PORNOGRAPHY: Attitude & Addiction
As children, most of us were taught not to look at dirty magazines found in
grocery stores, rubbish bins, or under a log in the back woods.
Unfortunately, our learning was often head knowledge only; our eyes and
minds still searched for sexually stimulating pictures.
Is "out of sight" really "out of mind?" Campaigns have been waged and won
to get supermarkets and deli's to remove certain pornographic magazines
from direct public view. But have we won the battle?
What is pornography? Degrading pictures of women and men? Pictures of
people without their clothes? Printed tales of sexual adventure? A
statement on the public toilet wall? It is all of this, and more.
Pornography is the visual image which allows and encourages a desire to
look upon the naked body of another - whether of the same or opposite sex.
Furthermore, the use of pornography is selfish in nature, used to excite
oneself sexually. It may be overt, or more likely, covert. It grip is
compulsive. One peek leads to the desire to see more and more.
Habakkuk 2:15 states, "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbours,
pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on
their naked bodies." The prophet doesn't even suggest that sexual
intercourse will take place, he only refers to the gazing on the naked
body. Observe two things about this verse:
1)Its definition of pornography, and
2) the close alliance between alcohol and pornography.
Alcohol and Pornography
It is important to note that alcohol is frequently used to prepare a person
for seduction. When he or she has had something to drink, it is much
easier to talk them out of their clothes.
Secondly, it is often necessary for the person who wishes to do the
seducing (especially if the intended act is outside the traditionally
accepted forms of heterosexual adultery) to also be inebriated.
Homosexual clients report: "When I prostituted, I also had to use drugs
... If I ever returned to the gay lifestyle, I would have to remain drunk.
There is no way I could handle my guilt." It's understandable that a drink
is often taken before the family man slips out to a porno shop. During the
business trip, a drink will make it just a little easier to indulge in that
video or illicit act. Avoid alcohol, especially when you are vulnerable to
As Christians, we have learned how to view pornography and still maintain
our distance from it at the same time. Few, if any, of us subscribe to
Playboy or Penthouse. Yet many have Newsweek, Time, or newspaper
advertisements laying around the house. Have you ever looked at the
bathers or underwear ads just for the sexual titillation? That, men and
women, is pornography. The kind of pornography that you can indulge in
while others are in the same room as you.
It is necessary to begin looking at pornography in broader terms than
simply pictures of naked or semi-naked bodies. Any image, picture, statue,
advertisement, writing, etc. whose purpose is to sexually titillate is
Thus, pornography includes not only underwear and bathers ads, but also the
ads featuring the fashionably-dressed Gentleman's Quarterly men and the men
photographed for the Chippendale's, Up Front and Buns calendars. Body
building and teen magazines and various magazines for women also feature
models who are displayed and clothed in a potentially pornographic manner.
It is the pictures taken from these sources that are frequently found
decorating the walls of flats and bedrooms of Love In Action clients.
These pictures are found inside of the locker doors in many (Christian)
The advertising industry is using the exploitation of the body more
blatantly than ever before. Intimate physical details are no longer being
airbrushed out of photographed models; such details are even being drawn in
on newsprint ad models. Many men report using these same pictures as
stimuli for their masturbation fantasies.
Pornography is designed for one purpose: to arouse, to titillate. It is
used to sell almost everything, including alcohol, automobiles, and sex
appeal. Pornographic images indicate that one is sexually attractive if
..., or one is successful if ... And pornography distorts. If I don't
have ..., I'm not successful, I'm unattractive, I am a failure. It is
important to note that this dynamic feeds the root of envy in the
Are there Christians who are addicted to pornography? Most certainly. The
Christian person typically tries to hide his Christianity while pursuing
these activities. A number of years ago, a colleague stated, "I won't
place Christian bumper stickers on my car because I don't want to have to
scrape them off should I want to slip into a pornoshop."
A pastor in Seattle told a university group, "If I could remember my Bible
or Shakespeare as well as I remember all the porno I've seen, I'd be a very
powerful Christian." Leadership magazine carried an article a few years
back, written by a pastor who used pornography compulsively. A salesclerk
at a video store recalls the man in a cleric's collar who rents X-rated
films. If our Christian leaders are involved in pornography, what about
the rest of us?
In an age of the video recorder, cable television, and the selling of
mailing lists, pornography has very easy access into our homes. A married
man, white collar worker and former pastor, stated that his wife learned
about his homosexuality when he left the sales receipt for a couple of
porno films where she would find them.
The video recorder has made pornography easily accessible for the suburban
family man. He doesn't have to go downtown and worry about his car (or the
bumper stickers!) being seen. He only needs to run down to the local deli.
It is even more accessible to the businessman; hotel chains like Holiday
Inn have the films available in each room. Push a few buttons, the film is
there and a charge automatically appears on your billing.
The Solution To Pornography
We need to create an environment within our churches where men and women
who wrestle with pornography or other sexual problems can talk about their
struggles. One of Satan's biggest allies is darkness, secrecy. A person
must be able to admit their shortcomings without the fear of rejection,
chastisement, or bewilderment. The act of admission has a powerful affect
of breaking the secrecy cycle. This is one of the keys in support groups
using the "anonymous" format, such as Sexaholics Anonymous.
Confession to God is very important. Get counsel from your pastor, an
elder, or a counsellor who will help you take a detailed look at the sin.
As you confess -- that is, agree with God about your sin -- you also need
to repent. To repent is to turn from, to go the other direction. When
dealing with pornography, it is a decision that often must be made
continuously. Don't stop repenting -- even if it is the 8,472nd time.
A thorough separation from the pornography is necessary. This calls for a
complete house cleaning. Get rid of any kind of magazine, video, or other
pornographic stimuli within your home, car, boat, or other possession. Get
rid of the VCR and television if you must. Watch out for covert
pornography in Newsweek, Time, and National Geographic, and beware of the
ad booklets included with the Advertiser. They are not as innocent as they
may appear. Take stock of your video collection; many PGR and R-rated
videos contain pornographic scenes (implicit as well as explicit.) Be
honest about why you are keeping and viewing some of the videos you have.
If pornography does not seem to be your problem, God may still be calling
you to clean your house of its subtle forms. God may be calling you to
support someone who does struggle. You may have to hear some things which
make you uncomfortable. But if Christians are going to find freedom from
pornography, they need the support of those within the church. Be a part
of that loving, accepting community.
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION
G.P.O. Box 1115
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371 0446
This article is reprinted by permission from
P O Box 33039
Seattle WA 98133-0039
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