Porn and the Church

Posted: 10/02/2013 in Uncategorized

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. For what has God above chosen for us?  What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high? Isn’t it calamity for the wicked and misfortune for those who do evil?  Doesn’t he see everything I do and every step I take?” – Job 31:1-4 

Pornography.  Is there a more insidious, soul-decaying expression of sin that is far too prevalent (yet often unaddressed) in both church and culture?  Is it possible that some of the spiritual lethargy and deadness in many churches are due to a secret infection of porn problems?  The point is not to condemn those who have fallen into sin nor assume that those who do not sin with pornography are immune from temptation.  The church, especially the parents and grandparents that lead families in Christ, must be alert, awake, and hopefully ready to do battle with this soul-killing infestation.

I apologize in advance as it will take self-control for some to even read this article given the links associated with this news organization, but the content of the following article is too important.  I want parents especially to read it:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2432591/Porn-pernicious-threat-facing-children-today-By-ex-lads-mag-editor-MARTIN-DAUBNEY.html.

Written by a guy who thought porn was no big deal – and even published so-called softcore porn, it is astounding.  The depth of moral depravity that today’s kids are exposed to is mind-blowing.  Notice that much of their exposure comes not just from online exposure but through Facebook friends, and that they can always get around parental safeguards when we are not tech-savvy.

What kind of men will be left to marry our daughters?  What kind of honorable peers will influence our sons for good?  What disgusting expectations will be placed upon our daughters?  What will our children see that they will never be able to “un-see”?  Who will give our kids their “rulebook” on sex, and how will that impact their future marriages?  If the view does not come from God’s word, you can bet it will involve some form of perversion.  How will this secret infestation of porn affect zeal for God, ministry, worship, prayer, and charity in the coming years?  As the brains of many youth are re-wired for porn addiction, do we honestly think this will not affect the spiritual climate and mission of the church?  Should all churches have access to some kind of Biblically-based, porn-recovery ministry?  Should all premarital counseling assume porn issues are being brought into new marriages?  This means those raised in church as well as those who come in later.

There is much more to consider than can be discussed here, but let’s at least start with 3 simple things to consider:

1.  Be honest about the soft core (or hardcore) porn you allow in your life, and repent of it.  Walking kids through the checkout at a grocery store has become dangerous business.  What TV, movies, magazines, catalogs, and books are permitted and consumed in front of them?  Do not assume you are so spiritually advanced that you can feast your eyes or minds (fantasies) on materials that would shame you if done publicly before Christ and His Church.  Just because “it’s everywhere”, it still may be “porneia” (translated in English Bibles as “sexual immorality”).  Christian men, including in spiritual leadership, are not immune from these temptations.  Don’t lie to yourself.  The world of Churchanity is filled with social-drunken, bikini-wearing, MTV-values foolishness that makes this even more difficult for some struggling believers.    You play with fire, expect to get burned… badly.  Yes, men have a responsibility to control themselves, but in my opinion, Christians who make a mockery of basic modesty and physical touch-boundaries in our porn-dominated culture are asinine at best and partners with Satan at worst.  They do not walk in love toward their neighbors and weaker brethren, but violate clear New Testament doctrine.  If God’s chief virtues are love and holiness, then please don’t make a mockery of them while claiming to follow Christ.

2.  Do not trust your children’s flesh.  They may be great kids, but the scumbags who troll the Internet looking to exploit kids sexually or for money are more sophisticated than their developing brains can handle.  If this means placing safeguards and restrictions that make you seem too hardcore, oh well.  Elimination of temptation avenues may be a good start.  Can your kids handle their current Internet access/freedom?  Doubt it.  What about the types of entertainment in which you let them indulge?  Are they accessing porn on their phones, including being sexted or having “friends” send them shocking pictures and videos?  Would you even know if they were?  How many of us were exposed to porn in our younger days, and we didn’t even have the Internet or smart phones?  You really think that your kids won’t see porn?  Do they go off to school (even church schools)?  Do they hang out with cousins at family gatherings?  What kind of character do their older siblings exhibit?  I already mentioned examining their home tech access.  Dads, we are called to protect.  You being overbearing may save a soul or a future marriage.

3.  Balance all with LOVE, GRACE, and PERSUASION.  Parents who refuse to talk/listen to their kids on these issues are catalysts for disaster.  Parents who act like sex is dirty and shame their kids with anger and dictatorial rules without a love-based relationship will likely end up disappointed.  Persuade your kids why you take the precautions you do.  Go heavy on grace.  Don’t glamorize your past sin, but perhaps testify to your kids of where you were before God stepped in to rescue you.  If needed, be honest about the baggage you still carry from past porn exposure.  Let all you do be done with love and grace.

This last point must be reiterated:  each individual must overcome porn by walking in the Spirit… by GRACE.  I am persuaded that for every failure among Christians who live in licentiousness (see Jude) and folly while claiming a false or “cheap” grace (see Bonhoeffer), there are a large number of very strict Christians, perhaps militantly hardcore toward all or perhaps just self-loathing, who fall into the porn trap.  Their holiness standard “merit badges” of honor did not keep them from shipwreck or embarrassing failure.  Legalistic Christianity is largely unhelpful against a secret porn problem, other than the “safeguards” of spiritual pride and perhaps added accountability with others.  I actually have more respect for the struggling legalist than with the immodesty-and-drunkenness, false-grace, sleep-around, faux-Christianity out there.  However, if GRACE does not fuel your holiness, you have nothing.  Walk in the Spirit to conquer the lust of the flesh.  Rely upon and live by GRACE, not by a strict religious code that you thought would protect you – only to discover your lusts remain.  That anger and humiliation you feel is a sign that you need to find the pathway of God’s grace.  It will also make it easier to worship and pray.  I’ve noticed a connection: the more time I spend with God in His presence, in genuine communion with Him in prayer and in His word – the easier the ability to live above my fleshly lusts.  The consistent Presence and grace of God work way better than a religious rule book when it comes to defeating our evil desires.

You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. – Colossians 2:20-23

God gives more grace to the humble, so if you want more grace – quit trying to save face.  There is no virtue in airing your dirty laundry in a way that is destructive or that could undermine the faith of the weak or immature.  At the same time, there must be an admission to those over you in the Lord (another New Testament principle!) and to true accountability partners that will shoot straight.  The indulgences of our sinful nature that are most dangerous are usually the ones we will get most defensive about when we are confronted.  Be humble.  Be honest.  What pet habits or sins would you get defensive over if confronted?   What books do you need to put on the altar (or in the garbage)?  What movies or TV shows?  What online forays?  What sporting events or public places?  Is it time to revisit the Arterburn and Stoeker books?  Is it time to cry out to God for mercy and admit the sin?  The world is not getting less pornographic, but we are called to live as a holy nation – foreigners and strangers on this earth.  As evil as society is in this regard, it is time for God’s people to be cleansed and protected in this area.  We forfeit our voice for truth when we forfeit our moral authority.  However, the repentant must speak up.  Give hope to those who are trapped.  Give them footsteps to follow… as you follow Christ out of the evil snare of pornography and its soul-ensaring offshoots.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. – Ephesians 5:1-3

Comments
  1. Nick says:

    Soo true dangerous stuff

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