Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Widgets

Porn: A Wake-Up Call

The church had better wake up.  In last year's post on this topic, I noted:
This sin is not going away. In fact, this year someone is making $100 billion by victimizing 30,000 of us every second and terrorizing its employees. They will make more next year. Who's stopping them? Virtually nobody. 
I should caveat that there is a nascent movement pushing back against the porn industry. I was encouraged to see the influential nonprofit TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) highlight the rapidly growing evidence that porn effectively rewires the user's brain in harmful ways during a Glasgow conference last year.  It's worth watching in full:



By directly addressing this metastasizing cancer, TED joins secular social media campaigns such as Pornography Harms and Fight the New Drug in a small but growing counterattack on the porn behemoth.  More is needed, and the church needs to step up to the challenge.  Playing defense on this issue is a loser.  We need to go on the offensive, starting by talking openly and often about this problem.

The Beverly LaHaye Institute helps by compiling a list of 10 facts we need to know and talk about (from the report, 10 Harms of Pornography):

  • Pornography is addictive - The anatomy and physiology of the brain changes, and those who watch pornography crave more.
  • Pornography warps perceptions - Viewers of pornography think violence and degradation are normal and enjoyable
  • Pornography harms children - Not only are children viewing pornography, but some are victims of child rapists and pornographers because of it
  • Pornography is increasingly violent and degrading - Pornography desensitizes viewers, leading them to seek more violent and degrading images
  • Pornography ruins marriages - Using pornography is a pathway to infidelity and divorce.
  • Pornography use can lead to impotency - Pornography addicts can suffer loss of libido, impotence, and ability to perform with real women.
  • Pornography objectifies women - Surgically and digitally enhanced women are the norm in pornography. 
  • The use of pornography leads to aggressive behavior - Viewers of violent pornography believe women enjoy rape and other deviant behaviors, leading to acts of sexual aggression, violence, and controlling behaviors.
  • Pornography is linked to sex trafficking - Victims are forced to appear in pornography, and traffickers use pornography to train sex slaves, including children who will be used for child pornography.
  • Pornography is not protected free speech - “This much has been categorically settled by the Court, that obscene material is unprotected by the First Amendment,” Miller v. California (1973).
For the church I add this:

Can there be any doubt that we are already seriously infected? Our kids, our men, more women than we think, and yes ... our pastors and leaders are increasingly falling prey to this extremely aggressive and calculating industry.  This sin is so very deadly because the Internet has made it so accessible and anonymous--all you need is a computer, a tablet, even a smartphone (still think your kid's not exposed?).

The result is that suffering from porn addiction in shameful silence is the norm.  Embarrassment is a satanic tactic to keep us cravenly addicted and quiet.  Unless the church talks frankly and openly about this, it will only get worse.  We simply must create an environment of clear, bold teaching and safe places for our people to come forward, confess, repent, and be restored.

4 comments:

  1. It is often speculated that Jesus, when confronting the accusers of "the woman caught in adultery" (btw, if she were caught in the act, where's the guy? ... but I digress), that Jesus, when he knelt down to scribble something in the dirt, may have scribbled the names of women ... er ... "associated with" some of the men in the crowd. Hence the rapid dispersal. (While that is mere speculation, we know from his encounter with the woman at the well that, in spite of His divine innocence, he was certainly AWARE of such goings on.)

    I cannot help but wonder if there's some similar relationship between the church's vehemence on the gay marriage issue, and the embarrassed silence on this one. We need to pray for our church leaders that they can have, with moral integrity, the boldness to speak out on this issue. Pray that those who can't do it today will repent and be able to so soon.

    It may appear hyperbolic to say that the church needs the Spirit's cleansing now more than ever ... but it has never been MORE true.

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  2. I struggle with this addiction and can attest that it leads to infidelity etc and is pure darkness. But, Jesus came to overcome the darkness and if we are to be called by his name we must obey him. The best way I have found to overcome this addiction is to name it and get it out of the dark and remove the shame that it causes. Until I could openly talk about this issue and own it as mine, I could not begin to overcome it. I have also found of late as the periods between temptation widen, I must still put on the armor of God (Eph 6) verbally in prayer asking for spiritual protection from this darkness. I consider myself like an alcoholic or drug addict in a "one day at a time" attitude. But in prayer and obedience to God's Word, Jesus has provided the victory and the Holy Spirit the power to be victorious.
    Blessings!

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  3. You make some excellent points. Now that Facebook and other social media sites are popular, has such shown to be a deterrent again porn?

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  4. Address the dangers and realities head on, gracefully and spoken in love, while leaving the rocks in the sand so the empty hand can stretch forth to offer help, support, accountability, and much grace. I think churches need to wake up, get real and quit pretending to be impervious to sin.

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