Christians are called by God to be a people who speak the truth in love out of concern for others.  Nevertheless, there are certain subjects that make us uncomfortable enough to avoid when we gather as a group.  One such subject is pornography.

We avoid bringing it up at Christian meetings and pretend like it doesn’t exist, but porn is contributing to some of the serious problems that are occurring in our churches and in society.  Many men in the church view porn, whether it’s occasionally or frequently.  And their reasons for looking at porn may be as different as each individual.  Some men may feel inadequate as males and see porn as a way of assuring themselves of their masculinity while others just see it as an outlet to make them feel good.  Whatever their reasons, at the end of the day, viewing porn is a sin and is unjustifiable in the eyes of God even if we try to make excuses for it by telling ourselves it’s a harmless or helpful practice.

Sins of lust & fornication

How do we know it’s a sin?  Well, God’s word tells us that fornication (any sex outside of marriage) is a sin and this is what is being promoted in pornography.  Jesus said, “…from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications… All these evil things come from within, and defile the man,” [Mark 7:21, 23].  We are also told that our bodies are not for fornication [1 Corinthians 6:13], we should avoid fornication [1 Corinthians 7:2], and we should flee fornication [1 Corinthians 6:18]. 

Pornography also promotes the sin at the heart of fornication–covetousness, or lust.  We know the 10th commandment tells us “Thou shalt not covet…” [Exodus 20:17] and the apostle John said, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world,” [1 John 2:16].  Participating in pornography is the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes.  Christians involved in this sin are like the unbelievers mentioned in Romans who “knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them,” [Romans 1:32].

Pornography’s evil fruit

There are several evil fruits that hang from the evil tree of porn such as:

  • Hypocrisy: the Christian knows their viewing of porn is wrong deep down inside, but they participate in church and act like everything is fine and dandy between them and God.
  • Isolation and emptiness: after viewing porn, the Christian still feels unsatisfied and empty with a feeling of guilt for what they’ve done.  They may also be fearful of having their sin brought out into the open so they take great pains to try to hide their practice, leading them to isolate themselves socially or emotionally from others, including their spouse.
  • Weakened or destroyed marriages: porn fosters unhealthy and ungodly beliefs about how sex should be.  When the Christian holds to such beliefs about how they should act with their sex partner or how their partner should look, and their spouse does not fulfill their twisted views, they end up pushing their spouse away.  This will, in turn, have a negative impact on the children also.
  • Adultery: a married Christian who feeds their sexual lust through porn is cheating on their spouse.  As Jesus said, “…whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart,” [Matthew 5:28].  The single Christian who has plans to one day marry is setting themselves up for future adulterous ways by feeding their habit which may continue into their marriage if they don’t repent.  Porn portrays sex within marriage as boring and this leads a married Christian to look for sexual fulfillment outside of his marriage.
  • Unnatural desires: in the beginning God established the principle that a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife and they would become one flesh.  Porn does everything to destroy this principle by promoting all kinds of sex outside of marriage as being fulfilling.  It scoffs at monogamous relationships, promotes incest, pedophilia, androgeny, transvestitism, transsexuality, rape & sexual abuse, and homosexual relationships.  Paul warned us in 2 Timothy 3 that in the last days people in the church would be lovers of their own selves, without natural affection, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.  Porn is one of the pathways to abnormal behaviors.  Any normal man or woman who embraces a normal marital relationship at first, if they are spiritually or morally weak, they can be converted to any of these unnatural behaviors via pornography. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall,” [1 Corinthians 10:12].
  • Utter selfishness: porn promotes the idea that other people are on Earth to fulfill whatever the viewer of porn wants.  This not only applies to their sex life, but spills over into other areas of their lives, including at church.  They start to think they should have what they want whenever they want it from whomever they want.  Their lives are taken over by their lusts, and as James said, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” [James 4:1-4].  Porn may be influencing a person who is causing selfish wars in the congregation.
  • Human trafficking: because porn is so prevalent and profits greatly from sexual lust, the demand to fulfill the extreme selfishness that feeds into the industry leads to stealing people off the streets.  Much to the embarassment of Christian churches, there are churchgoers involved in human trafficking.  In the beginning, sex trafficking only affected a small number of teen girls and women, so everyone turned a blind eye.  But since our society chose to ignore the problem, it has grown out of control to include both girls and boys of all ages in addition to women.  If we continue to ignore it, ultimately with the push for gay rights overtaking our society, we will become like ancient Greece and ancient Rome where men will be increasingly thrown into the mix as sex slaves and our society will be just as corrupt.  Just as such behavior led to the destruction of those ancient kingdoms, it will lead to ours as well.

Pornography is a scourge that should be purged from our churches and our society.  We do a great disservice to God, to our churches, and to our brothers in Christ who are addicted to this behavior when we refuse to confront them about this sin.  This behavior spiritually weakens the church and if a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, what happens when we have a lot of leaven leavening the church?

For some startling and sad statistics on pornography in our society and in churches, visit BlazingGrace.org.

–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–

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