This is a risky (and maybe risqué) post. Clicking “Publish” on this one is about to feel really awkard. But the church is plagued not only with pornography but also with a reluctance to discuss it. After almost 7 years in college ministry, I have found that struggling with porn is standard fare for most young Christian men. I have failed to tackle the issue with the urgency it deserves until this past year. Twice now I have spoken on pornography, and will be doing so again next month at Samford University.
My most recent sermon on the issue was at Southeastern Bible College‘s Monday morning chapel service. I am very grateful for their hospitality. A number of gracious folks wanted access to the points in the talk, so I am listing some of them here. Pornography will be a topic of occasional discussion here on this blog, so be warned.
1] Porn Sabotages Real Sex by Emasculating Males. The word “emasculating” may seem harsh—it makes men cringe to read it. But so many men experience a sexual desensitization from their porn use. Many men married to beautiful women stop having sex with their wives as their porn addiction deepens. Wilder, more violent footage and imagery is required to maintain arousal. Real sex begins to pail in comparison to the manufactured scenes on offer from the porn industry. Sin will always betray us, offering us some falsified beauty that actually detracts from and destroys the real thing. My contention here about pornography’s theft of the joyful experience of real live sex is not just a claim from a Christian minister who wants to rant, rave and moralize on his blog—check out this post at CNN’s online Health section for a secular take on how porn sabotages real sex.
2] Porn Sabotages Real Sex by Emotionally Incapacitating Women. I have been reminded to be careful not to cast porn addiction as only a male struggle. A growing number of women are viewing porn. But my point here is that as married men view graphic images of perfectly sculpted bodies of women who never have a headache and who always have an unlimited supply of energy, then wives may begin to feel as though the competition is too fierce to stay in the game.
For most of human history, erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women.
Here is what young women tell me on college campuses when the subject comes up: They can’t compete, and they know it. For how can a real woman—with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own (let alone with speech that goes beyond “More, more, you big stud!”)—possibly compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and tailored to the consumer’s least specification?
If our wives know we are staring at pictures of 25-yr olds with implants and laser-enhancements, then they will be less inclined to display their own bodies in the marriage bed. If they cannot replicate the wild, erotic passion of an actress who is making cash to act out a scripted fantasy, then they might just stop being as responsive during real live sex. Again, the point is that pornography sabotages the real thing.
3] Viewing Porn makes us a partner with Satan. To click on a pornography site is to help fund Satan’s vilest projects in the world. The complex web behind the footage and the videos has tendrils that are connected to red light districts across the world where little children are imprisoned as sex slaves. It is a system that promises cash and stardom to young girls then nurtures drug use that numbs the reality of the brutalizing demands. Many porn addicts find themselves in need of ever-increasing deviance in the sites and images they visit. Child pornography is on this path. As a preacher, I do not normally talk about hell, fire, brimstone and the Devil. But I do when I talk about porn. To view it is to partner with evil.
So many young people I work with are passionate about social justice. Yet in my view, pornography is one of the greatest social justice issue of our times—embedded in its production are racism, mysogyny, and even slavery. If we want to be passionate about social justice, let’s start with how we use our laptop’s mouse.
If you are reading this and you are struggling with pornography, I am pleased to report that Jesus and His Gospel are strong. Strong enough, in fact, to destroy the destroyer and to redeem the destruction. I am also pleased to report that there is help. For starters, here are a couple of links…
Also, here is a great book to start with—