Posted by: austend | Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fighting the Beast of Pornography

This article is somewhat lengthy, so if you don’t read it all,  that is fine.  Here’s the point, though: Pornography is a great evil.  Don’t start it!  If you are already struggling with it, get out of it!  A great free service from OpenDNS.com offers pornography-blocking.  Please read further to find out more.

One of the great paradoxes of the Christian life is that God has called us to be holy, but He has permitted the sin nature to continue to reside in us, though having had its power broken (Rom 6:6).  So we experience times where we obey God well and times where we disobey God by sinning.  There is always that tension in the Christian life between the two natures as we seek to “put to death” and “put off” the one and “put on” the other.  Yet that is the lot God has given to us–to wage war in this matter.

What further complicates matters is the fact that our bodies through both physical (hormones, etc.) and “spiritual” (sin nature) means tries to get us to sin constantly.  The drive we have to sexual immorality is a prime example of this.  So, it is hard to fight this particular beast.  God has called us innumerable times in the New Testament to not engage in any kind of sexual immorality, and yet our bodies and fallen nature try to convince us that sexual immorality is so great and feels so good.  To make matters worse, the world we live in constantly promotes it as well!  “It is only natural,” says the world; “you shouldn’t fight it!”  But God asks us to fight it.

Pornography is a great evil.  It often leads to self-stimulation/self-gratification, and it will ultimately lead to committing sexual immorality with another person if it continues to be indulged.  It will usually lead to “treating your marriage partner pornographically,” as one of my wisest professors in college has observed.  It leads to the objectification of men and women.  One who engages regularly in pornography loses the understanding that persons of the opposite sex are real people, not just objects for my pleasure.  It enforces the idea that love is a physical feeling, not an attitude of self-sacrifice.  It makes us concentrate on ourselves, not on other people as the NT urges us to do.

The path down pornography’s way is a slippery slope that is easy to descend, but incredibly difficult to come back out from.  It only leads to further engagement in pornography,  and it will ultimately lead to other kinds of sexual immorality.  It is a way of futility because it will never ultimately satisfy.  One always wants more.  He can never find the “perfect” picture or movie to satisfy himself.  Once the habit of pornography is built, where one indulges sexual temptation every time it comes about, it can only be broken with great pains and difficulties.  The images, sounds, and movies that you feed yourself remain in your mind forever.  They surface in your mind’s eye constantly, even during prayer or conversation with others.  Once you put these things into your mind, you can never get them out.  You must always live with them.  They tend to bring feelings of guilt and can corrupt friendship relationships with those of the opposite sex.

So, the bottom line is: “Watch your beginnings.”  Don’t start down the path of pornography.  You will save yourself so much grief and difficulty if you never begin.  Please, for God’s sake, don’t start in pornography!  If you have already started down that path, then you must take much more drastic measures to rid yourself of that wickedness.  It is like cancer.  It continues to grow if you do not fight it.  If you have already started, please, for your sake, for God’s sake, for your marriage partner’s sake, for your children’s sake, for your friends’ sake, for your future’s sake, get out of it!!  It can only destroy!  Please, pray about it, confess your sins to God, ask for God’s help in fighting it, find friends to keep you accountable, tape verses on your computer screen, memorize Scripture’s commands about not engaging in sexual immorality.  Fight it!  God is always faithful to forgive (1 Jn 1:9),  and He will always help those who earnestly seek His help to get out of sinful habits.

Thankfully, there is another way to help you fight.  A service at OpenDNS.com {here} has, among other things, a wonderful pornography-blocking option.  It is free and very effective.  It can block out all pornographic and/or suggestive content.  It can be customized to display verses and a photo (like of your wife/husband or kids or a cross, etc.) on the pages that it blocks.  It requires no software to install,  and it is very easy to set up.  It can be used on individual computers or an entire network.  Please, consider using it!  It can be a first defensive step in your fight against the beast of pornography.  Please check it out.  You can also use a Firefox Add On called “BlockSite” for basic blocking purposes {here}.

However you end up fighting it, please stick to your guns and with the indwelling Spirit of God’s help,  fight this beast all your life!  Do not give in, even upon occasion.  Fight it always!  It will be well worth your struggle, I promise.

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