Thursday, January 07, 2010

What's Wrong With Pornography?

Did you know that the most visited sites on the internet are pornography sites? More than Google, Yahoo, or Wikipedia, Pornography sites draw millions and millions of viewers daily. And did you know that the revenues of the sex and porn industry in the U.S. are bigger than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball industries combined? The No. 1 search term used at search engine sites is the word “sex”. And while even the word “pornography” stirs up such vivid pictures and emotions in our minds, its influence on the average churchgoer is astounding. It has shaped our culture and our relationships with each other.

I was given a magazine in 7th grade. It was my first encounter with playboy. I remember hiding it in my room and sneaking to look at the pictures when I knew my parents were away. After every time I was filled with such a sense of shame that after a few weeks I told my parents (an unnerving endeavor for a 7th grader) and I embarked on an accountability quest with my father to strive after purity.

All of us, male and female are exposed at some time to pornographic material. From a young age, this can either become a thorn in the flesh causing constant guilt and temptation, or an area of victory. In ministry, I have not encountered one man or youth who has not struggled to some degree in this area. We are all exposed.

Pornography is drawing satisfaction from the physical body of another person that is not your spouse. It is the act of lusting after; and Jesus says in Matt 5:27-28 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus takes it seriously.

Did you know that:

  • 87% of university students are having sex over webcams, instant messenger or the telephone
  • 38 percent of adults believe it is ‘morally acceptable’ to look at pictures of nudity or explicit sexual behavior
  • In a recent survey, 70% of Christians admitted to struggling with porn in their daily lives.
  • As of a recent study: 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year
  • In a survey of over 500 Christian men at a men's retreat, over 90% admitted that they were feeling disconnected from God because lust, porn, or fantasy had gained a foothold in their lives.

Now, I know these statistics can be staggering, but what is crazy are the numbers in the “Christian communites.” Lust and pornography is a huge issue… and for a vast majority, it is the elephant in the room that is keeping them from experiencing all that God has for them.

Our society not-so-subtly communicates to women that the relational part of sexuality depends on the visual. Just look at the huge emphasis on appearance in the media today.

In Movies, music, TV, and Commercials:
- Sexy is confused with beautiful.
- Image is valued more than character.
- Morality is treated as a private matter.
- Intolerance of another’s values is despised—no matter how unhealthy or destructive those values are.
- Getting my needs met is the name of the game.

This is what our media tells us.

And you know what I hear all the time? “It’s not hurting anyone. If I look at this picture or video of a naked woman, that’s my business and it’s not really hurting anyone.” What we need to realize is how much it actually does hurt us and the people we look at. To look at a woman just for her body is to degrade her to nothing more than “eye candy.” Would we look at that woman differently if we knew she was God’s daughter, His special creation, and his divine fingerprint?

The Root Problem

Masturbation, pornography and lust are not the source of the problems in in our lives. Rather, they are symptoms being fed by something else. In fact, there is a root which feeds and keeps sexual immorality alive. This holds true for all who face sexual struggles. The root cause is a desire for intimacy. We are each created with a need for intimacy, and when that is not met, we turn to where we feel like we can get it fast and cheap. But it’s not real. It’s an illusion. It is not real intimacy at all, only an imitation. And it never satisfies. That why people keep going back.

Until people realize that there is only an intimacy that God can fill, they will try to fill it with other things. This is why porn is so attractive. It has all the appearances of intimacy without commitment. But what it leaves is a person feeling hollow, empty, and filled with shame.

If you are struggling through the mess of pornography, or are having trouble bridling your passions and thoughts, we at East Hills would love to talk with you and help you work towards purity and help you set realistic goals.

Make A Commitment Now
God is calling you right now to put aside selfishness and pride and to follow Jesus Christ! If you have been sexually impure, go to Jesus right now. No matter what your sexual sin, He is faithful and willing to forgive and purify you

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Verses to help…

1Co 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Rom 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.




Anonymous said...

It just doesn't seem to be that easy... believe me, if I felt like I could just "give it up" I would...

Anonymous said...

I didn't get the sense that he was saying to just "give it up". There was more in there than talk to someone else -- to be held accountable. Pray about it and ask DAILY (maybe even hourly) for God's help and strength. Like he said, there is another need that is not being met that you are seeking to "feed" with porn. What is it? Can you be honest with yourself? I think that until someone really and truly wants to change their habits it won't happen. Just like with any addiction...drugs, alcohol, stealing, etc....until you are ready to give it up (and work your butt off to do it) there's no way it's just going to happen.

Luke said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this. If you are looking for more good stats on porn and the porn industry, check out Covenant Eyes newest stat sheet.