Lie #3: It’s Natural, Normal, Healthy

I touched on this one a little bit earlier with regard to prisoners.  I don’t have the reference, but there was a prison warden who wanted to restrict access to porn for all the inmates.  This became controversial, because some felt that looking at porn was a natural and “harmless” way to ease tension that would otherwise manifest itself in more violent ways.

In other words, if you don’t let men look at porn, they’ll beat each other up.

This also is an area where high school classes totally drop the ball.  Porn is presented as a non-entity, a neutral alternative, as something that “some people use.”  Of course, this is all in the guise of “education” and underscores the most esteemed belief of the moraliphopic religious left–to remove the concept of immorality from the minds of our youth, because morals are inherently judgmental.

Education is sought by some as the answer and the cure to any social ill that may come upon us.  It’s the ruse that “knowledge is power.”  Like most lies, this one is true in many contexts.  But it is not true in all of them–most of all the moral ones.  Knowledge and morality have very little in common.  Some of the smartest people in the world have also been guilty of the most vicious of crimes.  Now, the knowledge of God–that’s something worth learning.

My favorite example of this is when we “educate” teenage boys about why they shouldn’t ever be involved in date rape.  We talk to them about risk factors, warning signs, and possible actions they can take to avoid these kinds of situations, or what to do if they end up faced with one, like a drunk girl alone in a room at a big party.

Seriously, do we really think that after we’ve “taught” them why it’s harmful to the girl to take advantage of her while she’s drunk, that a boy who wants to do it will withhold in the moment?  Or maybe, he’ll settle for just fondling her, which of course, isn’t as bad.

If only we could have “educated” Charles Manson, we could have prevented him from murdering all those women.  Am I now using Lie #1 as my argument?  Am I saying that they’re all going to do it anyway, so don’t bother trying to change it?

By no means am I saying this.  I’m just saying that a reason-based, secular, abstract classroom lesson isn’t the way to do it.  To foster moral excellence, you first have to create a desire for it.  People have to want to do the right thing.  I’m not going to get into all the secular ways this might be accomplished.  But even before that, you have to acknowledge that there is such a thing as morality, and right and wrong.  You have to call date rape wrong, evil, and cruel.  Don’t whitewash it by calling it a “behavior,” or a “harmful choice.”  The religious left loves to use euphemisms like these to avoid using words that sound “judgmental.”

(This is a big topic, so we can’t go into it, but it is not being judgmental to call sin what it is.  The judgmental attitude God hates is the one that condemns the person for their sin, and then ostracizes, criticizes, and rejects them for it.  We are called to love, forgive, and restore, not be self-righteous and look down on people who’ve messed up more than us, like that church in Kansas I mentioned earlier.  But sin is sin, and to deny or overlook that is to invalidate the word of God).

Hold on though.  If you’re a man, you may be sitting there thinking, “But it really is hard to go very long without some kind of sexual release.  Maybe looking at porn isn’t natural, and maybe masturbation isn’t either, but then, what else can we do?”  And a physical argument can be made as well.  The prostate gland gets full.  When that happens, it’s got to go somewhere.

Defeating the Lie
Before we get to the answer to that one, here’s the Bible verse that counters the lie.  It is Jesus’ response to the Jewish leaders who asked him if divorce was allowed.  They argued that Moses permitted them to divorce their wives, under certain conditions.

Mark 10:5
But Jesus said to them, “He wrote this commandment to you because of your hardness of heart.  (NT Transline)

In God’s original design, divorce was a sin, in every case.  It was meant to never happen.  Ever.  God hates divorce, it says in Malachi.  Yet Moses permitted it because of their hardness of heart.  Now, because of sin, some people get hurt in marriage, and divorce sometimes happens as a result (abuse, infidelity, abandonment).  But we must remind ourselves that God did not intend this to happen.  If both people remain committed to Him in their hearts, these other things also will not happen, and neither will divorce.

What’s the point?  God has designed us to be able to function within His Law, and to live up to it by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.  The Sermon on the Mount from Jesus is about all the ways we fail miserably in living up to God’s Law.  We can’t do it on our own.  We are not good, and don’t have the power to change.  But by God’s grace, which as we just saw in Titus (in Lie #2) has the power to train us to live in righteousness in this present age, we can.

We can live according to and even fulfill the entire Law.  It is possible.  It’s just not expected.  God knows we will fail.  Given time, however, as we learn to walk with God, live by the Spirit, let Him lead us, we will fail less and less, and it won’t seem difficult.

The New Normal
Put in the terms of the lie, it is natural, normal, and healthy to NOT look at porn or masturbate or lust, or do any other sin.  We are the way God made us when we never sin.  That is normal.  Sin is abnormal.  Just as divorce is abnormal and opposed to God’s true design, so any other sin is as well.  And anyone who tries to weaken God’s commands, to say that a man just can’t help it and it’s a natural thing to leer at other women–that person is not speaking the will of God.  Any lust–even the swimsuit calendar–is abnormal, and contrary to God’s presence.

So what about the physical pressures that we men face, that God put there?  First of all, if it were true that the natural pressures within the man were the only issue, then no married man who loves his wife would continue to desire porn (assuming a healthy marriage…).  And yet there are married men who, just days after having sex with their wives, will go and search for porn.  Clearly, there is something else at work here, and it isn’t natural or normal.

And yet, there is a natural physical pressure.  What do we do about that?

It’s not easy, but there’s an answer.  It’s a little uneasy to talk about for pretty much anyone, but I think it needs to be said because it was clearly designed by God when He created man.  It’s been called a “nocturnal emission” by educators, and they mistakenly believe that it only happens in the teenage years.  I remember “learning” that in high school.  Typically, the male has a dream, usually (but not always) filled with erotic imagery, and it ends with the release of fluid, easing the pressure in the prostate.

The truth is that these episodes can happen every few weeks, and that, properly humbled and led by the Spirit of God, a man can subsist on this system until marriage.  Also, keep in mind that you have to put any dream imagery in its place, spiritually speaking.  Don’t sit around and contemplate all those dreamy images.  I did this by thanking God for providing for me (gratefulness), and asking for His help to not dwell on them.

Now, I’m not suggesting or even implying this is an easy path.  But it is possible.  All things are possible to him who believes.  You can live this way.  I’ve done it for stretches of time, before my flesh caved in to selfishness and stopped trusting God.  Now, if you’re already married, then this doesn’t apply to you, unless you’re having marriage problems.  That’s usually a different conversation.  Find your own blog.  But again, if you’re married and struggle with porn, you know it’s not about physical pressure.

Some of you may be laughing hysterically at my foolish naivete.  What kind of crazy guy thinks millions of men would do this?  To that I say, God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (I Cor 1:27).

If you have been enslaved to these sins your entire adult life, then laugh all you want, because you’ve never even tried it.  I dare you to do so, and even more, to pray for it.  Yes, you can pray to God for this kind of thing.

God says in Malachi to test Him in the area of tithes, that if we give to Him, to test and see if He doesn’t provide for our own needs and more.  I believe this also is an area we can ‘test’ Him, if you will.  In the sense that if we trust God with our sexuality, He will take care of us.  He has provided a system that works, and it depends on our faith and trust in Him.  Remember, God doesn’t want you to be miserable, walking around feeling like a failure.  He wants you to live for Him.  He’ll help you do it.  The question is, do you want to?