The Pornography Plague—Resist It!
GREEDY money lovers, and those who have “gone out after flesh for unnatural use,” have flooded the world with highly contagious material in movies, videos, plays, books, magazines, and music—a plague of pornography. (Jude 7) Thus the U.S. Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, in visits to just 16 stores, was able to catalogue “2,325 separate magazine titles, 725 books, and 2,370 film titles” of pornographic matter.
With little thought as to the havoc they create in the lives of others, these “pornocrats” callously lower the moral climate of society and contribute to the epidemics of fornication, adultery, incest, sexually transmitted diseases, perversions, divorces, broken homes, disturbed children, and physically and psychologically damaged marriage mates.
Can you protect your family from this plague? If you have become addicted to porn, is there any way to break free? The answer to both questions is yes! How?
Porn problems thrive in an environment of infectious wrong attitudes where there exists little resistance to “the works of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:19) Such problems flourish when people lack or ignore accurate knowledge and allow wrong information to pollute the mind. Our best defense against porn, then, is to build spirituality and individual immunity by cultivating healthy attitudes based on sound knowledge. To do this requires that we uncompromisingly embrace, as antidotes to porn, the following Bible viewpoints.
Right Attitude Toward Sex
The first prevalent wrong attitude to resist is that toward sex itself. Jehovah God created the male and the female with sexual desire for the purpose of procreation, as well as to bring them pleasure as a married couple. (Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:18; Matthew 19:4-6) Thus if sexual relations are viewed as a means of mutual expression of love by marriage mates and not as a means of exploiting others or merely for the gratifying of self, it will help us to resist pornography.—1 Corinthians 7:3; Acts 20:35.
To abuse sex dishonors its Designer and brings harm to the abuser. Hunger for food is also designed by God for our good and pleasure. But if abused by excesses or by ingesting polluted food, harm can result. Therefore, do not become greedy—idolizing sex. Rather, control “your body members . . . as respects . . . sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”—Colossians 3:5, 6; Ephesians 5:5.
When ancient cultures idolized sex, they “exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the One who created.” That led to “disgraceful sexual appetites,” excesses that polluted them. Thus, “both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female.”—Romans 1:25-27.
Right Attitude Toward Women
Many pornographic presentations nowadays are of women subjected to rape, degradation, and violence. So your family must see pornography as a vicious attack upon womankind. Porn conveys the seductive idea that females are meant to be and even want to be thus maltreated—that they actually experience pleasure when raped and otherwise hurt. That is a base lie.
No decent male can have such an attitude toward women. God made both male and female. The woman was to be man’s complement, not his inferior deserving of ill-treatment. (Genesis 2:18) Rather than maltreat the body of any woman, the Bible tells men to deal with “older women as mothers, younger women as sisters with all chasteness.” (1 Timothy 5:2) And instead of subjecting wives to the perversions that porn advocates, “husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies.”—Ephesians 5:28, 29.
Right Attitude Toward Children
Annually, children by the thousands—often just tots—are sexually abused, some by their neighbors and family friends, others by incestuous practices of their own parents and other family members. Porn plays a big part in suggesting that this abuse is acceptable. Thousands more are kidnapped, raped, and prostituted by sexually depraved pornographers. What an unfeeling betrayal of innocent, defenseless children!
“Sons are an inheritance from Jehovah,” the Bible says. (Psalm 127:3) Your family members need to respect that inheritance and its Source and not entertain unwholesome attitudes toward the young in their own or other families. Sexual abuse of minors does physical and emotional damage and corrupts. It is a cruel lie to say that children are benefited by such abuse.
Hence, pornography is based upon God-dishonoring lies, wicked misrepresentations as to sex, women, and children. The sickening fruitage from propagating the lies tells us who the father of such lies must be. (John 8:44) In view of this, genuine Christians who wish to maintain a clean relationship with their heavenly Father cannot have anything to do with pornography!
Other Perilous Attitudes
Various excuses are made to justify use or tolerance of pornography. You must see the danger in these excuses if you are to be immune to the harm that can be wrought by this plague.
‘Use of porn can enhance your married sex life.’ The reverse—degeneration—has resulted for many. Some, feeding on porn, are no longer able to enjoy normal sex lives. Fantasizing with lurid magazines, one husband went from forcing perversions on his wife to bisexual affairs. His wife plaintively asks: “[Why can] my husband have sex with magazines but not with me?” Another wife says that her husband stays up all night to watch TV porn, yet he ‘has no interest in normal sexual relations.’ In other cases, marriages disintegrated when husbands insisted on practicing the perversions seen in movies or magazines.
‘A little soft porn won’t hurt anyone.’ That is as deceptive as saying that ‘a little use of soft drugs won’t hurt anyone.’ A clinical psychologist explains: “I find there is an escalation factor in which the person increasingly wants to see and be exposed to more and more deviant obscene material . . . more explicit material to give the person his ‘kicks.’” Others agree, pointing to the present trend to more violent hard-core material.
‘There are some well-written articles on interesting topics in some of the better-class sex magazines. As long as I just read those and only admire the excellent photography, it won’t hurt me.’ But why look through a garbage can for wholesome food? And do not forget the real danger to “everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her.” (Matthew 5:28) As for the excellent photography, slick paper, and first-rate reproduction, remember, gold-plating a garbage can doesn’t change the contents.
Breaking Free From Porn Addiction
But what if you have a strong attachment to porn and find it hard to give it up? The psychologist quoted before also said: “I find that there is an addiction to pornography. The individual . . . gets ‘hooked’ . . . and comes back again and again for more.” Yet, as with other addictions, one can break free.
If you have the problem, an obvious first step is to stop feeding your mind on the filth itself, cutting off the source of contamination. (Matthew 5:29, 30) Yes, get rid of all the material that would be a temptation to resort to fantasizing. Would you tolerate an ancient phallic image in your home? Then why permit these modern expressions of sex worship there? Early Christians were quick to dispose of even costly items that posed a threat to their clean relationship with Jehovah.—Acts 19:19.
And, as with other addictions, to break free requires the addicted person humbly to admit that he has the problem, that he really wants to quit it, and then earnestly seek qualified help. The Christians just referred to were quite willing to seek help from mature believers of their time. (Acts 19:18) Your own sincere prayers and those of your spiritual brothers will provide a source of strength not available elsewhere.—James 5:13-16.
Flushing out the mind with clean waters of truth and keeping it filled with pure teaching that expresses the “perfect will of God” will make it possible for unhealthy mental images gradually to fade. In this way the circuits that would keep these mental images vivid and still infectious will be erased.—Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:17-24.
Genuine love for God and neighbor will help you break the porn habit as well as protect you from ever again becoming involved with it. Pornography is the message of modern sex worship. It stands for everything that is opposed to God and righteousness. It must be rejected outright. Avoid it like the plague it is!
There are those who advocate ignoring it as a passing thing that will cure itself when people get filled or bored with it. But is that the way to handle life-threatening filth? We do not fix a leaking cesspool by ignoring it, allowing it to overflow, hoping it will somehow heal itself. You must take action!
What Will You Do?
It may be true that not all are affected alike by such material. However, if we admit that the intent of such material and the reasons why it is viewed are not wholesome, then we have a conscientious decision to make, just as we would have with any other threat to our well-being. This plague must be resisted.
Face the fact that the porn plague is a reflection of the declining morals of our times as foretold in the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:1-6) History and experience tell us that despite laws and regulations, people who want pornographic material will find a way to make, distribute, and consume it.
Thus there are feminists who vehemently deplore exploitation and maltreatment of women by pornographers and porn addicts but who nevertheless will, at the same time, express reservations about a total ban on smut. They speak favorably of “erotica” for their own use that portrays what these feminists call “sexual expression between two people who desire each other and who have entered this relationship with mutual agreement.” Gay men also wish to reserve for themselves the right to make and view their own “victimless” homosexual pornography.—2 Peter 2:18, 19.
Obviously, if we listen to the self-serving excuses of these and others who are ‘sowing with a view to the flesh,’ we will soon get lost in a maze of hairsplitting philosophical arguments as to what is and what is not porn, erotica, and art. (Galatians 6:8) No matter what people call the material, when it displays for sexual arousal what the Bible calls unnatural and obscene—fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, rape—then a Christian knows such is not fitting for him to view, since such should “not even be mentioned among” Christians.—Ephesians 5:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Leviticus 18:6-30.
From all the above, it should be clear that pornography must be included among those things “shameful even to relate.” It animalizes sex. So, “let no man deceive you with empty words, for because of the aforesaid things the wrath of God is coming . . . Therefore do not become partakers with them . . . Quit sharing with them in the unfruitful works that belong to the darkness, but, rather, even be reproving them.”—Ephesians 5:6-15.
Yes, successfully resist the plague of pornography by seeing it for what it is: a medium for sex worship. Vigorously reject it and its lies, uncleanness, and idolatry. Remember: “Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom.” True Christians have “impaled the flesh together with its passions and desires.” So, “keep walking by spirit and you will carry out no fleshly desire at all.” (Galatians 5:16-24) Succumbing to the porn plague means death, but doing God’s will means life.—1 John 2:15-17.
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“As New York Law School professor Ernest van den Haag has pointed out, ‘Some argue that pornography has no actual influence. This seems unpersuasive. Literature—from the Bible to Karl Marx to Hitler’s Mein Kampf—does influence people’s attitudes and actions, as do all communications.’”—Family Circle magazine
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Avid reading of pornographic literature has interfered with married couples’ enjoying a normal sex life