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Recap

  • "In recent years a number of psychologists and sociologists have joined the chorus of religious and political opponents in warning bout the impact of pervasive pornography. They argue that porn is transforming sexuality and relationships - for the worse.
  • Studies show a correlation between regular viewing of porn and men:
o Developing unrealistic expectations about woman's appearance and behavior
o Thinking, speaking of women in objectifying terms
o increasingly violent behavior towards women
  • Other negative social factors including crime rates and violence rates

What the Bible Says about Porn:

  • About 40 verses that speak directly to it, but I think it can be summed up with just three. I'll mention another one in a bit, but these I thought said it pretty well:
  • o 1 Thessalonians 4:3
    o "For this is the will of God," very few verses put it so bluntly
    o "your sanctification:" fancy word for "purification" or "purity"
    o that you abstain from sexual immorality; = Greek word Porneia, where we get the word pornography.
    o 1 Thessalonians 4:8
    o Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
    • Why?
    o 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
    o 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.

    NOT JUST A MAN'S PROBLEM

    • If this topic is ever talked about, it is usually addressed as a man's "struggle". Rarely is a woman's battle with porn mentioned.
    • I am afraid this leaves many of my sisters feeling alone, confused, ashamed, and messed up, like they are some kind of sick-o, slut, or freak.
    • Women struggle with this in many of the same ways and many different ways as men, and the effects are possibly more profound.
    • Realizing that I have absolutely no perspective on this, other than what I've read, I've invited my sister Angie to come share her story about porn...

    ANGIE'S STORY

    TELEVISION / MOVIES

    Suppose I said, "There's a great-looking girl down the street. Let's go look through her window and watch her undress, then pose for us naked, from the waist up. Then this girl and her boyfriend will get in a car and have sex - let's listen and watch the windows steam up!"

    You'd be shocked. You'd think, What a pervert!

    But suppose instead I said, "Hey, come on over. Let's watch Titanic."

    Christians recommend this movie, we view it together, many of you own it, and I recall some buzz over the new edition with the alternate ending coming out recently. Yet the movie contains precisely the scenes I just described.

    How does something so shocking and shameful somehow become acceptable because we watch it through a TV instead of a window? In terms of lasting effects on our minds and hearts, what's the difference?

    o, as our young men lust after the girl on the screen, our young women are trained in how to get a man's attention.

    Every day Christians across the country, including many church leaders, watch people undress through the window of television. We peek on people committing adultery. We've become voyeurs, peeping Toms, entertained by sin.

    This movie wasn't even rated R.

    But why is that surprising?

    WE CAN'T TRUST CULTURALLY ACCEPTED NORMS

    • We live in a culture where:
    o A TV show: (Desperate Housewives), that features a married woman who sleeps with her gardener has been leading the ratings for quite some time now.
    o Sex in the City, which is little more than Soft Core Pornography, nudity and all, is a regular ritual of some of you even in this room, not to mention millions of Americans
    o Autobiographies and memoirs of strippers and porn stars have recently been on the NYT Bestseller's list.
    o Strippers are seen as sexually liberated role models and Porn Stars, women whose job it is to imitate arousal, up to 90% of whom have had a history of sexual abuse, are seen as sexual experts.
    o Giving lap dances on Welch Ave. is seen as an exciting career move (or at least the commercials would have you believe)
    • IT'S TIME TO SHUT OFF THE TV.
    o Now, sure, there are good shows out there... in fact I can think of... two. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Jeopardy.
    • IT'S TIME TO STOP CARELESSLY WATCHING MOVIES
    o There are good ones out there, and Web sites that will tell you what the good ones are.
    o But what if there weren't? What then? The bible doesn't command us to "watch movies", it does however command us to "Guard our hearts".
    • HOW'S THE BATTLE WITH INTERNET PORN GOING?
    o Get a filter
    o Get X3Watch
    o Put your computer in a highly trafficked area
    o If you are STILL losing the battle, UNPLUG THE INTERNET. SELL YOUR COMPUTER if you have to.

    SOUND RADICAL?

    • I could have said gouge your eyes out...
    • Check this:
    o Matthew 5:27-30 - "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. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell."o One of the craziest things Christ ever said. I would put it in the top 5 Crazy Jesus sayings... The man said some weird stuff.

    Okay, okay, I know, I know, we aren't supposed to take this verse literally. But do we take it seriously?

    Romans 13:14 says make NO PROVISION for the flesh...

    We are in the middle of a bloody battle for our hearts. How seriously do we want purity?

    WHAT TO DO?

    • Tools
    o The things I mentioned above: stop the intake of crap
    o Fasting: A spiritual practice used for mental/emotional/spiritual clarity for thousands of years... "media fast..."
    • Let God work:
    o Pray / Confess
    o "If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn't ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right. A child of the light will confess sin instantly and stand completely open before God. But a child of the darkness will say, "Oh, I can explain that." When the light shines and the Spirit brings conviction of sin, be a child of the light. Confess your wrongdoing, and God will deal with it. If, however, you try to vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness." - Oswald Chambers
    o Accountability, God won't let you do this on your own... otherwise we WILL say "Look what I've been able to accomplish!"
    o One of the strangest and wonderful-est things about God is that he really, really wants us to work together as a community, a tribe, a family, but also to work with him, or rather, let him do all the work...

    THE BATTLE CRY

    Romans 13:11-14

    Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

    Footnote:

    Much of the content of this message was inspired by an excellent book by Randy Alcorn called The Purity Principle. I highly recommend it to everyone.