“Abhor What Is Wicked”—Why?
“Abhor what is wicked, cling to what is good. In brotherly love have tender affection for one another.”—Rom. 12:9, 10.
“HE ENTERTAINED himself with pornography.” In fact, his filthy Yonkers, New York, apartment was filled with “pornographic litter and smeared graffiti.” He also got a great deal of pleasure from reading newspaper clippings telling of his shocking crimes.
Who was this man? He was the 24-year-old confessed “Son of Sam,” whose notoriety had reached even the front pages of the official organs of the Vatican and Soviet Russia. In 13 months the killer had murdered six young people, five beautiful women and a handsome youth, and had wounded seven others. Indicative of his flamboyant conceit is his bragging, “I only shoot pretty girls.”—Newsweek, August 22, 1977.
Could there be any connection with the kind of material this man liked to read and his sick mentality? Seeming to indicate so is his boasting about killing only pretty girls. Lending weight also to this conclusion is what history records about the French libertine Marquis de Sade (1814 C.E.)—from whose name comes the word “sadism.” He combined pornography with sex crimes. Repeatedly arrested for his crimes, de Sade spent the closing years of his life in an insane asylum, to the end trying to get the inmates to produce his pornographic and sadistic plays.
True, not a few persons insist that pornography furnishes harmless entertainment. For example, some years ago a commission appointed by the president of the United States concluded that pornography plays no “significant role in the causation of social or individual harm.” Six of this 18-member commission, however, strongly disagreed. A person simply cannot ignore the fact that a great increase in pornographic material has been accompanied by an increase in venereal disease, illegitimate births, abortions, rapes and other sex crimes. In fact, one American researcher who interviewed men in prison for sex crimes found that they testified that almost invariably they got started on their downward course by perusing pornographic literature.
Well has it been observed that ‘pornography is intellectual rape or fornication.’ This conclusion agrees with what Jesus Christ stated in his Sermon on the Mount: “You heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” These are the words of one who understood human nature better than any man who lived before him or since his time.—Matt. 5:27, 28.
Not without good reason does the Bible tell us to “hate what is bad.” (Ps. 97:10) In fact, it makes this even stronger by admonishing us: “Abhor what is wicked.” (Rom. 12:9) Yes, “abhor” is a stronger word than “hate,” even as “wicked” is a stronger word than “bad.” “Abhor” comes from a root meaning ‘to bristle, to shudder, to shiver,’ and is related to the word “horror.” So, to abhor what is wicked, is to regard it with horror, with repugnance, to loathe it, to detest it and to turn away from it.
Why should we abhor this kind of wickedness? Why should we turn aside from it when it is thrust upon us? For one thing, if we entertain what is wicked, it is bound to harm us sooner or later. We cannot escape it: “Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap; because he who is sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh.” (Gal. 6:7, 8) We cannot be morally or spiritually healthy while feeding on moral poison. The grosser the wickedness, the greater the harm.—Rom. 1:26, 27.
Secondly, we should want to abhor what is wicked because it interferes with our having good relations with others. Married men who indulge in pornography weaken the ties of tenderness binding them to their wives, for it is actually cheating on their wives. Disloyalty in thought often is the first step toward marital unfaithfulness. The wise counsel of Solomon for husbands to find delight in their wives precludes their taking pleasure in pornography.—Prov. 5:15-20.
It is equally imperative that single men abhor this kind of wickedness. Only thus can their relations with the opposite sex be wholesome, upbuilding, enjoyable, truly friendly. Not without good reason did the apostle Paul repeatedly counsel the single man Timothy along this line: “Flee from the desires incidental to youth.” “Become an example . . . in chasteness.” “[Entreat] older women as mothers, younger women as sisters with all chasteness.” (2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Tim. 4:12; 5:1, 2) To love our neighbor as we do ourselves we must also avoid contaminating him or her with what is bad.—Rom. 13:8-10.
However, most important of all, we should abhor what is wicked because it interferes with our having good relations with our Maker, Jehovah God. In his Word, he repeatedly stresses the fact that he is a holy, good, pure God, a righteous God. (Deut. 32:4; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16) He cannot look with approval upon what is wicked.
Today sexual immorality is a tool that Satan the Devil is using on a large scale to corrupt humankind and to turn people away from God and his righteous principles. He used this snare to deflect angels from their heavenly estate. (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6) He caused the death of 24,000 Israelites by this same snare just before they were to enter the Promised Land. (Num. 25:1-18) And professed Christians’ yielding to this snare today is one of the clear evidences that we are living in the foretold “critical times hard to deal with.”—2 Tim. 3:1-5.
Therefore, let all who would be wise, who love their neighbor as themselves, and who would be pleasing to God, heed the inspired counsel: “Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct . . . nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks.”—Eph. 5:3-12.
Fill the mind with the things that are true, righteous, chaste, lovable, well spoken of, virtuous and praiseworthy. (Phil. 4:8) Doing so will serve to protect you from the snare of pornography. Yes, as the apostle Paul wrote at Romans 12:9: “Abhor what is wicked, cling to what is good.”