Purity (Part 1)

While it may be an uncomfortable subject to discuss, pornography can no longer be ignored. We know it is a problem in our society…it’s everywhere we look! From the supermarket checkout line to the catalog waiting in our mailbox to billboards we see while driving around town. However, if we are to be absolutely honest, we also know that pornography has quietly become a serious problem in assemblies and in many homes and hearts.

While we intuitively know there is a problem, statistics not only confirm our suspicions; they indicate the problem is far worse than we ever imagined. And not only is it a problem in the world, but it is prevalent among genuine believers. This sin has been a problem throughout time, but the ease of access to pornography provided by the internet has multiplied its pernicious effects.

What is pornography? Pornography is any media that is intended to arouse sexual desires. Though it is possible to over-generalize, for men, pornography often takes the form of images—both still images and moving pictures. For women, pornography often takes the form of literature and fantasies. The recent New York Times bestselling trilogy of books, “Fifty Shades of Gray,” clearly demonstrates that women also have a propensity for sexually graphic material.

If we desire to see our families and assemblies thrive, we must honestly recognize this problem and deal with it in a Christ-honoring manner.

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

Sexual sin was also prevalent during the time of the Lord’s ministry on earth. To those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery, our Lord said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn. 8:7). Is it possible that all of her accusers were also guilty of the same or similar sins? Notice our Lord did not ignore the sin of adultery, for He said to her, “Go and sin no more.” But He refused to ignore the hypocrisy of her accusers.

If we are going to effectively deal with this issue, we must first reevaluate our own hearts and deal with our own issues. “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (Lk. 6:42).

PORNOGRAPHY WILL NOT SATISFY

Drinking salt water only leads to increased thirst and, ultimately, death. Is pornography any different? King David, from the vantage point of the roof of his own home, saw a beautiful woman bathing. Was that brief sight enough? Did it satisfy David? No! What he saw did not satisfy. Instead, it aroused in him a burning desire for more. We are told that David inquired about the woman (2 Sam. 11:3). Thus began his downward spiral that ultimately led to lies, adultery, and murder. If such a thing could happen to one described in Scripture as a man after God’s own heart, we must not assume we are immune to such temptations.

Seeking satisfaction in pornography is a fool’s game. Solomon was right when he wrote, “The eye is not satisfied with seeing” (Eccl. 1:8).

TIME TO TAKE ACTION

The wonderful news for all of us is that God’s grace is greater than any sin and freedom from pornography can be a reality! It starts with a commitment to holiness, purity, and repentance before the Lord. It also takes a commitment to do what is needed to be free of the temptations that can plague us, regardless of the cost. This is not a problem that can be solved by half measures. In Mark 9:47, the Lord said, “And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out.”

In our next article on the subject, we look at some key tools to help us be free of this dangerous sin, including accountability and software and how to use them effectively in our lives. Additionally, visit www.whyweweb.com for more information on how to use the internet safely and productively for the Lord.