The Pervasive Problem of Pornography

Pornography degrades women (and men), it is a sin against God, but it is also a root of all other kinds of sexual and marital evils. It destroys marriages, it warps and deranges minds, it creates slaves to lust and base passions, and reinforces the dogma that human bodies, especially women’s, are only there for male titillation and serve no real purpose. It is perhaps the most common form of slavery in our society.

And it cannot be easily escaped. Pornography is not just in rated-X movies, “gentleman’s” clubs, or adult websites—it is everywhere because the culture itself is pornographic to the core. It is evident on billboards, children’s clothing, and in how we talk. The distinction and divine purpose of man and woman together (God’s estate of marriage and the possibility, duty, and work to raise children) has been lost and denied. This has led to the gender-bending ideology of homosexualism and transsexulism.

Sexuality and our bodies are given by God for a holy purpose, but these are sorely misused by sinners. The ease of access through technology to bring sexualized media and images creates a powerful, addictive cocktail to impressionable minds. Many become complete slaves to their flesh, shipwrecking their faith.

The most stylish dress-code for women is basically indistinguishable from that of prostitutes—the very fashion culture is pornographic. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Modesty, even in the church, is considered immodest. “The sin of lust is someone else’s problem,” it is assumed—“I can do what I want my body.” But this is unloving and unchristian. Many treat the body itself like a sexual weapon and logo, not a divine object of the Father, though it is weak and cursed by sin. The average child cannot tell why he or she is different biologically, so morals never factor into clothing or sexual choices. Sinful nature takes its course unabated.

Our bodies, due to sin, must be covered, because of our shame and the fall. This is natural, but society teaches very strictly that a woman’s power over men is showing off her body and sexualizing herself for men. The Christian teaching, however, submits sexuality to the institution of marriage and gives meaning to the holy act of marital uniting—by it God works to make life. But unmoored from any real purpose or design, people’s bodies are simply bags of meat for public enjoyment—so that they are not seen as not real humans—divine creations made by Christ in His image, to serve His purposes.

A recent article stated:

However, [grooming girls] starts much earlier, with a culture that has brainwashed itself into believing that sexual freedom amounts to a Super Bowl half-time show in which barely-clad women spend 20 minutes twerking, gyrating (some of it on a stripper pole) and showing off sexually provocative dance moves. This is part and parcel of the pornification of American culture.

“Pop culture and porn culture have become part of the same seamless continuum,” explains theatre historian and University of Illinois professor Mardia Bishop. “As these images become pervasive in popular culture, they become normalized… and… accepted.” (“The pornification of America: How young girls are being groomed by sexual predators,”, Feb. 8)

The loss of sex roles, that women are literally made to be mothers, and men to be fathers, entails a loss of sexuality. “Sex” is commonly thought to be just a meaningless act, a single experience, today in our language. But the distinction of male and female pervades all aspects of life—for the married and the single. It determines our role in the family, public life, and our relationship to all others. But when females act like and try to be men, their divine purpose—their very biology—must be tossed aside or made meaningless. Men, then, do not see a point to treating them with respect and honoring the divine role women have abdicated. Men, in their sinfulness, like the idea of women as pure sexual objects—not holy creations of God—but they only debase themselves in thinking this way.

The truth is that sexual knowing does not make one new or god-like. It does not change one’s essence or make a person an adult (though God may use it to make a new life). Those who cannot control their desires have the option of marriage. But marriage is about much more than gratifying lusts. Pornography, and the pornification of culture, makes people less than people. It makes mankind, made in the image of God, to be like animals, who do not know self-control or exercise godly virtues.

We all need to repent. We have all thought that male and female is not that big of deal, that it shouldn’t shape our lives, or that of our children, or stop me from looking, thinking, or doing what I want. But you were made for a holy purpose. Sexuality cannot be understood apart from marriage and God Himself.

Jesus condemns lust as adultery of the heart. We are all adulterers before God, deserving of death. And pornography is not just images, it involves a certain way of thinking and relating to all others. It is a primary addiction and god today. There is no escaping the male/female distinction our Lord made and in which we all participate. But Christians are to see this distinction as holy, because we are called holy and new in Christ.

If sexual lust is our master, then Jesus is not. Free in our mind, through faith, does not mean freedom to think ungodly thoughts or conduct ourselves in a sexless, potentially offensive way. It matters what we watch, wear, think, and say. It matters to God and to our neighbor, whom we are called to love. Christ died in His body to redeem us, and even our bodies which will be resurrected to glory. Let Him be your strength, who lives in glory for you, as we wrestle against lust, sin, and the devil.

We may not give into lust, or agitate it on purpose. Repent. Christ calls for our death to all sin, even lust, as we live in Him. Though it is not what the world teaches, we serve a holy God, who is risen over our sin, and we are baptized for a holy purpose. Amen. –ed.