One of the greatest scandals of human existence is pornography. Many people believe that pornography was invented in modern times, but in all reality, pornography began in ages past and has only snowballed its way into magazines, movies, and smart phones in these last days. Pornography is one of the most addictive sins of the flesh—and it’s one that greatly insults God. Where does the word “pornography” originate and what does it mean?
In the Bible, we find the word πορνεία (porneia) which means “sexual immorality.” We find this particular word in verses such as 1 Corinthians 6:18. In ancient times, the Greeks viewed sex as a natural desire that was on the level of the hunger for food or water. They openly engaged in temple prostitution in cities such as Ephesus with the Temple of Diana as well as other cities. Ancient Athens and Corinth were both vile cities that were filled with sexual immorality. The particular word originated from “porne” which means a harlot for hire. The masculine form of the word—pornos—refers to a male prostitute.
Over time the word porneia took on a variety of meanings—which included almost anything other than the true definition of adultery. Such sins as sex outside of marriage, adultery (sex between a married person and an unmarried person), incest, lesbianism, homosexuality, and beastiality. As time progressed, the English term pornography emerged from this root word and today that particular English word is in reference to any image or movie of unclothed people used for the purpose of exciting and satisfying lustful thoughts.
How does pornography insult and offend God?
Pornography Makes a Mockery of Human Sexuality
It is no secret that pornography is a violent industry that fuels violent behavior toward women. Rather than being treated with love, gentleness, respect, and cared for within marriage—lust-fueled sexual sin disrespects women and misdirects the purpose of human sexuality as God intended for his creation in the beginning. According to statistics, “88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression.” We live in a sexually confused culture. Pixels that form an image of another human being for the purpose of satisfying lustful thoughts abuses the purpose of human sexuality and the act of sex itself.
In the earlier days of the pornographic industry, Hugh Hefner served as the expert who helped shape the industry as a whole. According to Hugh Hefner:
Sex is a function of the body, a drive which man shares with animals like eating, drinking, and sleeping. It is a physical demand that must be satisfied. If you don’t satisfy it you will have all sorts of neuroses and repression psychoses. Sex is here to stay. Let’s forget the prudery that makes us hide from it. Throw away those inhibitions, find a girl who is like-minded, and let yourself go.
The idea that you just let yourself go and pursue the crude desires of your depraved mind and body is insane. God designed human sexuality to be part of the marriage relationship instituted in the beginning and it was seen as good in the eyes of God. Sin temps people to lust after the flesh (1 John 2:16). It wasn’t until after the first sin that we see Adam and Eve in clothing. Sin changes everything and it certainly has affected human sexuality.
Today, we have every stage of pornography available—including the “soft porn” that has become mainstream entertainment in books and movies such as 50 Shades of Grey which are targeting women. Since Internet porn alone is a $3 Billion per year business—we should expect books and films to use porn to attract new customers. God designed sexual intimacy—and God demands that we move away from sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3-4).
Pornography Makes a Mockery of Marriage
The God who has revealed Himself in the pages of the Bible is responsible for creating everything in the vast expanse of this universe. This includes everything from the red hypergiant star named VY Canis Majoris (VY CMa) located in the constellation Canis Major, to the smallest molecule floating around on the surface of planet earth.
This same sovereign God also created marriage. The first Father to give away His daughter to her husband took place in a lost paradise known as the Garden of Eden. It was there that God united Adam and Eve and blessed their relationship. God gave them the command to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). Everything about God’s creation, including marriage, was good.
Sin has defaced marriage as God originally designed it. Today, what is often called marriage is nothing more than a commitment to live in sexual sin with the permission of the government. In Hebrews 13:4, we find these important words, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Pornography dishonors marriage and cheapens intimacy. Pornography often turns the intimate marriage relationship into an stage to act out lustful thoughts and passions. This is not what God intended for marriage and it dishonors the Creator.
First of all, when a person brings their pornified thoughts into the marriage bed, it bypasses marital love and this does violence to women in the process. God has commanded men to love their wives as Christ loved the church—which is an unconditional and sacrificial love (Eph. 5:25). The pornification of the marriage bed cheapens marital intimacy and is extremely selfish—not sacrificial. Such thoughts need to be barred from your mind and banned from the marriage bed completely.
Pornography makes a mockery of marriage and dishonors God by defiling intimacy and the marriage bed. In Matthew 5:28, Jesus said these words, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” It’s possible to commit adultery while engaging in intimacy with your wife if you pornify your marriage relationship with the lustful thoughts of pornography.
In a world that champions women’s rights—you would expect the pornography industry to be very unsuccessful. While the disrespect of women is a shameful practice—the disrespect of God is far worse. Don’t be trapped into believing that pornography is not damaging to both men and women. The industry as a whole takes what God intended for good and purposes it for evil.