Believe God, Not Porn

This article was originally posted at my site. I’m married with three children, an SBC pastor, a PhD student at SBTS, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube.

On December 30, 2012, Russell Moore tweeted,

The Bible Belt: When the strip club you pass on the highway has “Happy Birthday Jesus” on the neon sign outside.

This begs the question concerning whether or not a strip club can celebrate the birth of Christ while communicating that a woman’s value is solely dependent upon her sexual availability. You see this lie perpetuated in how women are portrayed on Television, in movies, books, music, etc. and even in how women portray themselves. Of course, this devaluing of humanity is not reserved for women only. Men too are often reduced to sexual objects in our culture and society (Consider the young man who cannot keep his shirt on in the Twilight movie series). What Christians must understand is that how we view other humans and how we want other humans to view us reveals what we believe about the value of humanity. Both Porn and God make arguments about the value of humanity. Porn communicates that the value of men and women is bound up supremely in their sexual availability. God, on the other hand, argues that man is valuable because he or she is created in His image (Gen. 1:26-27). Who will we believe?

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:26-27).

Humans are set apart from the rest of creation, and the various tools of man. We are more valuable than plants, animals, and machines. We are created in God’s image. Thus, concerning sexuality, if you want another human to look at you in a lustful way, you’re devaluing yourself. If you want to lust after another human, you don’t know his or her value or your own value. In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said,

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

We’re to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Because of what God has said about the value of humanity, can we look at someone in lustful way and be loving God and our neighbors? No. Can we purposely dress in a way that encourages someone to objectify us sexually, and love God and our neighbors? No. Just as a strip club cannot truly be celebrating the birth of Jesus as it objectifies women as sex objects, we too cannot worship Jesus while simultaneously lusting after one another and encouraging one another to lust. We either believe God or porn, not both.

If we have a porn problem, we have a belief in God problem; not merely a lust problem. We’re choosing to believe porn instead of God. After all, we lust because we deny who God is and what He has said. The man or woman who is addicted to porn is voluntarily back in the Garden again, eating the forbidden fruit while embracing the Serpent and agreeing with his lie, “Has God said” (Gen. 3:1)? Repent and believe what you know to be true. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 Cor. 6:13). Believe what God has said about the value of humanity; renew your mind with this truth (Rom. 12:1-2), and live out the results of this truth. Believe God, not porn. Just as you refuse to commit murder because man is made in God’s image, refuse to lust for the same reason.

If you have lusted or struggle with lust, with the Apostle John, I say,

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments (1 John 2:1-3).

Amen? I’m thankful Christians have Christ as their advocate before the Father. God’s wrath towards Christians has been satisfied in Christ. Therefore, let us pursue keeping His commandments while pleading the blood of Christ alone.

This article was originally posted at my site. I’m married with three children, an SBC pastor, a PhD student at SBTS, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube.

Comments

  1. Greg Harvey says

    There was a strip club near League City, Texas–between Houston and Galveston on the I-45 “Gulf” Freeway–that didn’t control a nearby billboard that was used for I think about a decade for advertisements related to the Gospel which is probably the background for the Russell Moore tweet. To say they did a gangbusting business regardless of the sign would be an astute observation.

    I think one of the problems that conservative Christians often have with porn is overemphasizing what is and is not obscene and not really having a good methodology for distinguishing between art and titillation. It’s what has led to what I’ll describe as social persecution against breastfeeding women that you usually don’t see in what we refer to as the “Third World”.

    And it in turn leads to the kind of restrictive behavior that in other cultures and other times within Christian cultures has led to burka-like coverings.

    Now I’ll be the first to admit this–and I’ll challenge most of the rest of the men reading this to admit it too–when the standard is “shorts/skirts to the knees”, longer is prim and shorter is scandalous BECAUSE we set a standard. If that doesn’t remind you of Paul’s discussion in Romans regarding the Law, perhaps it ought to.

    But I recognize what Jared is addressing is something worse and insidious. We grasp for explanations of why it is wrong. But Jesus states it very simply: if you look on a woman with lust, you’ve committed adultery with her in your heart. Lust in the heart is how Bathsheba gave birth to David’s son and how Uriah was murdered. That is the awe of Jesus’ revelation: you just THINK you’ve got it under control when publicly you can keep the evil hidden. But it’s in our heart that evil operates and creates death in us.

    Which is why God said–in the Hebrew hithpael tense which has an emphatic voice as well as a reflexive action–that if Adam ate of the fruit he “would surely–pael’s emphatic voice is poorly conveyed in the adverb–cause himself to–here’s the reflexive of the hithpael in action–die”. Sin causes self-inflicted death. If you’re sinning, you’re killing yourself even if you’ve been saved. And there is no further sacrifice for sin if you believe in Jesus Christ. Because you have in Him the freedom not to sin. It is our spiritual re-birthright.

    All sin for the believer is willful. Don’t kid yourself about it. The devil doesn’t make you do it. YOU DO. Now we can discuss addiction and how it changes the chemistry of the brain and how it might enhance temptation. But take responsibility for your own actions. It’s sin.

  2. Jon says

    The reason porn is such a tremendous social issue is that we live in a society which still views women as sub-human. As made solely for man. Women are not viewed as total beings capable of all the things men accomplish. This is seen even in our rules about ministry in the church, not to mention numerous other gender stereotypes.