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A Word of Warning: Resist the Lure of Pornography

  • Gerald W. Tritle,
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Springfield Reformed Presbyterian Church , Springfield, Ohio, produced and paid for the following treatise to be published as an advertisement in its local newspaper. This ad's purpose was to exhort Christians and non-Christians alike to turn from the uncleanness and trap of pornography. In addition to this ad, the church is sponsoring a community lecture in February, 2002, called, “God-glorifying Sex,” designed to bring God-glorifying reconstruction to this very relevant area of need in Christ's church today.

Pornography the written and/or graphically portrayed uncovering of nakedness, especially in acts of fornication grips the hearts and lives of many Christian men and, according to recent surveys, twenty percent of ministers. It tempts potential patrons from its store shelves and by mail, and it champions over three million websites, enticing over twenty percent of online viewers.

Porn appeals to an undisciplined culture (both inside and outside the church) that refuses to mature mentally and sexually. Specifically, many Christian men of all ages find it easier to view porn than to fulfill their God-given responsibilities to glorify their Lord and to love their spouses, their children, their estates, and their congregations.

As Christians, we would expect unregenerate men, who are in bondage to the sin of their Adamic nature, to embrace no conviction against viewing pornography. These men, as are all men before coming to Christ, are corrupt by nature and in need of spiritual rebirth, needing to call upon Christ Jesus for salvation. These men will only curtail or cease viewing porn when they are threatened civically (being jailed or imprisoned), professionally (getting fired), or domestically (being sued for divorce).

To the Christian, porn appeals to the workings of sin in the flesh (Rom. 7:23) that must yet be submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is unbiblical for the world or the church to think that a Christian cannot be tempted to view and to succumb to the viewing of porn during a time or times of weakness. Yet, having yielded to the beguiling temptation of viewing porn, the Christian must realize, as spoken by Christ Jesus, that he has sinned by committing fornication (in the case of the unmarried) or adultery (in the case of the married) in the heart sins which Jesus says will deprive one of eternal life.

For the Christian minister, porn can be alluring as he manages his pressures to serve others, his solitary work environment, his mental exhaustion, and perhaps, his frustrations resulting from his entering the ministry as a novice not fully disciple himself. If he also has relationship and sexual difficulties at home, then porn becomes for him an easy, seemingly victimless escape. However, when he views porn, he jeopardizes the ministry that his God has entrusted to him. 1 Timothy 3:4-5 is clear that the minister's household must be in order for him to retain his ministry, and, thus, his admitting his habitual porn use exposes problems in his own household, which he must correct lest he be ministerially disqualified. Often, the tremendous guilt that follows is difficult to jettison because the minister is supposedly required to be not only “perfect” but is also forbidden to confess his faults to his brethren (contrary to James 5:16), which would aid in his repentance and restoration.

All Christians: Shall you risk bringing reproach upon the name of our Lord Jesus for a season of lust-filled escape? Shall you risk destroying your own Christian reputations, marriages, families, and estates? Shall you risk jail or prison to fulfill your potentially illegal lusts before calling upon the name of our Lord to save you from yourselves? Do you realize that your viewing Internet porn can be and most likely is being monitored, if not by your bosses at work, then potentially by credit card companies and by porn sites themselves? Furthermore, have you considered that the hardness of your heart and your refusal to repent of this sin may prove indeed that you are no Christian at all, and are, therefore, in danger of eternal damnation? “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1).

Never forget that all men will eventually appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for the deeds done in this life. We, therefore, strongly urge both Christians and non-Christians to repent of this heinous sin and to beg God's gracious pardon. Christians, if you confess your sin, God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sin. Get rid of your porn regardless of its form or format. Don't place yourself in a position to view porn. Don't allow your mind to be idle and filled with pornographic fantasies and thoughts. On the contrary, plan to stay mentally active and to replace pornographic thoughts with pure, holy, and natural thoughts (see Philippians 4:8). Pray for God's grace to deliver you from the desire to view porn for His name's sake. Pursue spiritual maturity and love (toward your wife, your children, your church, and your Lord) instead of gratifying your selfish, sinful desires.

Those of you who are spiritual are to restore, with a spirit of meekness, those who have fallen into this sin lest you also be tempted. God will forgive the sins of those who truly repent and turn from their sin.