Why Christians Should Avoid Pornography
Why Christians Should Avoid Pornography
Sexual intimacy is a gift from God (Genesis 2:24-25, Proverbs 5:15-19, 1 Timothy 4:1-4). Sadly, mankind has often taken the gift of God and corrupted it. Pages of the Bible report all sorts of abuses, like homosexuality, fornication, adultery, prostitution, and worse things. Excavations of the ancient city of Pompeii—sealed in time in the mid-first century—reveal that very explicit paintings, figurines, statues, depicting people in various acts of making love, were literally everywhere (Mary Beard, The Fires of Vesuvius, 226-240).
But all that pales in comparison to the modern availability and mind-blowing vulgarity of pornography on lighted screens.
There was a time when preachers wouldn’t speak on this subject. Because even the very word is uncomfortably explicit. Sometimes, “it is disgraceful to speak of the things which are done by them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12). Besides, once upon a time, pornography was encountered only occasionally and with difficulty.
Things have changed in just the last twenty years. Social media and smartphones have made pornography so pervasive that it is very nearly unavoidable. Most kids—your kids—have viewed hard-core pornography by age 13. By the end of high school, it’s 85% of boys and 60% of girls (www.fightthenewdrug.com). Hollywood critic Michael Medved ridicules those who say, “if you don’t like pornography, then turn it off,” by comparing it to saying, “if you don’t like smog, stop breathing.”
We Christians cannot afford to bury our heads in the sand. Not only must we refuse to “participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness” but now we must warn our people and “expose the [unfruitful deeds]” to the light of truth (Ephesians 5:11). Many adults and teens think: “since I’m not having sex, there’s nothing wrong with viewing sex.” Not true! Let’s cover some Biblical reasons to avoid pornography.
Pornography is sinful. Galatians 5:19 says to avoid not only “sexual immorality” but also “impurity and sensuality” (NASB). That last word is Greek aselgia, what the KJV called “lasciviousness.” It’s unrestrained, shameless conduct that tends toward or incites sexual immorality. Furthermore, Ephesians 5:3 says, “immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” Anything reeking of sexual immorality should be kept far away from us.
Pornography is addictive. The lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh are never satisfied, many will find themselves becoming fixated on pornographic sites. It’s literally the most-searched thing on Google. “By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19). And like all addictions, it will take a kinkier hit to produce the same level of satisfaction.
Pornography sexualizes the mind. It’s not just a legitimate God-given desire for sex, but an unceasing moving mental picture of sexual activity that never fades away. It makes every thought unclean (Matthew 6:22-23, Philippians 4:8) and gives us “eyes full of adultery” (2 Peter 2:14). Soon, every woman becomes nothing but a sexual object. Instead, we must “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and bring
our minds into obedience to Christ (Romans 12:1-2).
Pornography ruins existing relationships (Matthew 5:28-29). Those involved in porn no longer treat spouses as
complex people with needs and desires (and revulsions), no longer think of marriage as a relationship of mutual edification. Selfish sexual self-gratification becomes the only language. Worse, the sexual bond does not deepen the relationship with the one physically present. Porn does not spice up marriages; it ruins marriages! If you want to improve that one aspect of your union, start by investing in the relationship, going out on dates, turning off distractions, having meaningful conversation, etc. Besides, no one can give me permission to sin, not even my spouse.
Pornography ruins potential relationships. Statistics show that unmarried sexual activity has plummeted in the last decade. Sadly, it’s entirely due to the rise of pornography, which provides a dopamine hit without ever leaving the house to interact with real people. We are raising a generation of boys who do not know how to talk, befriend, and respectfully date girls, much less lead a family.
Pornography opens the door to other sins: lying to avoid detection, conniving (Proverbs 6:6-9), sometimes debt, later sexual sins, and adultery, perhaps divorce, and occasionally criminal abuse of others. I have personally known men who were upstanding members of the community who were led away to years of jail when child pornography was found on their computer. Ted Bundy was inspired by adolescent exposure to porn.
How does one overcome? In brief, make a commitment to holiness (Psalm 101:2-3, Job 31:1). Be accountable to your spouse or trusted person (Acts 19:18-19). Destroy all materials and block all access (Mark 9:43-46).
Pornography is not a victimless crime. Many who appear in videos are exploited. Your views support a dark world (1 Timothy 5:22).