I grew up in a home where the Internet was not present until I was in college.  Even then, I accessed it on occasion and through the infamous dial-up speed from a rather large desktop Hewlett Packard.  The constant high speed connection that we expect in the home today wasn’t an option when I was a boy (I sound like my parents talking about walking uphill to and from school).  In many ways, I’m thankful for that.  As a pastor, I’ve had to counsel many people who have experienced the horrible effects of pornography and sexting through the use of the Internet.  In our post-sexual culture that’s saturated with sexual immorality, the Internet is like a super highway to sin.

Pornography:  The Old Sin

Pornography is not a new sin.  It has been around for a long time.  The word pornography comes from two Greek words πορνεία (sexual immorality, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.) and γράφω (to write, with reference to the form of the letters, to draw up in writing, compose).  Discoveries of rock art and chiseled imagery have been unearthed for years depicting erotic scenes of what we would today classify as pornography.  Although the industry has a dark history where it was outlawed and looked down upon, today it’s a welcomed and celebrated expressive (and let’s not forget profitable) industry.

The numbers related to pornography are staggering.  Consider the fact that the industry earns over $13 billion dollars each year in America alone. [1]  When the Internet boom happened, the pornography industry placed a saddle on the Internet and has been increasing in profitability each year.  What was once a black covered magazine on the locked adult rack in the local service station has turned into an easy access Internet based push button industry.  It has never been easier to access and hide pornography use than it is in our present culture.  68% of young adult men and 18% of women use porn at least once every week. [2]

With this easy access, the users have increased dramatically and the ages have decreased.  51% of male and 32% of female students first viewed porn before their teenage years (12 and younger). [3]  The startling reality is that many teenagers see pornography for the first time at an extremely young age by accident.  The trap was set for them and then they find themselves going back out of curiosity and eventually they find themselves hooked.  This practice of ongoing porn use leads to a variety of other problems that are merely a natural result of pornography.

Pornography:  The Related Issues

Violence Against Women:  When investigators work on domestic violence cases and even murder cases, they often find an interesting similarity that links these cases together – pornography.  While these studies are controversial and often lack sufficient evidence, the facts remain – a large percentage of men who abuse women, rape, and murder are frequent users of pornography.  The use of pornography turns women into cheap objects to be used for pornographic fantasies and it cheapens the God ordained purpose of sex.  This often leads to violence and abuse on women. [4]

Abuse of Sex:  God ordained marriage between one man and one woman from the very beginning of His creation (Genesis 2:18-25).  God blessed the marriage bed and desires it to be undefiled (Hebrews 13:4).  However, the pornography industry redirects the use of sex and abuses the God ordained purpose.  Pornography celebrates and furthers the cause of orgies, adultery, lust, and homosexuality.  Everything that God designed sex to be, the pornography industry alters, changes, and avoids God’s original design.  In fact, the pornography industry cheapens sex and turns it into a consumer product rather than a God ordained gift.

Pollution of the Mind:  As Christians, we’re to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).  Unfortunately, pictures and images that we place in our mind today will stick around for a very long time.  In fact, it’s likely that the human mind (like a super computer) stores these images for the duration of our lives and they can be called upon and accessed by another image or event that triggers that image from our memory bank.  Part of loving God with our mind is to preserve it and love our spouse with a healthy mind devoted to her in love and sexual intimacy.  The practice of pornography makes this impossible.  What’s terrifying is that a previous porn addiction can make the pursuit of holiness extremely difficult even if the you have had victory over the addiction for years.  We must learn to be good stewards of our mind and think on things that are pure (Philippians 4:8-9).

Insufficient Fulfillment:  Technology (print or web) can never replace the God ordained one flesh union that sex fulfills between a husband and a wife (Genesis 2:21-23).  Just like FaceTime or Skype conversations with my family is not enough, I long for their embrace upon my return from a ministry related trip, pornographic images cannot substitute the God ordained desire of a man and woman to be joined together in a covenantal union as we see from the beginning with the progenitors of the human race – Adam and Eve.

In the end, we must view human sexuality through the lens of the God ordained purpose that He instituted from the beginning.  To alter God’s design in any way is to pervert the blessings of God.  Pornography is a trap and one that we must avoid in order to honor God, protect our marriage (present or future), preserve our mind, and respect the opposite sex.  Pornography may be legal, but it’s a violent crime against God and your own body.  Don’t forget that you’re the target of sexual traps in our culture.  Read Proverbs 7 and consider the traps of adultery and how similar they are to the traps of pornography (a lustful form of adultery).

If you’re a man trapped by the lies of the pornographic industry and you need help, I would encourage you to read Tim Challies’ book – Sexual Detox and Finally Free by Heath Lambert.  Additionally, you can find resources online at Focus on the Family, Desiring God, and Grace to You.  Additionally, Joe Carter’s article at TGC, “9 Things You Should Know About Pornography And The Brain” is a worthy read.  If you’re a Christian, I recommend these resources, but I also urge you to seek counsel among your pastors within your church.  These men are given to you as a gift from God and they watch for your soul.  Allow them into your life.  This is God’s intended means of help for your soul.

 


1.  Covenant Eyes

2.  Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4.  National Online Center on Violence Against Women