I Hate Porn by Eric Simmons

I Hate Porn by Eric Simmons (Original Post on Desiring God)

I Hate Porn

Pornography is a problem.

Porn is like a narcotic, it hijacks the brain, it redefines human sexuality, and in the meantime ruins lives, destroys families, and destabilizes ministries. And honestly it’s a problem that makes me tired — tired of the devastation Satan is causing to children, women, families, pastors, churches, and the world with this tragic evil.

Porn became a problem for me when I was only six, and by the grace of God that problem ended when Jesus saved me at age seventeen. But I know it rarely happens so cleanly. It is still a temptation, yes; temptation abounds living in the city I do, and with the heart I have, but grace abounds all the more in Jesus Christ.

Friends, I hate porn. And here’s why.

I hate porn because it is a perversion of what God created in man and woman.

I hate porn because it exploits women made in the image of God into an image made for a man’s lust.

I hate porn because it objectifies women into a consumable product instead of a glorious image-bearing creature of God.

I hate porn because I love women — in particular my wife and three daughters.

I hate porn because it takes the soul satisfying experience of sex with a covenantally-committed spouse and turns it into a twisted soul shrinking experience of self-sex.

I hate porn because it turns sons and daughters of God into slaves of sex.

I hate porn because it turns potential missionaries into impotent Christians.

I hate porn because it destroys marriage, many before they even begin.

I hate porn because it extends adolescence and keeps men boys.

I hate porn because it lies to men about beauty and leads men to look for a porn star instead of a woman who fears the Lord.

I hate porn because it robs men and women of the full joy of obedience.

I hate porn because it fractures trust between a husband and wife.

I hate porn because it is a diabolical, satanic activity that is subtly leading thousands upon thousands to hell.

I hate porn because it leads to disqualified pastors and impotent churches. (Pastors, if you are addicted to porn, you are disqualified, and you are killing your church!)

I hate porn because I suspect it’s the most significant reason we are not planting more churches and sending more missionaries.

I hate porn because it disqualifies gospel preachers who could fill the empty church buildings in my city and so many others.

I hate porn because of the disappointment children have to go through when their dad tells them why they lost their job or opportunity to lead in the church.

I hate porn because it teaches a distorted view of sex to children before it can be explained by loving parents.

I hate porn because I am tired of sitting in my living room with sobbing, confused, devastated wives and broken, embarrassed, condemned men who got caught.

I hate porn because it leads to rape, molestation, and perversion that can devastate people for the rest of their lives.

I hate porn because it turns men inward and suffocates a man’s ambition to make God’s name hallowed.

I hate porn because it says sin, Satan, and the world are more satisfying than our Triune God and his grace.

I hate porn because I hate ungodly guilt and condemnation.

I hate porn for the fear it induces in the hearts of parents everywhere that their child could stumble upon a sight and get addicted.

But I love Jesus.

I love Jesus because he loves people with porn problems.

I love Jesus because he is powerful to free porn-enslaved hearts.

He who knew no porn addiction became porn addiction so the porn addict might become the righteousness of God in him.

He who had no sin became sin for you so that you may become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In that one brilliant sentence, Paul puts an end to the porn problem.

Friend, you are no longer in Adam but in Jesus. Jesus became a substitute. It was as if he became the porn addict, by receiving the just penalty due for our perversion, and you became the righteous son or daughter of God with all its benefits.

Friend, in one act of Love and Justice, in the cross-work of Jesus, through faith in him, you are now clean, holy, accepted, forgiven and free. Let me say it again . . . free!

I love Jesus.

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7 Surprising (and negative) Effects of Porn by BJ Stockman

7 Surprising (and negative) Effects of Porn by BJ Stockman

Here is the synopsis, but I would encourage you to read the article in its entirety:
1. Porn Contributes to Social and Psychological Problems Within Men
2. Porn Rewires the Male Brain
3. Porn Turns Sex into Masturbation
4. Porn Demeans and Objectifies Women
5. Porn Squashes the Beauty of a Real Naked Woman
6. Porn Has a Numbing Effect Upon Reality
7. Porn Lies About What it Means to Be Male and Female

The original article can be found here. Also, be sure to check out other article by BJ Stockman

Porn is a problem. It’s a personal problem for many and a cultural problem for all. You may think you have not been affected by porn, but you have because it’s embedded in the surrounding culture. The staggering size of the pornography industry, its influence upon the media, and the acceleration of technology, paired with the accessibility, anonymity, and affordability of porn all contribute to its increasing impact upon the culture.

Pornography affects you whether you’ve ever viewed it or not, and it is helpful to understand some of its negative effects, whether you are a man or woman struggling with watching it or simply a mom or dad with a son or daughter or a church leader. There is a plethora of research on the detrimental effects of pornography (and I do not think that what follows are necessarily the worst of them), but here are seven negative effects of porn upon men and women:

1. Porn Contributes to Social and Psychological Problems Within Men

Anti-pornography activist, Gail Dines, notes that young men who become addicted to porn “neglect their schoolwork, spend huge amounts of money they don’t have, become isolated from others, and often suffer depression.” (Pornland, 93). Dr. William Struthers, who has a PhD in biopsychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, confirms some of these and adds more, finding that men who use porn become controlling, highly introverted, depressed, dissociative, distractible, narcissistic, curious, and have high anxiety and low self-esteem (Wired for Intimacy, 64-65). Ironically, while viewing porn creates momentary intensely pleasurable experiences, it ends up leading to several negative lingering psychological experiences.

2. Porn Rewires the Male Brain

Struthers elaborates,

            As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on [pornographic images], the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time, these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed….They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly as created in God’s image (

Wired for Intimacy

          , 85).

In a similar vein regarding porn’s effect upon the brain, Naomi Wolf writes in her article, “The Porn Myth,”

    After all, pornography works in the most basic of ways on the brain: It is Pavlovian. An orgasm is one of the biggest reinforcers imaginable. If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves, that is what it will take to turn you on. The ubiquity of sexual images does not free eros but dilutes it.

3. Porn Turns Sex into Masturbation

Sex becomes self-serving. It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.

4. Porn Demeans and Objectifies Women

This occurs from hard-core to soft-core pornography. Pamela Paul, in her book Pornified, quoting the research of one psychologist who has researched pornography at Texas A&M, writes,

    ‘Soft-core pornography has a very negative effect on men as well. The problem with soft-core pornography is that its voyeurism teaches men to view women as objects rather than to be in relationships with women as human beings.’ According to Brooks, pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships. In other words, pornography is inherently self-centered–something a man does by himself, for himself–by using another woman as the means to pleasure, as yet another product to consume (80).

Paul references one experiment that revealed a rather shocking further effect of porn: “men and women who were exposed to large amounts of pornography were significantly less likely to want daughters than those who had none. Who would want their own little girl to be treated that way?” (80).

Again, it needs to be emphasized that this is not an effect that only rests upon those who have viewed porn. The massive consumption of porn and the size of the porn industry has hypersexualized the entire culture. Men and women are born into a pornified culture, and women are the biggest losers. Dines continues,

            By inundating girls and women with the message that their most worthy attribute is their sexual hotness and crowding out other messages, pop culture is grooming them just like an individual perpetrator would. It is slowly chipping away at their self-esteem, stripping them of a sense of themselves as whole human beings, and providing them with an identity that emphasizes sex and de-emphasizes every other human attribute (

Pornland

          , 118).

5. Porn Squashes the Beauty of a Real Naked Woman

Wolf, in her own blunt way, confirms this,

            For most of human history, the erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn (Quoted in

Wired for Intimacy

          , 38).

6. Porn Has a Numbing Effect Upon Reality

It makes real sex and even the real world boring in comparison. It particularly anesthetizes the emotional life of a man. Paul comments,

            Pornography leaves men desensitized to both outrage and to excitement, leading to an overall diminishment of feeling and eventually to dissatisfaction with the emotional tugs of everyday life…Eventually, they are left with a confusing mix of supersized expectations about sex and numbed emotions about women…When a man gets bored with pornography, both his fantasy and real worlds become imbued with indifference. The real world often gets really boring…” (

Pornified

          , 90, 91).

7. Porn Lies About What it Means to Be Male and Female

Dines records how porn tells a false story about men and women. In the story of porn, women are “one-dimensional” –they never say no, never get pregnant, and can’t wait to have sex with any man and please them in whatever way imaginable (or even unimaginable). On the other hand, the story porn tells about men is that they are “soulless, unfeeling, amoral life-support systems for erect penises who are entitled to use women in any way they want. These men demonstrated zero empathy, respect, or love for the women they have sex with…(Pornland, xxiv).”

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Stare at Jesus, Not Porn: 9 Ways to Fight Lust by BJ Stockman

Stare at Jesus, Not Porn: 9 Ways to Fight Lust

The orginal post can be found here
Stare at Jesus, Not Porn: 9 Ways to Fight Lust
Images are powerful, but God has made the universe through his word and the explosive power of his word trumps the power of an image.

My earlier post “7 Negative Effects of Porn” concentrated on the harmful psychological and sociological effects of pornography, and this post will focus on a biblical and grace-centered way to resist the temptation to view porn. Primarily this post is aimed at men, but I hope that there is some help here for the growing number of women who are addicted to porn and I hope that more Christian women will write on this hidden issue.

1. Fight lustful images with the knowledge of God’s written Word.

Images are unbelievably powerful, but God has made the universe through his word and the explosive power of his word trumps the alluring power of an image. God didn’t give us a picture-Bible, but revealed himself through words and sentences to be read and heard.

The longest chapter in the Bible shows that the way a young man keeps his way pure is through knowing God’s word (Ps. 119:9, 11). Therefore the firecracker of pornographic images is no match for the napalm of God’s spoken and written word.

2. Realize that viewing porn unleashes insatiable craving but kills genuine satisfaction.

Leering at naked women online incites yearnings for more and more naked women, yet never gives ultimate satisfaction.  On the other hand, the body of one’s wife is a garden of pleasures that leads to holy satisfaction.

The book of Proverbs gives the wisdom of a father to son: “Let [your wife’s] breasts satisfy you at all times”(5:18, 19). The body and breasts of your wife contain an intoxicating influence that no other body and breasts can bring.

If you don’t think they are satisfying or intoxicating, the problem isn’t her, but the fact that you settle for inferior and ultimately unsatisfying cravings. Why settle for cheap wine when your wife is a fine vintage.

3. Treat all women who are not your wife like sisters and mothers (1 Ti. 5:2).

Look into the eyes of your mom or sister and recognize that the centerfold you gazed at last night probably has a heartbroken family member that loves her.

Unless a further sexual deviancy has developed within you, the thought of your daughter or mother being a centerfold should appall you and jolt you out of the objectification of women and back into the reality of treating all women as created in the image of God.

4. Sever the sources of temptation to view porn.

When discussing the adulterous sin of lust, Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell” (Mt. 5:29). In doing so he prescribes a radical violence toward that which leads you to sin.

Jesus knew that amputating your hand doesn’t kill lustful desire, after all he said sin starts in the heart (Mt. 15:19), but his call does mean that you need to get drastic on non-sins that may lead to sin. For some of you this will mean disconnecting the Internet for a period of time or only accessing it in public places, for others this may mean an extended media fast of all kinds. You fill-in-the-blank.

Remember, though legalism is never a means to sanctification, the call to holiness and following Jesus demands radical steps.

5. Think about the eternal result of lust.

As Jesus’ words indicated above, at on one level, his answer to how to fight lust is: fight it or risk going to hell. God’s wrath is coming for all kinds of sin and one of them is sexual sin (Col 3:5-6). Therefore since purity is of eternal importance, don’t give up in the fight for it.

This is only one of the ways to fight this particular sin, but it is not the most significant way. The primary way to repent is through seeing God’s magnificent kindness and undeserved grace in Jesus (Ro. 2:4), but this does not mean we that we ignore the other biblical incentives of repentance in light of God’s future terrible wrath.

Grace is the best motivator, but it is not the only one.

6. Enjoy the pleasures of purity more than the pleasures of porn.

Eighteenth-century preacher Thomas Chalmers, in his classic sermon “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”, demonstrated how the greatest power in killing a sinful desire is not just by harping on the sinful desire but on replacing it with a new and greater holy desire.

The promise of experiencing sinful lustful pleasures at almost any moment via your Internet connection is hard to argue with, unless you replace it with a superior pleasure, then it becomes easy. Jesus said it is the pure in heart that will see God (Mt. 5:8), and the Psalmist tells us that in the presence of God are infinite pleasures (Ps. 16:11).

In view of this reality, the desire to see God who gives eternal pleasure far outweighs temporal lustful desire. It’s insane to settle for a mud puddle of pleasure when you have an ocean of pleasure awaiting you in the presence of the Triune God.

7. Avoid accountability groups and link up with believers radically focused on encouraging one another in the Gospel of grace.

Accountability groups kill, but gospel-driven community gives life. Well, maybe this is a bit of an overstatement against accountability groups, but the point is that often accountability groups turn into focusing on sin rather than experiencing the gospel of grace.

Men’s groups I’ve been apart of in the past tend to focus more on the experiences of failure the week before not the event of God’s grace in the death and resurrection of Christ 2,000 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, Christian relationships should engage in confession of sin (Ja. 5:16), but they are also meant for encouragement in grace.

The author of the Hebrews reveals that the key to not being hardened to the deceitfulness of sin is daily encouragement not an excessive concentration on sin (Heb. 3:13). The use of accountability software between brothers to keep one away from online pornography is helpful, but grace-oriented encouragement between brothers is best.

8. Stare at Jesus not at porn.

Trying harder and harder to stop looking at porn isn’t the way to stop looking at porn; you must look somewhere else, namely, the person of Jesus Christ.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:18 writes, “And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” True inward change comes from beholding Jesus not from not looking at porn. As it has been said, what you behold you become, or as biblical theologian Greg Beale puts it, you become what you worship.

Look at porn and become a person controlled by lust and idolatry or look at Jesus and become a glorious and whole human being that reflects the beauty and glory of God.

9. Fight as a son of God who has been freed to walk in purity.

As a Christian the key to fighting lustful temptation (and any temptation for that matter) is by knowing who you are not by evaluating what you have done.

Becoming a son of God is not dependent upon your not looking at porn, but upon being united to Jesus by faith and the result of the Spirit of God’s work in your heart (Ro. 8:3-4, 14). No longer are you defined by your entanglements with porn, but by your connection to the person and work Jesus. Jesus was crucified for your lust, and he has made you objectively pure in him.

Therefore you can work from a place of purity as covered in the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21), not toward a place of purity to earn righteousness. Kill the urge to view porn because you are a son of God who is dead to sin and free to walk in purity (Ro. 6:1-14). Pornography is no longer your master—God is your father who radically loves you (1 Jn. 3:1) and Jesus is your sin-bearer who is not ashamed to call you, with all your inordinate lusts, “brother”  (Heb 2:11).

So, fight the temptation of pornography, to paraphrase John Piper, as a victor not a victim.

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The Hidden Price Tag of Porn by Sean McDowell

// Sean McDowell: The Hidden Price Tag of PornPornography is tearing apart the fabric of our society. You may think this is an overstatement. After reading, “The Social Costs of Pornography” by the Witherspoon Institute, I think it may be an understatement.

In 2008, the Witherspoon Institute sponsored the first multidisciplinary exploration of the social costs of pornography. Scholars from various fields including philosophy, psychology, and medicine were included in the forum. Every major shade of religious belief was represented, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, agnosticism, and atheism. And both the left and right in American politics were present. They all agreed that there is a substantial multidimensional, empirical record of the harms pornography brings to society. Obviously, such agreement is rare.

Today’s pornography is different from any in the past in three ways.

1. Accessibility.

The Internet has made porn ubiquitous.

2. Quality.

Today’s porn is much more hardcore.

3. Consumption.

Porn consumption has increased radically with the advent of the Internet. Sixty-nine percent of men and 10% of women report viewing pornography more than once a month. Eighty-seven percent of men admit using it in the past year. The researchers conclude, “In sum, there is evidence that more people—children, adolescents, and adults—are consuming pornography—sporadically, inadvertently, or chronically—than every before.”

How does pornography actually harm people? The researchers list a plethora of ways. Each of these points is supported with empirical evidence in the report. Keep in mind that these are objective facts about pornographic consumption, not my subjective opinions.

  • Those who view pornography overestimate how frequently certain sexual acts are actually practiced, which increases one’s willingness to do unconscionable things.
  • Porn viewers physically map their brains based on the images they see. Pornographic consumption remaps the physical structure of the brain.
  • Many men who view porn lose the ability to relate to or be close to women.
  • Porn viewers become desensitized to the barrage of imagery, and as a result, child pornography and violent pornographic images often lose their ability to shock and disgust.
  • Women often report distress and harm when discovering that their husbands view porn. They typically feel betrayal, loss, mistrust, devastation, and anger as a result of their partner’s behavior.
  • Porn users have an increased likelihood of divorce and family break-up.
  • Those who had an extramarital affair were three times more likely to have used Internet pornography than those who had not.
  • Porn leads men to place less value on marital fidelity and more value on casual sex.
  • Therapists report seeing fourteen- and fifteen-year-old boys addicted to porn.
  • An Italian study reported that boys who view porn were more likely to report having sexually harassed a peer or having forced someone to have sex.
  • Adolescent girls who report using pornography are more likely to report being victims of passive violence such as sexual harassment and rape.
  • Today’s consumption of pornography encourages sexual exploitation such as trafficking.
  • Adolescents who view pornography are more likely to view women as sexual objects.
  • Porn consumption raises the risk of sexually risky behavior.
  • Men who use pornography are less attractive to potential female partners.
  • Exposure to pornography decreases sexual satisfaction with one’s partner for both men and women.
  • Chronic pornography use is associated with depression and unhappiness.
  • Users often report disgust and shame at finding themselves stimulated by images that would have once repulsed.

What do we do? For starters, can you help spread the word about the dangers of pornography? Please consider getting a copy of the report, “The Social Costs of Pornography,” and study it. Talk to your friends about it. Share it with your family and church. Blog about it. Or forward this blog to as many people as you can. There needs to be a renewed conversation about how pornography is damaging this generation. We can no longer ignore the most dangerous health hazard to this generation. Our kids deserve better.

Sean McDowell
Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator, author, and teacher.  He serves as head of the Bible department at a Christian Valley Christian Schools in San Juan Capistrano, California, and in 2008 he received the city’s Educator of the Year award. Having graduated summa cum laude from Talbot Theological Seminary Sean is now pursuing a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to traveling through the United States and abroad as a speaker, he is the co-author of a number of books, including Is God Just a Human Invention?, Understanding Intelligent Design and More Than A Carpenter. Sean lives with his wife and two children in San Juan Capistrano, California.

More from Sean McDowell or visit Sean at www.seanmcdowell.org/

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