Owen Strachan – The High Cost of Free Porn

Terry Crews is a successful man: former NFL player, television star, person of seemingly impossible muscle density. But Crews is unusual for another reason: in a sexualized culture, he spoke up not long ago about the harm caused by his pornography addiction. “Every time I watched it, I was walled off,” Crews confessed in a video posted online. “It was like another brick that came between me and my wife.”

Crews’s testimony caused a strong reaction on social media. Many noted the destructive personal effects of pornography, effects that cannot be denied. But there is a greater dimension to pornography’s destructiveness. Even free porn comes at an excruciatingly high cost. Beyond severe psychological and social consequences, pornography hinders Jesus’s mission in the world. Here are three ways this takes place, with a word of hope for sinners like us.

1. Pornography hinders the mission of God in our own lives.

God has much work he wants to do through his people. He does not employ perfect people in his kingdom; every believer, all those who have been given a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17), must still battle with the “old man” on a daily basis (Colossians 3:9–10). We yearn to shed our sin, but until God accomplishes this, we live in a state of vigilance. We exercise a zero-tolerance policy against our flesh (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5).

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Tim Challies – 5 Ways Porn Lies To You

There’s a lot of porn in the world. When I first began to write the articles that would become Sexual Detox, this sin was still lurking in the shadows. Few people knew just how deep and deadly it was. Nearly a decade later, we get it. We know now that nearly every boy and a great many girls will be exposed to it, struggle with it, and even become addicted to it. So every now and again I like to return to the topic, hoping to offer hope. Today I find myself considering porn’s ugly lies.

It’s Not That Big a Deal

One of the foremost lies you may be tempted to believe when it comes to porn is this: It’s not that big a deal. If everyone else is doing it, it can’t be too serious a sin, right?

The Bible begs to differ. Writing on behalf of God, Paul says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality. … For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” The Christian life is inseparable from sexual purity. He goes on to say something alarming: “Whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” When you look at porn, you are actively sinning against the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He is telling you not to sin and you are defying him.

As a Christian, you have professed faith in Christ and have the Holy Spirit living within. This Spirit is telling you not to sin, assuring you he can help you do what is right. And still you sin. This is a very serious matter. Any time you choose to sin in this way, you are sinning against the active presence of God. It’s a big deal.

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Dave Jenkins – Overcoming An Addiction to Pornography & Embracing Purity

My sophomore year in high school, I was approached by a number of people who told me that no matter what I wanted, whether it was drugs or pornography, I could have it whenever I wanted. At this time, I was a youth leader not only at church but also at my high school leading a bible study. Even though I became a believer when I was four and started to sense God’s call to pastoral ministry as early as age six, I was still very immature in my faith at this time and not very knowledgeable about Christianity. As time wore on, I became very depressed as I witnessed the painful divorce of my parents, and I caved into pornography. It was a slow slide into pornography for me, but once it began, it was incredibly addictive. While no one knew of my struggle in high school, I hid in shame as I regularly watched pornography and lived a double life. It was not until my freshmen year in college, when I was asked to be on staff at a church, that I confessed my sin of pornography to the pastor. He responded by saying that I should step down immediately from all leadership responsibilities.

While this event transpired over ten years ago, I have often reflected on how God has led me by the Spirit in the process of progressive sanctification and on what He has taught me. This reflection leads me to write this article on what purity looks like in the home, in the church,
in the workplace, and on the internet. As we go through this topic, I want you to understand that I am not just giving you steps on how to move past this on your own, but rather grounding everything I am saying in the Word of God. I believe the only way to overcome an addiction to pornography is to recognize that it is idolatry, and as such, needs to be repented of. Once you have repented of this addiction, you need to recalibrate your heart and mind with the gospel by reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God both individually and corporately.

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Andrew Naselli – Seven Reasons You Should Not Indulge in Pornography

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Boys and men today regularly indulge in pornography—even guys who profess to be Christians.1 By “indulging in pornography,” I mean that you sinfully allow yourself to enjoy the pleasure of printed or visual material that explicitly describes or displays sexual body parts or activity in order to stimulate erotic feelings. The most common way this is happening in our culture is by viewing sexually charged images and videos on the Internet.

My goal is to motivate you to say no to pornography by God’s grace. This article does not comprehensively address how to deal with pornography. Other resources do that well, and I recommend several of them below. My burden in this article is to motivate you not to indulge in pornography. I am particularly burdened to motivate people who habitually indulge in pornography and who are not killing their sin of lust. If that describes you, then this article is a way of metaphorically taking you firmly by the shoulders, looking you directly in the eyes, and soberly warning you, “Wake up! Do you realize what the consequences are for indulging in pornography?!”

You should not indulge in pornography for at least seven reasons.

1. Indulging in Pornography Will Send You to Hell

In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addresses lust:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matt 5:27–30)

Jesus authoritatively interprets what “You shall not commit adultery” means. It does not merely prohibit you from stealing someone else’s wife. It prohibits you from lusting. Jesus says that looking at a woman for the purpose of lusting is sin. So if you indulge in pornography, you are sinning.

Jesus then reaches a logical conclusion: Since it is sinful to look at a woman with lustful intent, therefore, you should tear out your eye if it causes you to sin, and you should cut off your right hand if it causes you to sin. (The “right hand” is probably “a euphemism for the male sexual organ.”) And Jesus supports those conclusions with two parallel reasons: it is better to lose your eye or genitals than for your whole body to go to hell.

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David Prince – Ingratitude, Ethics, and Porn?

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We tend to think about thankfulness as something we know we should have, especially in regard to the big blessings in life: family, spouse, friends, church, and so on, but it often remains a broad abstraction. Nevertheless, we think of it as something we do occasionally, while giving ourselves permission is the daily course of our lives to grumble and complain. In other words, the functional culture of our lives is frustration and ingratitude, even though we pledge to do better now and then.

Sometimes we hear calls to be thankful, we think, I could be thankful, if…, but that is not being thankful, it is being entitled. We take life for granted more often than we take it with gratitude. The Scripture consistently commands believers to “be thankful,” because what frees us to be thankful, the gospel, has already happened outside of us. Biblically, thankfulness is rooted in the past promise of the gospel, but it is not relegated to the past, it stretches into eternity as all gospel promises are fully consummated.

For all of our occasional bravado, at best we do not tend to think thankfulness is all that significant to our lives. At worst, we think of thankfulness in everything as weakness, a character flaw even. How often have you heard someone counseled that thankfulness was the key to their sanctification or someone with a porn problem pointed toward their ingratitude? Have you heard sermons on how to fight for thankfulness in a world that mocks it? You haven’t, have you? Why not?

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Randy Alcorn – Parents: It’s Time to Wake Up About Pornography, Sexting, and Your Children

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While speaking about sexual purity at my church several years ago, I told parents that if they’re going to let their children have unrestricted Internet access in the privacy of their own rooms, through computers, tablets, phones, or any other device they might as well buy thousands of pornographic magazines and stack them in their children’s closets and say, “Don’t ever look at those.” It amounts to the same thing.

After my message, a sincere Christian mother came up to me. She was offended by my warning to parents not to allow their children to have unmonitored Internet access.

“I can’t believe you said that,” she began. “My son has Internet access in his room, and I trust him! He’s a good boy.”

I told her, “I was once a seventh grade boy. I’ll tell you right now, you think you’re honoring your son by trusting him, but you are setting him up for a fall. You could hand him a gun, and his life might turn out better than if you just hand him over to the Internet.”

If this strikes you as an overstatement, you simply do not understand the devastating effects of pornography. The great majority of children, especially boys but also girls, who are allowed access to pornography will view it, either inadvertently or purposefully, and many of those will become addicted to it, ruining their lives and in many cases ruining their future marriages.

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Josh Hussung – I Just Caught My Kid Looking at Pornography

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It’s a day that you prayed wouldn’t come. You discover that the search history on your computer or phone shows that it has. Your child has been searching for internet pornography. Sadly, this is somewhat of a right of passage for many parents today, and Christians are not immune.

A highly sexualized culture, combined with the expanse of technology, leaves our families vulnerable in a way that is unprecedented. While we can (and should) take every step in our power to prevent our children from gaining access to porn, we ought to prepare ourselves for the possibility of them seeking it out.

Get the conversation started

The best way you can help this conversation go smoothly is to already be in conversation with your child about pornography. They need to understand what the Bible says about sexuality and the dangers of pornography. They need to know how pornography is oppressive to women (and men), that it contributes to world-wide sex slavery, and that it communicates untruths about sex that can potentially destroy us.

Our children need to understand that sex is not something to be ashamed of, but that God made it for a particular context—marriage between a man and a woman. Pornography rips it from that context and turns it into something base and evil.

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Brad Hambrick – 19 Possible Motive-Triggers for Pornography

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Often triggers and motive are treated as two distinct things, and there are differences. But those differences are more akin to two sides of the same coin than apples and oranges. In this post you will examine the things that trigger your sexual sin and the motives attached to those triggers.

As you identify the trigger-motive for your sexual sin, we also want you to begin to see how you are treating your sin like a friend, ally, refuge, etc… These insights are essential for repentance to make sense as a central part of change. Unless we see how our sin seeks to replace God in our life, then our need to be made right with God comes across as if God is unduly hung up about our sexuality.

“Your struggle with sexual addiction doesn’t start with your behavior. It begins with what you want, what you live for (p. 6).” David Powlison in Sexual Addiction

1. Boredom (Sin as My Joy)

When boredom is our trigger to sexual sin, then sin has become our joy. When there is a moment to be filled with something of our choosing, we pursue sin to fill the void rather than God or any of His legitimate pleasures. We begin to lose our appetite for godly pleasure like the child who eats sweets stops wanting healthy food. Even as they feel sluggish from the ups and downs of sugary “treats” they fail to connect this to their diet but go instead for another sugar high as the “obvious” solution.

“Sex is not ultimate… Idols begin as good things to which we give too much importance, and few things slide over into idolatry with greater frequency or greater power than sex. We allow a good gift of God to supersede the God who gave it. Sex is good, even great, but it’s not ultimate (p. 61).” Tim Challies in Sexual Detox

Read Nehemiah 8:9-12. God is a God of great joys and pleasure. Too often we view God as so serious that we believe “fun” must be in His opposite direction. When God called Israel to repentance through Nehemiah and Ezra, He asked them to express their repentance in celebration. If the motive of boredom leads you to sin, then allow this passage to challenge your view of God.

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Samuel James – How Pornography Kills Ambition

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Porn’s isolating emphasis on pleasing myself actually made me less myself.

It’s a familiar pattern.

An outgoing, enthusiastic guy begins slowly but surely to change. At first it’s almost imperceptible — a shift in mood or a vacancy in the eyes only those closest to him can see. It’s not drastic or alarming, but it’s real. Maybe his friends start to notice when he doesn’t talk about those hobbies he used to love. Perhaps his coworkers make more and more passing remarks like, “Is everything okay?”

There’s a thin but undeniable air of apathy in all he says and does. Friendships get put on hold, and events are skipped for no particular reason. It’s nothing earth-shattering; he just seems not really there.

In my own life, and in the lives of friends I’ve known, this is one of the most reliable signs someone — male or female — is losing the battle against pornography.

The dangers of pornography are well-documented. For many years, Christian pastors, teachers and writers have warned that porn is a serious spiritual and emotional threat to individuals and families. The effects of porn addiction have become so commonly seen in our culture that non-Christian observers are beginning to talk about it. Time magazine, for example, recently devoted an entire cover story to the testimonies of several young men who felt their pornography usage greatly wounded them later in life.

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