Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lets Talk About Sex {Pornography} - Part 1

Lust of the Eyes
Is Pornography really so bad? After all, the human body is God’s handiwork. Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed in Eden (Genesis 3:7). Nakedness and pornography are not the same thing. Nakedness is simply an absence of clothing, and can be highly un-erotic. In many societies nakedness or semi-nakedness is a part of normal life. Pornography, by contrast, is the deliberate composition of visual images so as to stir erotic desires in the viewer.

The Bible speaks of “the lust of the eyes” (1 John 2:16). This is what pornography feeds and exacerbates. The lust of the eyes becomes the lust of the heart. The compiler of the book of a simple young man. King Solomon has given a worth advice from his own experiences, and he said,

I saw among the simple, 
I noticed among the young men, 
A youth who lacked judgment, 
He was going down the street near her corner, 
walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, 
As the dark of night set in, 
Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent,
With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk, 
All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, 
Like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, 
Like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.
(Proverbs 7:7-10, 21-23).


Pornography
The word Pornography is composed of two Greek words. The first is porne, meaning “harlot,” or “fornication” which is akin to the word pernanai, meaning “to sell.” The Second word is graphein, meaning “to write.” In other words, pornography is literally “the writing of harlots.” It is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual gratification, through a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games.

The term further applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself. Hence, Pornography is often distinguished from erotica, which consists of the portrayal of sexuality with high-art aspirations, focusing also on feelings and emotions, while pornography involves the depiction of acts in a sensational manner, with the entire focus on the physical act, so as to arouse quick intense reactions.

Pornography is virtual prostitution. It uses the allure of the “bait” to overwhelm the judgement of the prey. A pornographic model and actor poses for still photographs or performs in pornographic films. If pornography objectifies the models it portrays, then it also makes fools of those who succumb to its attractions. Both prostitution and pornography are dangerous to our emotional and spiritual health. If we allow our desires to rule us, we shall shrink to become no more than the sum of our desires, always hungry for more, never satisfied.

You don’t have to be “looking for it” in order to be ensnared. King David was just minding his own business when he happened to catch sight of one of the most beautiful women in Jerusalem having a bath. Instead of doing the decent thing and looking away, the King stayed around to become a Peeping Tom. Embarrassment turned to curiosity, which turned to lust. And, just like so many others before and since, the lust of the eyes set fire to the lust of the heart. It was not enough just to look at her beauty; he had to possess her sexually too.

What Harm Does Pornography Do?
Well, what did he expect? One thing leads to another. In this case it led to an adulterous affair, an unwanted pregnancy and ultimately the effective murder of the wrong husband (cf. 2 Sam. 11:14-17). All things considered, it would have been so much easier if David had just covered his eyes when Bathsheba dropped her towel. Pornography is bad news. Its primary purpose for the viewer is to whet the sexual appetites, to fan the flames of lust for its own sake.  “What harm does it do to anyone?” we may ask. After all, isn't just appreciation of the beautiful bodies the Creator has so fearfully and wonderfully made? A private porno-surfing session is not an orgy. It’s not like going to bed with someone, is it?

Yes, it is, says Jesus; it’s exactly like going to bed with someone. “You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).

Ten Reasons Why Pornography is Bad 
Pornography has real moral consequences. It gives birth to sin in our hearts and grieves the heart of the Lord. John Houghton has identified 10 good reasons why pornography is bad for us:-

1. It divorces sexual stimulation from the intimacy of love and marriage.
2. It reduces the image of God to the level of brute creation.
3. It fosters a climate of sexual promiscuity and infidelity.
4. It exploits, degrades and denies the feelings of the participants.
5. It feeds on greed to induce addiction and obsession.
6. It nurtures spiritual hardness, anger and aggression.
7. It furthers social isolation and self-centered introversion.
8. It saps our creative energies and stunts the higher emotions.
9. It encourages hypocrisy and secretive lust in personal relationships.
10. It swamps the imagination with crude images to the exclusion of the finer.

To Be Continued… 

Sources:-
1. We’ve Got PornChristianity Today, June 2000.
2. Don Tapscott, Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation (London: McGraw-hill, 1998).
3. John Houghton, “PornucopiaRenewal 287 (2000), p.43.
4. Nicolas Thompson, The Washington Monthly, July/August 2000, pp.27-31.
5. Norman Fraser, The Net Commandments. Leicester: IVP, 2002.
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography

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