This one’s for the men
This one’s for the men
Which means you can probably guess what it’s about. In October of last year I addressed a men’s retreat on the subject of the sinfulness of pornography. What follows is a summary of the main points made.
But first of all a comment on that word sinfulness. It has all to do God’s perspective on the matter. What does he think about pornography? To charge something with being sinful is to say that it violates his holy law; that he cannot take the remotest pleasure in it; that on the contrary it is abhorrent to him. Can such a charge be brought against the production and the viewing of pornography? No question!
And then, too, a word about sex. We must not imagine that God is unhappy about sex. On the contrary, he intends it to be enjoyed. But only within a husband-wife relationship. Outside of that it is unequivocally condemned. To be sexually intimate with anyone else is a very serious sin – so serious that God threatens offenders with nothing less than the pains of hell.
That being so, think what pornography does. For the pornographer’s gain and for people’s pleasure, it portrays and glamourizes every sexual sin in the book. Sex with multiple partners. Male homosexuality. Lesbianism. Adultery. Bestiality. Pedophilia. Rape. Every imaginable (and unimaginable) species of sexual perversion for which God will eternally punish sinners.
Think, too, how pornography does it. With real people. It would be bad enough if it was simply done on paper. But the depiction of sexual sin is by actors actually engaging in it. Quite apart from the physical and psychological cost (which is immense) there is a high moral and spiritual cost. The guilt involved in so seriously violating God’s law. The hardening of heart inseparable from repeated sinful acts.
Then there is pornography’s ‘message’. The Bible insists on the dignity and value of women and demands that they be treated with Christ-like love. “Implicit in pornography”, however, as one writer puts it, “is the understanding that women exist to be exploited and exist primarily for the pleasure of men. They are to be conquered, used, and left behind.” Another writes, “Pornography is, at its core, the commercialization of women, turning men into consumers and women into a product to be used and discarded.”
We need to judge rightly, therefore, the pleasure taken in pornography. The Bible speaks of God’s eyes being “too pure to look on evil” (Habakkuk 1.13) – that is with delight or approval. On the contrary, sin is loathsome in God’s eyes. There can be no doubt, then – given all the above – that to God pornography is vile. And that in turn condemns the pleasure men take in it. We ought to say to ourselves, “It is because my heart is wicked that I can find enjoyment in what God himself so utterly detests”.
And then finally, face up to the lust inseparable from the pleasure. To look at a woman lustfully, says Jesus, is to commit adultery with her in your heart (Matthew 5.28). How is it possible to view pornography with pleasure without being guilty of just such lust?
Two things to conclude. Given the evident sinfulness of pornography, you see why we should shun it. This is no innocent pleasure. Do you see as well why you need to stop looking at it? Yes because it is harmful (a whole other subject). But above all because of the sin involved in making and viewing it.
What is God’s word to any reader who is accessing internet pornography? It is to repent. To encourage that, remember that with God – through Christ – there is forgiveness. And along with that forgiveness, the strength that in our weakness we so much need.
Grace Baptist Church
777 W North Street
Carlisle, PA 17013