Recently I asked my Facebook followers to suggest topics we can consider here. Susan was first. She asked if online (internet porn) is ‘natural, harmless, destructive and addictive?’
Way before the internet, lust had powerful sway. One of the earliest reports described David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel chapter 11, verses 2-4). David saw Bathsheba bathing. She was very beautiful and ‘David sent messengers and took her,’ the Bible graphically reports. Jesus said, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew chapter 5, verse 28)
Years ago our Mens’ study fellowship was led by Rev Charles Widdowson. When asked how men could defend against lustful thoughts living in a city where beachside and bikinis flourished, he advised, we should praise God for female beauty and thank the Lord for His creation. (It is very hard to transgress when we bring the Lord into our thought-life).
The Bible says Christians should be ‘transformed by the renewal of the mind.’ (Romans chapter 12, verse 2) The world floods the mind with all manner of images. It is an all out war specifically attacking the mind.
The Apostle Paul addressed the issue. “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans.” (1 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 1) Strong language, and note these remarks were addressed to the Christians in Corinth. Fifty four percent of pastors said they viewed porn according to a Focus on the Family survey. In that same poll 47 percent of those surveyed said porn is a problem in the home.
On his Insight for Living website Chuck Swindoll wrote: “The most recent studies available suggest that one out of every two people-that’s 50 percent of the people sitting in our pews, are looking at and/or could be addicted to Internet pornography… Truth be told, that statistic could be even higher…”
So powerful is internet porn, it killed Playboy magazine. The Playboy chief executive Scott Flanders said, “The battle has been fought and won. You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free.”
Pamela Anderson the last Playboy cover-girl spoke about pornography. “Girls and guys are affected by this because young people are looking at this thinking, ‘this is how I have to act and behave in a sexual relationship.’”
There are many clinical surveys that highlight lasting mental hang-ups from porn addiction. One major problem is a difficulty to achieve intimacy with a real partner. “It is toxic miseducation about sex and relationships,” said Dr Mary Anne Layden
In his book The Centerfold Syndrome, Dr Gary Brooks writes that women in porn are only seen as glossy pictures or pixels on the screen with no sexual or relational expectations of their own. Thus men are trained for fantasy without commitment.
Paul Antonio, the mayor of Queensland city Toowoomba led a pledge against pornography. The Mayor conceded this initiative in a city of 100,000 people is just the first step but it is a start.
Last year the National Boys Health Forum learned boys aged 12-17 were the fastest growing users of pornography. 88 percent of porn sites aimed their aggression at women.
Jenni Murray, a UK radio host, last October, recommended school children watch sex videos together and then have open discussions.
At the Cheltenham Literary Festival she said, “We give our kids Jane Austen to read and we say, “OK let’s analyse it ‘We might show them a news bulletin that has been on television the night before. Why not show them pornography and teach them how to analyse it?
‘You put boys and girls together in a class and you show them a pornographic film and you analyse it in exactly the same way as you teach them to read all the other cultures around them.’
Before we pillary Jenni, she has highlighted a serious problem. The boys mentioned above, no doubt found their way to porn navigating their favorite online device.
How can we stop that now everyone has access to everything? We have an educational challenge. We have a relevance issue. Moral standards are a mess.
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) ran a story last July ‘Internet Porn: Schools Warn of dangers of adolescent addiction.” “I deal with adolescents every day who have an addiction to internet pornography,” said teacher David Youl. “Many of these young men find it difficult to fulfil their normal daily duties including school work and spending time with family or friends due to a ‘need’ to access internet pornography for excessive amounts of time,” he said.
Mr Youl is just one of hundreds of concerned teachers who wrote to a Senate inquiry about the problem. A research paper issued to the inquiry claimed up to 95 percent of 16-year-old boys are regular users of porn. They added that children as young as six are exposed due to the easy availability of online devices.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 13.
If you need help I suggest covenanteyes.com. Download their free eBook “The Porn Circuit.” They can also recommend a qualified Christian counselor.
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously hewas radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)