual affairs?

Will they really open up to you, and tell you what they do?

Well, the very problem with pornography

is that it's secret, keeps you in isolation.

PAT ROBERTSON: Right.

And that's exactly where the enemy takes those who,

ultimately, take their life.

So if we can get them to come out

in the open, sharing a moment ago,

proverbs teaches that any sin we cover, he uncovers.

And any we uncover, he covers.

But we've got to not only be willing to uncover them

or we won't prosper.

So we're really finding some real victory getting men there.

These guys are professing Christians.

I guess they claim to be born again Christian.

What do they do?

Well, when you realize that a person can deal with something

that becomes a habit, and they can feel,

I can break it any time.

We hear it all the time.

But then there's times that bad habit really

gets a hold of them, and then-- we think the scripture refers

to it as a stronghold-- and now as

much as they want to be free, they haven't

been able to break free.

And they normally won't, unless they

go through certain steps and commitment

that can lead to real victory.

Well again, you are a pastor.

I've been a pastor for awhile along the way.

But you deal with people, and they begin to open up to you.

How long does it take to get them to open up what really

is going on in our lives?

Well seemingly, the majority never have and may never will.

But when we tell stories-- even like in the first part

of my book, I tell the story of a leading Christian minister

that actually ended up taking his life.

In other words, if you don't demolish a stronghold,

the stronghold will demolish you.

I think when they hear stories like that,

it begins to really open them up.

And you know the wonderful old statement,

until the pain of staying the same

becomes greater than the pain of change.

They're not willing to change.

So it's a constant challenge.

Johnny, this deal is tearing up marriages, tearing up homes.

It's tearing up careers.

Aren't they aware of what it does?

This pornography and having affairs, and all this stuff?

You know, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said many years ago

that the enemy will lead you to a point

where there's just momentary forgetfulness of God.

So just in that moment.

And it seems to happen over and over again.

So you're exactly right.

It has ruined many homes.

It's ruined witness, influence, testimony.

But you know, the enemy has a way of covering up

the consequences.

He doesn't want you to think about the future.

It's just that moment of pleasure.

Give us some for instances, because this book has them.

Could you point to one that is foremost

right there in your mind that you can tell us about.

Well, I could tell you that there's people in jail right

now, ministers, that got into pornography,

and then led to child pornography.

And then they were arrested, and they're facing long sentences.

Wait a minute.

Ministers as in ministers of the--

As in ministers of the gospel.

Have you known them personally?

I know them personally.

Yes, sir.

You do?

Yes, sir.

PAT ROBERTSON: And they get into child porn.

And then they wind up getting arrested for that.

Yeah.

We have a ministry called City of Refuge.

James Dobson years ago said it's the most complete ministry

within a local church he's ever seen.

So I have, like, eight pastors and families right now

that Woodstock has literally taken care of.

We furnish housing for them, furnish jobs for them,

help them pay their bills, so they can keep their testimony

above water.

And we have a full counseling ministry to help bring them

back to health in their marriage and in their home,

and with their children, and with their relationship

with God.

So as a result of having this type ministry, when

you can get a person in a safe place,

it's like peeling the onion.

They're willing to tell you just what's

been going on in their life.

So it's in that context that a lot is discovered.

Your church in the northern part of Atlanta.

You have what?

10,000 members.

We get about right at 20,000.

PAT ROBERTSON: 20,000.

[CHUCKLES] Of course you'd have--

I'm sorry.

I-- 20--

JOHNNY HUNT: That's many we're chasing.

We don't catch that many every week.

PAT ROBERTSON: All right.

Well, there it is.

That's one of the biggest churches in America.

But these people are professionals.

You're dealing with folks--

this is higher income folks.

They're real estate people.

They're doctors, salesmen, doctors, lawyers.

And this porn is taking hold of them?

[INAUDIBLE] with the lower classes, so to speak.

They say 35% of the time that a person clicks on the web

is to go to a pornographic site.

35%.

There's nothing even close second

to porn on the worldwide web to pornography.

And then there's pop-ups for the kids.

I constantly deal with young men that got addicted, say, at 11,

and have been enslaved for the last 10 years of their life.

What are they?

Pop-ups of naked women or something?

Yes, exactly.

And so, it's their--

Adrian Rogers used to say that if it comes up,

it takes all of the spirit of God in you

to move away from that site instead of following it.

And so, the enemy is so subtle.

Remember, Paul used to say that he

feared lest the enemy through his subtleness

would deceive you as he did Adam and Eve.

And he is really having hay day in the area of pornography.

Well, it's shocking, because--

you know, they want to admit it.

I remember one of the associates of Dobson, who

was talking about 35% of the ministers

were having power on the porn.

Is that the number you know?

That's it.

And then Dobson, even 25 years ago,

was saying that he feared that 50%

of the men in the evangelical church

were already struggling with pornography.

Well, is this the general population?

Or is this something particularly,

the attack against Christians?

I think it's the general population.

And it certainly includes the Christian church.

You've got these-- somebody comes to you

and he's got a problem.

What do you do to him?

You put him on a program of rehab?

Or do you just--

We have a ministry called Breaking Free.

And probably averages 200 men every Monday night.

And so, there's real accountability.

I think we've missed it in James 516,

where the scripture actually tells us to confess your faults

one to another.

And then pray one for another.

So what we've done, we've confessed it to God.

And we feel like we've got God's forgiveness.

But it's a cycle.

And we're now to break the cycle.

But I think when we bring another mature believer in that

will hold us accountable-- and that's a big word,

accountability--

to really desire to be free.

And then we're seeing real victory

where men are sharing with their wives.

But again, the enemy would have them

to believe that if they share they're

going to be dealing with the consequences

again of how's they're wife going to react.

So they continue to live in isolation.

What do these wives do?

I mean, her husband says, look, honey.

I've been hooked up on porn.

If he says, I've had an affair.

Oh, you've hurt me.

And I'm walking out and taking the kids.

I mean, what do you do to keep the wives from freaking out?

Yeah, a lot of times it's just to kind of help them

understand that it's really an addiction in a person's life.

Someone may say this, there's no way

you could do that and love your wife at the same time.

I would challenge that statement.

I believe they really can.

The enemy is out to destroy us.

I call him a glory stealer in my book.

Because Ephesians 321 says that God

wants to get glory through the church in Christ Jesus.

But if he can get us not living for Jesus we ought,

he steals the glory that God would

have gotten for our lives.

Well, these women have to understand that their husband

had been captured.

I mean, it's like the enemy force has captured them

and taken them prisoner.

And we work with the wives as well.

Now, a lot of times they've gotten into pornography

and haven't made it to the affair.

That's probably where it's going to end up

if they don't get help.

So when they're willing to come and be

true with their spouses, a lot of times

it leads to greater intimacy with the husband and wife,

because the wife is now saying, my husband

can share his deepest secrets with me.

And so as a result, it gives real hope for the marriage.

You know, I see these people.

I've seen them.

I mean, these very beautiful women, beautifully dressed,

high fashion, high society, they've

got to deal with this stuff.

They're not just, again, just somebody off the street.

These are professional people.

Well, living in Atlanta--

and you probably know this--

but the highest sex trafficking in the United States

is in Atlanta, Georgia.

And yet, we're five million people

compared to say 19 million in LA county or 22 million

in New York.

So it's everywhere.

It's at different levels, whether it's

on a computer, walking the streets, on a website

that a person can travel to.

This has become a hub of sex trafficking?

Exactly.

From people from South America and other countries?

All over the world.

Into Atlanta?

Into Atlanta.

And so, you can read the stats on the average age

of the girl that's in involved, the average age of the man

that's looking to be involved.

The average salary of a pimp in Atlanta, Georgia

is $30,000 a week.

A week!

A week.

Not a year?

A week!

$30,000 a week.

So it's pretty lucrative.

Very.

We're involved in sex trafficking

and bringing these young ladies off the streets.

But we have a problem.

They want to go back.

Their pimps have been so good to them.

They like that lifestyle.

I thought they beat them up.

So it's difficult. It's amazing

what they're willing to take if they get what they feel they

want or need at the same time.

You're serious?

Very serious.

So you don't get many of these girls?

No, the ones we brought into very nice homes,

the major problem is not we cannot help them,

they leave before we can get them really deeply involved

in the process.

These American women or foreign women?

Both.

But a lot of American women.

A lot.

I tell you, ladies and gentlemen,

if you want to get shocked, this is it.

"Demolishing Strongholds."

Everybody ought to get a hold of this book.

Is this selling well, I hope?

It was number one men's release in two days

that it hit the market and became number one release

in four days.

It's done very well.

Well, it's available.

I must say, as one who designs covers,

this isn't the most attractive book cover I've ever seen.

[CHUCKLING]

But if this doesn't turn you off, I don't know what will.

It's called "Demolishing Strongholds,"

a national bestseller.

You can get it on Amazon or wherever--

Anywhere books are sold.

So good to see you.

God bless you.

Good to see you.

Thanks for all you do.

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