August 29 – Porn

porn trw

If my heart has been seduced by a woman, or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife, then let my wife serve another man; let other men sleep with her. For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a fire that burns all the way to hell. It would wipe out everything I own. (Job 31:11-12)

Read: Job 31:1-33:33, 2 Corinthians 3:1-18, Psalm 43:1-5, Proverbs 22:8-9

Relate: The first verse I read for today’s devotional was Job 31:1. I almost immediately stopped and was going to start writing, but I know I have a tendency to use that verse to cover this topic every single year. I stopped myself and continued to read on, but I only made it another ten verses. OK, OK. I give up.

Last year about this time the Ashley Maddison list had just recently come out and so it was a very timely way to address the issue. This year, to my knowledge the only major porn related news story is a recent study that has come out. There was a paper released this year at the American Sociological Association that links porn to divorce. This study covers nearly six thousand individuals over an eight year period. It found that a man who began viewing porn once in a relationship was twice as likely to divorce. A woman doing so was three times as likely. Of course there are plenty of other surveys like the one linking porn to erectile dysfunction, that tell how bad for you it is in so many other ways as well. I could share plenty of other statistics that link pornography with community and cultural dysfunctions as well. I could show how the greater the porn problem is in a society, the less likely it is that women will ever attain equal status. I could demonstrate how the western addiction to pornography is far and away the single greatest factor in perpetuating the global human slave trade. I am reading a book on economics called Predictably Irrational that actually demonstrates in one chapter how people are far, far more likely to make stupid economic as well as social decisions when they are horny. In line with that last one, I just read a recent news story of an eighteen year old who left off watching porn to go across the street and rape his neighbor.

The problem is that statistics and information dumps do not change behavior. I could throw numbers and facts at you all day but none of that will help when you are awake and bored at ten PM tonight. I knew all these facts myself but they did not stop me from making the stupid decision to view porn that got me fired a good dozen years back. I had made a covenant with my eyes, and yet I still broke it. Hundreds of other pastors had made a similar covenant and yet last year they found themselves in the same boat. Just looking at my average number of viewers and statistics, I can guarantee that at least a hundred of you who will read this today are heading down the same road. There’s at least a hundred of you who think you are the only one and your pride keeps you from admitting and exposing your struggle. It is only a matter of time before it comes to the light one way or another and I desperately pray that God in His grace allows you to get caught so that your life is wrecked.

React: Job kept that covenant with his eyes because he understood how deadly serious porn is. It is a lesson I learned too late in my twenties but am so grateful I did learn eventually. I thank God that I spent years disqualified in for ministry in the eyes of others so that I would not be qualified for hell when the eyes of God reveal my deepest thoughts. I am grateful for the inconveniences I have in my life now that help me from again walking down that same road. It is not convenient to have no internet access on my phone or in my home. It is not convenient to have to have someone ask me hard questions every week I would sometimes rather not answer. It is incredibly inconvenient forcing myself to get up at 5AM every day, even on the weekends but that is one way I can guarantee I will be too tired to be awake and bored when temptation would have the strongest pull. Let me be inconvenienced. It is far better than being destroyed.

Job prayed, “If I have fallen prey to porn then let my wife divorce me.” Like I said earlier, there are hundreds that are reading this who need to be praying the same prayer. Normally, as I get toward the end of one of my posts, I begin praying for blessing on those that God would lead to read what I have written. Today I do not pray blessing. Today I pray that you would lose your wife, that you would lose your job, and that you would lose your reputation. If that is what it takes for porn to lose its insidious grip on your life, let it be. I would rather your life be wrecked in the here and now than that you conveniently ride your porn addiction all the way to hell.

Respond: 

Dear God,
I pray for freedom. I pray continued freedom in my life. Let me never walk down that road again and let me never grow complacent in my daily battle against a temptation I can so easily fall pray. I pray also for freedom for each and every person reading this. Do whatever it takes to help them find and maintain a freedom from lust. Help each of us to renew and maintain a covenant with our eyes. Most of all, I pray freedom for the millions of victims within the porn industry. Help those who seem to be willing participants come to understand that they have so much more to offer the world than just their body. Help those who have been physically enslaved because of our addictions find freedom and justice and let them come to know that Your heart breaks for their chains.
Amen.

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57 thoughts on “August 29 – Porn

  1. Thanks for your honesty. Porn is so poisonous but it is becoming increasingly mainstream and blended into everyday life. Reading your description of what it takes to stay out of temptation makes clear the fierce grip this thing has on a person once they give in. How great it is that God has brought you this far.

  2. Like so many other studies, the results of this study have been twisted to suit a narrative.

    The study was not set up to recognize if people started watching porn in response to a failing marriage or if the watching of porn was the cause of the failing marriage. Merely, it asked if people had seen porn in the past year and what the status of their relationship was. I’d argue that it’s more likely to be the former rather than the latter myself.

    In addition, the study has not been peer reviewed which means from a scientific standpoint it hasn’t been verified. It’s easy to make a correlation between two things from one study, that dosen’t make it true.

    We have to stop using half science to suppourt our points. While I understand the appeal of having science back one’s personal or religious claims… and I also get that newspapers and media like to make headlines with preliminary results… we really undermine the process when we use science in this manner. Just a thought.

    • Thank you for demonstrating that you don’t really know what you are talking about.
      http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/08/divorce-rates-double-when-people-start-watching-porn
      The study was presented specifically for the purpose that it might be peer reviewed. The study’s results and methodology are completely sound, it is just still a working paper at this point. Besides, this is not by a long stretch the first such study to come up with such results. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-porn-addiction/201112/is-porn-really-destroying-500000-marriages-annually

    • I found out my husband was looking at porn. We’re now divorced and yes, that had a huge part to play. You don’t have to be a scientist, a doctor, or hold any degree to make common sense correlations. Porn is also one of the biggest reasons I have as of yet to begin another relationship with a man. With the prevalence and acceptance of pornography, the likelihood of a man looking at porn is too great. Looking leads to thoughts, thoughts lead to action, and I don’t want to be a part of that. What I sincerely hope is that people start acknowledging the detriments of porn. Sometimes things really are black and white.

      • Things were black and white for you. You had that experience. I personally am in a relationship where both my wife and I are free to consume as much or as little porn as we please. And we’re doing just fine. I’m making no character judgements here or telling you what’s right or wrong. I’m simply stating that just because you had a problem with porn doesn’t mean that extends to everyone.

        • Ok. I get your point. But let me ask you, if you had a daughter, would you be ok with her preforming in a porn film or posing nude in a magazine?

        • Yes, if she felt comfortable with it, sure. And when my son becomes an adult if he wants to I’ll support him however he needs me to. I don’t see it as the vulgar thing others do.

        • You know there are no guarantees you are not looking at a woman who has been coerced or drugged, who is in fact a commodity in the sex trafficking industry.
          Well, I can’t say that I understand your view and will always believe the way I do (on this subject), but in the end we each have to act according to our own conscience and be accountable for those actions.

        • By that logic, the same could be said about anything. But there are popular porn companies that are very responsible and popular porn actresses who help other actresses to mitigate mistreatment. Are there still problems? Sure, absolutely. But I’d argue that similar problems exist across a number of other fields that we don’t discuss because they don’t morally offend.
          I honestly have no problem with someone telling me they don’t have porn. My only issue is when people use false facts to try to put forward false conclusions. I pride myself on being able to change my opinions to suit new information, but when people misuse facts or make them up it makes it much harder.

      • Lilly, please feel free to ignore Captain Moral Relatavism – murder might be bad for you but what if I really like killing people and so does my wife – and know that there are plenty of men who agree with you. Jesus being one of them – whoever looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery in his heart.

        No matter how people soft sell it, porn is bad and is death for real marriage. People can justify anything if they really want it enough.

  3. Thank you for writing on this most painful and destructive topic. My husband and I walked through the lonely, evil road of porn addiction and it nearly destroyed our marriage….but God. We found help through our local church, counseling and a powerful men’s group that meets weekly for support and biblical instruction. Dr. Ted Roberts has a program called the Conqueror Series – a battle plan for purity. When men can openly discuss this, pray for one another and discover God’s grace in the midst of sin, freedom can reign! Confessing it openly and pushing through the shame is possible. Understanding the root of this attraction and how to have needs met in a righteous and biblical way are key in overcoming any sexual addiction. All things are possible with God!

  4. Thank you for your honesty and open approach to the subject. I have heard those that point the finger and accuse, that only makes people want to hid more. Your point of view from the inside of a sinner is so refreshing and inspiring. Sometimes we have to lose everything to find Him, then we see that He is everything…..

  5. This ended up in my spam folder. I think it was the title that sent it there.

    You are right, porn (visual and erotica) is a destroyer. It is the way of death instead of the way of life.

  6. It saddens me to see things like this video… I know all to well how powerful porn is… I probably looked at porn for 15-20 hours a week, until the day God graced me with salvation at the age of almost 52 back on 6/02/2002…

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I have not looked at even a second of any porn from that day on… Praise the Lord for His breaking my addiction to porn that very minute !!

    Blessings in Christ, bruce

  7. I could not push the “like” button on this post, because I don’t like it! I need to hear it and that’s probably why I don’t like it!

    What you have to say is very true and relevant to many. Thank you for posting this!

  8. Great post BJ – I am going to reblog – porn is everywhere in the church and it is dragging people down left and right.

    Jesus responds by just saying Come to me – turn from it and turn to Him.

    • Thank you for this comment. Porn addiction is insidious, for sure, and it is poisoning marriages and entire families, and parents are now handing children internet devices unguarded and are letting them take them to their bedrooms with no adult supervision. God help us!

  9. I am going to reblog this as well. this is such an important issue especially among young adults and teenagers. I had this very addiction growing up and tried to justify it over and over in my mind. saying it’s okay because I need to release I’m angry when I don’t etc etc…. I’m so elated that you took the time to address this issue!

  10. Data also shows that people involved in the sex slave trade got their beginnings in porn. Google ex porn star testimonies as well. Always going to have nay Sayers it’s a sin issue of objectification, lots of one armed bandits out there who are too lazy to get a date 😆 Good read and very relevant

  11. Thank you. On target as always. Words that a sin-blighted world needs to hear and believe. Thank you for your honesty and courage in addressing this topic…evil parading itself as beauty. satan came to kill and steal and destroy…and he pretends to be an angel of light.

  12. Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:
    Jesus keep us near the cross, there a precious healing fountain for those who need to be freed from bondages and sin’s dread sway. Free us, keep us under the blood till Jesus comes, safe from wrath and judgment Amen.

  13. Hi BJ, porn is like a cancer within our society and even within the Church. Ravi Zacharias has a video out called “Drawing the Line” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suoUY2k6gPE where he indicated almost 95% of a seminary responded to an alter call on this subject. I remember when I was newly married, my wife told me she thought it would be a good idea to get rid of my “Playboy Collection”. I remember the loss that I felt when the magazines went into the garbage. And now porn is readily available everywhere on the Internet. A recent post of your’s stated: ” 1) God will not give you more of Himself than you desire. 2) God will give you as much of Himself as you desire.” With me, I came to the point in my life where the need for being close to God had to over ride the need to pursue baser instincts. Short story is you can’t have it both ways. Watching porn is adultery of the heart, not unlike how Israel prostituted their relationship with God in the Old Testament and some of the Church does today (we are Christ’s bride). Thank you for bringing this up and sharing. Pray for the Church on this matter.

  14. I appreciate your candor and transparency. I will looking around for something to read on a break, and I found this. This, which confronts my own issues in a real way–both present and past. It was the last thing I’d normally want to read, but I’m glad I did. I had to seek some hard help and accountability for my own issues with porn, and I am consequently aware that it is a real addiction, with the potential consequences of a real addiction. Thanks for making me think, once again. Thanks for making me realize that turning to the Lord for help was the best and only thing to do. Man, that stuff started early. I don’t want to pass it along generationally to my own kids.

  15. Thankyou. The direct link between our attention to porn and the resultant implications for the control and subjugation of bodies is very sobering and scary. Guarding our attention from this equates to the emancipation of many. BJ, you are a real asset to us all.

  16. Your message reeled me in. I couldn’t stop reading this until the end. Your convictions and profound knowledge on this topic are powerful. I was suffering from porn and other sexual addictions as well. However the Lord, granted me away out of that shallow pit.

    Thanks – Bravery suits you.

  17. God bless you for this open and honest article.

    //I would rather your life be wrecked in the here and now than that you conveniently ride your porn addiction all the way to hell//

    I love these words because they resonates with that of Jesus when he said if your right hand leads you to sin, cut it off. Obviously not literal, but literary, to tell us the dangers of sin and the dire consequences. Bless you

  18. Who the heck has got time for porn? What a fucking waste of time and energy.
    It’s not real.
    It means nothing.
    It’s about money.
    It confuses people about sex and love and what they should be having or getting or giving. It gets in the way of our creativity I think.
    If people want to make a million arguments about how porn is great that’s fine by be. I am not making a statement here about morality. I just think it’s a fucking waste of time and energy and I never feel compelled to pursue it. I’ve just got so much to do. I also have a lot to write about:)

  19. The only reason why two people are opposed to your post is because they love their sins and you are convicting them. I Christian who daily is in the Word and prayer has a better chance to overcome than those who aren’t seeking God’s face. I am walking prove of that. Not one day goes by without being in God’s Word and prayer.

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