Pornography is material that is sexually explicit and intended for sexual arousal.
From counseling with families in my private practice, I have concluded pornography is harmful.
No study has yet conclusively proven a causal relationship between viewing pornography and deviant behavior. The fact that we cannot yet measure the influence of pornography does not mean there are no effects.
"For example," says Dr. Victor Cline, "all of the evidence linking drunk driving with high vehicular accident and fatality rates is correlational and anecdotal. However, despite this, nearly all of us would agree that there is probably a cause-effect relationship here. And many laws have been passed as well as public policy decisions made, based on this assumption."
He says, "Frequently, good judgment, correct inference and sound logic have to be used, along with proper scientific data analysis, to arrive at reasonable judgments about risk of harm."
We make daily decisions without final knowledge as to what we eat (data only suggests the lethality of carcinogens is correlated, not conclusive), and whether to expose ourselves and our children to pornographic materials.
Pornography production worldwide takes in about $56 billion annually and, in the US, about $14 billion. That gives the pornography a lot more funds than any church to prevent the consequences on families and healthy God-given sexuality.
From Tasha Levert at LifeWay Christian
Scripture and Pornography
While pornography is not specifically addressed in the Bible, the principle of viewing what is sexually arousing is:
Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Maybe we need reminders: The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.'"
Maybe those WWJD bracelets or something serve to remind us who we are and prevent us going after lusts.
|1 John 2:15-17
1 Peter 4:1-3
1 Timothy 1:10
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives Don't be deceived, brothers.
Some would argue that looking at the naked human body is not evil, because God made it beautiful, and Adam and Eve were naked in the garden. However, that was before sin entered the picture. "The eye is the window of the soul," as the saying goes. What we look at does affect us spiritually - and can cause us to sin. David "SAW" the woman naked, before he got ideas to sin with her. Jesus said that if a man "looks at a woman to lust after her, he has committed adultery with her already in his heart"; etc.
The sin takes place even before the action is executed. Scripture gives many examples of men being enticed by the sight of a woman. Shechem saw the woman before he raped her. David saw the woman bathing before he had sex with her. Judah saw the harlot before he had sex with her.
The Snare of Sensuality|
Sexual purity begins with our eyes, then with our detachment from the "bait" so we can ask, What is best for all concerned?
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome and after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he refused. "With me in charge," he told her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. Genesis 39:6-12
Being tempted is not a sin (even Jesus was tempted). But giving in to it, or even seeking it out, surely is sin.
Dr. Ray tells a sad story:
The first sexual addict I met was in a church I served in San Antonio. An elder came by; "Pastor, my daughter is married to a man who masturbates many times a day with porn, keeps a girlfriend at their house and has sex with both women several times each day."
His daughter had agreed to the mistress earlier in his addiction, when she was just physically and morally worn down. The elder was ashamed, his daughter was a wreck and her marriage was a disaster. We did an intervention and they tried a pastoral counselor but finally got divorced when he brought home an STD and the man was lost.
There are a lot more resources and helps available today but prevention is still a lot easier than overcoming such an addiction.
Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that Jesus would be a "man of sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3). Indeed, Jesus experienced unparalleled suffering before he died, but it wasn't the kind of sorrows the psalmist had in mind in Psalm 16:4 above. Jesus felt sorrow because his unswerving devotion to the Father earned the wrath of the religious and political leaders of his day. We experience sorrow for the opposite reason: We worship false gods - including pornography. It should come as no surprise when our misplaced devotion causes trouble. We're counting on degrading images to give us life, the very thing only the true God can do. Sorrow is the natural result. Men of sorrows, let's imitate the "man of sorrows."
Lead us not into temptation.
May God make us protectors of children and their innocence.
I'm Ray Smith, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and ordained Presbyterian clergyman. I've been working with clients and leading seminars on pornography and sex addiction for years.
The pain and shame felt by those hooked by porn motivates me to find ways to help them overcome their compulsions and find a peace that passes understanding.
The information here may give you an idea to help yourself or a loved one.
If you'd like a free, confidential telephone consultation about sexual addiction and treatment options, then please call me at (509) 466-6632.
There is hope for you. I have been treating a Christian leader for years who has overcome his sexual addiction and is no longer acting out. He has found freedom, the ability to make choices that are best for him, his ministry and his family. He still gets tempted but he is managing his addition and he feels accountable, and free of old guilt.