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By Richard Gunther
is seen, by many people (but not all) as a bad thing. By extremists it is
considered a threat, a menace, and something close to Satanic, while to many
other people it is seen as a legitimate pleasure and a fantasy which brings
what exactly is pornography, and why is considered harmful? And
what about it is harmful? Obviously, there must be (perceived at least)
something harmful about it, or a lot of responsible adults wouldn’t be doing
so much to protect children from it.
comes from two Greek words "porne" = harlot and "grapho" =
to write. In other words, the narrow meaning is "licentious writing",
or "sexually immoral". So even in its narrowest form, pornography is
considered as a moral issue. This, logically, leads us to ask the next
question - on what basis do we judge anything as either moral or immoral.
the Christian the answer is easy. All morals are illuminated by the divine,
absolute standards of right and wrong, as contained in the ten commandments.
Jesus amplified these commands to the extent that, for example, a man might not literally
commit adultery, but if he even imagined the act, his thoughts were on
the same level, in God’s sight, as the act. In that case, all men (and women)
must be guilty of adultery at some time or other in their lives, so what is
wrong with pornography, since it merely extends what men and women do in their
thoughts to a slightly more visible level? (Gen.6:5, Ex.20, Jer.17:9,
pornography does is present immorality in a graphic and pleasurable way, so as
to lead the person viewing it into thoughts which they would not ordinarily
is morally wrong, no matter how it is disguised, and while it offers people
something worth having, in the end it degrades and ultimately ruins them.
Pornography is a branch of sin, and sin wears many disguises, often making
itself appear as: 1. Fun, 2. Enjoyable, 3. Enlightening, 4. Valuable.
offers the viewer something good, but its effect is ultimately poisonous, in the
following ways :
Pornography degrades the image of God. God created the first woman to
portray His ‘female’ aspect. All of Nature shows this male/female duality,
and likewise the woman was created to present a full ‘picture’ of God. God
is not just male or just female, He is both male and female, so men and women
exist to reflect the complete nature of God. But pornography reduces the female
aspect to the level of objects for lust. Women likewise lose respect for men and
reduce them to objects for lust. Therefore pornography is not only a direct
attack on God’s creative act but also a breach of the divine Law.
Although God created physically beautiful women, He also created them to think
and accomplish things. Pornography reduces or degrades many women to
‘lust-objects’, appealing to men’s basic instincts. Likewise some men have
been devalued the same way. Men and women so used fail to grasp the wide and
multifaceted possibilities they have to live life to its fullest. It would be
like someone who buys a Rolls Royce and uses it for keeping a few hens - the
enormous potential of the car is reduced to a mere roost for a few fowls.
Pornography appeals to the sinful nature. Ironically, because God made
the human body, there is nothing intrinsically immoral or sinful about it. The
first humans wore no clothes because they saw nothing immoral. Like very young
children, they had no conception of modesty. As most (but not all) students of
‘Life Drawing’ classes will say, the naked body becomes a ‘neutral’
object, to be defined with lines, shading and surface texture. It is only when
the student makes the conscious effort to look at the body in another way that
it can become an object of lust - which shows that there are two sides to
pornography : the inherited sinful nature, which is unavoidable, and the
Pornography goes against God’s provisions for people to maintain a lifestyle
of modesty. Knowing that human nature is biased towards immorality, God
made several provisions to help prevent people from provoking each other.
As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they covered themselves because "they knew
that they were naked" (Gen.3:7) They could no longer look at themselves or
each other without feeling shame. In other words, God’s inbuilt moral
law (which is written on every person’s heart Rom.2:15) began to operate.
God commanded that the sons of Aaron should wear "Linen breeches (trousers)
to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall
reach" Exodus 28:42. These trousers covered the bare flesh from sight, to
avoid causing anyone watching from being diverted in their thoughts from the
holiness of what the priest was doing. In a similar way, one does not place
pictures of women in bikinis on the walls of a prayer-room.
Both Christian men and women are to observe modest practices.
urges men everywhere to "lift up holy hands" . . . and adds "In
like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with
shamefacedness (humility) and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or
pearls, or costly array;" 1 Timothy 2:9. The expression "in like
manner also" shows that men too should wear appropriate clothes, and
present a modest, unprovocative view to other men and women.
adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of
wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;" 1 Peter 3:3. Some men and
women dress like large signposts, which read "Come And Get Me I’m
Available". Their clothes are deliberately cut to reveal, or expose bare
flesh. Visual prostitutes.
the centuries, the battle has continued between licence and modesty. In some
cases modesty has become twisted into prudery. Some over-modest women of
Victorian times wore coverall bathing costumes, and entered the sea from wheeled
carriages. On the other hand, nudists maintain that clothes are unnecessary,
although it seems that teenage nudists are rare, due to their innate sense of
modesty. Nudism is, as far as I can see, a noble attempt to attain innocence,
but it has a terrible in-built flaw: the inherited sinful nature. It is
quite possible that only the very young and the very old are comfortable with
nudism, since at the former end true innocence exists, and at the latter end the
effects of ageing create such an undesirable effect on the human body that lust
is difficult to find.
ought to be careful that they keep a correct balance between modesty and freedom
of choice. It is not for one Christian to set modesty standards for another
Christian, since all Christians are answerable to god as individuals, and god
knows our hearts better than we know our own or other people’s hearts.
of the driving forces behind pornography and nudism is the evolutionary theory,
which reduces humans to animals, thereby eliminating any real need for moral
consciousness. Animals, of course, show no sign of any moral consciousness. They
never try to wear clothes, or act in licentious ways. All their lives their
every action is dictated by instinct, which is a sort of computer program which
handles all stimuli moment by moment.
on the other hand, have a moral consciousness, which intrudes its standards
uninvited into situations wherever the universal moral Law is being broken. As
C.S.Lewis noted in ‘Mere Christianity’ (page 16,17) on the subject of
quarrelling : "Quarrelling means trying to show that the other man is in
the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he
had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are; just as there would
be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was
some agreement about the rules of football."
only way a person can freely, and without inhibitions, indulge in pornography
therefore, is by doing either of two things :
Changing the rules, making immorality Right, or
Suppressing the Conscience.
number 1. See the pursuit and love of Nature, naturism cults i.e. witches and
their like, Evolutionists, worshippers of Nature, animists, and those who deny
divine origins. For number 2. See Romans 1:18-32 in which the whole process of
degeneration begins when people suppress the truth.
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who hold (the Greek means "hold down"
or "suppress") the truth in unrighteousness;
that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to
them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and
Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were
thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was
darkened." Romans 1:18-21
are many examples of pornography in the Bible, all of which illustrate that it
is first of all tempting, pleasurable and full of promise, but in the end it
produces chaos and degeneration.
general principle of pornography :
the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are
the way of life: to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattery of the
tongue of a strange woman.
not after her beauty in your heart; neither let her take you with her eyelids.
(Tempting, or enticing looks). For by means of a whorish (harlot, seductive)
woman a man is brought to a piece of bread (ruin): and the adulteress will hunt
for the precious life.
a man take fire in his chest, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon
(stand or walk about on) hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goes
in to his neighbour's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent."
Proverbs 6:23 - 29.
origin of pornography.
woman (or man) is not an inherently immoral sight, neither is nakedness, but the
inherited sinful nature can convert sinless objects into a cause for sin. This
is why Jesus warned about out thought-life, which was the main reason for the
Flood of Noah’s day ("every intent of the thoughts of their hearts
was only evil continually" Gen. 6:5)
said : "But I say unto you, That whoever looks on a woman (with the
intention of ) lusting after her has committed adultery with her already in his
heart." Matthew 5:28
every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed"
when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished,
brings forth death." James 1:15
Bible makes it clear that when anyone goes against the moral Law, they begin to
travel down a path of degradation, ending finally with death. The man who
continually indulges in pornography begins to die - similar to those who smoke.
For a while there may be pleasure and immunity from great harm, but ultimately
the body is ruined and premature death follows.
it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked
upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman
washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." 2
David "saw" the woman, then he spent some time "looking
upon" her. It was this second stage which led to his immoral act. His
adultery led, to an assassination plot against Bathsheba’s husband, many lies
and finally murder. Joab David’s general was implicated in the plot. David’s
adultery led to the loss of Bathsheba’s first child. David also lost the
respect of many people including those of his own family. When his son Absalom
transgressed, David was constrained from judging him because he himself had
already broken the Law, so he was compromised by his own sin. Absalom’s
rebellion led to much shedding of blood, intrigue and foul play. The root cause
of all these troubles was pornography.
whole of Proverbs chapters 5 and 7 are a warning about pornography and related
areas. (They can also be read as a warnings against ‘spiritual adultery’ -
those who mix God’s Word with error, or cult teachings).
the symbols of modern pornography are present in the two chapters. The enticing,
pleasant words (common to many of today’s pop songs), the suggestion that
morals are not important ( Similar to today's "If it feels good, do
it" message), the visibly attractive setting (such as many of today’s
movies portray - i.e. "The Beach" with Leonardo DeCaprio, in which he
and a suitably, alluring, half-clothed and beautiful woman lust after each other
for a while and eventually have sex. The whole idea that it might be adulterous
affair is swept aside by music and visual effects. In this way lust is equated
with love, and morals are twisted to suit the sinful nature)
having depicted the attractiveness of immorality, the Bible goes on to say that,
in the end, those who practise it will "go down to death", tasting
something "bitter as wormwood", find that "their flesh and their
body are consumed", that they are "caught in the cords of their
sin", that they "fall like a bird in a snare", or go "like
an ox to the slaughter", "For her house is the way to hell, descending
to the chambers of death."
increase in pornography today is a sign of the end of the Age, and a warning to
Christians that at any moment the Lord Jesus could return. In Luke 17 Jesus said
the people living just prior to His return would be similar in behaviour to
those living "in the days of Noah" and "in the days of Lot".
We make an assumption here, but it seems reasonable to suppose that part of the
lifestyle in those days included open and rampant immorality - such as we have
today. Many of the lifestyles which the Bible defines as immoral are not only
practised openly in the western world, but advocated and publicised, and
defended by the Bill of Rights. Some of the immoral practises are found in
Christendom too, such as women who divorce their husbands and remarry, or vice
versa, abortion, homosexual’s and lesbians gaining positions of leadership
within the Church, and so on.
videos, magazines, music, books and now the InterNet, all carry pornographic
material, which some people like to classify as ‘soft’ and ‘hard’,
although such a distinction may be difficult to defend. All pornography
is wrong, according to the Bible. One could not speak of ‘soft’
murder/lies/theft or ‘hard’ murder/lies/theft. It is what it is, and for
Christians it should not be entertained.
to Peter Mancer the director and designer of ‘Family net’ (www.family.net.nz)
"Many schools and families do not appreciate the ease of access to
inappropriate sites and the huge number of sites available. Peter estimates 30%
of all InterNet traffic is pornography, and he has found between 300 and 500
objectionable web sites are being introduced every day." He says that
"Any child who is only two mouse clicks away from InterNet
pornography". (Challenge Weekly March 21 2000)
is the remedy to pornography?
the Christian, personal modesty is the rule. For interpersonal relations,
Christians are not to judge the unsaved, or try to impose their standards on
others. On the other hand, Christians are to make a conscious effort to avoid
pornography - not only because they know why it is wrong, but also because they
have a Lord to please.
admitted the universal dilemma. All Christians have an inherently sinful nature.
Like a bowling ball, if unresisted, they will curve away from the straight line.
The straight line equates to the Law of God, and the bias equates to the
inherited sinful nature.
we know that the law (the moral Law of God) is spiritual, (and therefore
perfect): but I am carnal, sold under sin.
that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate,
that do I.
then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is
present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.
the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and
bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve
the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." Romans 7:14
From this we can deduce that every waking moment Paul was in a struggle with the inherited Adam seemingly still alive in his body. Paul could not look at a woman without noticing lust intruding. He could not hear worldly music without finding himself enjoying it, despite the tainted lyrics. He could not have a conversation without wrong thoughts, foolish thoughts, inane and trivial and unwise thoughts interfering with what he knew was the best thoughts he could think. He could not have fellowship with other Christians without noticing - against his will - their faults and failings, and a critical spirit emerged inside him despite his best efforts to love his brethren in an unqualified way. Paul, (and all instructed Christians) was aware of the battle against his flesh. He asked the question "who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Knowing that the only final hope, was the return of Jesus, and the new, resurrection body. In a strange sort of way, Adam was a dealer in a drug called pornography, (to name just one of the many sins we all inherit), and his needle of sin-fluid has been injected into the flesh of the whole human race. Paul was one of those who was born already addicted, but he was determined to break the habit. So must we.
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