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Is Pornography Bad For Us?

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If you or someone you know struggles with pornography, give this a read and see what God’s word has to say about it.
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Pornography addiction runs rampant in our culture. A study was conducted on rats to find the best path from addiction to sobriety. They put one rat alone in a cage with two water feeders. One had drug water, and one had clean water. The rat died in a matter of days. Next, they had a group of rats put into a cage with the same two types of water. Every single one of the rats lived. Sobriety does not come from muscling our way through addiction. It comes from community. The Bible tells us to flee sexual immorality. Jesus takes a very clear stance on why sexual immorality, which pornography falls in the catagory of, is so detrimental to our hearts. Do not try to muscle your way through this one or fix it on your own friend. Strive to live a life that glorifies God, find christian community to bear each other's burdens, and do not believe the lie that you can find fulfillment in anything other than Christ alone.

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Porn is not talked about in Scripture. Or is it?

In the 21st century people can view explicit content within seconds from the comfort of their very own home. In fact, every second, 28,258 users are viewing pornography on the internet according to a study done on internet pornography use in America. These statistics are shocking, but possibly one of the most shocking parts is that it is not just men who are contributing. One-third of porn viewers are in fact women. How can these numbers be so high? Why is it that this was not an issue before? Well obviously, technological advancements have created the ability for people to watch pornography with ease, but the issue is much more than just looking at inappropriate images on a screen. The issue is that people use pornography to satisfy the desires of their flesh and feel filled by something that can only empty and destroy. 

So how do we even navigate this issue if the Bible does not talk about porn? 

Well, first, we must look at the heart of the issue stated above, because when we look at what lies beneath pornography addiction, we see that Jesus is the only solution. This battle cannot be won by muscling your way through. It can only be won by a reliance on Jesus for our strength and an understanding of the power that we have because of His death on the cross. 

Secondly, the word pornography may not be in Scripture, but it’s Greek root porneia is. The word porneia is used 25 times in the New Testament. So, although the pornography that we think of today is not talked about in Scripture, the Bible addresses the root of this sin and we get to hear what Jesus has to say about this issue that runs rampant in culture today.

Originally this word porneia meant “to prostitute” or “to sell”, but when the word was being used by Jesus and the authors of the New Testament, the scope of its meaning had become broader. Some of the meanings of this word as used in Scripture are adultery, homosexuality, and sexual immorality. Recognize any of these? The Bible takes a very strong stance on these topics, and do you notice any relation that these definitions of porneia have with pornography in the 21stcentury? It’s because although we are living in a completely different time, it is still the same world. We are not any better off than the people of the New Testament. Satan still has a temporary dominion over this earth, and we will always have sin until we are reunited with Christ in Heaven. 

So, what does Scripture say exactly about this word porneia, and how exactly does it kill love? 

In the gospel of Matthew chapter 15, Jesus is teaching a crowd and says, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” So how does porn defile you if it is something that is external. Well as we have covered, porn is very far from an external act. Jesus’ disciple Peter asks Jesus to explain this parable later in the chapter. Jesus says, “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” Do you recognize any of these words as porneia? The issues that cause death are the ones in our hearts. The place where the world says that love comes from. Viewing pornography is not a victimless crime and many people in the porn industry die every year from the culture that it cultivates. But perhaps the biggest victim in the porn industry is your heart. When we view pornography, we create distance between our hearts and the one who can make our heart whole. We think that pornography will satisfy the desires of our flesh, but Jesus ultimately satisfies both flesh and spirit. 

The Bible says to “flee from sexual immorality” in the book of 1 Corinthians. So, understand the gravity of the decisions that we make, and run from this vile act. When you are alone and struggling, understand that the actions of today will affect your relationship with the Lord, your future marriage, and your view of yourself. If you struggle with pornography when you are alone, go for a walk or call a friend to have fellowship. But know this, the struggle never disappears. Christianity is not something where you just reach a level in which you are not tempted by sin. At least not on this side of eternity. There will be times where you fall, but Jesus has his arms open wide and his hands outstretched to help you get back up. When you hike a mountain, it is hard. There may be times where you stumble and lose your footing. So, why even bother trying to get to the top? Because we know the wonder and glory of what lies at the summit. So get back up and know that Jesus waits in eternity for those who have surrendered their lives to Him.  

 

Internet Pornography by the Numbers: A. Webroot. (n.d.). https://www.webroot.com/us/en/resources/tips-articles/internet-pornography-by-the-numbers.