This subject is going to come up on this blog periodically. There are reasons for that, several of which I will now share.
This blog is new. It’s still double-checking names and introducing itself to the other blogs at the office. It uses the GPS to get around town because it hasn’t memorized streets and such yet. Be that as it may, by far the most-read post on Taking Every Thought Captive is “Porn and Public Health.” Clearly the readership has an interest on these matters.
I believe the interest in that particular post has much to do with the fact that we Westerners, as a culture, are realizing that we’ve got a veritable Pandora’s box of problems with sex. Christians have been saying this for years, but even we must admit that we may not have realized how bad it was. What we thought was turned milk revealed itself to be a meat locker devoid of refrigeration and festering with flies, maggots, and a smell that would sicken a mangy dog.
We’re also watching every media and social media outlet try to figure out this dumpster fire of an approach to all things sexual. If it weren’t so horrific (meat locker, remember?), it would be as funny as watching a toddler slam together incongruous pieces of a jigsaw puzzle while giggling at his progress.
If this world has a cancer, I do not know of a better candidate for the title than pornography. It destroys minds and marriages. It consumes countless hours of time that could be devoted to literally anything productive, including time at work. It has found a way to our children’s lives when they did not intend to discover it. Make no mistake, reader: this stuff is that bad. It does want your time, attention, money, and devotion.
So what do we do? How do we start to think about this problem?
First, we know this: porn, like cancer, is making war on us. If this is the case, we had better ready ourselves for some defense and counter attack. This will take some doing, for it consists of much more than behavior modification (though it will not be less than that!). It will require thinking rightly about sin, about humanity, and most of all, about Jesus Christ. To these ends, in the future, I’m going to address a few things that we should know about the pornography. I will work to source these posts, so they are grounded in research and reality. I hope you’re horrified by what we find out; I hope it scares you. Though there is little profit in only staring into the sinful abyss, we must understand this very real danger that twists the lives, minds, and sexuality of the people of our culture. Every piece of information will have an application. Why know these facts? I’ll talk about that.
Before those posts and discussions come, as a sort of introduction, I want to share this link. When last the topic was broached, I linked an op-ed from Los Angeles Times. This time, I am linking a year-old article from U.S. News & World Report. Of course, we should not sign on the dotted line next to everything the article proffers. However, we can certainly agree with the article’s thesis: we must talk to our children about this issue. Part of our strategy of helping our families, specifically our children, defeat this monster is to address it. In my own experience, we too often do not address that such a dangerous and life-devouring thing as pornography exists before it makes its attack. If you read the link, the author argued that “comprehensive sex education programs” are part of the solution. Whatever that is (the article does not detail it), the author maintains that young people need access to honest information. Here’s the most honest thing they need: this stuff is out there, and it stalks the internet like some sort of maniacal killer in a paperback novel. It is every bit as evil as the most evil thing you can imagine.
We have to take the offensive here, brothers and sisters. The article from U.S. News & World Report states that the participants in one study “were as likely to find pornography by accident as to find it deliberately.” It also found that by age 15, people were more likely than not to encountered pornographic material. That means that if you planned to wait until your teen was closer than not to legal adulthood, you’re already playing catch up with someone who has at least looked on material meant to sexually stimulate them. The monster that desires to devour your child could have been fought with a firearm, but now you must fight it with a sword.
In Genesis 4:7, God speaks to Cain telling him that sin’s desire is for him, but he must master it. We know the story does not end well. We must not lie to ourselves and and think that the sins of lust, fornication, adultery, and rape are not desirous of our eyes and the eyes of our young people. We cannot explain this away as something that only happens out in the wild world but not in our churches. We must master this sin and muster a counter attack against it. We must say that it is evil and no longer wink at it. Or fear to speak of it. We must ready our young ones.
In order to do that, we must first take a deep breath and pray to God for wisdom and strength. How do we talk to our families about this matter? When do we do it? What guards do we put in place? In future posts, I’ll discuss some of this, particularly what we can do guard our eyes and the eyes of our children.
Are you ready? I’m certainly not, but it doesn’t matter if I’m not ready. God has ordained that we live in this time and place, and we must deal with the attacks that come. He has not asked our permission, for he does not need to do so. Instead, he has given us the task of glorifying Christ and not the sins that Christ died to defeat. Pornography is one those sins. Will you continue on this journey with me as we seek to reclaim our families from its detrimental effects?
Further reading: Finally, Some Actual Stats on Internet Porn