Here’s a topic often left behind closed doors, particularly in church settings. Certainly not in mixed company. Why? Because it’s embarrassing and well, private. It shouldn’t be. ♦
Until it becomes a problem.
Like a man getting caught by his wife or employer about porn sites he’s been visiting on his computer. Or a child or teen getting caught by their parents when doing their homework in their room. These are public outings that expose the issue to the light where it can be dealt with and addressed.
And it needs to be dealt with and addressed.
However, often these silent secrets remain hidden. That man, woman, couple, single, teen, and even child, continue to tap into the internet cauldron of luring and addicting darkness and intrigue. They then are either racked with guilt and shame or, today in many cases, carry absolutely no guilt or shame. Either way they drag themselves back for more.
Our culture will harshly condemn bullying, intolerance, racism, even smoking and driving large cars; yet nary a word is said about the dangers, pitfalls, and outright destruction and corruption caused by pornography.
It’s time to call it out and change our own views of tolerance.
6 Reasons to NOT Use Pornography
Most churches won’t touch the topic from the pulpit. Possibly because the pastor would feel like a hypocrite because he struggles with a porn addiction himself. Or else it’s dished off for Men’s Ministry to sort out. We’re to the point where it needs to be aired out to everyone.
Westgate Church in Saratoga and San Jose, California airs it out annually. The pastor tactfully yet unabashedly confronts the topic head-on and leads his thousands of attendees in a very clear delineation of the Christian View of Pornography.1
- Reason #1 – God tells us not to engage in sexual immorality and lust. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord of the body. (1 Corinthians 6:14); For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:34); But among you there must not be a hint of sexual immorality. (Ephesians 5:3); Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality. (Galatians 5:19)
- Reason #2 – You can’t simultaneously have a passionate relationship with Christ and be living in sexual sin. If we live as carnal or fleshly Christians, we will seek to gratify the desires of the flesh and live only to please ourselves. If we live this way, the Bible says we cannot please God. We will be miserable under the weight of our sin. Shame causes us to hide from God. As we continue to feed our fleshly desires, our spirit grows weak and our relationship with God will be blocked, if not destroyed. Complacency with sin leads to worse sin, and eventually, spiritual death. Porn robs you of both the freedom you want to live and deep intimacy with God. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live … (Romans 8:8, 13)
- Reason #3 – Porn changes your brain. Just like when you use drugs, watching porn floods the brain with dopamine which lays down new neuro-pathways in your brain. Brain cells get activated when you watch porn and they release chemicals that help strengthen the connection between porn and those neurons. The more you use porn, the stronger the neuro-connections and the more difficult it is to stop. If you stop, you can rebuild those pathways by avoiding pornography and seeking healthy alternatives.
- Reason #4 – Porn is highly addictive. To your brain, chemicals (dopamine) released in your body from watching porn has the same effects as hardcore drugs. As a porn user’s brain acclimates to the new levels of dopamine flooding through it, regular activities that would normally set off a burst of dopamine and make the person feel happy aren’t strong enough to register anymore, leaving the user feeling down or uneasy whenever they’re not looking at porn – these are withdrawal symptoms. A tolerance builds up to porn and you end up needing more of it in the more extreme forms.
- Reason #5 – Porn impairs the part of the brain that solves problems and exerts self-control. Once addiction sets in, damage occurs to the part of the brain (frontal lobes) that enables problem solving and exerting self-control– the brain’s braking system. The more porn a person looks at, the more severe the damage to their brain and the more difficult it is to break free.
- Reason #6 – It is progressive and leads to deeper shame, isolation, and darkness. The shame drives the addict into deeper isolation and darkness. Over time, the addict builds up a tolerance and needs more exotic pornographic material to continue to get the same high or numbing response (like drug addicts who have to keep increasing their dosage). This drives the addict into deeper shame, isolation, and darkness making it that much harder to get help.
These are only 6 of 18 reasons that were spelled out by Westgate Church. The others will be published here in subsequent Biblical Viewpoint posts.
Hopefully you’re now personally convicted about pornography’s addictive nature and will take immediate actions to stop the onslaught. Protect yourself, your children and family. No, pornography is not okay, regardless what the culture tells us, and science supports the damage done to otherwise healthy people and relationships.
1 Westgate Church, Saratoga, CA, also Divine Sex, by Jonathan Grant, and Wired for Intimacy, by William Struthers.
Are you putting up with pornography?
“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality , not in quarreling and jealousy. – Romans 13:13