Friday, July 27, 2012

Surfing for God

Michael John Cusick’s book Surfing for God operates on the premise that “every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God (a quote attributed to G.K. Chesterton).” Cusick’s premise is that every person struggling with lust or pornography addictions are really searching for something else.

Each person, he says, must examine himself and find out where his urges to lust come from. It is only then they can begin dealing with it.

The author is a licensed professional counselor, and he uses a lot of psychological techniques. Personally, I am a nouthetic counselor, meaning that I believe the Bible is a sufficient source of information, and that Jesus is stronger than any addiction. Cusick is not nouthetic, as evidenced by his techniques and his quoting of Carl Jung (p.84).

In chapter 3 the author mocks his pastor for saying, “If we can just align our desires with God’s, then and only then will we win the battle over the sins and struggles that entangle us.” He brushes off that idea, and yet in the next paragraph admits that he knew his sexual sin was “empty,” but he left church, bought a six-pack of beer, drove to a motel, and took a nap (p.25-26). It seems that the pastor is the one who was right; if you know your sin is empty, don’t get drunk and pursue it.

He also quoted and agreed with someone who said that “telling men to pray more in order to overcome porn was tantamount to spiritual abuse.” Ironically, the very next paragraph was a prayer for the reader to pray to help with his struggle (p.189-190).

Cusick’s main objectives seem to be finding out where the struggle comes from (molested as a child, stressed at work, needing to be loved, etc.), confessing them to God, and even saying it out loud during temptation. He says that when a man is tempted he should sit in a chair and recite why he is being tempted. I know I am being tempted because I don’t feel loved. The urgings, he says, will subside.

This is being picky, but I also didn’t like the author’s use of The Message instead of a Bible. 

The author did have some good things to say, but overall I was disappointed with this book. Any person interested in buying it should know that there is strong language in the book, although it is used appropriately.

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