By Dr. Francis Akin-John
I am aware most, if not all of the readers of this post know somebody who has struggled and is still struggling with porno-graphy. In fact, I’m doing this post because I’ve seen pornography once again cost somebody more than it’s worth.
From the teenager struggling with new desires to the senior pastor recently caught in sin, even believ-ers wrestle with this sin. Perhaps if we understand why pornography has so much power, we would know better how to fight against it.
- The church is often re-ticent to talk about sex-uality. Despite the fact that the Bible addresses the issue, we tend to ne-glect it. Consequently, believers hear the wrong voices about sexuality, miss the beauty of God-centered sexuality, and settle for much less than what God intends.
- In general, churches fail to make disciples. Solid Christian discipleship teaches believers how to adore God, wear His armor, and reject the Enemy’s temptations. In too many churches, sex-uality “discipleship” is lim-ited to condemnation without godly teaching. The result is believers who are ill-equipped to fight temptation and too afraid to confess their sin.
- The Enemy directs us to the tempor-ary and away from the etern-al. As with Adam and Eve, the Enemy ma-kes the fruit on the tree look so good that we ignore the long-term consequence of eternal death. The pleasure that pornography brings – temporary and fleeting though it is – trumps our desire to be faithful to the everlasting God.
- The lure of pornogra-phy builds on natural de-sires. God has created us to be sexual beings, and He gave us clear paramet-ers for sexual expression. Those desires rightly expressed are a beauty of marriage; those same desires under the in-fluence of the Enemy, however, can be distorted and damaging. In either case, the desires seldom go away.
- Our exposure to porno-graphy is often early. To be honest, I cannot re-member the first time I saw pornography. I know I was apparently so young that I can’t recall not see-ing it. Early exposure leaves images in your head that never fully go away.
- The sin can now be even more private. In my days, pornography use required going to the convenience store, quietly asking for the magazine behind the counter, and hiding it quickly in a paper bag. Computer access now erases much of that need for “sneaking” around.
- “Soft” porn has become acceptable. When we allow ourselves to watch stuff that we know crosses God’s line – even though it may not qualify as XXX-rated material – we only open the door for the Enemy to press his way into our lives. He does not miss those opportunities.
- Pornography use has become expected. More than one study has shown that pornography use is pervasive, even among church leaders. I have even seen church accountability groups where everyone failed the previous week – and failure becomes almost the accepted norm.
- Pornography can only create desire, not quench it. Ungodly approaches to meet real needs simply cannot meet those needs. Indeed, pornography only makes you crave more of that which can never fully satisfy. That unmet longing leads only to idolatry and addiction.
- Pornography allows pleasure without the hard work of relationships and commitment. Relationships take effort. Our individualistic, hedonistic culture wants the fun without the tough work, and pornography makes that possible – or at least we convince ourselves it does.
If you are struggling with pornography, I encourage you to talk to someone. Pray especially that your Christian family, friends, and children will not fall under the power of this sin.
- Sometimes the Message We Preach is Unpleasant
In his final warning to the church–specifically to young Pastor Timothy, but through him to us–Paul implies that sound doctrine may be unpleasant to the ear. The truth of God preached by a faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus does a lot of things…
–It rebukes our self-centeredness.
–It holds us to a higher standard.
–It is like surgery or medicine in that for the short term it can be painful, but the result of which is health.
This is why only courageous leaders should be chosen by churches. They understand these things a… Read more